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Friday, July 3, 2015

Organic food for thought

As of late I inadvertently cultivated an interest in what has become a religion among leftist activists, the nanny state food police. They are the crowd who know better than you what you should be eating, less sugar, no transfats, no GMO's and no grain fed beef and above all, you should eat only organically grown victuals. They see themselves as helpless victims of the all powerful agribusiness and food processing industries. They disdain consumer sovereignty, arguing that consumers, except for them and their enlightened brethren, are too dumb to know what's good for them. They also believe that they have the right to grow whatever they may please and society should lap it up regardless of the cost. The speaker in the video tells a tragic story of an organic zucchini grower who could not cover his operating expenses, let alone make a profit, proving to the speaker, that there is a fundamental flaw in the way we think about food. Failing to detect that fundamental flaw beforehand, the poor mope had to sell off part of his farm.

I was perusing a rather pedantic post at the NYT's web site when a particularly strident comment caught my eye. It was signed by somebody from Lewis Family Farms. I've known a few farmers and most had families but none of them had a web site. I reached the Essex, New York web site but later found there was also a Lewis Family Farms in Rochester, Pennsylvania that hosts weddings besides selling meat.
The New York Lewises are looking to hire a farmhand and have put forth a generous offer.
Salary and bonus to match experience, proven ability, willingness, client satisfaction and results, respectively.
Large, new, comfortable, family-friendly, WiFi-equipped on-farm residences for manager and family, for select staff with family.
Fine nearby schools.
And then the kicker. They don't want just any farmhand.
We require a resume, references, and an essay.
An essay? They want John Boy Walton? Let's face, if one is going to raise grass fed beef one would certainly need a man of letters, someone who could, maybe, write an updated version of Dissertation on Roast Pig?
So how much does this wonderful USDA certified grass fed beef cost? Never mind that it would be like eating a bony old milk cow. Well, the New York family was too busy recruiting to get their catalogue online and the Pennsylvania cousins didn't do much better but allow me to quote this advisory,
Ground meat is sold simply by the pounds of beef that you are interested in purchasing.  It costs $6.50 per pound.
All of our cuts of meat are currently sold by the 1/8, 1/4 or 1/2 of an animal, or a whole animal, usually a steer.  These "sides" of beef cost $10.00 per pound, based on the packaged weight of the share.  This includes all the butchering costs.  Sometimes our butchers are able to package some or all of your ground beef into hamburger patties for a small amount more per pound.

We often have soup bones and organ meat, (heart, liver, ect) available to purchase as well.  Soup bones are $3.00 per pound, and the organ meat is $6.00 per pound.   
Ground beef is only $6.50 per pound? Yes, they have managed to eliminate those nefarious middle men who drive up the cost of everything from chicken livers to heating oil. That way they can sell a side of beef for only $10 per pound or $2000 to $2600 for half a beef and it still chews like a Holstein milk cow. How much would a half of a corn fed beef cost. Where I would buy it it's $3.19 per pound but then again there is something fundamentally wrong with the way I think about food.


  1. In some parts of the country organic farmers are given a break on property taxes. My understanding is that Bruce Springsteen is not burdened by any such nuisance at his New Jersey mansion because a portion of the acreage is devoted to organic farming. Nice little shelter for beautiful people.

    1. It's too bad my old buddy PK isn't arond to cash in on this.