Julie & Julia Author Dishes to the Daily Beast About Meat-eating, Vegetarianism, and Jonathan Safran Foer

butcher shop meat photo

Apprenticing with a butcher changed Julie Powell's ideas about eating meat. Photo by me'nthedogs via Flickr.

The intimate details of her and her husband's affairs may be the main grist for the media in Julie Powell's new book, Cleaving, but the author of the best-selling memoir Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen has some juicy things to say about meat-eating, vegetarianism, and fellow author Jonathan Safran Foer too.After cooking her way through (nearly) all the recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Powell took on an apprenticeship with a New York butcher, which she chronicled -- along with her messy love life -- in the recently released Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession. It wasn't the first time Powell had gotten uncomfortably up close and personal with her food -- in Julie & Julia, she squeamishly learns to get the marrow out of a bone and bisect a living lobster -- but her experiment in "gonzo butcher journalism," as Daily Beast writer Rachel Kramer Bussel put it, changed some of her philosophies about eating.

A 'Restaurant Vegetarian'
"The experience made her into what she calls a 'restaurant vegetarian' who only eats meat when she knows exactly where it's from; she says she eats less animal flesh now after working with it daily," Bussel wrote in her interview with Powell, who now eats only local, humanely raised meat -- and has developed a taste for offal.

Powell didn't mince words when it came to fellow New York writer Foer, whose recent book, Eating Animals, was a controversial investigation into factory farms and his own vegetarianism:

Jonathan Safran Foer irritates the shit out of me, but he's right. He and I are really together in that what we're trying to come to a decision about what we feel like we can eat. There's got to be some middle ground between the industrial farming system and all the ways that's broken and the various privileged ways people like me [respond].... If you make a relationship with the people you're getting your food from, you're going to feel so much better, I promise.

Via: "Of Meat and Men," The Daily Beast
More about meat-eating and the environment:
Eat Meat, Ditch Factory Farming, Save the Planet, says Friends of the Earth Report
In Defense of the Cow: How Eating Meat Could Help Slow Climate Change
How and Why to Eat Less Meat
UN Expert Says Eat Less Red Meat To Reduce CO2 Emissions
Meat-eating Warrants Same Scrutiny as Driving and Flying
Eating Head-to-Tail - Dressing Up Less Popular Cuts of Meat
Tuck Into Local, Organic Meat
TH Forums Highlights: Eating Less Meat, Going Green on the Cheap + More

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