To Serve Others Through My Obsession With Food

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I’ll admit I associate most memories with the meals I've had during periods of delight, despair, and victory.

For as long as I remember I’ve been searching for that one thing that fuelled my passion. I have always felt admiration for, yet envious of people who can shed blood, sweat, and tears towards a sport, artistic ability, or business. I've attempted to establish interest in a handful of musical instruments, drawing, poetry, rugby, wrestling, woodworking, leather-working and even computer coding. While I value those skills, I'm more enthused over a plate pasta than a paintbrush or HTML computer code. At one point, I felt I had no talents beyond eating (albeit doing it well).

Hunting has always been at the back of my mind, more so as a retirement hobby but what propelled my curiosity for wild meat was after my first taste of Elk, prepared raw as a tartare. I couldn’t believe how sweet and clean tasting the meat was. It didn’t have that funk store-bought meats had. A week prior to this experience I didn’t even know what an Elk was - true story. It wasn’t until a good friend who recently took interest in archery came over and asked if I ever seen these magical creatures bugle before? After a few youtube videos I was convinced I was looking at something straight out of Harry Potter. This lead to a few episodes of Meateater. The reality of it was I didn’t leave my apartment for a few days binging on the show. Finally I decided to surface and I clearly remember the day I texted this friend saying, “ok I want to hunt”. And off I went into this crazy journey into the hunter and gather lifestyle.

My city-living-oblivious-self was shocked to learn about the wildlife and habitat conservation efforts made possible by hunters, as well as the amount of conditioning it takes to harvest an animal. Yup, I think I have finally found my calling.

Jenny Ly

Founder, Chasing Food Club

Editor’s Comments

I first met Jenny after transitioning my life back to Vancouver after a two-year stint in California. Unlike my time growing up in the suburbs, I was now situated downtown among peers that aligned with anything but my redneck roots.

Our conversation quickly moved past the feeling-out process, and into topics that you’d typically save for your closest of friends. It was almost eerie how similar we thought about and approached life despite our different backgrounds: myself, a technically trained caucasian male, and Jenny, a saleswoman with a Vietnamese background.

Although I’d usually be hesitant to bring up my newfound passion for hunting to a typical, $9-avocado-on-toast-purchasing Vancouverite, Jenny was blown away when I introduced her to a bugling Elk for the first time. In fact, she dove right in behind me and started binge watching MeatEater and asked me everything she could muster about gear and the hunting culture.

Months later, her new obsession grew into Chasing Food Club. Jenny’s love of good food, adventures in the outdoors, and obvious struggle with the status quo were a perfect fit for the modern hunting lifestyle. Like many of us, Jenny represents a new age of hunter: mindful, urban, and food-driven.

Jarid Warren

(bow hunter, friend, and guest contributor)