One so easily associates cooking ribs with the pleasurable and usually gluttonous pastime of eating!
I for one have an unusual capacity for the said culinary delight. And what is more enjoyable than the licking of your greasy lips, the aroma, and the oh-so-needed toothpick thereafter?
But who would have thought that it could raise $64 000 for a charitable organisation?
The Ribfest organised by the Rotary club of Guelph-Trillum, at Hillside, Guelph lake in Canada, boasts the attendance of around 50 000 rib hungry fans.
Also, RibFest and the Hillside music festival have become popular summer events. Interestingly, a green roof above the main stage signals Hillside’s ecological message to the world, which is a paradox to the usual greasy connotation.
An event of these proportions brings it’s own problems however, and these problems are inextricably counter-ecological in nature. The Ribfest organisers however have overcome this with being quite innovative. Food is served on plastic plates with reusable cutlery which is washed by volunteers. Beer is served in plastic reusable mugs. Free city water is supplied by a 15,000 litre tanker truck to be drank from a thousand stainless steel canteens.
If you drink from a can, it will be recycled, and your beer will come from a keg instead of a bottle. Grease, a byproduct of a weekend of cooking ribs, is recycled into biodiesel. Power comes from a generator.
Now does that not provide a different picture that gets conjured up in our minds when cooking ribs?
But some problems aren’t so easily overcome. Ribs, beans and coleslaw are held by Styrofoam containers, and the organizers have not yet found an eco-counter product since this is the container of choice used by the ribbers who attend and sell their products.
I am sure it must be a comforting thought enjoying your rack of ribs at the Ribfest – there is some kind of a soothing of your conscience if you tell yourself that you are doing things environmentally friendly.
But hey ! At the end of the day – it is just a question of “To rib or not to rib”…