Friday, July 18, 2008

The Meat of the Matter

Or would that be "The Matter of Meat"? Or "Meat is the Matter"? Wait, now I'm feeling dizzy.

Y'all should know, I'm not getting anything for blathering on about a particular product or service. I'm nowhere near famous, let alone famous enough to garner that kind of graft, so feel free to hit the links I provide over in the side bar and read on without fear of ulterior motives - I'm writing this because I believe what I'm saying.

A couple of months ago my friend Michelle asked me if I'd like to get in on an order for mail-order meat. Yeah, I said Mail-order meat. Before you say "eww, gross" and go trolling for Charlie the Unicorn videos on YouTube, hear me out.

It's a damnit long web address to type in, and I did it wrong the first time or twelve, but eventually I ended up at a site run by the Slanker family in Texas. I'll save you the effort and make a link, because I'm all about making it easy. Go look at the meat, I'll wait.

I checked out the website she told me about, and it looked good. A bit chaotic and old school, as sites go (although still far more than I could manage if I didn't have wonderful Blogspot to do most of the work for me!), but very informative, easy enough to navigate and...most important...the product looked worth a try.

I called Mum and asked her if she was interested - we're always looking for (mostly) affordable organic alternatives to farm-raised, feed enhanced, solution injected, antibiotic and hormone pumped critter products.

We pitched in on the order - the company allows for cooperative orders to save on shipping, how cool is that??? Five families - Mum, myself, Kit, Michelle, and another friend of Michelle's who actually started the whole thing - ordered, and we had it shipped here to Casa de Crazy because among all the accoutrements of my ginormous carbon footprint, I have an industrial sized freezer that will more than hold whatever we decide to order at any given time.

So far, we've all been pleased with what we ordered.

I like the pork chops, but they're tiny. No, really - compared to the regular, factory-farmed ones at the market, these things are miniscule. No worries, though, because in this case size really doesn't matter. They're small but mighty...mighty good!

The steaks can feed a legion. I grilled two while camping in Ohio and fed four and a half people with them. You heard me - two ribeyes fed four and a half people!

The salmon actually converted a woman who doesn't like fish - D ate two helpings. Two. Of fish. And she loathes fish. She only tried it to be polite. Her husband J was ready to grab the whole piece of fish in his teeth and bolt to woods, growling and bear-like (and he's not really at all bear-like, normally) as he gobbled it down. He was really quite funny. I gave them the web address of the company so they could order some for themselves. A warning about the fish - it's not small. It's huge. It's half a wild-caught salmon, and it's not at all apologetic about its size. I cooked it in foil over the fire in Ohio and shared it with many people, because I knew Mum and I would never finish it. Luckily, our friend J was quite happy to take care of any leftovers!

I haven't tried the whole chicken yet, or the roast I ordered, but I am comfortable presuming they'll be the same quality. Some day, when I'm having a few hundred guests over, I may order the lamb.

OK, so here I am on a green-type blog, talking meat. What's up with that? Aren't green-type people supposed to be all about the tofu, tempei, and vegetables that volunteered to be dinner? Uh, yeah. That would be some other green-type person.

See the title of the blog? See where it says "Mainstream..."? That would include us folks who still eat any critter that didn't get out of the way fast enough to avoid being dinner. The whole point to this blog is to share ways that regular folks can reduce their impact on the planet. So, meat.

But don't despair - they have a few vegetables and fruits, too, as well as dairy products and eggs.

Give them a try. I found the prices comparable to organic at the market, and if you can find a few families to co-op with, you'll all save on shipping.

If you order from them, let me know what you think. Meanwhile, tell me about ways you're going organic or green with your food.


The Broken Man said...

We only eat free-range meat ourselves. We have found farmer's markets to be invaluable, as supermarkets only ever seem to stock free-range chicken in this country!

The Broken Man

Kyddryn said...

Availability is often the most difficult part of buying organic. I was delighted to find this company and hope to soon make a large enough order that I can convert ALL of our carnivorous delights to their products without supplementing from the market.

Have you tried looking about for farmers who sell to individuals or families? Locally here in Georgia, there are organic farmers who sell beef by the quarter - a quarter being enough to feed two or three families for quite a while - already butchered, sometimes to order.

I like Slanker's because I can order exactly what I want, when I want it, as opposed to having a sizeable amount of cow hanging about in the freezer.

Farmer's markets rock, and one of these days I'll figure out where there's one closer to me than the next state over!

Cheers for popping by!