UK BBQ Mag Winter 2017/2018 - Page 77

thinking we are doing a good thing for sustainability ends up inadvertently being negative, but there is no evidence to support this either way as yet. An example where barbecue appears to be making a positive contribution is support for the #goatober campaign the last two years, promoting the consumption of kid goat meat, a by-product of the goat dairy industry, who unlike their bovine counterparts have less commercial use.

What’s a ‘cue to do? The research suggests that barbecue can be a really sustainable way of cooking, on environmental, social and economic grounds, let alone absolutely delicious and a lot of fun. There’s every reason why this should be the case as it’s how we’ve cooked for the last 10,000 years, less the last 100 years since the invention of the electric cooker and the sustainability of our food system started to go a bit wrong. But it’s not my role or the role of UK BBQ Mag to suggest how you should or shouldn’t approach your barbecue, instead I will say how what I’ve learned has changed my behaviour.

Since educating myself on the issues I can’t now unlearn them, so I try and do what I can as often as I can. Do I always use the local butcher? No. Do I solely use charcoal that I can identify as being sustainably made? No. Do I manage to not waste any food? No. Have I become a vegan? Certainly not! But do I use the local butcher more, buy the odd bag of sustainable charcoal, eat a wider range of cuts, value more of the animal, throw less away and eat a bit less meat and more vegetables, yes. As a result, I’ve hopefully made a small difference, and as time goes on this difference grows and it becomes easier as the sustainable behaviour just becomes the norm, and in any case it’s better than doing nothing. I’m not an eco-warrior, or rich, or best mates with a farmer, but I thoroughly enjoyed doing the research and found it fascinating and merely wanted to share what I found with others in the barbecue family, so if nothing else its some ‘cue for thought!

The Author. Jason Wood is an avid backyard barbecue chef, cooking almost solely on his Weber he loves all aspects of barbecue and what it has to offer. He recently completed a Master’s in Business Administration at the University of Northampton where was awarded a distinction for his dissertation on research into the sustainability of the UK barbecue food industry. He runs an emergent blog on barbecue, smoking and what he likes to call ‘barbecology’, an area he aims to blog more on some of the wider aspects of barbecue beyond just the recipes.

To find out more go to www.hopsmokefire.com.

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