I had the pleasure of taking a tour of the Marin Sun Farms Butcher Shop with the NorCal Paleo Meetup Group back in December of last year and I'm finally getting around to sharing some tidbits from that experience with you! Let me being by saying that I probably fuel myself on protein that's roughly 50% sourced from Marin Sun Farms including pastured chicken, 100% grass-fed and pasture raised beef and lamb as well as pork and various chicken parts and organ meats that I feed to PaleoKitty.
My favorites include ground beef, ground lamb, chicken legs/thighs, lamb stew meat and beef london broil that I use for making jerky at home. I recently discovered that Real Foods here in San Francisco is selling a selection of meats from Marin Sun Farms and I nearly fell over when I saw it in their little cold case. PEOPLE! If you live in San Francisco and can't buy from the farmers market, PLEASE buy this meat from Real Foods! If we don't buy it, they won't keep stocking it! But I digress…
My experience at the Marin Sun Farms Butcher Shop was fairly uneventful, which I think is a good thing. We put on hair nets and our small group was led through the 2-room operation by Jim who you'll hear from below. We saw where the carcasses enter the facility, where they are hung to wait for butchering, and also the around five or six guys there working on breaking all of it down. That was it. It was small, it was clean, and it was a fantastic little place. I only wished that I could buy a case of meat right then and there, but it's not a store, just the butchering facility.
Here are my 5 Questions with Marin Sun Farms:
1. What's the biggest difference you see in the type of operation that's run at Marin Sun Farms versus most commercial farming operations that supply our large, national grocery store chains or fast-food establishments
The biggest difference is the quality and freshnes of the product. A farm to table company will provide a fresh product that has not been sitting in a warehouse for a few weeks. At Marin Sun Farms, we provide product that we actually cut from the carcasses that are delivered to us weekly. The cuts are custom, according to what the customer wants and orders.
2. How have you seen the market for pasture raised animal products change over time?
People are becoming more conscientious of what they are eating and where it comes from. They are concerned for sustainability and for consuming a product that they know is natural. Our product meets both of those needs.
3. If there was one thing you'd want people to know about Marin Sun Farms that they may not fully understand or appreciate about why pasture raised meats are more expensive, what would it be?
People have to understand that the whole philosophy of a local food shed encompasses farm-to-fork and everything in between. Our cattle are 100% grass fed, pastured raised and never given any artificial growth hormones or stimulants. Our cattle are not given grain, they roam freely in the pastures and never set a hoof in confinement feedlots.
4. What's your best advice for someone who is budget-conscious but wants to support farms like Marin Sun Farms and feed themselves or their families pasture raised products?
Buying our product is not only for heath conscious people, but also for those who care about our earth and its natural resources. We must consider our health and our earth and possibly cut down on other expenses in our lives that may not be as crucial and spend that on ourselves and supporting companies like Marin Sun Farms.
5. What's your favorite cut of meat and how do you like to enjoy it? (how do you cook it, sides, etc.)
My favorite is the Rib Eye or New York steak. I like to grill it outside, sear both sides and then cook it rare. Some asparagus and maybe some garlic mashed potatoes are my favorite side dishes with the steak.
Your Name: Jim Moffett
Your Title/Position: Sales
Favorite part of your job: Working with customers
About Marin Sun Farms
From the Marin Sun Farms website:
“David Evans (MSF Owner) and the Evans/Grossi Family operate ranch properties in Marin and Sonoma counties and also co-produce livestock with other nearby ranchers who are critical in filling in our own seasonal gaps and limitations in production.
No animals are ever given artificial growth hormones or stimulants and are guaranteed to be free of antibiotics. We guarantee our ruminant livestock are 100% grass-fed and pasture raised their entire lives, with no consumption of grain, by-product supplements, or ever setting hoof within a confinement feedlot. read more..
Our non-ruminant, mono gastric, omnivorous chickens are pasture raised and allowed to choose their diet from the pasture and grains, that we provide.”
Find Marin Sun Farms online or in the SF Bay Area:
Not local to the Bay Area?
You can order grass-fed meat online from Grassland Beef here!