Sunday, September 28th, 2008

I Went to Visit a Farm One Day

I’m still reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  I’ve been looking into this for a long while but the book was the final push I needed to really get stuff done.  I found Springfield Farm a while back searching for a local farm that did eggs and meat.  We drove out there today to visit.  It’s so close to the city, only about a half hour or so up 83.  We loved it up there.  If only we had half a mil, we’d move up there in a heartbeat.  

What I wanted to find out for myself was how the animals looked, how they were housed and whether they looked as happy as the website promised they were.  They were.  I also wanted to meet the owners… the farmers.  I wanted to see for myself whether these were nice people.  Nice enough for me to want to pay a a little extra to eat the food that they produced.  They were.  We met a father/daughter team, a woman who may or may not have been the mother and the CUTEST weiner dog-puppy, cutest… ever.  They were helpful and friendly and answered all of my questions about packing the deep freezer with meat.  

The best part though is that the entire farm is open to inspection, otherwise known as playtime to some, completely unguided and at your own pace.  We had such a good time.  Chase just soaked it all in.  She liked looking at most of the animals but really what she wanted to see were the sheep.  She asked for baas over and over again.  I never know where she comes up with these things.  We saw chickens last weekend at her cousin’s house and she brought that up a couple of times over the last week so I thought she’s be interested in that, but no, just the sheep.  

I picked up a few things for the week when we were there today but the idea is to order ahead and buy for a whole month. Bulk orders qualify for a discount so that’s my plan. I made goulash tonight with the stew beef I bought. It tasted… the same as usual. But taste isn’t really what I’m concerned about. It’s the feedlot beef. Over the summer when there was that big media frenzy over the beef processors inhumanely treating cattle I tried to avoid it. I just need to see the headline to get the story I can do without the sordid details. Of course, one of the local channels managed to sneak in some footage without any warning and I have been permanently scarred, the image burned into my memory.

That is what I’m trying to avoid. I really just don’t want to be a part of it to the extent that it’s possible and Michael Pollan’s book has just served to reinforce the point that it’s still no improvement to buy the new products popping up and referred to by all manner or names, natural, organic, grass fed, because bottom line you never know. Unless you can see it with your own eyes. My point is simply that I’m just not sure there’s any difference between conventional meat and the stuff that a lot of places are selling now as organic or grass fed for a lot more money and don’t feel compelled to pay extra for it. I am however willing to pay extra for a product produced locally that I can visit and where I can look the people who are responsible for its production in the eye and see that they are in fact human.

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