Author: Catherine Greeley


Wholesome Wave

As we’ve mentioned before, Heritage Foods USA is a proud promoter of biodiversity and food security. We are pleased to share the work of Wholesome Wave, which has had a tremendous impact on our nation’s access to fresh and quality foods by pioneering the National Nutrition Incentive Network. Visit Wholesome Wave’s website to see initiatives in your area.

 

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Here is some more information about Wholesome Wave:

Wholesome Wave

Vision: Affordable, healthy, local food for all.

Mission: Wholesome Wave inspires underserved consumers to make healthier food choices by increasing affordable access to fresh, local and regional food.

What We Believe: At Wholesome Wave, we believe that everyone should be able to put the same, healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables on their table and provide that for their families. Our team believes that we can use food as a very powerful, binding, changing force. Food, as a single subject, has an incredible impact on environmental, social, economic and human health. We see an undeniable truth, that if we fix food, we are going to see improved health, stronger local and regional economies, and more income for small and mid-sized farm businesses.

Wholesome Wave Georgia believes that all Georgians should have access to good, wholesome and locally-grown food. Their goal is to increase access to good food for all Georgians while contributing to the local food economy. Wholesome Wave Georgia strengthens local food communities by empowering networks of farmers to facilitate access to and awareness of healthy food choices.

By doubling each federal or state nutrition benefit (SNAP, WIC, SFMNP) dollar spent at participating partner markets, WWG leverages existing government food nutrition programs to create financial incentives for low-income shoppers to shop at local farmers markets.

The program is committed to supporting producer-only farmers markets, in which vendors are only permitted to sell items that they have grown or produced themselves.

Every nutrition benefit dollar spent at a WWG partner market becomes two dollars for the shopper and for the farmer. This means more money for local farmers and more Georgians with access to good, wholesome and locally-grown food.

 Laura 1

 

If you happen to be in Georgia this September 13th, the 6th Annual Southern Chef’s Potluck will be held from 3-6pm in benefit of Wholesome Wave Georgia – with an impressive list of participating chefs. Tickets are $150 each.

Guests will dine family style with some of the South’s chefs on the pastoral grounds of the Inn at Serenbe. In addition to food and fellowship, the event will feature local beer, wine and cocktails created by renowned mixologists and a live auction for one-of-a-kind chef experiences.

Each chef contributes a side dish along with homemade pickles, relishes and desserts to be shared. Side dishes will complement main dishes provided by White Oak Pastures and Jim N’ Nicks Bar-B-Q.

 

Wagyu Tenderloin, Heritage Foods USA

Grilled Akaushi/Angus Tenderloin

There is nothing like Akaushi/Angus Tenderloin to satisfy a hungry party. Our friend Ted shares his favorite additions to summer gatherings:

 

Ted: My approach is fairly simple, as I love the taste of the meat more than any flavoring or spice…

Wagyu Tenderloin, Heritage Foods USA

About 6-7 days prior to cooking I take the roast from the freezer and leave it in the refrigerator to defrost. After a couple of days I unwrap the cut and let it air on a rack set over a cookie sheet for 3-4 days. This will allow the surface to become firm. I flip over the small-ended fold back about 3” and secure that with a metal skewer.

The day I cook it I bring it up to a little less than room temp, salt the entire piece with Himalayan salt (a fine textured salt), and let it stand for an hour or so. I am using a Lynx grill with two regular gas burners and one high heat burner. I light the two regular burners about 20 minutes before putting the steak on. I set the temp to medium low and cook the steak about 45 -50 minutes, turning regularly.

Wagyu Tenderloin, Heritage Foods USA

I try to get the small end to about 130°, middle to 115° and thick end to 100°. We fed eleven people with 3/4 of the tenderloin and I cut the thick end into filets about 1” thick put back on the grill the next day for perfect leftovers.

 

…And for the drinks

About 2 weeks before the party buy 4-6 semi-firm but ripe peaches, 4-5 firm Fuji apples and 4-5 navel oranges.

