I don’t normally read Miranda Devine’s opinion pieces because frankly, I couldn’t give two hoots what she thinks. And she’ll only make me angry. But her first sentence in today’s piece in the Sydney Morning Herald – Bottoms up in simply offal world – had me laughing so much I had to read on:
Here’s another thing to blame on greenies: the revolting trend of nose-to-tail eating.
Apparently the greenies, who can’t even get politicians in Australia to agree to decent cuts to emissions, have managed to convince cultures all around the world to eat parts of animals that make Miranda a bit squeamy. Cultures that have been eating offal for longer than the environmental movement has existed. Hang about, let me finish laughing so I can write something scathing.
You can’t go into a restaurant these days without finding some gruesome item on the menu, like sweetbreads – see the euphemisms offal-eaters must employ to justify their perverted indulgences. As if frogs legs and snails weren’t bad enough. Now we have to contend with rolled pig’s spleen and roast bone marrow. Gulp.
Really Miranda? People eating things you don’t like is the biggest worry you have this week? Aren’t there asylum seekers or Nobel Peace Prize recipients or feminists you could be railing against?
Visiting another sister in Tokyo last year, my family dined at a shabu shabu restaurant with no English menu or English-speaking waiters. We pointed at the fragrant bubbling pot on the table next door and in broken Japanese explained that was what we wanted to eat. The waiters seemed surprised and tried to dissuade us. No, that was what we wanted. And that was what we got.
The bunsen burner arrived with the pot of broth and a side dish of herbage. So far so good. On the boil we plunged in the veggies and ladled ourselves out the delicious smelling concoction. Mmmmm … until the faces around the table changed slowly, from contentment to wonder, to abject disgust.
In our mouths was a meat of indeterminate origin. Meat was too fine a description, really. It was morsels of gristle, slightly spongy, tasteless, but with a faint je ne sais quoi that made the tongue recoil in horror.
Oh, the horror.
Personally, I’m not a fan of offal – I can’t quite get there yet after 14 years of vegetarianism – but I do admire people who eat everything. It’s very Anglo to only eat meat that doesn’t look like it came from an animal, wrapped in plastic at the supermarket. But for Miranda Devine to spend 894 words having a whinge about what some people eat, and blaming it on the green movement, is the funniest thing I’ve read all week.