Feed the Birds.

Let’s talk about trans-species gastronomy. 

This is not the art of endangered dining, pairing the last dodo with a fine Dom Pérignon or foraged mushrooms with a flower-gilled giant lizard steak. Trans-species gastronomy refers to fine dining not on but with our furry friends – dog biscuits lovingly hand-crafted and nutritious for both pet and owner, for example. When we invite our familiars to the table,  are we raising the level of species equality in the room? What about canine-human commensality, feasting with felines and appeasing avian appetites? What happens to our interspecies relationships when the food for our pets moves from “food grade” to “human grade”?

Martha Stewart, the Food Network, Living Healthy, well known recipe websites normally targeting homo-sapiens, all list recipes for dog biscuits. MS’s recipe lists flour, wheat germ, brewers yeast and low sodium chicken stock. Sounds like a hoppy savoury crepe.

One man including non-humans in cooking with care resides in the West Midlands in the UK. He has moved beyond the dog-love to include the more air-borne in this trans-species gastronomic exercise. Twice weekly he spends an evening making bird food fit for a mountain trek or artic exploration. The end result resembles pemmican, a native american starch-fat-protein ball, and could easily be found by the till at a training gym or in the handbag of some ketosis devotee.

Recipe for Food for the Birds and the Birds and the Bros. 

Robin food (also for woodpecker log)

Chopped peanuts                    200g

Sunflower hearts                     200g

Oatmeal                                   200g

Mealworms                               20g

Sultanas                                   200g

Cheese                                     200g

Lard                                          250g

Suet                                           250g

(Beef suet comes straight from the slaughterhouse and can be of mixed quality. UK Butchers are still permitted to butcher lambs in-house and so lamb suet is typically the best quality for price. Supermarket brand Atora is also available but tends to contain 20% unusable starch).

Step 1. Lay out components in an orderly manner.

birdfood ingredients

Step 2. Melt Fat.

lard for birdfood

Step 3. Get to know your grubs. You and your birds are so on trend.

Step 4. Assemble dry ingredients in bowl of choice while Fat Melts. birdfood mix

Step 5. Apply a Moody Filter to really bring out the Texture.            IMG_4016                   

Step 6. Add Melted Fat to Moody Texture. adding the lard to the birdfood mix

Step 7. Peanuts. Put on a flannel shirt and Whizz. IMG_4014

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< Next steps must be imagined >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

This mixture of fat, protein and starch are combined into logs and cakes to be hung and laid out on bird feeder tables. Portion sizes are on a first come first fed basis. No cutlery needed.

9/10 birds prefer trans-species gastronomy over other types of feeding styles.

How equal is this really tho?

The Man from the West Midlands added chilli flakes for a while to deter the squirrels but after two weeks the squirrels developed a taste for spice and so the Man gave up the fight and now the squirrels join the robins, woodpeckers, goldfinches, nuthatches and magpies in the feed. The Man was seen licking his fingers.

Further Enquiry

Birds on a piano

Companion Species, from Fun Guy to FunGi.

Lite account of a New Yorker spending a week on dog food.



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