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Anyone here know of, or have any experience with buying meat from a local farmer, or by a local business using Ontario farms?
I'm starting to want to become a more conscious eater with meat and get away from that area of factory farming and the like. There's an online service called TruLocal which I've considered and is interesting, and also this business called "A Cut Above", which is similar to the former, but I'm actually going to meet with a representative soon to go over specifics (and get a free steak for a trial).
Made me think to come and ask here if anyone has had any experiences with either business mentioned, or can mention one of your own! Even the idea of going to a farm to buy a portion of the cow/goat/etc is intriguing.. Anyway, let me know!!
 

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I've been using kloster's in Newmarket. He's got a guy who's really local and then another guy from a bit farther away - cant remember where.

I've tried a couple of local grassfed farmers and they can't butcher for shit.
 

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Plant based protein meals for me.

Actually our friends in Tottenham have a farm and my husband gets our beef and chicken from them. They are very conscientious about what they feed their animals. They are cows are grass fed and the chickens are free range.

How far are you from Tottenham?

PS I have a hankering for the new A&W plant protein based burger. It’s supposed to taste really good.
 

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Oh, Lola.....

I used to live in the old Tott Dot. It was kinda brutal, but I digress....

I went to some butcher that was kind of in the woods. There was blood everywhere - even outside in the snow leading from the door to all sorts of places outside and I thought it was fucked up.

They didn't hang the meat long enough, so whenever I thawed something, my fridge got covered in blood. Big waste of money.

I don't really care for grass fed, because it's hit or miss. You gotta start wondering if they've been eating the same grass they just shit on, because it tastes so bad.

Kloster's cows eat corn or potato and taste fantastic. I just did a flank steak up last weekend.
 

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I have bought from Metzger's meat in Hensall. They have had to expand to 5 farms to get their supplies. Why? because they have a great product and they are very strict on the way the animals are fed and treated.

For the most part, any meat in Canada being sold is inspected at the abattoir by a government inspector. They are also regulated on what they can be medicated with. Hormones and steroids are not permitted (which is why I laugh at the A&W ads that mention this because it is industry wide). If you are buying from a farm that does not use an abattoir and does it on site with no inspection, you are taking your own chances.
 

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Plant based protein meals for me.

Actually our friends in Tottenham have a farm and my husband gets our beef and chicken from them. They are very conscientious about what they feed their animals. They are cows are grass fed and the chickens are free range.

How far are you from Tottenham?

PS I have a hankering for the new A&W plant protein based burger. It’s supposed to taste really good.
Lola, I tried the Beyond Meat burger at A&W last week and even though it tasted pretty good I found the texture of the patty to be a little on the soft side. I'm hoping they'll improve things when it comes to that.
 

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Lola, I tried the Beyond Meat burger at A&W last week and even though it tasted pretty good I found the texture of the patty to be a little on the soft side. I'm hoping they'll improve things when it comes to that.
I read the nutritional specs on this burger and it’s really high in fat(29 grams (5 of this saturated)) obviously giving it the flavour it does have.

I will have this burger just once just to try. Too high in fat for my liking compared to a tofu burger. 500 calories(A&W) vs 125 calories for a tofu burger all though less grams of protein in the tofu burger.
 

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Plant based protein meals for me.
I was in Costco yesterday and they were handing out samples of veggie burgers made of plant based protein. I was tasting it before I knew what it was and to my surprise, it was terrible. Luckily, the next guys samples were pretty good. I said to him "will this take the taste out of my mouth of that veggie burger sample I just had". He laughed and it did.
 

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Lick’s had/has a good veggie burger that you can buy in the frozen food section. Not sure if they are still available anymore though.
 

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I will just stick to my tofu burgers. I crumble the tofu and add what I want to it. I let it marinate over night and then fire up the grill. It’s awesome.
 

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My cousin is using TruLocal and loves it. Speak to a small local butcher. Ours gets all of their meat from Ontario. You might also seek out Mennonites. I have friends that get together and purchase the entire cow from a Mennonite. It gets butchered, and flash frozen. But you can't be particular about what cuts you get.
 

