When you walk through the supermarket, as you pick out your items, do you ever wonder where it all comes from? Do you ever wonder what goes into the food you are putting into you? Have you ever contemplated how many steer it took to fill that case of shrinkwrapped ground beef? How many were harvested for that pile of cryo-vaced tenderloin? Don’t worry, I’m not a vegetarian, I am not going to blast meat eaters. I LOVE meat, juicy and rare, seasoned with salt and pepper, grilled to perfection or braised for hours. I like to butcher it, I like to cook it, I like to look at it grazing or laying in the mud. I like beef. (And chicken and pork too) But I also RESPECT it. I respect the life that was given for me to enjoy that amazing steak, or chicken, or bacon. And there was a life sacrificed for it. Somewhere along the line we started to forget that. We look at meat and poultry in the grocery store just like any other item there, something that was produced, packaged and put on the shelf for our consumption, but we forget there was a life attached to it! That animal made the ultimate sacrifice for us to enjoy them, the least we can do is respect and appreciate that sacrifice, and honor it in our actions.
Most people buy their meats at the “Supermarket” for convenience and cost; they think it’s easier and cheaper, but in reality it isn’t. Saturday we are picking up a beef share from a local farm. We’ve been waiting for this since May, yes, May, so it’s been a long wait. It’s Black Angus, grass and grain fed beef from a closed farm in Stone Ridge, NY, CEO Natural Beef. The farm is owned and operated by the Osterhoudt Family; their steer is born, bred and bled all on the same land. They live naturally, graze as they like, sleep when they want, in general they live a good life. When it’s time comes, it takes a walk up the hill where it gets harvested for families like ours. There’s no shoving the steer into a truck and hauling them away, there’s no confined spaces or torture, no force feeding or overcrowding. They live as nature intended, imagine that! And just how much does this amazing quality of life cost us? Drumroll please…. $3.10 per pound, for 1/4 share of a steer, yep, less than the cost of ground beef at the Supermarket! (usually around $3.99 per lb) So that excuse of beef being cheaper at the store, doesn’t hold water here!
And I have to say this….this beef is like no other! I fell in love with it at first bite, literally. I was at Gunk Haus (one of my fav places to eat) and I had the burger for the first time; I was floored at the flavor. I’ve had some tasty meat in my day, but NOTHING has been this flavorful, this delicious, this amazing. The meat had deep levels of flavor; and I’m not talking about that gamey grassy taste you normally get from grass fed all natural beef, this was different. THIS beef could put KOBE out to sea…… I had to ask Dirk (one of the owners) where he got it, so he told me, and I googled my little heart out till I found their number! (he gets it through a local distributor) So I called, and had a lovely conversation with Holly (the Mom of the Farm) and we arranged that my sister and I would come up and get some of the beef before committing to a share. Becky needed a little convincing ;-), of course, the minute she tried the steak, she too fell in love, and so did Taylor! This meat makes the “stuff” in the “grocery” store, taste like the styrafoam tray it comes in! I really cannot speak highly enough of The Osterhoudt Family, or their Farm; they are some of the most lovely people I have ever met, and they really care about what they do and put their hearts into it
Point of my ramble is this, THINK before you consume! Plan your meals, utilize “leftovers”; turn your leftover steak into quesadillas, or something! Don’t just carelessly toss it aside. Eat responsibly, eat locally. Have respect for the life that was sacrificed to put that food on your plate!
*All pictures in this post were taken at CEO Natural Beef farm in March of this year. I don’t know which steer we will be eating, but she sure will be good!
“Change the way you think, change the way you eat, change the way you live, change the way you look at the people around you, change the way you look at life, change the way you look at the world, change the world.” – Jessica M. Berardi