Hi, Friends. It’s Head Hen Lucinda here, and today I want to talk about something, or rather someone, who is very near and dear to my heart, the family farmer. I was raised by them, I’m married to one, and now I partner with more than 100 of the best around to bring you the highest-quality meat money can buy.
You see, here at Moink, we’re not just about delivering really exceptional meat. We’re also dedicated to supporting these often unappreciated, but so very important, hardworking men and women, and shining a light on what’s really going down with our food system. While only 2 percent of Americans are farmers, last time I checked, 100 percent of us gotta eat. Our mission matters, to all of us and our children!
THE PROCESSING PREDICAMENT
Today’s family farmers face major hurdles when it comes to harvesting their animals. Current law prohibits states from setting their own inspection rules, and any meat processed via custom slaughter (aka with artisan processors in independent facilities) can’t be sold commercially. There aren’t many USDA-approved facilities, and it isn’t cheap to do business with them.
Small farms have to go the same route as their bigger competition. This system keeps the family farmer down, and Big Agriculture on top (That’s why four companies control 80 percent of the American meat supply!). This also means many farmers work so hard to raise their animals in a humane and compassionate way, only to be forced to send them off for a traumatic and inhumane end. The long trip to the slaughter house is stressful on livestock, and it affects the quality of the meat. Everyone loses.
PRACTICING WHAT WE PREACH
Currently, our Missouri hog farm partners with Janel, one of Moink’s chicken farmers on the western side of Missouri, to carry out a “resting lot” solution for keeping our animals as calm and comfortable as possible all the way until harvest time. Janel transports her birds three hours to our farm, where they can rest for their final days before processing at a USDA facility 10 miles from us. Likewise, we deliver our pigs to Janel’s farm to rest before they are moved to a nearby hog processing facility. I know it sounds like Janel should just raise hogs and we should raise chickens, since the processing facilities are close to our farms. But our land has the right combination of woodlands and pasture for the piggies, while Janel’s land is better suited for chickens.
All of this to say, we go to a lot of trouble to make sure our animals are given a life worthy of their sacrifice, even up to their final hours. When we take field trips to Moink farms, our partners tell us story after story about the similar lengths they are going to in order to do the same. You see, when we use the terms, “ethically-sourced” and “humanely-raised,” we’re not just talking the talk. We do everything in our power to make our animals’ lives as happy and healthy as possible, from start to finish.
THE PRIME ACT
First introduced two years ago, the PRIME Act is a bipartisan bill that would allow each state to set its own rules for harvesting and processing livestock, as long as that meat is sold only within the state’s borders. It is designed to get the USDA out of the way so small farmers using artisan processors have a shot at getting their meat to market. While the bill doesn’t solve all the issues with state and federal inspected facilities, it’s a major step in the right direction of keeping meat local, and giving farmers the freedom to do business with less-expensive processing facilities. It means they can spend less time, energy and money transporting their animals great distances and jumping through federal hoops, and they can pass the savings on to consumers. Win-win!
TENDER-HEARTED CARNIVORES UNITE
Hey, I get it, talking politics is a bit taboo, and nowhere near as fun as sharing dinner recipes and waxing poetic about the joys of pure bacon. But the reality is that government has a major impact on our food system, and it’s up to us to advocate on behalf of the family farmer.
In the long run, on-farm processing is the most ideal solution, but we think the PRIME Act would help pave the way for farmers to do their work in the most holistic and compassionate way possible. I hope you’ll join us in supporting this very important bill. If you have a moment, please consider reaching out to your state’s representatives to encourage them to get behind the PRIME Act.
Learn more about how you can help here.
And if you still haven’t tasted our ethically-raised, humanely-treated, and downright delicious meats, what are you waiting for? Order a Moink Box today!