UC Berkeley student wants Californians to dine out on horsemeat

An Oakland roaster that turns cops away; beer to support homeless pets; a remarkable BLT; more Bites.

A platter of horse meat served at Kishlak, an Uzbek restaurant in Kazakhstan. Credit: Sara Yeomans, CC By 2.0

The SF Chronicle’s Open Forum section is where one will typically see community members arguing their particular position: why BART should run for 24 hours, perhaps, or why Burger King shouldn’t be allowed to participate in Bay Area Pride celebrations. This week, Shingis Kudaibergen, a master’s student at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, has a position relevant to meat-eating diners, as he says that meat-eating Californians should trade beef or pork for horsemeat, as “not only does horsemeat have more protein than beef, it also is lower in fat, cholesterol and calories.” Kudaibergen also argues that horses have digestive systems that produce less methane than cows, so “the planet would be a much safer place if the majority of meat eaters developed a taste for horsemeat instead of beef.” In Kudaibergen’s home country of Kazakhstan horsemeat is a staple, and the mentality that they shouldn’t be eaten because they’re companion animals is “strange,” he says. As a longtime non-meat-eater, I’ve often thought the same thing, and wondered why folks are cool with eating pigs but balk at dogmeat, though per PBS pigs are more trainable and intellectually superior to our canine companions. Kudaibergen and I will likely keep wondering about this seemingly arbitrary animal class system, though`, as California voters banned the slaughter or sale of horses for consumption in 1998 and appear unlikely to relent.

Fans of Berkeley’s popular Ici ice cream shops still occasionally bring the mini-chain’s abrupt closure up to Nosh, with a recent correspondent asking if we knew where founder Mary Canales (a Chez Panisse alum whose frozen Bûche de Noel cake was the stuff of legend) had ended up. A recent email from the UC Botanical Garden answers that question, as it announces that Canales is its new membership manager. There, she’ll generate support for the garden’s vast collection of rare, endangered and just plain nifty plants and continue to debunk that way-too-frequently quoted F. Scott Fitzgerald line.

Edible East Bay has a report from opening day at the Freedom Farmers Market, the produce sales event intended to support Black farmers and vendors. Watch for Oakland-grown leafy greens, nuts from LeMule Ranch and bright yellow watermelons from Blue Ridge Ranch at the event, which runs Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through November 13 at Shattuck Avenue and 46th Street in Oakland.

Cheyenne Xochitl Love’s Oakland micro-roastery Queer Wave Coffee is the focus of a sweet feature at Eater SF that highlights Love’s anti-racist work and decision not to serve law enforcement workers in her nascent brick-and-mortar space. 

Karibu Wine Lounge is the “first Black woman owned winery tasting room in Alameda County,” ABC 7 reports. It’s owned and operated by Dr. Chris Wachira, who (per Karibu’s website) is “the first Kenyan-born, Californian winemaker” as well as a healthcare worker with Palo Alto’s Stanford Health Care.

The Daily Cal has a profile of Erika Hazel, the founder of the Bizerkeley Vegan Food Festival (which is Saturday Sept 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Berkeley Sports Basement at 2727 Milvia St.) and vegan food critic. “My purpose as a food critic is to steer people to veganism in the most fun and happiest way possible,” Hazel said. “I want to take the trial and error out of going vegan.”

East Bay Express food critic Jeffrey Edalatpour heads to Wingen Bakery (one of our 13 freshest restaurants for August) this week, and writes that the Livermore spot made “the best BLT I’ve had this century.”

If you want a beer with a bark instead of a bite, Oakland’s Ale Industries might have what you’re seeking. The Bay Area News Group reports that the brewery is emblazoning some cans of its IPA with photos of adoptable pets from the  East Bay SPCA to help drive adoptions and highlight animals in need. Four-packs of the pet-focused brew are available for $20.

Eve Batey is Berkeleyside's interim Nosh editor. Email: eve@berkeleyside.org.