Friday, October 26, 2012

Buy Local

As I was working on my post about how many people have birthdays today, I looked up and saw someone walking past the window from the no longer used front drive direction. Curious I answered the door.

Door to door meat salesman.

Okay, so, looking back, it might not have been the smartest move to be following a guy out to the deserted and difficult to see wooded side of the property to see what dead things he has in his old beaten up van with a large sized freezer in the back. I now have lots of horror novel plots going through my mind. But... back to the story at hand.

Two young guys, probably early 20's, driving around in dark jackets and dark beanie caps, in a beater delivery van with a long freezer in the back of it. Yeah, this could go so wrong so easy.

The salesman took over, telling me all about this wonderful free range steak out of Montana. He asked me if I knew what that meant and I nodded that my parents had a place in Washington years ago where there was free range and we had cows from a few different farmers wandering across our property.

But really... free range steak? The USDA only has such standards for poultry.

Mayo Clinic on "free range"

The USDA says --

"FREE RANGE or FREE ROAMING: Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside."

So. How much time do the cows spend outside?

Something else about free range that not many people think about is that on a free range cows eat more than just hay and alfalfa.

Years ago my mom declined free goat milk for all summer from a neighbor and explained to me that the goat was allowed free range, which means it not only ate the oats they gave it as treats and the grass, but the trash and Knapp weed and anything else it could bite into. That, she explained, was why the milk tasted so strange when we tried it. I've looked uneasily at "free range" since.

That does not stop me giving it a try, however, and I was willing to look at what the guys were offering.

Up until he opened the first box and the steaks had freezer burn on them. Well, okay, sales samples. Stored in a van freezer. I was still willing to consider it.

But $600 for a box of steaks that are shipped up here from the lower 48? Free delivery or not, I can make my $5 steak from the local butcher taste just as good as thier more expensive steaks. And I do not eat steak often enough to be paying that much for it.

I wish the two luck, they are out there trying to sell their steaks and I know there are a lot of people out there that are going to say "sign me up!" but... I have better things to spend money on right now than bulk purchases of meat. I'll worry about my home first, then... go buy a nice thick cut NY strip from the locally owned market's butcher shop to grill out on the porch in Mom's old BBQ grill. :-)

Thanks anyway boys!


Update: Okay... add to the unease factor... Dogs start barking a few moments ago and I look out to see who pulled in. It is the guys selling meat door-to-door pulled in the driveway on the other side of the house. They paused just long enough to see no one is home next door and then turned around and headed back out the driveway. Still... timing of the return to just after I posted about them is... should I start writing my horror novel now?