Not Good At All

First I will say, I found my camera. I will be setting up some new posts today. But on the tail of that happy news, I have some very bad news. TLC Ranch in Aromas is no more. Right now you may be wondering, what TLC Ranch has to do with anything? TLC ranch made a good run at raising sustainable meats on a commercial level. I can’t attest to their business prowess but their ideology was sound: create a quality product, sell it at prices that make production economically sustainable and do your best to raise meat in a humane way. They seemed to be on the right track for marketing. They held classes in animal slaughter, a growing trend for homesteaders (like yours truly) and marketed their products at the farmer’s markets. Clearly, it wasn’t enough. On their blog they cited issues with land acquisition, meat processing and consumer problems as the reasons for their farm’s eventual demise.

Read about the end of TLC Ranch here. Now let’s discuss.

I suppose I can live with the fact that rent is astronomically high in this area. That just comes with the territory (even in my sadness, I can’t avoid a pun.) If you are a renter of farmland, it doesn’t pay to be small in this area. What I have a hard time with is the slaughter and consumer issues. The way the USDA regulates slaughter is geared toward large-scale, monoculture meat producers. It’s weighted so that it’s easier to get a cow that’s been on a feedlot ingesting corn and antibiotics for six straight months, into the grocery store, than it is for a small-scale producer to get a well-fed, well-raised, well-slaughtered animal onto your plate. I’ve had enough. I’m thinking of becoming the Sarah Palin of dead animals, oh wait, maybe she’s already the Sarah Palin of dead animals. Anyway, I mean I’m going to become the somewhat insane and slightly uncomfortable thorn in the side of the establishment. Who’s with me? What we need first is a lobbyist. I know one but she’s not cheap so what we need next is some funding. Hmmm, not really my area. Alright then, maybe I’ll just quietly sit back and undermine the rules. The USDA as it’s currently run can kiss my lily white…oh, the kids are ready this.

And while I’m lecturing, I have a problem with consumers not wanting to pay for good food. Rebecca and Jim have an excellent point when they say that most people spend less than 8% of their income on food and 30% on their car. I love cars as much as the next person but I have an even greater need for real food. Of course, you could argue that our government subsidizes big agriculture to the point that we are already paying for food through our taxes. Maybe we should work on that? I’d rather pay less tax money to Monsanto and pay more to my local farmer’s market. In the meantime, you can’t get sustainable without some cash money. US dollars.

This time next year, Redemption will have meat animals and I promise you they will not be as cheap to raise as that dry meat that’s filled with trash and antibiotics, that you get in your grocers freezer. These animals will have stories. They will have lived the kind of life that pasture animals are meant to live. They will be raised by a vegetarian. Someday, we’ll market these animals. I’m seeing a dinner in a box theme. instead of just a CSA veggie box, you can get a whole dinner in a box, no creativity needed. It will come with meat, dairy and veggies, check the recipe card and all you need to add is heat. Feel free to put yourself on the waiting list.

Blue Piggie says you owe it to yourself to eat right:

He also says you should take advantage of the good weather this week and lay in a sunbeam. He knows it’s important to take time to relax after a long day of fighting the establishment.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by aztechalo on November 2, 2010 at 08:08

    Husband says look at the processed chicken “meat(ish)” a few posts ago.


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