Tag: heritage foods usa

2015 Heritage Turkey Flock

Every morning it’s the same routine for poultry farmer Frank Reese. Frank walks several thousand turkeys from their barn out to pasture, where they spend the day foraging in the rolling Kansas plains. In the evening he opens the large barn doors, cuing the flock to head indoors where they can roost safely for the night.

Exercise and access to natural forage help to keep heritage turkeys strong and healthy. It also enables the birds to develop fat, nutritional content, and flavor. Not too long ago this was how all turkeys were raised, but Frank has gone to great lengths to preserve traditional standards of raising turkeys. Each year, as his flock is developing, he closely watches the birds mature. At the end of the season Frank will select the individuals with the most desirable traits to parent the next generation.

This yearly cycle drives the sustainability of Frank’s operation. All of his turkeys mate naturally, have a long and productive lifespan, and develop at a healthy rate – simple traits that really allow his flock to stand out from commodity production.

Follow our blog for more 2015 heritage turkey updates!




Slow Meat Symposium 2015

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




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.

Behind the Scenes | Asgaard Farm

We believe that good production comes from healthy goats eating healthy grass, and that’s also a perfect recipe for delicious cheese and meat!

-Stephanie Fisher, Asgaard Farm
Asgaard Way with Sign
If you have ever met a goat, you might have noticed their lively and boisterous personalities. The herd of goats at Asgaard Farm exemplify the rowdy persona we love about the goat.

Asgaard Farm, located in the green dewey slopes of the Adirondack Mountains, maintains forty-four head of milking goats rotated seasonally through pasture and wooden lands.

“We rotationally graze our all of goats, including our meat kids, on pasture during the spring, summer, and fall months. This practice is not only good for the goats as it provides them with the most nutritious and delicious food, but it’s also good for the grass.” says Stephanie Fisher, Farm Manager.

Female goats are bred in Fall. They spend the Winter resting up for Spring kidding season, which begins the yearly cycle of milk production. The milk from this herd is the basis for cheeses, caramels, and soaps produced onsite at Asgaard Farm.

Goats are surprisingly fertile, often birthing two kids. And for reasons you may imagine – it’s very difficult to milk a male. Heritage Foods USA started the No Goat Left Behind Project with the intention of creating a sustainable market for male goats birthed in the dairy process.

Heritage Foods USA is proud to collaboratively offer Asgaard Farms male goats this year.

Try a variety of delicious goat cuts from this single origin farm!

A RARE OCCASION: Asgaard Farm Goat Sampler Package
6.5lb, all cuts are individually packaged

MOFAD Roundtable: Future of Meat

MOFAD Future of Food
MOFAD Future of Food

Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014

Time: 6:00-8:00 pm

Venue: Manny Cantor Center, 197 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

Global meat consumption is projected to double by 2020 due to increased demand for animal protein and population growth. Other research suggests that livestock production accounts for nearly 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. If these accounts are accurate, we will soon face pressing questions of where our meat comes from and how it should be produced: Are current meat production methods sustainable, or are non-meat alternatives the right solution from an environmental perspective? Is eating insects ethical? How large a role should animal agriculture play in our food system? Should the ideal human diet include meat, or should we focus on decreasing or eliminating meat consumption altogether?

The answers to these questions are hotly contested, but finding solutions is in everyone’s interest. Join us at the next MOFAD Roundtable and add your voice to the conversation.


Mark Bryant Budolfson, Postdoctoral Fellow, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and

University Center for Human Values, Princeton University

Patrick Martins, Founder, Heritage Foods USA; Founder, Heritage Radio Network

Isha Datar, Executive Director, New Harvest

Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University

Moderated by Dave Arnold, Founder, Museum of Food and Drink

MOFAD Roundtable is a continuing series that will be broadcast on Heritage Radio Network and hosted on roundtable.mofad.org.

Get Your Tickets Here

Goatober is Here!

American Goat meat.
Celebrating everything Goat.

Americans LOVE cheese. Cheese consumption in the US has TRIPLED since 1970. This trend has been equally true for goat cheese. We’ve also begun to make more artisan cheeses at home here in the States, which is a point of pride for American cheese makers– but there’s still one thing we don’t do a lot of. Eat goat meat.

This doesn’t really seem like much of a problem but the goat dairy industry faces a very unique challenge that the standard dairy industry doesn’t. What do you do with male goats?

