Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 16, 2012

Another View: Squirrely way to cook dinner

By the Grand Haven Tribune

---- — In these uncertain economic times, we understand the need to get creative when it comes to finding affordable ways to feed our families.

One fantastic way to find inexpensive lean protein is by hunting for your food. During legal seasons, this could mean anything from deer and ducks to turkey and squirrel.

The problem is, wild game doesn't come pre-processed and wrapped in butcher's paper. It takes some know-how and the willingness to get your hands dirty in order to reap the benefits of the hunt.

One Holland-area man decided to take a shortcut when it came to processing his game.

After killing a squirrel, the man decided to burn the hair off the dead creature with a propane blowtorch. In the process, the man started a fire in the Holland Township apartment complex in which he lived.

The fire caused an estimated $1.4 million in damages and displaced 29 families.

Thankfully, no one was seriously injured, but we can only speculate at how many priceless family treasures — from wedding and baby photos to other keepsakes and collections — were lost in the fire.

Because cooking a squirrel with a blowtorch violates the apartment complex's rental agreement, the man who started the fire is being held responsible for the $10,000 insurance deductible.

That's quite an economic burden to be saddled with, and one that would be financially crippling for many people. Still, we feel it's the right move by the owners of the apartment complex.

People need to be held responsible for their actions. If this were an accidental electrical fire, that's one thing — but lighting a propane torch to singe the hair off an oversized rodent is another matter entirely.

We give the man credit for his ingenuity in finding an affordable way to put food on the table, but would urge others to use more care — and more conventional methods of food preparation — if they wish to add squirrel or other wild game to their menu.

-- Grand Haven Tribune