By Carolina Meurkens
Led by Chef Rashida Holmes, Bridgetown Roti is a nod to her Carribean heritage, a commemoration of West Indian food and culture. This October Bridgetown Roti is celebrating GOATober, an international initiative raising awareness for Goat sustainability.
“Bridgetown is our love letter to West Indian food. Rashida founded Bridgetown to bring a taste of our culture’s food to the west where we don’t have much of a presence. Right now we are growing and putting love into what we’re building. GOATober as an initiative is a continuation of that love in the form of sustainability. We want people to eat more goat! It’s a better meat by far and can do the global food community a lot of good. We look forward to pushing the initiative as we go along,” says manager Malique Smith.
Meat and dairy tend to be major contributors to the global carbon footprint, with the three main culprits generating the most carbon emissions being lamb, beef, and cheese. Goat production, on the other hand, offers a relatively sustainable alternative to other red meats. Goats are browsers, rather than grazers like cows, so they do not tear out root systems and deplete the soil of nutrient rich grasses when feeding. By eating brush and weeds, goats remove competition for soil nutrients which helps to restore pasture quality. Additionally, goats require less space than cattle, therefore you can have more goats on a piece of land than cattle–increasing arable land for crops.
Although goat meat is sustainable, it’s not as popular. Female goats are a farmer’s main source of income from goat production, as they produce milk and dairy products. Male offsprings, however, are a dilemma for dairy farmers especially. Billy goats born in dairy farms are often euthanized before ever entering the food system.
Started by Heritage Foods in New York, GOATober is spreading the word that goat meat is delicious, ethical, and sustainable. The initiative hopes to incorporate goats born in dairy farms into the food system. Bridgetown Roti is taking this concept and adapting it to their Trinidadian and Bajan menu. After being awarded a $25,000 Discovery Grant, GOATober is also part of Discovery’s #EatItForward campaign. In addition to giving back to the community and shifting their menu to include more ethically sourced meat, Bridgetown Roti plans to use the grant to invest in their own Brick and Mortar.
If you’re in the LA area, make sure to check out these delicious dishes at their end of GOATober pop-up event at Bar Bandini!
Red Pepper Goat Roti:
Fresno, calabrian, red bell pepper ginger marinade
Roasted Peanut Stew Sauce, fried potatoes, spiced turmeric slaw
Carolina Meurkens is a freelance writer, editor, & educator, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Mixed Mag. As a first-generation American of Afro-Brazilian and German descent, Carolina’s work explores the intersections of cultural heritage. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Nonfiction at Goucher College.