You very well can’t milk them, but unlike male cattle that have market value for what we will call their ‘burger potential’, male goats don’t draw the same demand. If high school economics taught us anything, we know that without demand farmers can expect to receive very little payment for what amounts to a lot of time and resources invested in raising these little goats. In the worst-case scenario male goats are ‘disposed of’ as early as possible to avoid spending money the farmer can’t recoup.

This is where the idea for No Goat Left Behind came from. Anne Saxelby, a New York based cheesemonger sought to find a sustainable end market for these animals. By guaranteeing farmers that there will be demand for male goats the farmers are now able to commit the resources needed to raise them through adulthood. This year marks the 4th anniversary of our Goatober project!

The most important variable in this equation has been the support of our many partnering restaurants and butcher shops. Without the commitment to incorporate goat onto their menus we would not have been able to generate enough support to sustain this project.

Having the support of so many well-respected restaurants and butcher shops has had a much bigger impact than we could have ever imagined. The impact restaurants and butcher shops have on driving trends in food is
unparalleled. We’ve seen interest in goat meat from the average customer grow every year since the inception of No Goat Left Behind. We want to thank everyone who has helped make this project successful, and thank all of the participating restaurants and butchers for their trust, vision, and leadership.

For more information about Goatober and all of our seasonal projects visit our Projects Page!

The Best Buttermilk Roasted Chicken Recipe

Brining chicken in a buttermilk bath before frying it to crispy golden-brown perfection has been a long standing southern tradition, but did you know using buttermilk to brine your chicken will produced juicy, fall off the bone tender result when roasted in your over too!

Buttermilk does two amazing things for chicken– It’s acidic composition tenderizes the meat, while the long soak in a flavorful bath imparts juiciness and flavor.

Just about any chicken recipe can benefit from an overnight brine in buttermilk, but we have been head over heel for this simple but delicious buttermilk roasted chicken recipe.

Before I break it down I have to say that there really is no substitute for time with this technique. Brining for 2 hours in buttermilk will make a tasty chicken, but it wont have anywhere near the same impact as a full 24 hours. Despite the long lead time, this recipe couldn’t be easier. Plus, with a little strategically placed foil this might be the easiest clean up of the week! In just 30 minutes you will have delicious, juicy, fall off the bone tender chicken perfectly brown by your oven. So try it out at home and let us know what your think!

The Best Buttermilk Roasted Chicken Recipe

2 cups of buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons of kosher salt (use a little less if you’re using table salt)
1 1/2 tablespoons of honey
4 cloves of garlic peeled and smashed
2-3 pounds of heritage chicken broken down into pieces
fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Whisk together the buttermilk, salt, honey, garlic, and black pepper in a large bowl. Combine with chicken in a large ziplock being sure to get out as much air as possible before sealing. Let rest in your refrigerator overnight or for 24 hours.


This recipe calls for the chicken to be broken down into pieces but I like to spatchcock or butterfly my chicken instead. This is a very easy process, yielding all the benefits of breaking down a bird with a fraction of the work. It is easiest to do with kitchen shears but will also work with your knife. Simply use your shears to cut along either side of the back bone. When you have made it down both sides and the backbone is removed, flatten the chicken out so that the breast is facing up and both wings and legs are spread out in different directions.

When you’re ready to roast, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Remove your chicken from its buttermilk brine and arrange on a baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and crispy. Serve immediately. Pairs wonderfully with salad, rice, or roasted vegetables.

Buttermilk Roasted Chicken
Beautifully browned and tender!
Buttermilk Brined Chicken
out of the brine and ready for the oven!

Rare Breed Heritage Chicken Tour

Good Shepherd Chicken

Last summer we launched our Rare Breed Heritage Chicken Tour – an effort to revive 24 rare, heritage chicken lines and create an alternative market for non-industrially bred chicken.  We partnered with Frank Reese, the country’s preeminent poultry farmer, to show our customers what real chicken tastes like.

Heritage Foods USA is now offering a rotation of 24 heritage chicken varieties every 3-4 months.  Numerous heritage breeds of chicken are on the brink of extinction and we must create a market for them by eating them. Heritage Foods USA is the only place you can taste these special heritage birds today.

Heritage chickens are breeds that have been around since before the industrial era.  Their genetic lineage has been preserved from genetic modification.  Heritage birds grow at a healthy rate, while industry chickens are genetically manipulated to grow at an unnaturally fast rate that is harmful to the skeletal, cardiovascular, and immune systems of the bird.  Industrial chickens are bred as dead end animals that cannot reproduce or survive on their own.

Mr. Reese explains, “It is not the antibiotics. It is not the hormones. It is not the feed. It is the genetically engineered animal” that makes the difference in the poultry industry.  If we focus on animal welfare while ignoring the genetics of these birds, we are not changing a thing. 

