“Natural” Meats — What Do We Mean?

Seems like every time I turn around, there is something else weird being fed to animals. I already know about arsenic being fed to chickens. But, recently while reviewing Animal Welfare Approved Standards for pigs (see: http://www.animalwelfareapproved.org/standards/pig-2013/#20-breeds-and-origin-of-animals) we find that a product called ractopamine is prohibited under these standards. Really? But what the heck IS ractopamine anyway and why are “regular” pigs being fed it?? Check it out at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ractopamine

Needless to say, we don’t feed this stuff.

Our animals are fed locally-produced grains (corn, oats, barley, soybeans) and minerals and vitamins. The chickens and turkeys are fed certified organic feed with these ingredients. The pigs are sometimes fed organic if we can afford it; or just locally-produced ground grains/minerals/vitamins otherwise. Either way, there are NO other additives, antibiotics, hormones, implants, heavy metals, or non-food substances etc. in the feed.

Our animals are grown in small batches  = pigs 8-12 at a time; chickens 80-150 at a time; turkeys 80-120 at a time. They have plenty of room and access to the outdoors during the spring, summer and fall. Winter pigs are raised on a deep “bedded pack” of straw and sawdust under roof to keep them and the bedding and food dry and warm. Besides castration of males, none of the animals’ body parts are chopped off (tails, teeth, beaks, other).

They are butchered individually by local butchers and products such as sausages, hotdogs etc. are 100% meat with only seasonings added. Cured products use a no-nitrate cure.

This is what we mean by “natural” meat

Would you like to volunteer?

Each year at our farm is different depending on changes in the economy, which enterprises we undertake and who gets to stay home at the farm (if anybody) vs. work in town. Consequently, often we are happy to host a farm intern for the summer – preferably from about April through November. We offer room and board, and, after a suitable trial period, a small stipend for the right person(s). After reading about our farm, If you are interested in working with us, email us and we can discuss the possibilities.

Or, alternatively, if you think you’d like to try your hand at mucking, digging, scything or anything else we need help with around the farm… We can always use the help, and if we can’t at the moment, we will let you know when we can!

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