The importance of knowing where your food comes from…

One thing I promised myself when I began eating meat again was that I would only eat meat that was ethically raised and killed.  Grass feed, free-range, humanely treated.  I thought, by purchasing my meat from the local health food store, that I was getting just this kind of meat.  They have all kinds of signs about organic this and free range that.  But, a few months back, I asked the butcher to show me which meat was grass fed and he responded, “Right now, none of it.”  So, I asked for him to show me the free-range chicken and he said “We don’t carry that.”  I was floored!  I know it was my own assumption that got me into this situation, but still!  I asked about the sign hanging above the meat cases that talked about the importance of grass fed beef and his explanation was that they occasionally work with farmers who raise their meat that way, but in general, their meat was the same stuff you would get at any supermarket, it just had no growth hormones or antibiotics.  Well, that really means nothing to me if the cow is still raised in a tiny stall, standing belly deep in its own excrement… that is not the kind of farming I want to support.   So, I set about trying to find a local meat farmer who could meet my standards.

This Saturday, we took a trip only a few miles down the road to Beulah Farm.

View from the porch

A farmer's kitchen. Check out the picture in the upper center.

Farmer John, Toby, and Leif feeding the happy chickens.

We were greeted with a hearty handshake by Farmer John.  He talked with us about the importance of knowing where your food comes from and the health benefits of grass fed beef and pasture raised pork.

Then, we hopped in his truck and drove out in the pasture to meet the cows.  He called them ‘his ladies’.  They have acres of green grass to roam.  Their eyes were bright and they seemed to be smiling.

John talked to us about the butchering process.  He brings only one cow at a time to his butcher, with whom he has a personal relationship.

This is one of his bulls. Doesn't he look like a panda bear?

We ended up with 60 pounds of beef and 30 pounds of pork, and couldn’t be happier!  If I’m going to be a meat eater, then this is the meat that I want to be eating!!

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “The importance of knowing where your food comes from…

  1. I don’t eat meat, but am not against starting again given the right conditions. I gave it up years ago when I was 12, because of the treatment of animals. We have chickens now, and plan to raise pigs soon. So at least I will know the animals were well loved and taken care of. And I would agree- the cows look happy and that would be the type of meat I would want too.

  2. i’ve stopped buying all meat at the store for this very reason. last weekend we took a 2 hour drive to a friend’s house to assist in butchering a pig and got to bring home half of it for our freezer. now i have lots of bacon and ham curing in the coolers. it takes a lot more time than buying it from the store, but it’s completely worth it. we hope to raise our own pigs this year but we don’t have enough land to raise a steer so we’ll continue to buy that from a local farm when it’s available.

  3. I am really impressed with this farm, and I am interested in having a hobbyfarm in the future, that doubles as an outdoor education center. Have you ever thought of bringing school groups in to give a tour of your farm? It always surprises me how little the general public are aware of where their food comes from…

  4. Aria, This sweet farm isn’t ours. It’s one of our neighbors and I believe he does have tours. He also sells at the local farmers market and does public education through there, too.

  5. Fabulous pics! I definitely agree with what you said. Great blogging!

  6. Whoops, I asked the wrong person! Working with the farmers market is a great idea, lots of things for me to consider…

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