I’ve joined a cowpooling venture: with six others I’m the proud owner of the meat from a grass-fed steer that was raised without antibiotics, synthetic growth hormones, or feed animal byproducts at the foot of the Sangre de Cristos in Southern Colorado. Butchered and wrapped my share is 52 lbs., which looks surprisingly smaller than I expected it to. A lot (25 lbs.) is hamburger and stew meat, but the rest is an interesting selection of familiar and not-so familiar cuts. This exercise in good taste has necessitated the purchase of a small chest freezer that is now also stocked with Wisdom’s chicken and quite a lot of peeled green chiles.
This sounds like a lot of beef, but according to the Humane Society the average American in 2007 consumed 222 lbs. of meat, of which 66 lbs. were beef. This is up from 144 lbs./44 lbs. in 1950, which is both surprising and disturbing.
I did this for both health and sustainability reasons, and my hope is to eat less, but better, meat than before. We shall see, but mindfulness is the first step.