Damon Gambuto: My Hamburger Had a First Name
The new writer for A Hamburger Today had a personal relationship with his meat:
I went to an amazing grammar school called Manhattan Country School. It’s on 96th Street between 5th and Madison and is simply the best… institution… ever. Part of the experience of growing up in MCS was spending time (weeks at a time) on the school’s farm (the “country” part of the moniker).
They’d send us up to Roxbury, New York, to live, work and learn on the farm. We’d collect eggs in the morning from the chicken coop, milk the cows, shovel out the stalls—you get the idea. Among our responsibilities would be to tend to the cattle. Now this was more of a single-family-scale farm, so we’re talking just a few head out in the pasture, not thousands of cows living way too close to each other on a dirt patch.
You see, our cattle had names: Steve (really), Chestnut, and Bessie. (I think there’s a law about having to name every third cow Bessie.) We’d pet them and tend to them and get to know them. Then we’d eat them. The meat in the freezer would be labeled with the type of cut and the name of the cow from which it was, um, cut.