VSL:FOOD // Know how your sausage gets made

Carnivorous gourmands tend to know approximately what part of the cow their steaks come from — but not where the cow itself was raised. The online meat supplier Wholesome Harvest fixes that. Established in 2001 by a young Iowan farm wife named Wende Elliot, the website connects you to 40 small farmers and allows you to trace each package of poultry, pork, or beef back to the farm and farmer that raised it. Know, for instance, that your Black Angus steak once roamed the fields of Bill and Mary’s farm in central Iowa, and that your chicken once flew around a coop belonging to Homer, an Amish farmer in the mountains of western Maryland.

None of this would matter if you couldn’t taste the difference. But compared with the misery of poor corporate-feedlot animals, the grass-fed, free-range, happy-go-lucky lives of these animals endow their meat with a stronger, more flavorful taste. You can buy from individual farmers or, if you wish, join the meat-of-the-month club for $101. If the prospect of 16 pounds of organic mystery meat landing on your doorstep doesn’t excite you, nothing will.

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VSL:FOOD // Know how your sausage gets made