Killing It: An Education

In Killing It: An Education, Camas Davis takes us on her journey of asking tough questions about meat -- and about herself.

The book shows Davis at a turning point in her career as a food editor. She decides to get out of Portland and live in Gascony with Kate Hill to learn more about meat production.

Davis’ journey to the butcher’s block wasn’t always easy. It sounded pretty tasty though.

Davis’ journey to the butcher’s block wasn’t always easy. It sounded pretty tasty though.

How would you like your story cooked?

Very raw — and well done. Seriously, I love how Davis reveals what she sees as her flaws along this journey. It can be difficult to admit the complications of careers and relationships even to our closest friends, especially when you don't know what you want, so to do that in a published book is definitely very brave.

In the U.S., we love our pulled pork.

In the U.S., we love our pulled pork.

A Different Kind of Meat Sweats

Of course butchering meat for the first time would be challenging, even just physically, but she observed, remained humble, and asked questions. Inspired by by how meat production can be simple, yet super specific, reliant on quality of ingredients, time, knowledge and intuition, Davis later founded Portland Meat Collective. She brought the idea of hands-on involvement with our meat and understanding firsthand how it's processed to curious American consumers.

The Kaisermans love nothing more than pastrami. Deli is our religion as much as Judaism itself. Image courtesy of Flickr

The Kaisermans love nothing more than pastrami. Deli is our religion as much as Judaism itself. Image courtesy of Flickr

Questioning Everything

I'm someone who questions everything. I actually joke with my cousin that the Kaiserman motto is "Questioning Everything" because everyone in my family asks lots and lots of detailed questions.


I'm curious about not just food, but everything else in the world around me. I'm also not afraid of asking questions.


What's difficult about food is that there is so much conflicting information. This study says meat is bad, the next study will say it's good in small doses, and another will say vegans live 10 years longer, on average, than meat eaters. Where does that leave us?

What's been eating at me is picking one topic to study in-depth, like Davis did here. I want to be an expert on ALL of it, which I know isn't entirely possible. I'm running into a similar situation researching the dairy industry, where there is so much conflicting info. I'm hoping to cover it as accurately as possible by talking to various organizations, nutritionists, farmers and authors.

This story was very inspiring to me as a writer, food person and curious human. I will continue my quest for getting questions answered.

Check out the book!

Beth KaisermanComment