Wednesday, September 06, 2006
What I did on Labor Day: Meeting the Meat
Believe it or not, I was a vegetarian for maybe 15 years. I used to ride and show quarter horses when I was little, and couldn't conscience the thought of eating any of my friends on the farm.
Fast forward to our son's digestive problems and the diet that helps it ever so much: no wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, mercury-loaded fish, peanuts...etc. So after I did a bunch of research on the very healthiest meat possible, we came up with...(drumroll please) grassfed beefalo.
Huh? Whuzzat? Beefalo is part beef part bison. Bison are a bit too wild to farm, in that they don't take kindly to fences. But a buffalo-cow mix keeps a little wildness in the food--helpful in this growing culture of monoculture.
Ted and his son Ted (shown here in stereo) farm their beefaloes with much care and attention on some wide-open acreage in Exeter, RI, where the beefaloes clomp around and eat grass (which Ted fertilizes with chicken poo, as befits the natural nitrogen life cycle), and enjoy whatever outdoor activities beefaloes like to do (Frisbee?).
You can get lots of great info on the advantages of eating and locating grassfed meat on Eatwild.com, where we found Ted. Suffice it to say that cows and other ruminants are not meant to eat corn, so when we make them eat it, that's why their tummies hurt and you have to load 'em up with all sorts of antibiotics, which then breeds nasty pathogens like E. Coli, and then on top of that the meat has no beneficial essential fatty acids because that comes from grass (similar to the way fish get it wild from the grass of the sea, i.e., algae, but those sickly colored, later dyed-pink industrially raised salmon thus don't have the EFAs for which you are probably buying it and eating it!)
Not to mention it's fresh-fresh-fresh. Ted gets his beefalo processed at a USDA approved plant and we pick it up, and J loves to eat it raw. I am still haunted by the sad beefalo faces we saw when we visited his farm (and I accept it as my karmic penance), but all our guests rave about our burgers and steaks. Even better, buying it in bulk saves $, so it's really not super duper expensive, and it's always a nice social occasion to see Ted & Ted. (I promised him some kimchi to help ward off bird flu, but alas, no organic cabbage in sight at Whole Foods.)
I just made a bunch of jerky from some raw meat (surprisingly good), and I'm excited to try this easy-to-take-along-meal on our next trip. Stay tuned for a review of our Excalibur Dehydrator, my new favorite toy.