Who Wastes Ribs?

Barbecue competitors, apparently. This weekend I volunteered at a food bank barbecue fundraiser. As part of the event, they had a competition where cooking teams were judged on their “barbecue.” Around here (North Carolina), that means a finely chopped pork that some people call pulled pork.

I tell you this because one thing they weren’t judged on was ribs. And so, team after team, decided not to make the effort to do anything with this wonderful part of the pig because it’d be “too much work.” I took the liberty of asking one crew if I could have a rib, and the response was ‘sure, we’re not using them.’

Another team dumped them into the trash, as pictured below. Sadly, this wasn’t the only pork-filled barrel.

One shrewd volunteer went around to a few teams with some tin foil and walked away with a few days’ meals. She was incredulous, as was I, that people would throwaway perfectly good meat. “This is a food bank fundraiser, after all,” she said.

The take-home lesson: when at a barbecue festival, ask for a rib…or three. Chances are, they’re not using them.

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