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July 21, 2008 12:10 PM

Squab, by any other name?

Posted by Nancy Leson


My grandfather raised homing pigeons in South Philadelphia, and once I was surefooted enough to navigate the steep stairs that led to the roof -- and his lovingly tended coop -- he'd invite me up to admire his flock. Which leads me to wonder: Had he lived long enough to read "Pigeons: The Next Step in Local Eating (No, Really)" -- as my trusty culinarily-minded correspondent Glenn Godden did -- would he have forwarded that Wired Science blog post, which says, in a nut graf :

"When you look at a pigeon, you might see a dirty, rat-like bird that fouls anything it touches with feathers or feces, but I see a waste-scavenging, protein-generating biomachine. At a time when rising demand for meat across the globe endangers the food system, and local eating has gained millions of (T-shirt wearing) adherents, it's time to reconsider our assumptions about what protein sources are considered OK to eat."

As an immigrant from Ukraine and a kosher butcher who lived through the Great Depression, my "Zayda Sol" knew what it meant to be poor and hungry. So, pigeon protector though he may have been, chances are he'd have read that locavoracious take on his fine-feathered friends and said, "So, nu? Roast me two!"

Me? I'll take mine minced with Chinese vegetables, served in a lettuce cup. You?

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