Friday, February 22, 2008

Sources for local beef

Check out MAP-O-LICIOUS for links to the websites!

On our homepage you can click on "farms," that will bring you to the map.

This month has meat eaters upset. First, Mark Bittman wrote an article in the NYTIMES called "Rethinking the Meat Guzzler" (if you missed it, click on January posts just to the right of this column on this web page and you'll find it) and then there was the recall, the largest ever, of meat. There is an alternative to factory farms. Here are the names of local farmers raising beef, please look on the website map for more information and to contact the farmers to learn more. Each farm is unique.


Balsam Hill Farm
D & R Beefalo
East Mountain Farm
Elmartin Farm
Farm at Miller's Crossing
Foggy River Farm
Hemlock Farm
Ioka Valley Farm
Leahey Farm
Moon in the Pond Organic Farm
Sky Farm
The Farm at Miller's Crossing
Whippoorwill Farm

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Local Food tastings Friday Feb. 22, 2008 at Wild Oats in Williamstown, MA

Williamstown, MA, To demonstrate the variety of local foods available to Berkshire County residents, Wild Oats Market will hold tastings and demos from local food suppliers throughout the day on Friday, February 22. Wild Oats invites anyone interested in learning about and/or sampling delicious foods from local producers to stop by the store that day. Wild Oats Market is located at 320 Main Street in Williamstown and is open from 8:30 am-7:00 pm.

Visitors to the store will have the opportunity to sample wild blueberry spread from Benson Place, artisanal cheeses from Cricket Creek Farm, pizza from Berkshire Mountain Bakery, salsas from Desperados Restaurant, as well as many other scrumptious items that are locally grown and/or made. The Grand Opening of the Wild Oats hot bar takes place that day, and free samples will be available from the store's new hot bar as well.

“As a small, local business, we’re in a good position to source local food suppliers and offer their products on a regular basis. And as a co-op market, we support all forms of sustainability, including systems that sustain the local economy, such as buying and selling locally grown and produced items,” said General Manager Michael Faber. “Our local growers and other producers have some great products. We want people to know about them.”

*Wild Oats Coffeehouse February 22, from 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m.*

Wild Oats invites musicians and anyone who enjoys acoustic music to its first-ever coffeehouse on the evening of February 22. For more details, or to sign up as a performer, please contact Robin Riley at 413-458-8060, or email Robin at . The coffeehouse will take place in the café, and refreshments will be available for a small donation.

*Wild Oats Market is a member-owned, cooperative-based whole foods market that buys extensively from local and regional natural and organic food producers. One need not be a member to shop at Wild Oats, although membership offers several benefits. The market carries a wide selection of organic and naturally-made products, including: meats, eggs, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, breads, pastas, oils, cereals, juices and chocolate. In addition, the store offers a fresh grab-and-go deli and freshly baked breads, rolls and pastries on-site. Wild Oats Market also carries healthful supplements and body care products, as well as environmentally-friendly household supplies.

Local Night at The Red Lion Inn Thursday Feb. 21

Every third Thursday, the Lion’s Den Pub at The Red Lion Inn is hosting a Local Night extravaganza, emphasizing the Inn’s commitment to buying locally. On the 21st, the Lion’s Den will offer a special of Beef Stew with Toasted Ciabatta Bread for $12.00 (the beef is from a regionally raised 4H prize winning steer).
Continuing the theme of supporting local businesses and merchants, the Den will offer Barrington IPA at $3.00 a pint. Barrington IPA is produced by Barrington/Berkshire Mountain Brewery in Great Barrington.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Williamstown, MA's Exciting Read and Eat Activities

Copy and paste this link for even more details.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Greener Pastures: The Benefits of Sustainable Agriculture

This photo sent by Jesse Robertson-DuBois of Holiday Farm in Dalton, MA features pigs eating grass -- an alternative to hog factories.

The Union of Concerned Scientists explore and demonstrate:

How grass-fed beef and milk contribute to healthy eating

Americans love their beef and milk. With about 70 percent of the population consuming one or the other several times a week, the United States is the largest beef producer and one of the largest dairy producers in the world. But this love affair has serious consequences for the health of consumers, the environment, and the cattle themselves.

Many people assume that beef and dairy cows spend most of their lives happily grazing in grassy meadows. The reality is that most cattle in the United States spend significant parts of their lives in crowded feedlots with hundreds or thousands of other animals, eating feed that contains large amounts of grain (primarily corn). While cattle on pasture rarely get sick, those confined to feedlots and fed grain are prone to disease and most feedlot operators routinely feed antibiotics to prevent illness and to accelerate growth. This, in turn, increases the risk of antibiotic resistance in humans. In addition, air and water pollution stemming from dust and mountains of feedlot manure, and the many fertilizers and pesticides used in grain production, exact a heavy toll on the environment and the health of farmers, farm workers, and nearby residents.

Fortunately, there are better ways to raise food animals. Raising cattle on pasture lessens environmental damage, improves animal health, and reduces antibiotic use. Over the past decade, numerous scientific studies have shown that the meat and milk from pasture-raised animals are higher in fats that may confer health benefits on humans. To confirm how strong the findings are, UCS undertook the first comprehensive comparison of fat levels in beef and dairy products from conventionally raised and pasture-raised animals. Our report, Greener Pastures: How Grass-fed Beef and Milk Contribute to Healthy Eating, presents the results of this analysis and examines what health benefits food producers could promote on their product labels.

READ MORE ON the Union of Concerned Scientists website: copy and paste this: