Where’s the Beef?

…I finished off the last of our local organic beef the other day. I documented the process – so moved was I that this was the last great beef I’d be eating for a while.  The next round of butchering will be late this fall, into winter. Our beef has usually been a Christmas present of sorts..

I have come to value to highly the dedication of the farmers, the great taste and quality of the meat, that it becomes harder to buy anything else. And, though buying a share of a steer can be some up-front cha-ching, it is very much worth it (and actually works out to be less per pound than the ‘natural meat’ of questionable naturalness and even more questionable origin, at the supermarket). I am always on the look-out for opportunities to buy local meat, and its nice when its organic too, but for me, local is the first check-mark on my search.

What local meats to you buy? Do you find it to be a good value to buy in bulk? What local meat would you like to try? Next on my list is lamb, and after that, goat – have never tried either, but I do know of some area farmers raising sheep and goats!

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4 thoughts on “Where’s the Beef?

  1. Suzie says:

    If we hadn’t lost one of our mkt lambs (4-H project of Zach’s), we would have had lamb this year. I’ve wanted to experiment more with the different cuts. I remember awesome lamb kabobs my mom prepared from one of my 4-H animals.

    As for something different, I’d actually like to try rabbit, but the breeds we are raising really aren’t meat quality. And, I’m just not quite ready to add another breed to our little warren, quite yet.

    I agree about buying meat in the grocery store. The taste and texture are just not as good. I’d even go to a small town meat locker, now that I’ve had more experience, before opting for the big grocery/supermarket. I hardly ever buy cuts of chicken, beef or pork at a store now that we are raising our own; I do however, still buy deli meat for sandwiches.

    • Laura says:

      I have done some reading and research about rabbits, but am still trying to think about killing a rabbit to eat it – it better taste pretty darn good for me to be able to kill such a “cute” animal — does that make sense? Actually, I could use a big dose of ‘butchering 101’, since I do like to eat meat, plan to keep eating it, and at least need to appreciate what it takes to get it on the table — *gulp* but I’m scared….

      Perhaps just keeping in touch with people (like you!) who raise things is going to remain my option for the time being? 😉

  2. Matthew I says:

    Ooh, I agree with so much of this. I don’t really care about organic, but local is huge. It does take planning, though. And freezer space. I’m thinking about getting a second freezer for the basement, just for meat. Until then, having a good local butcher helps me get by day to day, especially when I want some variety. (It also helps that I don’t eat that much meat.)

    Some day I hope to raise goats for milk (cheese!), but having a regular supply of lamb* will be a pleasant side effect.

    As for rabbit, it tastes like guinea pig. Though that may not help you much. 😉 I like it.

    • Laura says:

      I think the interplay between local vs. organic is a very key one. There is local and small, and then, if you happen to live close to a local feedlot – that is still yuck, even if its close. But, I do agree about 89% – I go for local, and its a bonus if its organic. For instance, our current dairy farmer (for the past 2 years, just about) is local, small herd, but not organic, with no plans to be. But, we get raw, non-homogenized milk, sometimes the same day it shooooots outta da’ cow! that is cool. I also just heard tell of some kids raising goats, and selling raw milk as a business. That is something I can really feel good about supporting! Its like a lemonade stand, only you can make feta!

      Guinea pig, eh? Hmm…. Both are so cute and cuddly! I’m going to have to get over this.

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