Author: Patrick Martins


“No Goat Left Behind” Initiative Goes International!! The British Are Coming!!

goatober2Doctor, I feel like a goat”.
“How long have you felt like that”?
“Since I was a kid”.

How do you keep a goat from charging?
Take his credit card away!

What would Goatober be without a little goat humor? Or HUMOUR, as our British friends would say.

The confidence to commit to this important project originally came from enthusiastic handshake agreements with over fifty New York City restaurants including Gramercy Tavern, Babbo, Spotted Pig, and Bar Boulud, who agreed to feature goat on their menu for the full month of October. (See the list below.)

This year we were delighted to hear from our colleagues in England, who have joined our goat project and are promoting goat dinners and events across the UK, largely spearheaded by James Whetlor of Cabrito Goat Meat, who has won the Observer Food Monthly Award for Best Ethical Producer, and in 2016 was named Good Housekeeping’s Champion Meat Producer.

During the month of GOATOBER, UK restaurants nationwide including ETM Group, HIX Restaurants, River Cottage Canteens, Shotgun BBQ, I’ll Be Mother, and Romy’s Kitchen will be featuring a goat dish on their menus.

Goat is actually the most widely consumed meat in the world — and America is slowly learning what the rest of the world already knows — that goat meat is delicious, lean, versatile, healthy, and sustainable. Goats are environmentally low-maintenance and easy to raise.

And funny. Did I mention funny?


“Goatober” Bigger Than Ever!! Six Years Later, No Goat Left Behind!

We’re proud to announce that we’re celebrating the sixth year of our annual goat project — GOATOBER, aka NO GOAT LEFT BEHIND!
I love goats.

Most Americans have never had the chance to try well-sourced goat meat, but those who experience it for the first time marvel at how light it is. The flavor of goat meat is bright, lean, and floral, with a clean and grassy finish.

Also, goats are very funny. When we were writing the CARNIVORE’S MANIFESTO, one chapter (“I AM A GOAT”) was written from the point of view of a goat:

When you are as great as I am, it’s hard to be humble… You think Daffy and Donald are the funniest livestock? Think again… I’m the funny one. When you’re girlfriend has a beard, you sort of have to be.

When my co-author Mike Edison recorded the audio version he actually read this chapter using a goat voice, which, as it turns out, sounds a lot like Gilbert Godfrey.

No Goat Left Behind/Goatober was the brainchild of Heritage Radio Network Executive Director, Erin Fairbanks, and renowned New York cheesemonger Anne Saxelby. They launched the initiative to address the growing problem facing New England goat dairies — namely, what to do with male goats?

In order to make cheese, animals on the farm must be producing milk. And to make milk, mothers must be giving birth and having many babies, consistently. Male offspring create a dilemma for the farmer — they obviously don’t produce milk, and unfortunately, there is no established humanely sourced market for American goat meat. Male goats are often euthanized at birth. This is not only an ethical catastrophe but a wasteful excess of good food.

Naturally raised goat is a seasonal meat. Mothers give birth mostly in the spring, and baby goats grow strong on the plentiful spring and summer grasses. They are ready for market in the fall. This is why Heritage Foods USA is working to change the tenth month of the year from October to Goatober!

Welcome Goatober!

Welcome, Goatober!

In order to make cheese, animals on the farm must be producing milk. And to make milk, mothers must be giving birth and having many babies, consistently.

In the case of goat dairies across America, the birth of a male goat creates a dilemma for the farmer: there is no established good market for goat, so male goats are usually sold at birth onto the commodity market where their quality of life significantly diminishes or they are disposed of before their time, thus the reason for No Goat Left Behind.

In 2010 Heritage Foods USA partnered with a dozen goat dairies around upstate New York and Vermont to purchase their unwanted males when they were ready for harvest. The confidence to commit to the purchases came thanks to handshake agreements with over 50 New York City chefs who agreed to feature goat on their menu for the full month of October. (See list below)

Goat is a seasonal meat with mothers giving birth mostly in the spring. Baby goats grow dining on plentiful spring and summer grasses. They are ready for market in the fall. This is why Heritage Foods USA is working to change the 10th month of the year from October to #Goatober!

