Learn about the joys and challenges for a small-scale producer and a small-scale processor within in our current food system.
On Sunday Oct 1, we’ll visit pig breeder, Adam Arenburg, and his registered Berkshire pigs, in Seffernsville, on Route 12. A few years ago Adam started to raise a pink pig or two to feed his family. Now he is passionate about pigs, specifically about this Slow Food ‘Ark of Taste’, and now-rare, Berkshire breed. https://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/ark-of-taste-slow-food/berkshire-pig/
Adam is dedicated to keeping the genetic integrity of his animals and to their well-being. He is a director of Rare Breeds Canada, https://www.rarebreedscanada.com/and looks forward to talking with us about the joys and challenges of being a small-scale producer in our current food system. (Clean footwear please)
Then it’s Peasant’s Pantry deli in New Ross, for lunch from the menu at their outdoor picnic tables (seating for 48!, weather permitting) or indoors (15 seats when all available) PLUS a conversation on the same theme with chef and owner, Joseph Crocker, who produces over thirty types of charcuterie and other specialty meat using local meat but also offers butcher cuts and a menu for eat-in/take-out all under one some-what small roof. On the menu for vegetarians, a Yellow-Eyed Bean Falafel with yogourt, spicy harissa sauce, cucumber, red onion and tomato on flat bread.
Date: Sunday Oct 1 Rain or Shine.
Time: 11:30 am visit to Adam, and an afternoon lunch at Peasant’s Pantry.
Location: Seffernsville and New Ross, Lunenburg County, Route 12.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and phone number. Note that we will be mostly outdoors for both parts of the event.
What is ‘Slow Meat’?
‘Slow Meat’ is a Slow Food campaign to raise awareness among us eater/ co-producers about better, cleaner, and fairer consumption habits, and to value and promote small- and medium- scale producers who work with respect for their animals’ welfare and the environment. Slow Meat is Good, Clean, Fair meat!
Good, Clean, Fair Meat
Good Meat grown in ways to encourage maximum flavour. This includes slow growth rates, pasture grazing, high quality wholesome feeds, breed selection, and pre-slaughter handling. As much as possible nothing is added or taken away from the meat. Any curing process uses natural ingredients and traditional methods as much as possible.
Clean Every step from production to consumption is designed to protect the environment and be as sustainable as possible. This includes pasture management, the use of pharmaceuticals, slaughtering, processing, packaging, marketing. All practices protect biodiversity and the agro-ecological systems they are part of. Practices safeguard the health of the animal, the producer, and the eater/ co-producer.
Fair Production systems are designed to respect animals and ensure the highest level of animal welfare. Human players in the system are able to work in conditions respectful of their rights. All should be adequately compensated for their know-how and labour. Practices are respectful of local traditions and cultural diversity.
The whole campaign can be summed up as eat less meat, eat better quality meat.
What does this mean for producers?
- Choosing regionally-appropriate animals. Choose species and breeds best suited to the local environment and climate
- Providing access to pasture and outdoor foraging for all animals, whenever the climate permits. Supplemental feed must be high quality and as local as possible.
- Animals must be able to live their lives free from hunger and thirst, free from pain, illness, injury, discomfort, free to express normal behavior.
- Using animal husbandry practices to maintain optimal health. Prevention is the best medicine Antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals may be used when absolutely necessary, however legal withdrawal periods must be doubled.
- Slaughtering locally. Slaughterhouses should be small and as local as possible. On farm slaughter should be practiced whenever possible.
- There is a close relationship between farmer and animal. Regular hands-on husbandry encourages better animal welfare and respect for the animals in the farmer’s care.
What does this mean for consumers?
- Eating less meat. Choosing meat from smaller farms with high level animal welfare and sustainable practices.
- Choosing different species and breeds. Trying new kinds of meat, and making varied choices to encourage more diversified production.
- Eating nose to tail. Utilizing all parts of the animal, and trying out new and traditional recipes to make each part shine.
- Paying more for your meat. Cheap meat is an indicator of externalized production costs at the expense of animal welfare, product quality, working conditions, and the environment.
- Remembering that Local is best. Choosing the meat that is produced closest to where you live whenever possible.
- Being curious. Asking questions to find out how your meat is being produced, and whenever possible going to the farm and seeing it for yourself.