Sustainably-Grown Meats Are “Growing” In Popularity.

By Nancy Smith, secretary,  Farm to Family Naturally

Since we at Farm to Family Naturally’s Sappington Farmers Market began sourcing all-natural local meats when we opened in July of 2008, the availability of alternative meats has increased exponentially.   Our first offerings were products of some of our store farmer/owners.  Ranchers’ All-Natural source-verified beef and Heritage Acres all-natural pork are wonderful products with strict protocols for the members of their co-ops.  Both co-ops insist on humane treatment of animals, neither allows hormones or antibiotics, and both continually improve the quality of the meats they offer.

A quick tour through our meat department now, though, is a real eye-opener. Many independent family farmers have realized that raising safe and tasty meat could be the best bet for their farm’s success. Not a week goes by when we don’t hear from another small farmer who is investigating the possibility of raising quality all-natural meat.

Todd Geisert (Washington, MO), provides a large selection of cured and uncured pork products. Todd’s pigs are raised with love and attention and the meat is processed into a variety of tasty bratwursts, sausages, bacon, ham and fresh pork. Many of our customers have enjoyed a tour of Todd’s farm.

Pilgrim Acres (Foristell, MO), is among several small, independent family farms that provide us with free-range, hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken. Their chickens are carefully nurtured by the whole family and are never given hormones or antibiotics. The chickens are allowed to graze naturally, and the only additive in their feed is natural sea kelp, which is a wonderful source of vitamins and trace minerals.

Grass-fed beef from Shepherd’s Ridge (Doniphan, MO), is a great offering for those who prefer the health benefits of grass-fed beef.  All our local beef grazes on pasture all year-round, but Shepherd’s Ridge is the only label we carry that is 100% grass-fed.  The cattle graze on lush pastures and have access to spring-fed creeks.

Nick Kluesner (Marthasville, MO), raises the endangered breed, Red Wattle hogs. He has been able to convert his entire operation from conventional, confinement hogs to pasture-grazed Red Wattle hogs. His hogs do not receive any hormones or antibiotics. Many people who taste meat from Red Wattle hogs say it reminds them of beef. We are happy to carry this environmentally friendly and healthy pork.

Westphalia Vineyards (Westphalia, MO), now offers Kobe-style Wagyu beef at prices that are considerably less than the costly Japanese Kobe beef. Their cows are allowed to graze the grass which grows between their grapevines.  Kobe beef is known throughout the world for its wonderful flavor.

Meramec Bison Ranch (Salem, MO), raises bison on their rolling acres. Local bison is a meat that is quickly growing in popularity because of its health benefits. Meramec’s bison is tender and tasty as well as being low-fat and high in omega 3 fatty acids. Bison is becoming one of our most popular meats.