Mr. Reese’s poultry not only look and taste different from commodity poultry; his birds have double the protein and half the fat.  He told us, “The skinnier the bird, the longer the leg, the darker the meat, the higher the nutrition. The bigger and fatter and plumper it is, the more worthless the meat is.”

Conventional Chicken vs Heritage Chicken Nutrition Facts
Conventional Chicken vs Heritage Chicken Nutrition Facts

So far we have offered Colombian Wyandotte and Rhode Island White. Next up is the White Leghorn coming in early spring. After that we have many more varieties including New Hampshire, Silver Penciled Plymouth Rocks, Dark Brahmas, Black Jersey Giants, Golden Penciled Hamburg, and many more!

Heritage Chef Steve Pope Prepares Fried Chicken

Laura’s Summer Picnic Fried Chicken is one of our favorite recipes.  We find it particularly well suited to our Columdian Wyandotte  Chickens.





There is nothing that can compare to home fried chicken. Laura Reese could kill, pluck, clean and fry a chicken before you could get to, and from, local Chicken Shack in town. She had a way of cooking chicken that you’d swear it was God sent. Her culinary talents were uncomplicated but by no means uninspiring. Her cooking was no family secret, she simply had mastered her craft by repetition. Laura had a big well seasoned cast iron frying pan that was a family heirloom. By combining basic elements her cooking was delightfully and deliciously predictable.


1 selected Good Shepherd Ranch Heritage Chicken™

1/4tsp pepper

¾ cup flour

½ cup butter

1 tsp salt

cooking oil

¼ cup water

Cut chicken into halves or quarters. Wash carefully and pat dry. Shake in bag with flour, salt and pepper. Place in cast iron skillet with pre-heated cooking  oil  and brown on all sides.  Remove grease from skillet and then dot the fried pieces with butter, then add ¼ cup water , cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes or until done. When ready to serve turn heat back up to medium high and cook the chicken uncovered for 5 minutes turning to increase surface crispness.

Heritage Chef Steve Pope knows that American culinary traditions are tied to preserving Heritage Animals.These animals get to live as they are supposed to with plenty of outdoor space and time to grow and develop. This means a more flavorful bird, but it also means relearning how to cook a real chicken. He has worked with our friends at Good Shepherd Poultry to craft recipes specifically for Heritage Chicken and Turkey.

You can find many of his recommendations and recipes on his website here http://www.heritagechef.com/


Heritage Cowboy Chicken

So you’ve just gotten your Columbian Wyandotte Chickens and are looking for some recipe ideas. Here’s another great one from Chef Cheryl McCleary:

_cowboy chicken


1 3 to 4 lb Whole Heritage Chicken
1 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp Sugar in the Raw (can use brown sugar)
2 Tbsp Ground Chili’s (ground roasted New Mexico chili’s)
1 Tbsp Large Grind Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Five Spice Powder
½ Tbsp Granulated Garlic
½ Tbsp Onion Powder
½ Tbsp Lemonade Powder
¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
¼ tsp Celery Seeds

½ cup Melted Butter
½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
½ cup Honey


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients for rub and set aside until you prepare chicken. Cut chicken in half down center on back, open it up and lay it flat. Put light coat of olive oil all over chicken, on bottom side of chicken (would be the inside) lightly cover with rub. On top side of chicken generously coat with rub. Put seasoned chicken on top of broiler pan, bake to 165 degrees internal temperature. Turn oven up to 450 degrees to crisp the skin cooking until chicken reaches 175 internal temperature it take about 5 minutes, take chicken out of oven, glaze, let rest 10 – 15 minutes and let internal temperature rise to 180 degrees, glaze one more time and serve.

Remember, Heritage chickens cook differently than supermarket birds, so times and temperatures may need to be adjusted based on your oven.

Summer Grilled Heritage Chicken



By Dick Bessey

1 Columbian Wyandotte Chicken

2 tsp salt

Olive oil for coating grill

Cut chicken into pieces and sprinkle with salt. Heat grill to low to medium heat. Coat grill with some olive oil to prevent sticking. Lay chicken skin side down on grill and cook for about 15 minutes until the skin is nicely browned. Flip pieces over and cook another 15 minutes. The chicken is done the moment you cut it and the juices run clear (The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 165 degrees, but many of our chefs say a few degrees less is safe with Heritage chicken).

Serve with your favorite grilling sides and beverages (everything from beer and potato chips to champagne and grilled asparagus) and enjoy!

Page 1 of 212