News From the Farm | February 22, 2016

Limited Amount of Pasture Raised Organic Meat Available

The domestic animals living at Full Belly Farm have an excellent diet!  It is not only rich in cover crops (with a mix of legumes and grasses), but it also includes a steady stream of organic vegetable culls, and grazing time on the plants left over in fields where we have finished our harvest.  The animals are moved frequently from pasture to pasture, enclosed by movable fencing.

Because animals can eat grasses and culls that humans can’t, we think of them as a very important part of the agricultural cycle, and also as a link in the chain of the food supply.  When we talk with researchers about “yields” of our organic crops, we encourage them to think of more than the actual crop that they see growing in a Full Belly field at a given time.  Each of our fields produces cover crops (fixing nitrogen and returning carbon to the soil), and also yields animal protein in addition to vegetables, nuts, fruits and flowers.  Recent reviews of research conducted over the last two decades comparing organic and nonorganic meats produced in Europe, the U.S. and Brazil has confirmed that there are important nutritional benefits to eating organic meat.  Because of their diet high in pasture, meats from organically raised animals contain higher levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids — in fact an average of 47% higher levels than nonorganic meats.  Omega-3s are said to help in lowering heart disease, reducing inflammation-related problems and fending off cognitive decline.

The researchers found that levels of another polyunsaturated fat, omega-6, were slightly lower in organic meat and dairy.  These two compounds, omega-3 and omega-6, are essential for the human body and we can’t manufacture them ourselves.  Centuries ago, people ate roughly equal amounts of the two fatty acids. Today, most Americans eat more than 10 times as much omega-6 compared to 3, because of our diets high in fried foods and conventionally-raised meat.

One other factor in the decision about eating organic meat is that it has a much lower risk of containing antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  Antibiotics are used routinely in conventional animal husbandry — over half the antibiotics in the U.S. are used in food animal production.  The Full Belly animals are not fed antibiotics in their food, and nevertheless, stay healthy for their entire lives.

The following organically raised meats are now available to our CSA members, all in fairly limited quantities.  The meat is only available for pick up at select sites — you will need to check with us for the most convenient delivery location. The meat arrives frozen, in an ice chest.

1. Lamb for your Easter dinners:  Our lambs are all born and raised here at the
farm and are fed 100% on pasture, organic vegetables and hay. They are sold by the half share (15-20 lbs) for $185, or whole share (30-35lbs) for $350.

These are the cuts of meat for half share lamb (double for whole share lamb):

2 packages Breast (ribs) –OR– Neck & Stew Meat

1 package Leg

2 packages Racks – 4 ribs/pkg

2 packages Shanks

4 packages Loin Chops – 2 chops/pkg

4 packages Shoulder Chops – 2 chops/pkg

Organs (Heart, Liver, Kidney & Tongue) – Optional

2. Pork: Our pigs are organically fed, born and raised at Full Belly, living their entire lives on acres of pasture, rooting up tasty black walnuts. You can order a half share or a whole share.  The Half Shares are $80 for 7.5-pounds and include 1 pack of natural bacon, 1 pack of sausage, 1 pack of loin chop and 1 shoulder roast.  The Whole Share is $160 for 15-pounds and includes 2 packs of bacon, 2 packs of sausage, 2 packs of loin chop, 1 shoulder roast and 2 packs of spare ribs (Whole Shares are sold out).

3. Other Pork Products: A 3-pack of sausage (3-pounds) for $30 contains Italian, Bratwurst and Simple Breakfast Sausages. We also have some extra, very special Shoulder Roasts that you can use to make delicious carnitas or stew.  The Shoulder Roast is available Large (5-lb or more) for $40 or Regular (4-lb or more, to 5-lb) for $32.  If you are interested in pork offal, lard or pig feet, let us know.

4. Stewing Chickens: We do not raise meat chickens, only egg-layers.  We are always sad that we do not have sufficient quantities of our eggs to offer them to our CSA members.  The only place that you can get our eggs is at our farmers markets. After two years of laying eggs, we cull the chickens and they are available as stew birds.  They are approx. 3-4 lbs and make delicious broth, soup or stew and cost $12.

5. Exciting News – Beef offering coming soon!

If you wish to order any of our meat products, please contact Becky.