The Reality of Meat

So here's the deal.  I fully admit to having dreams of getting off the grid and living off the land (stylishly, of course.)  But then there is the reality of having to know where everything comes from.  Yes, I can grow veggies and fruit and could totally get into foraging, but what about meat?  I'm down for getting some chickens, but the Dear Husband gave that a big fat "no go" as long as we live in the city (I'm working on him though!)  I'd love to walk out in the morning, collect fresh eggs, but then what happens when I want to serve those eggs up with a side of bacon?  The truth is, bacon doesn't grow in it's tidy little plastic package.  It doesn't start from seed.  Someone has to raise the pig, butcher it, smoke it and then deliver it to the packaging facility so it can be sold in the store... where someone like me doesn't need to think about where that magical meat came from.  But is this really a healthy idea?

So here is where I'm going.  Last night I was jumping around to various blogs and somehow ended up on Vimeo where I found a video from Farmrun and Farmstead Meatsmith.  Truth be told, I wasn't actually sure I could watch this video, but I sucked it up and watched this local artisan butcher a hog he lovingly raised on his Vashon Island farm.  It was a serious reality check for me.  Up until last night, I could not tell you where the pork tenderloin came from.  Now I know.  And it actually makes me feel better.  I should know what I'm feeding my family.  I should know what I'm feeding myself.

If you ever find yourself in Seattle, I encourage you to visit my favorite butcher (and trusted Seattle staple), A&J Meats.

My local butcher... A & J Meats on Queen Anne. (photo credit)

These folks have been in business since 1951 and not much has changed!  They still have the long wooden countertop, beautiful glass cases and staff that will go above and beyond to educate and serve you.  Honestly, it's the best.  And here's an awesome fact... they know where all their meat is sourced from!  You'd be hard pressed to find that little tidbit at your typical grocery store... and that's sort of sad.  On another note, my husband has been threatening a hunting trip with some of his work friends.  While I'm not sure I'm up for hundreds of pounds of elk, I know I'll be talking to Rick at A&J Meats should the need arise. :)

So if you're feeling brave and want to learn about the art of butchering a hog, here you go.  These folks are pro and totally inspiring to watch!

xo, k

PS.  In doing some research for this post, it turns out Martha has even gotten in on the action.  Check her out butchering a side of pig here!  She even wears chain mail.  No lie, folks.

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