The brainchild of Heritage Radio Network Executive Director, Erin Fairbanks, and renowned New York cheesemonger, Anne Saxelby, No Goat Left Behind was started to address the growing problem facing New England goat dairies. The project has since developed into a celebration of all goat breeds including meat breeds, with the goal of increasing overall goat consumption in the US. Today, Americans still import most of its goat (and lamb) from New Zealand and Australia.

Goats are environmentally low maintenance and easy to raise. They eat almost anything, are adaptable and smart and usually birth twins. They also make for delicious meat, the foundation for millions of recipes worldwide. As a result, goat is the most widely consumed livestock in the world.

The flavor of goat meat is bright, lean and floral, with a clean and grassy finish. Frozen goat is available year round and fresh goat in October.


Momofuku Ssäm Bar Union Square Cafe Becco Bar Corvo
Momofuku Noodle Bar Gramercy Tavern Employees Only Al di La
Egg Maialino Marta Quality Meats
The Fat Radish The East Pole Vinegar Hill House Minetta Tavern
Gran Electrica Babbo Ristorante M. Wells Steakhouse Colonie
Lupa Osteria Romana OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria Craft Momo Sushi Shack
Waverly Inn Purple Yam Huertas Rose Water
Virginia’s Franny’s B&B Ristorante Boxing Room
A16 Rockridge Robert Mondavi Winery Sam’s Social Club Chi Spacca


Farmers include
Twig Farm – Vermont Miz-inka Farm – New York
Highwood Farm – New York Jones Family Farm – New York
Cotton Hill Creamery – New York Jim & Jean Bright Farm – New York
4 Tin Fish Farm – New York Hawk Hall Farm – New York
Asgaard Dairy – New York Glenerie Farm – New York
Rainbow Haven Farm – New York Shannon Creek Farm – Kansas


St. John’s Bread and Life |Working to End Hunger



We first heard of St John’s Bread and Life (B&L) when Anthony Butler, the Executive Director, approached us about participating in one of their events providing food for New Yorkers in need. We were surprised to learn that B&L is the largest organization in Brooklyn working to end hunger in our community. Each and everyday Bread and Life supplies thousands of meals to people and families in need. But it wasn’t until we visited their facility on Lexington Avenue in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn that we really fell in love with their mission.

B&L has an amazing staff that works tirelessly to provide food to those without. We came to understand that the majority of those who come to Bread and Life have jobs but still have trouble paying the bills: a salary at McDonalds is not enough to pay for a family with three children. The minimum wage as it stands now is too low and even industrious New Yorkers can run into trouble. Some of B&L’s clients once had good paying jobs but the recession coupled with rising food prices left them making impossible decision, like whether to pay rent that month or buy food.

We admire Bread and Life for working hard to respect their clients’ independence. They help them with tax advice, to obtain voter registration, they provide toys on the holidays, they offer legal advice and social work. They let their clients determine what is best — from what food they eat to what toys they give their children by offering them choices and integrating technology in a way that connects and empowers.

The most remarkable aspect of Bread and Life for us foodies is Anthony and his team make it a priority to serve their clients the best, most nutritious, local, sustainable food possible. Through grants and donations Bread and Life serves delicious, clean and fair food – especially during the holidays. Obtaining enough food to feed as many mouths as Bread and Life does is not easy. The fact that they seek out the nation’s best is all the more commendable. The kitchen staff, led by Christie Robb, prepare each and every meal with care and dedication.

Fighting hunger through gastronomy is a revolutionary idea. One of Anthony’s goals is to unite the great chefs of New York with the work of their staff who feed so many. Through seminars the staff learns the ways of the best chefs. Through events like the one this February 26th, B&L brings in the best talent to work with their team, teaching technique and respect to the process of eating and preparation.

