Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Love My Meat, Love My Butchers

I read a couple of articles this morning about Organic vs non-organic foods and the recent research that states that nutritionally, there is no (or at least little) difference between the two.  Although there is definitely the benefit of fewer pesticides and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in organic food.  And did you know that 80% of all antibiotics produced in the States go to farm animals!   But don't get me side-tracked...

First, let me say that I choose my meat and vegetables primarily by where they're grown and raised. The closer to home the better. The photo above is of my grandsons petting a lamb on Marg Zillig's farm.  She raises lambs, chickens (for eggs), geese and vegetables the way her parents did before her.
Randy Hiltz and his lovely wife Cheryl raise Saanen goats at Ran Cher Acres and make the most wonderful goat cheese ever.  Cheryl was gracious enough to let me watch the cheese making and Randy gave me a tour of their farm.
And while I haven't made it out to Wood 'n Hart farm where Bill Wood raises his lambs, I do visit him over at the Historic Farmers Market.  That's him behind the counter.
Even though I haven't made it out to Getaway Farm either, I feel like I'm part of the family.
In fact, a short email during the week to Chris de Waal meant that Ben Andrews, or as my grandkids call him...Ben the Butcher, (that's him on the right with Chris) upon my arrival at 7AM this past Saturday asked me specifically what, how much and how I wanted my brisket cut.  It will probably look something like this when Joanna finishes cooking it for our Rosh Hashana dinner on Sunday.
I could go on, but as you can see I love my weekly visits to the local farmers markets and the producers of everything local and delicious.  Some of them do raise organic crops and livestock, but most of them don't go the expensive certification route.  They just make very conscientious decisions about raising animals in a humane manner.

The article linked at the top of this post talks about a farmer who has names for each of his dairy cows.  I'm not sure I want to know that the delicious steak on my plate comes from "Betsy", but I do want to know that the lambs and beef and chickens are allowed free range and a diet of grass and grains.   I want to know that they are not given excessive antibiotics and that the feed they eat (or the soil they grow in) is pesticide-free.
Except for the apples and pears from one of my favorite orchards that we visit every Fall to do our own picking (Elderkin Farms).  I'd rather properly done spraying than wormy fruit... but that's just me.

And to end this rambling... my latest Seaport Farmers purchases ...Brussels Sprouts from Noggins Corner and baby beets from Elmridge Farms to accompany the flank steak from Getaway Farm.

What's on your plate?

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