September 2022 Newsletter

New Products and Products on Sale

Building on the popularity of our recently introduced “Mild Italian Pork Patty”, we are now making a “Garlic Pork Patty.” Most of you seem to prefer the larger 6 oz. burgers, so we are preparing them in this format – 3 / package, at $9.00/lb. You can order a 20 lb box for $140 – a saving of $40.

3-Pack Garlic Pork Patties | 20-lb Box ($40 savings)

In partnership with Ralph Bauman who is one of the Bauman family who do our meat processing, we have secured a supply of Ground Turkey.  Ralph has recently purchased quota and begun to raise turkeys on pasture, using the same organic practices that we use at Zettel Family Farms.  Since we do not own quota, we are limited to 50 birds/ year, which we deliver fresh at Thanksgiving on a “first come, first served” basis.  Many of our customers have asked for ground turkey, so we are thankful to have a supplier.  The ground turkey is in 1 lb. vac-pacs and retails at $10.50/lb.

Ground Turkey – 1lb Vac Pack

Order your fresh turkey, delivered for Thanksgiving weekend now!  Believe it or not, Labour Day is upon us and soon the leaves will turn.

Order Fresh Turkey for Thanksgiving

Animals Outside – What’s the Difference?

With all the hullabaloo in the news about moving away from meat and adopting a “plant based diet”, it seems like an appropriate time to highlight the reasons why we do what we do here at ZFF – and why it makes a difference.  The short videos below (apologies for quality – taken with my phone while doing chores) give you a visual image of the life of a pig or turkey on our farm.  What most of you will never have is a real life experience of the environment in which practically all farm animals exist – that is – the total confinement livestock industry.  If you buy meat in the supermarket, you can be sure that it comes from chickens, pigs and turkeys that never saw the light of day.  Cattle are a slightly different case as the norm in the beef industry  is still to allow cows to calve and raise their young outside, only confining them during the final “finishing” phase, in feedlots where they are fed corn and soybeans for fattening. The dairy industry has for the most part abandoned grazing years ago.

So what is the difference and why should we, who eat the animals care? This is a vast subject, which could first be broken down by species.  Cattle, for example, are ruminants and have stomachs designed for hay and grass.  Feeding them grains and oilseeds is bad for their health and results in a skewed ratio of Omega acids which is bad for people.  Poultry and pigs, on the other hand, are omnivores like us and do well when fed grains, so the advantage of pasture is less obvious.  But when you actually witness these pigs munching on alfalfa, when you see them rooting in the dirt and running playfully across a field, you have no doubt that this life is better for the pig – or the turkey or the chicken.  We are consistently told that the flavour and texture of our pork, turkey and chicken is different.  People who grew up with chickens or pigs in their backyard, often say that this is the quality of meat they remember from childhood.  It seems reasonable to conclude that the more varied diet of outside animals and birds, eating leaves, roots and bugs, and ingesting some soil which inoculates the digestive system with a myriad of soil borne microorganisms, changes the meat for the better.

VIDEO: Ted explains pigs on pasture, and why it makes all the difference.


But what are the corresponding health advantages for the meat eater?  Does the sausage just taste better or is it better for you?  Here we are up against the limits of our present analytical abilities to trace cause and effect from the soil (and the complexities of soil chemistry and biology) , through the vegetation eaten by the animal (with all the variations of species of plant, how it is harvested etc.) into the overall health of the animal and the quality of the meat as it is effective in promoting human flourishing. It’s a tangle of questions that will not likely be untangled soon. The sophistication of scientific inquiry, while constantly on the increase, still falls short when it comes to understanding the big picture of interrelationships of soil, plant, animal and human health.  In other words, there may be no proof , that is, proof which can be written up in scientific journals and accepted by the majority of the mainstream scientific community, that eating our meat is better for you.  But we, as farmers, and you as eaters believe it is.  And it may be worthwhile to articulate our reasoning.  Here is a short version of the thoughts that convinced me to convert to organic, pasture based livestock production;

Farming the way we do, (mixed livestock, pasture based, organic) is sustainable.  The soil gets better and better over the years.  We are not as dependent on inputs from outside the farm.  A field covered with vegetation sequesters carbon while building soil organic matter.  We use no Nitrogen fertilizer which is a major cause of CO2 emission in cropping.  We don’t spread toxins in the environment.  Our animals are certainly happier outside, and arguably healthier.  It takes a lot more time to keep animals this way, and we are limited in scale, so the risk of polluting is greatly reduced. These all seem like advantages.  The overarching premise of our farming philosophy could be summed up as;

Healthy Soil = Healthy Plants = Healthy Animals = Healthy People

To believe the contrary, that there is no connection between how we treat the soil, the plants and the animals, and the overall well being of the people we feed, has always seemed to me to be consummately unreasonable.

In conclusion, there is lots of ammunition for a war on conventional animal agriculture.  But there is a way to produce meat that is better. Livestock farming is not the enemy and the alternative of relying on corn, wheat and soybeans, the way they are grown now, will not result in anything better for the people or the planet.

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