Friday, September 24, 2010

To Meat!

As you may recall, in July, I wrote about reading Jonathan Safran Foer's book, Eating Animals, and how I thought that book would change my eating habits.  I am pleased to report that I just got back from buying my first 1/4 cow.

After reading Eating Animals, I could not stop talking about it, and one person who I talked to was a friend who is a vegetarian.  It turns out that she is a vegetarian who grew up on a steer farm.  I told her that the next time her dad had a partial cow available, to let me know.  Well, I got the call, and got the beef!

In Eating Animals, Jonathan Safran Foer talks about the evils of factory farming and inhumane processing.  As such, I looked into both the farm, and the processor.  I was happy to be able to buy a cow from a friend, because I felt like I could trust that it was treated well.  In case you are in lower Michigan, and are in the market for a cow, I will tell you that I got mine from Langmesser Farms in St. Clair.  As far as I can find, they do not have a website.  The cow was processed by C. Roy Inc. in Yale, MI.  I have not tasted anything yet, but I like that C. Roy is a family operation, and they were very kind to a beginner buyer like me.

In researching buying a partial cow, I learned that in addition to those who care about animals or are trying to eat organic, there is another group that is into buying cows - penny pinchers!  Apparently buying the whole (or a partial) cow is much cheaper than buying individual packages, if you have the storage space in your freezer.  My order came out to cost about $3.90 per pound of edible beef, which I found to be very reasonable, considering that in addition to ground beef, I got many steaks of all types and roasts.  It may not be less than I used to pay per pound at Meijer when they had sales, but it is definitely less than even a sale at Whole Foods.  If you buy a cow, remember that there is hanging weight, and processed weight.  I knew in advance that my cost was going to be something like $2.29 per pound of hanging weight (this includes bones, etc), and the processing cost, so I knew in advance how much I would pay, but I didn't know exactly how many pounds I would be picking up.

In the July blog, I said that I was going to call to order my turkey right away.  In fact, I tried.  And the lady laughed at me.  Roperti's, where I will be buying my Thanksgiving turkey, does not take orders until October 1.  Yes, it's on my calendar!  I know that there is a video on Youtube of a man playing a fiddle to serenade turkeys who are penned up at Roperti's, but please don't let that deter you.  I can only guess that they are penned because of the deep snow.  Roperti's is right by my aunt's house, and I have driven by and seen the turkeys out walking freely for at least 20 years.

Also, in case you didn't notice, today is the one year anniversary of my first blog entry!  Now, I won't pretend and say that I've been writing this blog for a year (I have - except for November through June!), but I didn't want this day to go by without note!

Still reading:  The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk.  It is reminding me of a section of Jonathan Safran Foer's earlier book, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, so I will probably have the chance to write more about my favorite author, JSF, soon!

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