We believe everyone should support St John’s Bread and Life in whatever way is significant to them. Without the safety net they provide people would go hungry. Whether it’s driving a truck into flooded neighborhoods during a hurricane or serving thousands on Christmas or Thanksgiving, your donation will go a long way. We encourage you to visit and learn more about them and to attend this amazing event this coming Thursday.

Please Visit

Bread and Live | Eat to End Hunger Benefit Event | Menu
Bread and Live | Eat to End Hunger Benefit Event | Menu

A Closer Look: The Heritage Turkey Project

Heritage Foods USA is proud to process over 10,000 heritage breed pigs a year, hundreds of lamb and goat, and even a few whole head of beef — all nose to tail, ensuring that every part of the animal is used. Through sales and commerce we are ensuring the preservation of rare breeds, farmland and independent farmers.  But year after year it is the Heritage Turkey Project that remains our most important intervention into the American food supply. For one, Frank Reese and his turkeys truly are one of a kind — no one breeds poultry better than Frank who stays true to 19th century Poultry Standards of Perfection. His rare Standard Bronze, Bourbon Red, White Holland, Black, Narragansett and Slate are renowned for their taste and are slowly becoming a larger part of the national food supply on Thanksgiving. We believe that we should eat less meat but that the meat we eat should be the best — no product better communicates embodies that idea than our Heritage Turkeys. Frank’s birds are pasture raised on the Kansas prairie and are never fed antibiotics. Intense, dark and rich with a steakish, balanced flavor and distinctive finish, heritage turkeys are unlike regular turkey in every way.



A Closer Look: Tallgrass Prairies & The Katahdin Lamb

The Katahdin/White Dorper is a crossbreed bred by Joseph Hubbard at Shannon Creek Ranch in the Flint Hills of Kansas. The Dorper has a lot more muscle than the Katahdin. Combined you get a meaty lamb with the mild taste of the Katahdin.

Heritage Foods USA considers the Flint Hills to be the best terroir for grass-fed animal farming in the U.S. The Flint Hills are band of hills that stretches from eastern Kansas into north-central Oklahoma, extending from Marshall and Washington Counties in Kansas in the north, to Cowley County in Kansas and Kay and Osage Counties in Oklahoma in the south.

Konza Prairie, Manhattan, Kansas
Konza Prairie, Manhattan, Kansas

Anywhere tallgrass grows makes for a great and sustainable terroir for grass-fed sheep, but what makes the Flint Hills our number one choice is that it boasts the most dense cover-age of intact tall grass prairie in North America and has blossomed into a mosaic of independent family farms— many of which are at the heart of the heritage breed movement.

Tallgrass is the food the prairie produces naturally in the absence of intensive row-crop agriculture. Unlike corn, tallgrass is not dependent on petrochemical fertilizer or herbicide, and its roots run deep below the thin layer of topsoil. It is potent, incredibly resilient, the all-you-can-eat salad bar for healthy sheep. And they love it, gladly eating pounds of the stuff every day.

Konza Prairie, Manhattan, Kansas
Konza Prairie, Manhattan, Kansas

The result of this robust food supply is a meat with a nice even ratio of intra- and extra-muscular fat, a clean taste, a natural delight. It is the taste of the Americas.

Varietals like Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Indiangrass, Switchgrass, Prairie Dropseed, and Sideoats Grama have stalks whose profound roots are able to pull moisture and nutrients from deep within the ground, making them the best candidates to withstand the drought and deluge likely to accompany climate change. They are resistant to all types of extreme weather, and they bounce back quickly, even from fires. And they do not rely on the dwindling power of the thin layer of topsoil to grow.

Taste Notes for the Katahdin  (what are yours?)





Spicy and peppery

Creamy fat

Barky and woody

The Katahdin is inextricably linked to Michael Piel of Abbott, Maine who had the brilliant idea of separating out the wool producing side of the lamb business from the meat side. Wool production took time and energy from both the animals and the farmers while only providing about 10 percent of the farmer’s income. In addition wool creates a more pungent and muttony taste in the meat.

