A number of meat recalls over the past couple of weeks have me thinking about meat even more than usual these days. If you haven’t been paying close attention, just since the beginning of August there has been a recall of ground turkey due to salmonella contamination, a recall of HEB lean cooked burgers due to contamination with metal fragments, two separate recalls of ground beef due to E. coli contamination, a recall of diced bacon due to listeria contamination, and just yesterday, a recall of sausage due to E. coli contamination. Wow, are you concerned about your meat supply yet?
Why I am not concerned? Because I know precisely where my meat comes from. I know the people who raise the animals and if I have an hour to spare, I can drive out to their farm to visit or ask questions. In addition to the comfort that I have surrounding the safety of this food source, I am also encouraged by the underlying philosophy of my local farmers and the approaches that they take to ensure high standards of animal welfare, conservation of natural resources, and responsible stewardship of their land. Here is a brief passage from their website:
We strive to create an agriculture that steps aside the often-ambiguous meanings embedded in labels. Face it, there’s a great deal of “gray area” in the use of most any label….be it “organic”, “all-natural”, “conventional”, “sustainable”, “grass-fed”, “grain-fed”, “local”….this list goes on and on. While we choose to share using some of these declarations, we want you to understand, participate in, and take stock in what we toil to offer. We want you to identify the food you prepare in the kitchen and ultimately feast upon at the table as food as unique as the land, beast, farmer, and philosophy from which it came.
We hope you enjoy our meat and eggs because it is “WE Farm meat and eggs”. It must come with the assurances the claims we make about its creation fit your notions of how good food should nourish your body, mind, and perhaps, provide that which cannot quite be described.
I can attest that the beef, pork, and chicken from our local farm has been outright delicious. Perhaps part of my reaction has been “placebo effect” from knowing that the food I was eating was safe, local, raised responsibly, treated humanely, and delivered freshly. Nonetheless, a placebo effect still counts as an effect, and for all of the above reasons, I am still thinking about that wonderful meat…