Back when PETA infiltrated the peaceful monks at Mepkin Abbey and outed them for using standard chicken farming practices, I felt so conflicted. For one, I believed the marketing — Gil Shuler's award-winning egg carton design effectively convinced me that the monks were spreading chicken feed out to a bunch of happy hens who were clucking, scratching, and running free in happy oblivion on the grounds of the Abbey.
So I was miffed to find out that they were just like all the other poor chickens out there — stuffed in cages and pumping out eggs in a production line.
But then, I watched the video of the monk who had welcomed the PeTA guy, and I just felt sorry for him. I mean, why target the monks, and not a huge chicken production facility?
It just seemed so misguided. In the middle of a huge groundswell of support for local agriculture and food production, our local egg farm was suddenly going out of business — and not for lack of demand. I made a point of stopping into the Pig to buy my eggs, so I could support a local treasure (the Abbey is a pretty cool thing to have in our backyard) and consequently conserve resources and reduce my own carbon footprint — things we're all striving to do, right?
So, you can thank PeTA for destroying that local source of eggs — something they're congratulating themselves for. Yeah, good job guys.
But now, the monks have moved on to a new product — mushrooms, which will be sold only at Piggly Wiggly.
Known for their sweet, woodsy flavor and distinct aroma, guests can find Mepkin Abbey’s fresh oyster mushrooms — named for their shape and taste — in three area Piggly Wiggly locations:100 W Main St. in Moncks Corner, 1981 Riviera Dr. in Mount Pleasant, and Newton Farms on Johns Island. In the following months, the mushrooms will be made available at additional locations as supply allows. The Abbey’s mushrooms will be sold in six-ounce packages featuring recipes from the Moncks Corner monastery’s own cook, Brother Joe.
The monks are crediting Tradd Cotter with helping them establish their new industry. Get this, Cotter is from Mushroom Mountain! Who knew such a place existed, and in South Carolina even!? Looks like I need to take a road trip.
Anyway, I'm glad to see that the bros have rebounded, and I like mushrooms, I really do. I was just kinda hoping for another local brew to champion and was thinking they might go for the Trappist tradition of making beer. One can always hope.