I'm not selling beef...
I’m not selling beef.
Sometimes I sit and think… How can I sell more beef? But that’s actually the wrong question. There’s nothing particularly special about beef. I mean it tastes great, don’t get me wrong, but you could live without it. Is it life changing?
The reason I want to sell more good beef like the kind we raise is because the beef I cook and serve my family is more than just beef.
Recently, I stood in my kitchen and I needed some meat to cook for breakfast. Not having planned ahead, I pulled out a skirt steak from the fridge drawer. It was partially thawed, I cut it into strips and put it through our grinder right there on my counter. As I stood over the skillet admiring the bright pink, beautiful color of this fresh ground beef, I thought about the steer that died so we could have meat with our breakfast. I remember the day he was born, and how his momma was protective of him when we tagged his ear. He had a name. It was Colby, like the cheese Colby Jack because his mom was named Brie. I saw him nearly every day of his life. I put him back into his fences when he got out, a vice he was especially known for. I know well the pastures where he lived and ate because I walked them too when I would rotate him onto fresh grass, daily during the growing season. The feeling that preparing, serving and eating this meat gives me is far superior to anything I could buy. This meat is priceless.
I want people to have a connection with their food again, and the place where it came from and the people that bring it to their table. It doesn’t really matter if it’s beef, lamb, chicken, pork, or whatever. I want people to reconnect with what fuels them again.
Where your food comes from matters, how it was grown or raised matters, what is and isn’t in it matters. The seemingly insignificant act of staying alive through nourishment, of consuming calories multiple times per day can shape the health of ecosystems and communities. It has the power to cause societies to flourish or destabilize them and throw them into poverty and conflict.
When you prepare the food you serve your family and that you eat how does it make you feel?
Do you feel nothing?
Do you have concerns about its safety or the long journey from field to feedlot to processor to store?
Do you hope it's clean and nourishing and won’t contribute to chronic and or inflammatory illnesses down the road or in the present?
Do you want to believe it was fed clean food and was healthy without the aid of agri-pharmaceuticals?
Do you hope the people that were responsible for it along the way were paid fairly and treated justly for their work and that the land wasn’t polluted downstream somewhere from a CAFO’s broken manure management system or from the run off of agri-chemicals into the nearby waterways from the fields tasked with growing the mono-crops used for its feed.
Good food gives back, it makes you feel grounded, nourished and connected to a better version of your community into the future. It can make you feel like a better citizen, a better parent, a better version of yourself.
What is your food doing for you?
What are your food purchases doing for others?
Yes, I want to sell more beef, but it’s not because it will make me rich. It doesn’t and the truth is mine is not the only meat around that can affect these kinds of positive results.
I want to sell more beef and lamb and other good foods as a testament to the fact that small farms and small producers, local food systems have an important role to play in this world.
I need to do something in this world that can be considered a win-win, that’s not a zero sum game. Not one in which me and mine get to thrive and prosper at the expense, degradation and exploitation of other people, animals, and the planet. And, because I need to know it is true that people really do care. They want what we’re bringing to the table and they recognize the value of locally grown, sustainable food with a story.
So, please try as you are able to buy good food.