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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Women in Food: Camas Davis of Portland Meat Collective Preaches Virtues of Responsible Meat Eating

August 4, 2016 |
camas davis whole animal butchery portland meat collective photo credit shawn linehan

Camas Davis runs the Portland Meat Collective, which offers classes in meat preparation and seeks to inspire responsible meat production through experiential education. Photo Credit: Shawn Linehan.

In her quest to educate others on how to prepare and enjoy meat, Camas Davis of Portland, Oregon, seeks to change eating habits and help people see, and taste, the benefits of the whole animal.

“We’ve lost our knowledge of how to cook meat, and many people don’t know that all of meat is edible. We want to shift the way that people think about what’s edible, and we want to change habits,” Davis says.

A former food writer and magazine editor, Davis now leads the Portland Meat Collective, which has offered classes in meat preparation since 2010.

“Our main goal is to inspire responsible meat production with experiential education,” she says. The collective advocates meat slaughter that’s humane and transparent—no mystery meat here. Use of the whole animal means less meat goes to waste, and informed eaters have a better understanding of what they’re eating. Read More

Yes, Cattle Do Still Roam the Rolling Pastures of Orange County, CA

July 7, 2016 |
Frank Fitzpatrick, owner of Silverdo, CA-based 5 Bar Beef overseeing his herd of pasture-raised, grass-fed cattle. Photo courtesy of 5 Bar Beef.

Frank Fitzpatrick, owner of Silverado, CA-based 5 Bar Beef overseeing his herd of pasture-raised, grass-fed cattle. Photo courtesy of 5 Bar Beef.

Today, amidst the urban sprawl and paved over groves and ranches of yore, Orange County, CA residents might be surprised to learn that it is still possible to find cattle happily nibbling on grass and grazing the rolling pastures of 5 Bar Beef, a Silverado, CA-based ranching operation located in the Santa Ana Mountains. Residents can purchase 5 Bar Beef’s grass-fed, pasture-raised beef at several farmers’ markets in the county and online.

5 Bar Beef is something of a throwback, but the sustainable holistic grazing practices in use on the 800-acre ranch are entirely evidence-based — and Frank Fitzpatrick, owner and head cowboy in charge, believes that the techniques he uses offer hope for California’s water crisis and the planet at large. Read More

SoCal Pasture-raised Livestock Operation Finds Success by Getting People to the Farm

April 28, 2016 |
Murrieta, CA-based Primal Pastures is a family farm that sells pasture raised chicken, pork, lamb, beef, honey, and wild seafood. (Photo Credit: Kathi Bahr)

Murrieta, CA-based Primal Pastures is a family farm that sells pasture raised chicken, pork, lamb, beef, honey, and wild seafood. (Photo Credit: Kathi Bahr)

“We’re trying to take farming practices back 100 years, but put the business model 10 years ahead,” says farmer Paul Greive of Murrieta, CA-based Primal Pastures.

Greive and three of his in-laws founded Primal Pastures in 2012, starting with pastured free-range chickens. The small family farm has since expanded its offering and, in addition to poultry, now sells pasture raised pork, lamb, beef, honey, and wild seafood to its customers.

Primal Pastures is not an organic farm, but Greive takes pride in the fact that he and his fellow farmers employ regenerative and environmentally responsible farming practices that “go beyond sustainability.”This includes letting animals carry out their natural behaviors on pasture through rotational grazing to help restore equilibrium to soil. Read More

It’s (Still) What’s for Dinner, But Does Big Beef Deserve its Big, Bad Reputation?

February 15, 2016 |
A Limousin bull eyes the camera. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

A Limousin bull eyes the camera. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

Delicious hamburgers, succulent steaks and melt-in-your-mouth brisket—all are products of the massive American beef industry. We often hear about the costs, environmental and otherwise, of producing and consuming beef—on climate change, land use and water.

But is beef really as bad as all that? Some are pointing to improved environmental outcomes for beef production, at least in industrialized nations.

So what’s the truth about beef? The answer to that question is complicated.

Beef cattle use a lot of land… Read More