Heritage Foods USA

Slice the peaches first, then the apples. Add the oranges on top so the citric acid keeps the apples from turning brown. I layer these in a big bowl, plastic or ceramic, then cover with equal parts Triple Sec, Peach Schnapps, Vodka, and White Rum. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the wine cellar for two weeks.

In college 50 years ago we made this in garbage cans, but a 5 gallon water bucket also works great. The day before the party I dump the fruit into the water bucket, I add 3 gallons of Italian style wine (inexpensive is fine) add approximately 750ml Peach Schnapps, 750ml Vodka, 750ml Amber Rum.

I don’t add sugar or orange juice so the only other ingredient is ice, which I like to put in the cups so it doesn’t dilute the Sangria. It’s very potent but the fruit is really the kicker –you can blend two days before, no problem.

If you can keep this cool, it will last quite a while.

 

 

 

Ted, NJ

Ribs

Summer Rib Recipe

We think of ribs as the quintessential summer party fare – they stand up to a ton of flavor and are easily prepared ahead of time. Low and slow is the name of the game. In a pinch ribs can be cooked within an hour, but if you have the time to cook them for several you will be truly rewarded. Here’s our go-to technique for ribs that will set the bar to a whole new level.

Slow Meat Symposium 2015

A vegan, a butcher and a cow walk into a room… And started talking

 

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From Thursday, June 4th through Saturday, June 6th over 200 delegates from 40 states and 12 nations gathered in Denver for roundtable discussions aimed at progressively revitalizing a meat system that is currently wasteful, inhumane, and… well, not as delicious as it could be.

 

  The diverse group included producers, policy makers, distributors, retailers, press, chefs, farmers, & ranchers. Discussions were focused on points of transition and difference, collaboration and future partnerships –the take away was action based.   

  One theme of the conference raised in many conversations was: How do we organize local and regional collaboration to increase the national impact of the better meat movement? To begin, we can support each other through industry – sharing resources and knowledge, and helping to create trade for better meat so it becomes a larger percentage of what’s available on the market. Another discussion central to the conference and Slow Meat movement was: What might we have to forgo as a broader community to have better quality meat available on our tables? Does it mean not eating meat one or two days a week? Does it mean only eating a certain quality of meat? Erin Fairbanks dives into this discussion in Episode 236 of The Farm Report. Changing the way we consume meat might mean spending the same each month on meat as families are now, and just eating less of it. Interpretation of the Better Meat, Less Campaign was a hot discussion amongst delegates.  

 

Producers in attendance wondered if the positioning would discourage consumers from supporting an already small segment of the meat supply chain rather than disrupting the unabated consumption of cheap meats made available by the commodity market.  One aspect of the campaign delegates were able to agree on was that eating Better Meat, Less might also mean moving away from the quick fix of the prized loin to eating more braising cuts, which pack a ton of flavor and are a fortifying addition to vegetable and grain based dishes.

One point well received was that our guiding light should, in part, be supporting the efforts of farmers who are working to improve the flavor of meat, as well as the health of the land and animal.

The Symposium was followed by the Slow Meat Fair, which was open to the public on Saturday. Temple Grandin gave the opening keynote. Temple continues to point out aspects of animal husbandry many of us overlook. Find her insightful keynote speech on Heritage Radio Network.

 

  During the fair Heritage Foods USA collaborated with Steve Kurowski, President of the Colorado Brewer’s Guild, and Great Divide Brewery to produce a breed and brew tasting. At the tasting Mary McCarthy, Director of Operations at Heritage Foods presented historic and breed specific information on Berkshire, Red Wattle, Old Spot, and Tamworth breeds while guests tasted the four breeds of pork side by side. The meats were carefully prepared by Chef Matthew Raiford, who weighed out the same salt and pepper for each loin.  

 

The 3rd Annual Slow Meat is scheduled to be held in 2017, but you can get involved now through your local Slow Food chapter. Visit Slow Meat online for more information.

