Winter is upon us here in the Northwest, and as the fall season comes to a close visions of winter stews, casseroles and braised meats begin to dance in our minds. And it’s during this time that most of our area’s pigs, cows and lambs are brought to our excellent abattoir, Thunder Bay Meat Processing, located in Murillo. Here's some basic Q & A’s about local meat:
How do I buy local meat?
You can purchase your local meat direct from a farmer. The most economical way is to purchase a portion of the animal (quarters or sides) or a smaller “meat pack” where you get a variety of cuts for one price/pound. However, some farmers do sell their meat “by the cut” and it’s available at the Thunder Bay Country Market, the online store, Superior Seasons Food Market (www.marketstore.locallygrown.net) or from the True North Community Co-op (inside the Green House on Bay St.). Some of our local independent grocers and butchers are now carrying local meat – make sure to ask for it!
Is local meat safe?
Our abattoir is fully inspected and approved for beef, pork, lamb, rabbit and some game. Our local meat farmers are “small-scale” producers. This means that animals are pastured, and each animal can be monitored for general health and well-being. You also have the opportunity to ask the farmer specifically how they are feeding and raising their animals.
Why can’t I get local poultry?
Thunder Bay Meat Processing, our local abattoir, is not approved for poultry. Also, current poultry quota regulations restrict how many birds a farmer can produce making it difficult economically to raise poultry.
Why is local meat often frozen?
There is a season to everything, including meat. Because our local meat production is done on a small scale, animals are not constantly being brought to the abattoir. There is a season of growing and a season of harvesting just like our fruit and veggie crops. Therefore, most meat is frozen directly after butchering, and in this way, we can purchase most local meat all year long. However, fresh cuts are becoming a bit more available. Talk to your farmer or local butcher for more information.
So as you settle in for your "long winter's nap", pick up a local pot roast, cook it low and slow with broth, local onions, garlic, carrots, winter squash and potatoes. Let the aromas fill your home all afternoon long, gather friends and family and warm your bellies with some delicious, seasonal, Thunder Bay grown food. Our farmers thank you!We’d love to help you out with resources, advice and recipes: email@example.com
Visit one of the producers listed here to find great fresh, fair food.