My first job after college was as a pork salesman. It was a day job in the most literal sense; one day a week, Fridays, at Manhattan’s famed Union Square Greenmarket, hawking hocks and just about every other part of the pig. It was meant to be temp work, a way to get my foot in the door of the food world while I figured out something “better.” But those Fridays soon became indispensable. Fresh air, throngs of people, free-sample sausages sizzling away on our tabletop grill: better didn’t exist. I stayed for six years.
During that time, I came to know and love many regulars who made the weekly trip to our Flying Pigs Farmstand. There was Patricia, clad in black from head to toe, who came like clockwork first thing in the morning for her smoked ham steaks; Robert, who swung down at lunch from his job at Con-Edison for blade roasts; Uri, who wanted to recreate the “brownies” his family would make by freezing trays of pork blood outside their house in Siberia to survive the winter.
We produce reported pieces, profiles, interviews, and rants about what’s broken in the food world (there’s a lot) and how to change things for the better. People sometimes tell me to just keep politics out of it. Respectfully: No. Food is political. We can’t and won’t ignore that.