I've been bulk buying meat from Pike Valley Farm (Lancaster, KY) for years. A family-owned livestock and poultry farm that follows sustainable practices. The cows, chickens, and hogs are 100% grassfed and finished and forage on a native diet on rotating pastures. The way nature intended 💯🌱🐄🐓🐖👊🏽👏🏽 Buying in bulk is an affordable way to eat more Real Food 🤑🤑🤑 And the food will be readily available. So you can shop at home first 😉 I just walk a few steps to my own personal freezer section ❄️❄️❄️ Decide what cuts and type of meat to prepare. And defrost in the refrigerator. Makes meal planning so much easier and more affordable 👍🏽👌🏽✌🏽 We're lucky here in KY because there are a number of farms that practice these sustainable techniques.
Here is a slideshow from a tour of Pike Valley Farm in August 2015. Because YES -- farms that follow sustainable practices have nothing to hide and will often allow you tour their land to see their operations.
Folks -- THIS is what Real Foodies and Paleo Foodies mean when we discuss terms like "100% grassfed and finished", "pasture-raised", "foraged on a native diet". These cows roam on rotating pastures year-round and feed on their native, natural diet 💯🌱🐄 Ditto for their chickens and hogs 💯🌱🐓🐖 THIS is the ideal model of "sustainably farmed" & "humanely raised".
If buying this type of high quality meat is important to you . . . . if "food traceability" and "food transparency" are concepts that matter to you. Then do your research to make sure you are buying food products that are consistent with YOUR values. Sadly, the food industry does not regulate the use of these important terms.
So seeing "grass fed" on a package may NOT mean what you think. The livestock may NOT be raised as you see here in this slideshow. When I started my Real Food/Paleo journey back in 2011, I never heard of these traceability terms. But once we decided that this was the path we wanted to follow, I researched to find this farm.
I saw Pike Valley meat for sale at the local Co-Op (shoutout to Good Foods Co-Op 🙌🏽👏🏽💯). And I went to the farm's website listed on the label. Then I cross-referenced with the Eat Wild website. This is a research-based non-profit that provides lots of great info about eating food that approaches the same nutritional content as the plants and animals our original ancestors ate. They also offer info on farms in your state/area that follow these practices. Pike Valley was listed on the site.
The farm had a store where we could buy directly from them, in bulk. And now we have this great relationship. So for instance, when I overestimated the amount of freezer space and bought a whole cow, Pike Valley agreed to set my meat aside and store it until I was ready for more. As more space opened up in my freezer, all I had to do was contact them and they delivered it at the local Buyer's Club. This made it easier for me to pick up closer to my home.
And this is one of the great benefits about Real Food and Paleo lifestyles. We -- as consumers -- CAN redefine our food system if we start building these relationships directly with our growers and farmers who are following practices that we value!! Now that's Empowerment 👊🏽💪🏽🙌🏽🏋🏽😍
Finally, "local" may have a different meaning for you than what you see in the stores. Pike Valley Farm is only 30 miles from my house. Now THAT is what I'm talking about when I discuss "locally sourced". I have access to the meat raised on this farm in 3 different ways: (1) I can drive there to pick up meat (which is nice because you can see this same scene as in my photo). (2) I can order online once a month and one of the farmers drives to Lexington so I can pick up more easily (3) I can buy their meat at the local Co-Op (another shoutout to Good Foods Coop)!
So for my Lexington, KY peeps -- we have a number of LOCAL farms where we can buy produce and meat directly from folks who follow these same sustainable practices. Either through a CSA or bulk buying. So let's DO this!!
Kick Sugar To The Curb!
If you take the challenge, please let me know. I have received so much support and positive energy from you all. That I would like to return the favor 😉