Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Working at a local market and interacting with customers often reminds me of how small this world can be. You begin to make unexpected connections with people because you share a common interest or life experience. You get to know family and friends or favorite foods that keep people coming back - like fried chicken on Fridays. It all starts with opening your mouth and saying hello. What comes next is anyone's guess.
The most recent surprising interaction I had with a customer began when he asked if a specific cut was Five Dot. For those of you who don't know, Five Dot Ranch is where the majority of our beef comes from. We like them because they're based in California and are a seventh generation business. They raise cattle hormone and antibiotic free like all our meat.
I was surprised that this customer knew Five Dot because most people aren't especially well-versed in their ranchers. But as it turns out he owns a beautiful 1,000 acre property in Napa that Five Dot grazes a 100 head of cattle every year. He told me he likes Five Dot because they're careful about not overgrazing and allow the cattle to eat only what grows naturally. That means they use no supplemental food or water. The customer also eats Five Dot because he knows what the steer eat. And it's good stuff! He sent me a few pictures of the cattle grazing his land to show exactly how good it is (see above).
I was thankful to hear this story because it shed light for me on the origins of the beef in our shop. I think we're all trying to better understand where our food comes from and how it is raised, farmed, caught, etc. In that quest we begin to make smarter choices about what to buy and consume, and we realize just how small the world of food can be. Why look any further than our own backyards?