|Image courtesy of Dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
In other news, I am buying a grass fed steer! Ok, really, I'm splitting it with a co-worker, but I'm excited nonetheless! Why am I so excited?
1. I'm saving money as well as providing my household with a healthy protein and fat source. If I'm LUCKY, I can find conventional (corn fed, antibiotic laden, hormone injected) for $3 a pound, but it's usually in the range of $6-$10 a pound. Grass fed at the store is even more. This steer will end up costing us between $4.50 and $5.50 a pound, depending on the yield. That's less than grass fed ground beef on sale! And I know that my ground beef is going to be from one single animal.
2. I'm eating humanely. As a former vegetarian who loves animals, I find it very morally difficult to eat meat from conventional farming. These animals are sick and abused and aren't allowed to be animals. They are treated like machines and it's very sad. I know that this steer lived a happy life eating grass with his herd, able to roam, play, and be a steer. Yes, his life will be cut short, but he had a good life, which is more than I can say for any animal in factory farming. It bothers me that so many people get to eat these animals without having to face the fact that they ARE animals that once lived and breathed. We need to be closer to our food so we respect the source and the animal that gave it's life
3. I'm saving the environment. One thing I love about this is my steer grew up about 2 hours away from where I live, and will be processed about an hour away from where I live. Which, unlike this operation, is going to save the planet greenhouse gases and fossil fuels. I also a big believer that local food has the health benefits needed by you for the climate you live in.
4. I'm going to use the whole animal = very little waste. Another thing I hate about the supermarket is that there are very specific cuts available. It in no way represents the entire animal. I also know in my heart that parts of these animals go bad and are thrown away. A display of ten tri tips reminds me that (at least) 5 animals died to provide those roasts. I am asking to get all the bones and fat from my animal. Why? Because I will use it! I will boil the bones for collagen and render the fat for tallow. Grass fed tallow is VERY healthy to cook with! More so than olive oil.
You know what else I'll get? Any or all of the organs I want! Hmmm. I know they are healthy, but I'm not sure I can actually do it. Growing up as a vegetarian has made me just a little meat squeamish. I am far better than I used to be, but I'm not sure I'm going all the way to offal eater. But I also don't want anything to go to waste.
Any suggestions from my readers? Any amazing liver, heart, pancreas or other organ recipes that will make me a believer?