We are lucky to have a great local store in town which sources wonderful, grass-fed meats from local farms. The awareness seems to be growing in local communities to begin promoting ways to buy direct from farms. I am a huge supporter of this idea, as we have embarked on our own journey of growing our own food and raising some animals for meat.
I used to be one who would wait for meat to go on sale at 99 cents per pound – then stock my freezer. When we started raising rabbits for meat, and butchering the occasional chicken – I began to look at meat differently. In the past, it was very common for me to get a whole chicken on sale for $6-8. The experience of raising a chicken, then plucking, gutting & cleaning the bird myself – made me re-evaluate things. To imagine the idea of turning around and selling this animal for a measly $8 bucks was absurd. Really, there is no way to ever raise an animal and pay the farmer for 99 cents per pound. Anytime we do this we are cheating someone, somewhere.
Then, the enlightening film Food, Inc. made me even more aware of how devastating factory farming is to our health, then environment and the quality of life for the animals we plan to eat.
Today – paying $20 for a free range meat bird (who had access to fresh air, grass & foraged for bugs) is totally worth it to me. I didn’t have to feed it, kill it, pluck it or prep it for cooking. I also know that the fat from grass-fed animals is healthy – (animal fat from corn & soy fed animals is a huge part of what is making America sick). Most of all, I love spending our grocery dollars on meat that has been raised humanely – (knowing that every dollar I spend is like casting a vote for what we want more of). The
higher more appropriate prices mean that we do eat less meat. We eat meat maybe 3-4 nights a week.
The pork we purchase is from pigs who have been put out to pasture – and have foraged for root crops that were planted for this purpose. There is NO comparison once you’ve tasted great pork like this. Here’s one of our favorite simple recipes for enjoying the in-season fall fare!
This is one of the simplest and most satisfying meals in our repertoire. We love our pork chops salted (well) with fresh black pepper. Simple but delicious.
- 4 Pork chops from a good local source
- Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper or kosher
- Oil to lightly grease the pan
- 4 Apples Organic
- We use a cast iron grill pan, but an outdoor grill would work well, too.
- Cook the pork chops to desired doneness, then remove from pan and tent with foil.
- Simply cut the apples in halves (remove seeds and core) and place on the grill – cooking on both sides until caramelized a bit – and as soft as you like.
- The leftover flavor from the pork chop drippings in the pan give these apples a wonderful flavor.
- The kids thought it was fun (and a bit fancy) to eat their apples with a knife and fork.
- Serve with a side of rice or potatoes – and some sauteed swiss chard or green salad – yum!