Stems and All

My journey to buy less, consume smart, use what's there.

“Red Meat” is actually “Green” – and in a Good Way


Red meat, when done right, can be very green. In a good way.

I had the amazing pleasure of meeting the owners and workers of True Grass Farms a few weekends ago, where we picked up our 1/16th of a cow, and shared a plate and glass with the other proud owners of our shared bovine at their second “Harvest Festival”. Here’s Part I of my journey to own a (partial) cow.

guido true grass farms ranch

Guido, owner at True Grass Farms in Valley Ford, California

There were about 20 of us in total, assembled from all around Northern California. We came together from various areas, ranging from Lake Tahoe to Oakland to Half Moon Bay, to share a meal and pick up some beef.

farm table true grass farms

Farm table on porch of farmhouse, True Grass Farms, Valley Ford, California

We were also given a tour of the farm, including a walk into the pasture where we were greeted by Steer 101, and other gentle beasts.

It was very clear: these cows are loved, respected, and treated insanely humanly. They are rotated every day to a new pasture, which is good for the cows and good for the land. They are never spooked or shooed, but rather they are gently coaxed to their next grass feast.

carpaccio appetizer at true grass farms

Carpaccio appetizer at Harvest Festival cow share pick up, True Grass Farms

And on the menu for lunch? Beef. And lots of it. At one point in my life, I would have found the experience of seeing live cows roaming in the pasture one moment, and eating slices of carpaccio the next, a bit morbid and wrong (I was, after all, against my mothers wishes, a vegetarian from age 10 to 20).

But now, I actually found the whole experience to be, well, ‘honest’. It felt good to know where the beef in our freezer was coming from, and to know that it was raised in a very sustainable and green way, and perhaps more importantly, humanely treated upon slaughter.

I’ve made the decision to eat red meat periodically, which I believe can be done even on a journey to becoming ‘green’. And while I pay a little more per pound for “green beef”, I would rather eat it a little less frequently, but know the acres of land where it once roamed.

cow share at true grass farms

Rob getting our share of cow from Evan and Guido at True Grass Farms Harvest Festival

Author: Jane Newcomb

“Stems and All” is my personal journey to become a more environmentally responsible human, live a more sustainable life, and practice sustainable consuming habits.

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