Thanksgiving might be a week behind us but I’m still pretty pleased with our decision to go local this year. Instead of elbowing the crowd at the freezer case at the local grocery store, we located a nearby farmer who raises natural and fresh turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday.
This is something we’ve done before when we lived in northern Arizona. Our tradition was short-lived however because the farm bowed out to developers and sold their acreage. It was disappointing but just another real world example of how small local farmers are edged out of the market every day. Last year we were new transplants to the Tri-State area and didn’t have much time to begin looking for a locally and naturally raised bird to feast on.
After a call to the River City Food Co-Op, they directed me to Uebelhack Farms located in Mt. Vernon, Indiana. The family has been raising turkeys for the past 40 years and is not one of those factory farms that inhumanely and unnaturally treats the meat that will end up on our tables. They took my order, asked if I wanted fresh or frozen and gave me a date to swing by the farmhouse and pick up my turkey. It was a bit off the beaten path and more expensive than a frozen, store-bought turkey but it was well worth it.
We felt even better about our decision to buy locally sourced meat after watching an eye-opening documentary called Food, Inc. The documentary, co-produced by Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollan (Omnivore’s Dilemma), takes a look at how Americans consume meat that is fast, cheap and tasty (or at least that’s what we’re led to believe). It follows meat from the breeding process in a lab, to the farm, to the slaughterhouse, to the store and eventually onto your table, showing you exactly what you’re eating.
I’ve always been a big proponent to eating locally sourced food but have found it both difficult and cost-prohibitive to find locally sourced meat. I’ve been talking with another local farmer over at Stonewall Farms in Evansville, Indiana who sells shares of organic, pasture-fed beef, pork, lamb and goat. After watching that documentary, I think we’re ready to make the leap in 2010 and support a local, organic meat producer.
For more information about Food, Inc. you can visit their website by clicking this link.
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