Monday, August 2, 2010

CSA - Meat

As a result of Food Inc, we decided to make a few changes to our food.

One is that we strive for more organic food in our basket at the store, including many more products than just our produce.

Secondly, we now make sure our eggs are both cage free and organic.

But third, we decided to join another CSA. This one is for meat.

It is from a farm called Rainbow ranch. After you become a member (small yearly fee) you can buy things like their protein basket on a weekly basis. The best part is that we are not locked into a certain amount of baskets that we have to get, we are planning on playing it by ear on how fast the food goes.

A weekly basket (first one on its way, we'll get it sometime next week) includes:
1 Fresh Whole Chicken. 1 Quart Fresh Raw Goats Milk. 1 Dozen Fresh Eggs. (may be chicken, turkey game bird eggs or mixed) 3.0 lbs - 5.0 lbs pastured, grass fed, organic beef (farm choice) different cuts each week. (freshly frozen, vacuum packed, wrapped and labeled direct from my butcher)

The tricky thing about this pack is that we will probably go through the eggs in a week, the chicken in two weeks, and the beef in three. lol. The goat's milk is completely new for us, and I have lots of ideas for it ranging from simply making it into cheese or fudge, to as exciting as making our own soap/shampoo from it.

Right now, for cost reasons, our goal is to stretch it to the three weeks. For the record, we are knowingly spending more a month for groceries because of these changes. It took us a lot of debating before deciding to do this for that reason. But, the movie pointed out that many people decided to not eat ethnically just because of the cost increase... and we would be hypocrites to say that we want the chicken and beef that is treated right... but not when it costs extra.

So... we are supporting a local(ish) farm that does it right. Our beef is 100% from start to finish grass fed, pastured and grazed on virgin clean pasture.

Here's what the website says about their chicken:

"Growing all natural, organically grown, free range, grass-fed heritage poultry since 1991, in a humane, sanitary, stress free, cage free, safe and clean environment; and our care and husbandry is second to none.

Our heritage poultry, range in the warm sun and fresh breeze. They live as nature intended. Scratching and pecking on nature's best grasses, native weeds, wild flowers, fresh vegetables, fruits, dried seeds, alfalfa, clover and natural vegetation with an abundant supply of fresh, clean water. You won't find a cleaner feeding system anywhere! Our effective eco-system practices are environmentally friendly and ecologically safe, which assures a strong foundation to continue building on a productive self sustainable living system. NO Medications-NO Hormones - NO Steroids - NO Antibiotics - NO Additives - NO Pesticides - NO Herbicides - NO Animal-By-Products - NO Arsenicals - NO G.M.O.'s - and NO Artificial Grow Lights."

I love hearing this stuff!!!

This is not to say that this program doesn't have some cons/ more difficult parts

1- It is a whole chicken. So I either have to roast/slow cooker cook the whole thing, and then save the parts, or Blake will have to butcher it so we can freeze the parts. There is a silver lining though, and that's that I am going to make my own chicken stock from the parts we don't eat.

2- We don't choose our beef cuts. This is both good and bad. I like the forced variety, and it will have us experiment with cuts we don't normally eat, but it also means that there will be beef portions that we will have to figure out what to do with. It could be any of these:
T-bone steak, Sirloin Steak, Sirloin Tip Roast (Tri-Tip, Front or back) , Boneless Swiss Steak, Rump Roast, Rib Steak (AKA: Cowboy Steak), 7-Bone Roast, Boneless Shoulder, Short Ribs, Chuck Steak, Stew Meat, Ground Beef.

3- It comes with goat's milk. We have never had goat's milk... but its definitely not our regular non-fat lol, so we will have to figure out what to do with it. Like I said above, I have plans, just not sure exactly what yet.

Anyways... we are both excited to be taking this additional step towards green living. I'll update more when we get it.

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