I’ve been reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Mochel Pollan the past couple of weeks and I have been shocked and inspired by it’s content. Don’t worry I’m not giving up meat (although for my waist line I probably should, just to limit my options if nothing else), I’m a true to heart meat-eater, but I’ve decided that we should eat it responsibily. So the cows and chickens I consume I want to be happy and healthy cows and chickens and that means they get to roam free (from birth, not just 2 weeks before they die) and eat grass, not corn like most cows and chickens are force fed these days. Notice how I don’t mention organic in that sentance (you will needto read the book to find out why).
I’ve managed to find two farms to provide us happy grass fed beef, pork, chicken and eggs. I’m checking out Smith Meadows Farms this weekend at the Takoma Park Farmers Market. I think they will be my source for some steaks, eggs, pork and the occasional ‘quick order’ since I can access them each weekend. Polyface Farms is the farm that is focused on in the book and lucky us it is just an hour away here in Shenandoah, VA. The author spends a week there learning about sustainable farming. I’ll order my large orders of ground beef, and some steak cuts, as well as chicken and eggs from them. Polyface has a more strict ordering system so I’ll figure out how (and how often) it works when I get my first ordering email.
The book goes into gross detail on why grass fed meat is better than corn fed but regardless I feel better already by just supporting local farmers. In the spring we hope to join a Community Supported Agriculture share (CSA for short) from a local farmer which will deliver seasonal produce and eggs once a week for a fee. This will limit our grocery visits to obtain grain and other processed foods and will also allow us to eat ‘in season’.
I’ll keep you posted on how it goes, the frustrations of not buying grocery-store meat (and the cost). Until then I encourage you to read the book and find a local farmer to support your family’s eating habits in anyway you seem fit at http://www.localharvest.org/.