Piel imported three hair sheep from the Virgin Islands and bred them with various breeds like Tunis and Suffolk in an effort to produce a sheep that excels in taste. The result of the crossbreeding efforts finally produced a flock so perfect that it became the foundation for a herd and eventually the Katahdin breed that is raised around the country. Piel named it after a mountain in Maine even though the breed excels in hotter climates. The Katahdin is known to live a long time while remaining productive. There are now a couple of hundred U.S. breeders of the Katahdin including our very own Chris Wilson of Clover Creek who has worked with us for almost a decade.

The Katahdin serves land conservation projects very well and are perfect for grass-fed systems like that found in Northeastern Tennessee where Chris has won awards for land conservation.

Heritage Foods founder Patrick Martins Wrote a Book! The Carnivore’s Manifesto

Patrick Martins new book.
The Carnivore’s Manifesto

I’ve always known that a book was needed to accumulate all the funny things I’ve experienced over the years working with great people and tasting great foods. I met my co-author Mike Edison while doing a show on the Heritage Radio Network, and I knew I had found a perfect communicator for these ideas.

The book is divided into 50 chapters, each one an observation about the national food situation, especially as regards to meat. One of the central tenants across all the essays is that our lives are better when we make the right choices through a heightened awareness of the world around us — of farmers and truck drivers and burger flippers and bar-tenders and of the food on the supermarket shelves; of our relationship to technology and nature, and especially, ultimately, to what’s at the end of our forks.

Our goal is to break the trend of fewer companies producing the majority of what America eats; to have more people and more farms producing more of our food; and to move away from shamelessly irresponsible commodity products to a healthy, high-quality alternative, no matter where you live, no matter what you do. Eating better meat will be more expensive. But perhaps as quality replaces cheap commodity, some people will end up eating less meat — which is not such a bad thing.

We are fighting for healthy diets and better lives, not for rampant, Paleolithic pig roasts every night of the week. And while we think meat is an important component of a healthy human diet, we aren’t just carnivore, we’re omnivore, and if that includes eating a pizza slice with strange pepperoni on it once in a while, at least we know exactly what we are putting in our mouths.



