Lookin` for some down-home cookin`? A case study of household pork production in the Czech Republic
|Opravdu domácí jídlo? Případová studie domácích porážek prasat v ČR
|Článek ve sborníku
|Ethics and the Politics of Food
|Fakulta / Pracoviště MU
|Archeologie, antropologie, etnologie
|pig; animal slaughter; organic agriculture; ecological luxury; intrinsic values
|Traditional agricultural practices are often seen as friendly to the landscape and natural environment, and the lifestyle associated with farming often serves as romantic example of rural idyll (Berry 1997, 2002, Henderson, Van En 1999, Charles 2003). Is this true, or is this view just another instance of the romanticisation of the countryside and rural landscapes, as described by David Pepper (1996)? This paper describes the roots of the tradition of small-scale home pork production in the Czech Republic, and analyses the meaning of the tradition as it is practised today. Special attention is given to the presentation of the tradition in the media and visual arts, namely in the work of Josef Lada, a Czech painter from the first half on 20th century who in his work combined an idyllic view of Czech village life with a slight accent of parody. Today the tradition exists often simply in the form of a “pig roast” – a social event involving the slaughter, preparation and cooking of a pig purchased from large commercial breeders. This results in an interesting contradiction, because “homemade food” generally has an ideation value of high quality reaching the formal standards for organic farming, and is very often associated with a high standard of animal welfare. The paper discusses the often-contradictory reality of the tradition as it is practised today.