This week on The Farm Report, host Erin Fairbanks keeps on with her series exploring the meat industry in collaboration with Slow Food USA as they prepare for Slow Meat 2015, a symposium and fair taking place June 4-6 in Denver, Colorado. Talking with Mary McCarthy, Director of Operations at Heritage Foods USA about their involvement with Slow Meat and explains that Heritage Foods USA is a mail order meat company specializing in non-commodity rare and heritage breeds of pork, beef and poultry, and celebrates healthy animals of sound genetics that have been treated humanely and allowed to pursue their natural instincts. Mary elaborates that there are dozens of varieties of cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. Each type looks different, acts different, tastes different, and comes from a different agricultural tradition, but from the perspective of the boardroom, there is little incentive to raise these beasts, even though many of them are renowned for their taste. Ultimately, we have to keep rare and heritage breeds viable by creating an active market for them. In the second half of the show, co-producer for this particular series, Megan Larmer, joins Erin in studio. She is the Associate Director of Strategic Initiation at Slow Food USA and recaps how she came to be involved in the meat realm and dishes out exciting appearances and panels to expect from Slow Meat 2015. This program was brought to you by Bonnie Plants.
“If we can get back to some of these rare breeds I think traditional farming practices of the grazing and the pasture raising will come off a lot better because the animals can do it better than if you stick with the modern breeds on old practices – that doesn’t work very well.” [4:34]
—Mary McCarthy on The Farm Report
“We [Slow Food] work to coordinate the various chapters and members, chefs and farmers that are working toward a world in which all people have access to food that is good, clean, and fair.” [23:45]
—Megan Larmer on The Farm Report