To the marginal meat buyer—Why pay $9/lb for lamb?

My friend is interested in supporting Promote-A-Goat. He asked me to answer why he,
or anyone, should consider buying Border Street lamb or goat, when beef or pork can be bought at fractions of the price. I offered him a list of reasons. I’ll share them.

Before I do share, I want to say that I come to this moment as someone who has traveled different roads of agriculture. I formerly thought that many of the things I will type below were foolish, backward, or insignificant. My mindset began to change rapidly when I watched Ray Archuleta do this test for the first time. When I saw one soil sample fall apart like sand, and another hold together, I saw that we must change the way we farm. Later, I saw that we would change the way we eat. The reasons are connected, all the way up and down the chain of life, soil to scalp. That’s where I stand today.

 

  • My first answer to my friend was a question: Where are you going to buy the other meat? His answer opened up a lot of known unknowns…
    • The simplest reason to consider higher priced food is higher quality. We know now that not only is there a difference between “food” and “junk food,” it’s becoming quickly apparent that numerous foods, such as blueberries, aren’t blueberries—flat out; there’s a wide variance. Same in carrots, spinach, and other “health foods.”
      • The number one reason to seek forage-raised meats, to my knowledge, is the non-inflammatory diet of the animal. Animals fed corn, wheat, soy, and most other grains, are living a life of chronic inflammation, which they will pass to the meat consumer.
        • Grain feeding at Border Street is a last resort energy supplement for slaughter-bound animals. Our ewes receive some grain as energy supplement when necessary.
      • While I am not yet testing for nutrient content, there is a basic indicator that I am watching for now: The switch to grass-fed has meant more colorful (darker) meat.
    • Lamb and goat are the most consistently raised in low-stress environments of the big five meats. Stress matters. Stress is hormonal, which is chemi-physical. So stress can be contained in meat. I want to offer low-stress meat.
  • Behind the production is intention. In late 2018 I began to understand that the best food is medicine. I’m committed to that mission. Lamb and goat from Border Street will come from my deepest efforts to produce meat as medicine.
  • The mission of meat as medicine is aligned with other missions. To raise top-quality, forage-raised meat, I must to treat the land in a way that improves the landscape beneath and around the livestock. What are you paying for, besides a meal?
    • Carbon cycling
    • Water cycling
    • Water filtration
    • Insect diversity, including pro-honeybee environments
    • Plant canopy that covers soil surfaces and keeps them cooler
    • And on and on…
  • The biological biome can bring forth economic flourishing. We’re witnessing the turning of phases as the promise of global food fails to deliver nourishment.
    • One stronger farm, who
    • Connects with a local vendor, who
    • Broadens the availability of nutritive food, which
    • Increases the health of people, who
    • Feel better and see new potential
  • Though I wasn’t able to track down the word-of-mouth estimate I heard, Tomkat Ranch (or some affiliate did some research which tentatively estimated that regenerative beef generated about $7 worth of food and non-food eco services against the $3 equivalent of non-regenerative cut of beef. (I am bound to have attached some inaccuracy to this research. (see also, White Oak Pasture research)
  • All that for 9-10 dollars per pound? That’s not expensive. And perhaps the question is, ‘What are we buying at grocery store?’ What is cheap building?
  • At $270 for a whole lamb or goat, the buyer is still receiving a price advantage over most retail store availability of lamb and goat. Even head-to-head with other direct marketers, I think Border Street is a tad low-priced, still (the price will probably go up). So, $270 paid 12-16 months in advance is like an investmentit’s better than bank interest!

There’s a decent list.

I think it’s still early to put a premium on regenerative foodthe upside is unknown. Perhaps the truth of food as medicine will be the fruition of the sentiment price no object.

 

Best regards,

Cary Yates

One thought on “To the marginal meat buyer—Why pay $9/lb for lamb?

  1. Pingback: Grazing animals made the Earth we know. | Border Street Sheep Co.

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