meeting my meat
Ready to commit whole-heartidly to the Paleo diet and lifestyle , I decided it was only right to meet my meat face to face (a la note-worthy Paleo blogger Diane SanFilippo here.)
We had already been long-term customers of Lewis Waite Farm via our local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group. The farmers, Alan and Nancy Brown, graciously invited us to stay for the weekend, we quickly discovered their awesomeness...
"We, Alan and Nancy Brown, are big believers in keeping things as close to nature as possible. We want all of our food to come from a wholesome, sustainable, earth-friendly environment. We farm with no synthetics or chemicals so our products are as pure as possible. What you eat is important to your body and your soul! Our cattle are not raised in confinement or on an unnatural grain diet. Instead, they are quite happy in scenic pastures. The practice of rotational grazing encourages the growth of native forage and the recycling of nutrients making for healthier soils."
We've unfortunately grown so accustomed to picturing our edible meat in neat, pretty and strategically packaged squares on the super market shelf, opposed to picturing the animal it actually is, or was. Many, perhaps most, wouldn't eat the pretty little package of meat if they had seen the conditions of the animal's life. My goal is for transparency, lofty I know, for having pride and taking responsibility for being a meat consumer.
Chris Kresser is always gathering the latest research and statistics: Why Grass Fed Trumps Conventional Red Meat
Regardless of all else, the taste alone will blow your mind. Nancy tells us a lot has to do with the herds' reduced-stress lifestyle. "Tenderness and taste in beef, especially grass-fed and finished beef, is enhanced by reducing stress throughout the animal's life and during the final processing. Our mixed herd has a wonderfully peaceful life on our farm. They only wonder which pasture is next for their next meal! Sometimes they are waiting by the gate to let us know their preference. We only take small groups of cattle for processing. Each steer is processed individually using a small family run USDA inspected facility for safe and humane processing."
Lucky for us, we were able to enjoy several community meals on the farm, everyone contributing labors, all the outstanding kale, beets, haricot verts, goat feta, sheeps chèvre, cedar smoked bacon, NY strip, beef brisket, etc, etc, etc!!
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