According to a Mother Nature Network article groups of meat-eaters are banding together to buy their meat directly from the farm. And it’s all to do with the quest for better quality meat and saving money.
Buying direct from a farmer ensures that the group can check how the animal was raised. It’s not for the squeamish – you need to accept that the meat you eat has four legs and, in the case of beef, big brown eyes.
The term cow-pooling has only just become popular in the United States. It’s especially easy for people who live in rural communities – after-all, they have access to farmers that can sell them the livestock. And it’s no doubt easier to find someone to home-kill the animal. Plus, with wages lower in the country there may be more incentive to buy meat in this way. According to the article the savings run to 80% between the cow-pool cuts and the store-bought packs.
Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before the idea catches on here in New Zealand. As consumers continue to demand better quality meat and to know where their meat and produce comes from it’s not going to be long before farms who raise their livestock ethically will be pre-selling their meat to consumers.
For me I think it’s a great idea. The issue is how to connect with other people who want to share the cost, and who have the ability to store the meat.
Well, it seems there’s a solution to that too. Websites are cropping up that connect like-minded people with farmers and farms that want to operate at this local level. And it’s not restricted to cows – sheep and pigs are obviously good candidates for this treatment, basically any animal that is too big for one family to eat quickly enough before quality is compromised.
Any takers? I’m sure I could organise it.