Foreword by Alice Waters xi

Introduction: The Revolution Starts Now 3

1. A Is for Apprentice 21

2. The $140 Turkey 27

3. Fuck Local, Eat the Best 30

4. Learn to Build a Fire 33

5. Survival of the Fattest 36

6. Commodity vs. Quality 39

7. Slow Food Is Fast Food 43

8. Merchants Matter 47

9. Bessie and Babe, Fluffy and Fido 53

10. Night of the Hunter 58

11. Têtoir: Feed Your Head 61

12. Twelve Great American Têtoirs 65

13. Give the People What They Want 78

14. Hello, I Am a Pig 81

15. Take My Ham, Please 85

16. You Can’t Avoid Processed Food 89

17. Eat an Endangered Species 92

18. Slow Business, Part I: Meet Me in the Middle 97

19. Don’t Make Ketchup 101

20. Nose to Tail: Let’s Grind 103

21. Not‑So‑Candid Camera 108

22. Sleep with Your Butcher. And Maybe Your Bartender. 110

23. And the Truck Driver Shall Inherit the Earth 114

24. Carlo Petrini 119

25. Sex Sells, or, For Every Season There Is a Meat 125

26. Let It Rot 131

27. Build a Slaughterhouse 135

28. Slow Down 138

29. Vegetarian, You Have Blood on Your Hands! 141

30. Take Back Lunch 145

31. Remember The Whole Earth Catalog! 148

32. Consider the Turkey 153

33. We Answer to a Higher Authority 160

34. I Am a Goat 163

35. Share the Shit 166

36. Healthy Animals Don’t Need Medicine 169

37. National Farmers’ Day 171

38. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is 175

39. Revolutionaries Wanted, Inquire Within 178

40. Ted Turner 181

41. Alphabet Soup 186

42. Don’t Be a Hipster Hater 190

43. I Am a Cow 193

44. Slow Business, Part II: How to Make Bread 196

45. It’s the Meat . . . 200

46. Splendor in the Tallgrass 203

47. Letter to a Farmer 207

48. Don’t Forget to Feast 212

49. A Fairy Tale 218

50. In the Year 2222 . . . 229

Essential Reading 235

Acknowledgments 239

Index 245

Grind 2: The Sequel

Cooking is easy. Mother Nature + the skill of a responsible farmer = the only recipe you should ever fuss over.

Rather than filling your shelves with epic recipe books, how about breed charts that describe the gastronomic wonders of every livestock variety? “One 32-ounce flank steak” as the prime mover in a recipe is not enough information for the enlightened carnivore. Where does that beef come from— farm and breed, please! And was it from a happy cow that led a decent cow life, grazing and doing happy cow things? Or was it a prisoner of American industry?

Cattle are a lot more nuanced than you might think. Dig this: Piedmontese and Belgian Blues are the only two breeds of cow that have the “double-muscle” gene, which makes them extraordinarily tender. And these cows are loaded with myostatin, a protein that inhibits muscle differentiation and growth. As a result, you get a supremely tender and delicious cut of beef. Contrast that with the Angus—which has more tooth and is especially good for dry-aging. The Simmental, a Swiss cow originally bred to stand up to thin air in the Alps, requires a serious knife and some sharp incisors when it comes time to eating. But its grain packs a lot of distinct flavor. The Akaushi is tangy with hints of blue cheese and olive oil. It has a rich aged flavor with a long aftertaste.

Being intimate with the supply chain is where it’s at, which is why Heritage Foods USA is an ingredient-based philosophy. Be a friend and fan of the beast. Food is very personal, and knowledge is power. And when it comes right down to it, it’s the meat, not the motion.

Let’s Grind! The importance of eating ground meat.

The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live.

— Confucius


Of an average eight-hundred-pound steer on the rail, I’ve seen between 20 and 80 percent turned into ground. It’s very simple: The more meat that is ground, the fewer pieces the farmer needs to worry about selling. There are a hundred ways to cut up a cow, but how great is it when the farmer only has to worry about a few?

This all goes for lamb as well — if domestic lamb is ever going to become a growth market (instead of our importing it from New Zealand), we need to eat more ground lamb. And it also goes for goats, a great protein source and a potential profit center for independent family farmers because goats are low-maintenance livestock.

You can even grind your own meat and bring the movement right into your home. Why not? Become an expert mixologist! A good grinder will bring new life to any meat. In the meantime, try our delicious ground beef or combo breed packs!

Our Top 3 favorite ways of using Heritage Foods USA ground meat.

To defrost, submerge in pot of cold water (about 20 minutes).

1.    Season ground meat with Omnivore’s Salt and mix together. Form into patties and add to hot pan (no oil) on very high heat. Brown the first side for just a few minutes then flip burger to brown the other side. Cook until just burgundy red on the inside (just a couple of minutes if flat patty). Add to hamburger buns that have been toasted with American cheese singles on each side.

2.    Start boiling water for pasta. Sautee a nice pile of garlic shavings in a small amount of olive oil until golden brown. Add tomato sauce and 3 chopped anchovies over low heat. Meanwhile, brown your ground meat over high heat in hot pan (no oil) just for a few minutes until evenly browned. Add to sauce and cook for 10 minutes. Serve over pasta (we recommend Baia Pasta!). Add salt and pepper to taste.

3.    Combine one and two and make two main courses for dinner.

For the sustainable food movement to make an impact on America’s most unhealthy eating habits, we are going to have to play the game of convenience and infiltrate the territory traditionally staked out by McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, and their ilk. The above meals take a few minutes to make and boast the lowest portion cost in the food world.

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