Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Everything is Coming up Roses

We don't have roses on the farm, but we do have milk-fed beef cattle, which is also known around the world as Rose Veal. This lovely sweet and tender meat is a rosey pink color which indicates a healthy iron sufficiency. Traditional veal meat is a pastey white color indicating a lack of iron levels in the young steer's muscle. Why would this matter to someone who wants to eat veal? Well, it matters because it indicates how the young animals are being raised. We raise our rose veal calves on open prairie pastures with their mothers and the rest of the cattle herd. They enjoy a life eating sweet grasses and their mother's own milk. This is the way it was meant to be for a young meat animal's life.

Unfortunately, traditional veal calves are not raised this way. They are raised in extreme confinement (crates that are not big enough for the calves to turn around in), alone and without their mother's milk or even cow's milk for that matter. They are fed a man-made formula that lacks the necessary iron that a young animal needs to grow strong and healthy. These animals are raised for meat that is so tender it can be "cut with a fork." Traditional veal is also practically tasteless. It is a shame that our meat/dairy industry has allowed and encouraged such practices. As conscious meat eaters, we can take back the meat/dairy industry and only support farms that humanely raise rose veal calves that live with their mothers in open pastures. We hope that you will say NO to traditional veal and enjoy veal that not only is tender but flavorful too.

We hope that you will share this information with others and encourage them to support healthier and more humane meat options. Please shop at your local farmers markets and get to know your farmer and their farming practices. It is important to become an informed shopper. You can then be confident in your decisions about what you feed your family.

This weekend we are releasing our Rose Veal products to our farmers market customers. We will have Ground Veal (excellent for meat sauces, like bolognese), Veal Stew Meat (perfect for all your cool weather stews) and Veal Rack Chops (they make an amazing saltimbocca*). We hope that you will give our rose veal a chance and enjoy meat the way it was meant to taste.

*This recipe is for a pork chop but I also love it with a veal chop because it calls for you to stuff the thick chop with all the classic saltimbocca ingredients instead of pounding the meat thin and layering the other ingredients on top. It holds together very well and makes for a lovely clean presentation.

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