A client called tonight, concerned about the beef I used to prepare their ready-to-eat freezer meals a couple of weeks ago. I reassured him that I get my meat from local butchers like Blush Lane Organic, Real Deal Meats, Darcy’s Meats, Care-It Deli, Ben’s Deli, and most frequently, direct from producers such as Shooting Star Elk, Serben Free Range, Thundering Ground Bison, Farm Fresh Lamb, Spring Harvest Goat, Sunshine Organic, etc.
I commended him on his paranoia, though, as we all should be more concerned about our food BEFORE there is an outbreak, before a recall is needed. Choosing local meat from local family farms raising animals in open fields with humane practices means these problems virtually don’t exist.
In my opinion, extreme activists have got it wrong. Eliminating all meat from our diet is not the solution – health or environment wise. Eating in balance is.
We do not need factory farms to feed our population. We need a practical, broad and conservative approach to food. We need to eat and approach our food from a place of balance, serving a few ounces of meat per meal, several times a week. Eating more vegetables, beans, seafood and grains in addition to meat, helps achieve that balance. As such, factory farms are not necessary.
(From recent evidence, it would seem that perhaps factory farms are not in fact about growing food and feeding people; they are, it seems, about generating huge profits for owners/shareholders, and that may be taking priority above quality of product.)
Purchasing meats from a local farmer/butcher supports the local food economy and keeps the family farm viable. And NO, buying local meat does NOT cost more. It costs what it is worth.
Purchasing meat at large box stores, superpacks and at cheap prices means those animals were raised in factory farms – the price reflects its value; you get what you pay for so do not be surprised when practices and food safety become compromised as we’ve seen this past week or two.
Think of it this way: you want to buy a vehicle (diamond bracelet, house, sports jersey, stock, etc.). There are two virtually identical items, brand new, and one is half price. Chances are you would not buy the cheaper item, being skeptical there was something wrong with it. And there probably is!
Let’s come to regard our food, the building blocks of our physical well-being, the same way. As valuable and worth investing in farmers and producers using humane, safe and ethical practices.