Heritage Foods USA at Slow Meat 2015

Heritage Foods USA is headed to Denver this week to participate in the Slow Meat Symposium, engaging with over 200 stakeholders in the American meat supply chain. The event runs June 4th through 6th with a number of events designed to push the boundaries in how we think about raising, processing, and consuming meat.

Slow Meat is a movement that actualizes the culture of confinement issue and an event that brings together ranchers, farmers, butchers, chefs, eaters and more to share ideas on how we can turn the herd toward meat that is good, clean and fair for all. Slow Meat brings together ranchers, farmers, butchers, chefs, eaters and more to share ideas on how we can turn the herd toward meat that is good, clean and fair for all.

-Slow Food USA

On Saturday, June 5th, the day following the tasting, a Slow Meat Fair opens to the public. Heritage Foods USA will be hosting Breeds and Brews during the fair – an informative tasting of four heritage breeds of hogs with beer pairings from Denver’s own Great Divide.

In preparation for the event we picked up seven styles of Great Divide and compared them with the four pork breeds we will be showcasing during the event – Duroc, Berkshire, Old Spot, and Red Wattle.

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Founded in 2014, Slow Meat promotes several basic tenants including:

– Better meat, less

– Biodiversity

– Eating Nose-to-tail

– Understanding Food Labels

Heritage Foods USA also lives by these values and is proud to participate alongside Slow Meat in promoting better meat ethics and standards of operations in the meat supply chain

 

Spring Lambing

 

Tunis Tamarack

Young Tunis lambs at Tamarack Vermont Sheep Farm bask in the warm spring sun.

Farmers affectionately refer to the birthing of baby lambs as ‘lambing’. Early spring is the traditional time for lambing, giving the young lambs time to fully develop before the challenges of winter set in.

In the winter lambs are kept close to the barn so they have solid shelter from storms.  In the spring the growing flock is released into fresh paddocks to enjoy tender clovers and grasses as the forage develops in summer fields. By the time summer comes the flock is has grown more independent and is ready to move on to well established grasses in more distant ranges.

Spring lambing is convenient for the farmer as ewes reach maturity within 5-12 months of birth. Sheep are typically bred once a year, in the fall. Ewes bred in the fall will carry for about 5 months and timed right lambing will occur just after the last snow.

 

Clover Creek Katahdin Shoulder

tender shoulder350

clean

mineral

perfectly balanced

sticky fat

mint

cream

herb

cinnamon

olive

grassy

clove

delicate

Chris and Ray Wilson, along with their daughter Sarah, have been raising sheep on their farm in Northeastern Tennessee for nearly 20 years. As a child of farmers, Chris hopes to one day pass down the farm to her own daughter. As she explained, “That is what you farm for – to pass it on to the next generation.” Clover Creek Farm spans 50 acres of land at an elevation of about 1650 feet. Chris, Ray and Sarah practice sustainable agriculture but when Chris found the land nearly 20 years ago, the land had been depleted by previous conventional farms and was completely over grown. Chris spent 5 years restoring the land and creek; with a focus on soil recovery and establishing the native grasses so it would be a sustainable farm. Chris was named Conservation Farmer of the Year in 1999 for her efforts.

Clover Creek Katahdin sheep graze on native grasses, such as blue grass, and clovers that are abundant in the Tennessee area. They are born outside and spend their entire life grazing with their mothers. Following the motto “farming in harmony with nature,” Chris raises her sheep using rotational grazing methods. Chris and Ray take pride in their lambs, explaining, “The lamb are not a commodity. We put a lot of work and effort in to give them the best life possible.”

The Katahdin sheep is the result of the innovative thinking of a Maine farmer named Michael Piel. In the 1950’s, Piel brought three sheep from St. Croix in the Caribbean to his farm. He crossed these “African hair sheep,” as they were known, with his own flock of “Down” breeds (more typical wooly meat sheep found in New England), producing a lambs he called Katahdin after the highest mountain in Maine. The Katahdin does not need to be sheared and produces a well-muscled, lean but meaty carcass. The Katahdin lamb is a meat breed and not a wool breed, making it especially flavorful and delicious with nutty, full flavor.

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