Shifting vs. Reducing Meat Consumption: Exports

 Consume Less at Home, Sell More Abroad

There are various campaigns designed to encourage reduced meat consumption in much of the Western World.  The three most common “benefits” I observe used in such campaign promotion include:  (1) Human Health, (2) Animal Rights and/or Well-Being, and  most recently (3) Environmental Impact. Continue reading

Meat Glue Mania and Mayhem

The video

An Australian video pertaining to “meat glue” has been circulating around the interwebs recently, and because it (1) involves meat and (2) indicates some form of food processing or alteration occurs, it has resulted in multiple “outcries” regarding the use of transglutaminase and thrombin meat products.  But first, the video causing this ruckus: Continue reading

“I feed my family the same thing?” <– Really?

I have a couple of questions I like to ask people when I hear or read the popular comment: “I feed my family the same [insert meat of species] that you purchase in the supermarket.”  Really?  I think such a statement is disrespectful (though likely not the intention) to the contemporary food system, the same system that means farmers distant from a consumer base can continue to exist in their current form.  Often, this message comes from a producer who has enlisted the services of a local butcher to transfer a home-raised farm animal into their home freezer. My questions include: Continue reading

Sales of hunted venison is a no-go

By now, most hunting enthusiasts have “bagged” at least one deer for the season.  Though many elect to process their deer at home (here in Central PA, it is often a family event!), yet others opt to take their deer to a processor.  Many of these are custom processors with no inspection, yet there are some USDA inspected plants that custom process deer.  Some even go so far as to essentially cease their other operations during deer season.  Regardless of where or how cut/processed/[insert verb], none of that venison can ever be sold. Continue reading

Butchering the Rules :: Part 1

Each week I visit with a variety of small-scale meat processors in and around Pennsylvania, sharing with me their most recent concerns or challenges.  The Commonwealth is a bit of an anomaly when it comes to local meat processing infrastructure … because it has one.  There are a handful of similar states, namely Ohio and Wisconsin, yet those states have a state meat inspection program.  Pennsylvania, on the other hand, relies on federal inspection, and because of that, we have more USDA-inspected small and very small (those are USDA categories) plants than any other state. Continue reading