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Likely your best bet is get family or friends together, find a butcher who does farm kills. Purchase a steer that has been finished for 3 mo. on grain, specify the meat is hung for min. 21 days, (28 is the norm). Visit the farm, watch the animals, pick the one you want.
The meat will be nicely marbled but if you're used to storebought pckgd and flash frozen 10 minutes after it was herded in beef you'll find the aged meat a much stronger, richer flavor.
Should you wish to do your own on the internet you'll find great resources from the Dakota state dept's about butchering, etc.

We do our own wild game and pigs, a pig is really not a big job. We don't dip them, just skin them. Split, break it down, cut your chops, ribs, roasts, hams and pkg.
Brine for 7 days and cold smoke our hams for 7 hrs with maple, you simply don't remember how good ham is(used to be). Vacuum sealer, cutting board, hand meat saw, meat tub(all avail from any htg/outdoor store).

If never butchered I wouldn't suggest starting with a steer, it's a very big job, like a moose. (that's the reason I mentioned pig; good first project(or goat/lamb if you prefer)). Takes wife and I 4 hrs to skin and break down a moose from the time it's dropped till the gamebags are loaded. In 4 hrs we can have a pig packaged and hams brining, just for eg.
 

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Yea, butchering is a big part of it.

Just promoting something as grain fed or organic or whatever is meaningless to me. I have a nice local supplier out here (Hoppcots) that stands behind all it sells - no 'stereo speakers out of the back of a van' specials there. That's important to me.

It's like amps. There are good handwired, small builder amps and their are crappy handwired, small builder amps. It's all about the builder (butcher) and their reputation, not the fact that it's HW, small builder. That can be good or bad.

To continue with the analogy, mass produced meat (Costco or SaveOn or whatever) can be good, too, if you know what to look for. Just like DRRI's and YBA1Mod1's. Probably never as good as the boutiques, but meat like amps, you really pay for the boutique part of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've been using kloster's in Newmarket.
I actually heard about this place online when I was looking up stuff, so it's nice to hear you backing it!!

Actually our friends in Tottenham have a farm and my husband gets our beef and chicken from them. They are very conscientious about what they feed their animals. They are cows are grass fed and the chickens are free range.
With good traffic I'm about an hour drive away from there, not too bad. Any idea on costs? Per LB/KG, or whatever method they use to add up costs..

I have bought from Metzger's meat in Hensall. They have had to expand to 5 farms to get their supplies. Why? because they have a great product and they are very strict on the way the animals are fed and treated.
Hensall seems to be a bit of a stretch for me, coming from downtown TO.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Likely your best bet is get family or friends together, find a butcher who does farm kills. Purchase a steer that has been finished for 3 mo. on grain, specify the meat is hung for min. 21 days, (28 is the norm). Visit the farm, watch the animals, pick the one you want.
The meat will be nicely marbled but if you're used to storebought pckgd and flash frozen 10 minutes after it was herded in beef you'll find the aged meat a much stronger, richer flavor.
Should you wish to do your own on the internet you'll find great resources from the Dakota state dept's about butchering, etc.

We do our own wild game and pigs, a pig is really not a big job. We don't dip them, just skin them. Split, break it down, cut your chops, ribs, roasts, hams and pkg.
Brine for 7 days and cold smoke our hams for 7 hrs with maple, you simply don't remember how good ham is(used to be). Vacuum sealer, cutting board, hand meat saw, meat tub(all avail from any htg/outdoor store).

If never butchered I wouldn't suggest starting with a steer, it's a very big job, like a moose. (that's the reason I mentioned pig; good first project(or goat/lamb if you prefer)). Takes wife and I 4 hrs to skin and break down a moose from the time it's dropped till the gamebags are loaded. In 4 hrs we can have a pig packaged and hams brining, just for eg.
That's very interesting!! I have never considered the idea of doing the butchering myself. That sounds like a cool idea, but definitely would be a learning process for me. I've been trying my hand at hunting for the past couple years (deer season only so far), and have been unsuccessful. Therefore I haven't learned how to butcher yet... :(
Also considered getting some family involved to outright buy a portion of a cow or something along those lines, just dont know where to go for that yet.
 
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