As the executive chef and co-founder at Cueva Bar I am directly responsible for what's on the menu. Throughout the years I've evolved as a human being while working in the corporate world and most recently as one who's responsible for what's being put out there. I grew up in a family that's mostly omnivore, some having a more balanced diet than others. I grew up listening to conversations where both sides of the aisle, the vegetarians and omnivores would defend their perspective. Meat is good for you, we humans need it, it's part of our evolution, too much meat is bad for the joints, don't eat meat during pascua, and all sorts of statements. Eventually I learned about
the arguments made by religious and/or philosophical beliefs. Then there are the scientists who simply put the information out there for us to decide which is the one that speaks to me the most.
The first time I learned about the impact of beef production has in the environment was during a class at my Alma Matter, EMU (Eastern Mennonite University). Lately I figured out lots of the information I learned in that class had sneaked up in my subconscious and eventually making me feel somehow uncomfortable working for a giant company like Cargill and going to work for the less evil company. I had a marriage to support and a first child on the way. So as you see, I've had a conflict of interest for a while about how I make a living. So what is one supposed to do? Evolve is the only answer that keeps driving me forward. It takes time but as long as you stay focused, you can take one step at a time towards your goals. Also, as far as I know we're always evolving, sometimes faster than others, but change is inevitable.
An article I found on Scientific American says:
"Our meat consumption habits take a serious toll on the environment. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the production, processing and distribution of meat requires huge outlays of pesticides, fertilizer, fuel, feed and water while releasing greenhouse gases, manure and a range of toxic chemicals into our air and water. A lifecycle analysis conducted by EWG that took into account the production and distribution of 20 common agricultural products found that red meat such as beef and lamb is responsible for 10 to 40 times as many greenhouse gas emissions as common vegetables and grains."
So what do I do? Just yesterday I finally reached the conclusion I should remove all beef from our menu. Will beef come back to Cueva Bar ever? Maybe, if the market (you) support a menu that sources its beef from locally, humanly raised with 100% regards towards the conservation of our environment. Eating, supporting locally owned businesses in itself and by nature comes at a higher cost, naturally.
When I posted the news on social media, these are some of the comments we received:
Sad- Are you moving to more of a vegetarian menu? - Does this mean I can’t show up anymore wearing my fur coat?- Loving your alignment efforts- Very cool- That braised brisket with mole was incredible, one of the best dishes I've had- Save me an empanada, yellow hearts- red hearts- smileys- Ahh! I won't be back in Cali until the middle of July- So sad!- Loved these items, I’ll be flying into San Diego this weekend for a few days. Going to have to put Cueva Bar on my list of things to try to squeeze in. 🤤-We need to go before these are gone- Bummer-
I don't believe we can just all stop eating beef from one day to another. That would leave a lot of people without work and that itself would be catastrophic as well. I do believe that one by one we can make little changes in our lives without abruptly affecting the intricate web of society we live in, giving different people in different industries time to re-adjust.
I myself grew up eating beef. Most of my family loves their carne asada. My mom is the brisket queen in the family, really. During our family reunion in Christmas she'd be the one in charge of the braised brisket. Letting go of our brisket items at Cueva Bar means I am letting go a piece of my past and I do this to further support the health of our planet
Hopefully we will still those of you who like beef coming to Cueva Bar to enjoy the menu we offer and that you support the changes ahead. At the end of the day, our commitment to quality food, mindfully prepared with a ton of love remains untouched.
Cueva Bar in San Diego California offers a fusion tapas inspired menu with plenty of omnivore, gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options.
Our happy hour is from Tuesday to Saturday from 4pm to 6pm. Happy hour offerings are $5 tapas, $5 wines, $5 sangria, and $4 craft beer on tap.
We're located in the eclectic University Heights neighborhood.
About the author:
I chef Oz write these blogs. I am a home cook gone pro when my wife Jo and I decided to open Cueva Bar, a fusion tapas bar and restaurant in San Diego California. I am passionate about offering a space where people gather for a good time, and to enjoy our mindfully prepared tapas, made with love and passion by our culinary team. I'm all about the all inclusive peace, the love, mutual respect, unity, kindness and compassion.
Let tapas bring us together!