This weekend my husband and I made the change to local beef. We found Black Watch Farm, a local farm about 20 minutes down the road that raises Highland Cattle. We placed a mixed order of about 20 lbs. of beef, then went down to pick it up on Saturday.
So why did we decide to make the change?
1.) Dissatisfaction– I’m dissatisfied with our current food system. I am sick of having to worry about the food in my freezer there is a nationwide beef recall and the fact there have been times where I had to throw away meat because of contamination risks. I’m dissatisfied with the way the beef gets to my table, with the hell beef cattle go through just so they can make it alive to the slaughterhouse. (I will not go into graphic detail here, but look into it and you’ll see what I am referring to.) I’m sick of not knowing where my food comes from, what it had to eat, how it lived, etc. Our whole system is messed up, and this is just one more tiny step I can take in the right direction.
2.) Health– I’m a meat eater, and although I know it’s healthier in many respects and better for the environment to be a vegetarian, I’m always going to eat meat. So, the least I can do is to make sure the meat I am eating is the best I can get. The beef we bought is leaner than store-bought beef (90%), lower in cholesterol, and the cows are grass-fed meaning more Omega-3 and more nutrition.
3.) Local Support– I’m supporting local business at it’s best. I’m not giving my hard-earned dollars to the supermarket which then allows that money to trickle down through stacks of middlemen, all taking their cut, leaving the actually producer with a ridiculously small and unfair part of what I originally paid. Instead, I’m giving a fair price directly to the producer, helping support our local economy and farmers. Where you spend your food dollars translates into a vote for what you support.
4.) Environmentally Friendly- Because I’m buying my beef locally, I’ve substantially reduced the food miles my beef consumed to get to my plate. I’ve cut out all the massive energy consumption of transportation from across the country. And it’s as animal friendly as you can get for eating meat- the animals no doubt live healthy and respectful lives.
5.) Economical– Although it may initially seem more expensive than what you might be able to get at the supermarket when it’s on sale, the more you buy, the less you pay. At $75 for 20 lbs. of beef, I was paying $3.75 a lb. That may seem high for ground beef, but consider I also got stew beef, several different steak cuts, burgers, nitrate-free hotdogs, and a beautiful roast. Try finding a tasty, safe, grass-fed cut for less in your supermarket. You wont. With the gift of our freezer chest for Christmas, we’re able to store the surplus with ease.
And now, with all the beef, a huge local turkey, two hams, extra chicken, and a basket full of summer strawberries, our freezer is half full. With the thought of my husband’s “Furlough Fridays” of this past summer still fresh in my mind, that we have so much at hand is a huge relief.