Highland Cattle from Veritas Farm Upstate...if you live Upstate, you should check them out! Beautiful healthy animals!
People are increasingly concerned about meat. Is it humane? What about scary food poisoning?* Is it sustainable? The only way to answer these questions is to know your farmer. I feel very comfortable eating meat from farms I know. The meat is tracable to a single animal and I can personally visit the farm to see that it's clean and the animals are living in a good environment. Contrast that with meat from the average grocery store which is probably several cows from god knows where all mixed together with a dash of ammonia. Food contamination is often due to processing mistakes...in the flurry of a slaughterhouse, entails get pierced and it often doesn't get noticed, contrast that with smaller slaughterhouses catering to small farmers that process only a few animals every day.
Where can I get meat I feel good about eating?
- Your local farmer's market or natural foods store. Eat Well Guide has a searchable lists of markets, restaurants, and stores!
- A skilled butcher is also a great option. Artisan butchers care and know a great deal about meat quality. Most eat their meat raw to test quality...if there is anyone in the city I trust, it's butchers. Try The Meat Hook, The Greene Grape, Marlow and Daughters, or Dickson's! You can read about the butcher workshop I attended at my travel blog.
- Contacting a farmer, this is often much cheaper! I suggest Local Harvest or Eat Wild.
- Meat CSAS. In NY I suggest The Piggery (I am a happy member), 8 O Clock Ranch, or the Traditional Nutrition Guild. Affordable and delicious meat delivered to you!
In terms of contacting a farmer, this is waaaaaaaaaaay underutilized. Lots of farmers are eager to sell meat without trekking all the way to NYC at 4 AM to sell at Union Square. If you contact a farmer you can pick it up yourself to see how the farm operates. Don't be shy: farmers want your business!
*It's as good a time as any to remind everyone that going meat free isn't going to prevent food poisoning. Bagged salad is certainly scarier than pastured ground beef.