Pastoral Plate Standards
We are learning that it is difficult and expensive to produce organic animals. “Cheap” and “organic” do not go together. For example, “inexpensive organic chicken” usually means the chicken is massed produce, has eaten only organic supplements (not bugs), has never felt the sun, has had its beak clipped, and is a genetically altered breed. Does it have “happy meat”? Probably not.
We have tried to create standards that work for both the farmer and us.
The meat we purchase will be required to meet several bottom-line standards.
- When possible, we visit the farms and meet the farmers. The caveat here is that at this initial stage of our buying collective we cannot purchase whole animals because most of our members are ill-equipped to freeze large quantities of meat. In order to obtain the cuts we want, we need to share what is available at the butcher’s. This in turn means that sometimes we cannot visit the farm before we buy their meat even though we know the farm and their practices. In these instances we rely on the recommendations of the processor. It is a small local community.
- The feed and field are organic (or in the process of being certified, which is a long and very costly process)
- Humanely raised
- Free range or as close to it as possible
- Finished on the farm, not in a food-lot
- In getting the product to you, we will do our best to minimize the carbon footprint. We also establish and maintain the provenance, exactly like a rare antique. We feel we all deserve to know what we are eating.