I just finished watching Food Inc and am thinking I need to rethink my sources of food.
Does anyone know where I can get grass fed Beef, free range chicken and other natural meat products?
Also have heard of partenering with farms to have them deliver part of their crops to your home weekly. Does anyone have any details concerning that.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I know a couple of butchers at both Jean-Talon Market & Atwater sell various types of organic & other non-conventionally raised meat.
For deliveries from farms, check out this section of Equiterre:
Les fermes d’élevage
7075 Avenue Casgrain, Montreal, QC H2S, CA
just google CSA (community supported agriculture) and you'll find a ton of links, ones that review specific farms and break down costs....I've seen a lot for ontario but I'm sure they're out there for Quebec as well
...you didn't happen to watch this film in a classroom setting today, did you?
Obviously the meats at places like Prince Noir, Porc Meilleur and Veau Charlevoix are of higher quality than that coming from the big slaughterhouses but it's not necessarily grass fed. They do not contain anti-biotics or hormones and again obviously that's a better option than supermarket meat by far but do we know anything else about how these animals sold at these stores are raised and what they eat?
I know the chicken breast at Prince Noir is soy and corn fed, is that really any better? I've bought meat a couple of times at Ferme Vincent but I find it a bit too too expenisve, the other stores I list above are a bit more reasonably priced but what are we really getting?
All I really know and what I'm told by the shop keepers is that it all comes from smaller local farms in Quebec, does anyone have more information? I can't see these small Quebec farms being anywhere close to those disgusting monster farm factories in the US but I'd still like to know more.
Food Inc was great, having read Fast Food Nation and Omnivore's Dilemma it was cool to see the stories from those books in documentary form.
@zhuuls, the link that kpzoo provides for equiterre lists all CSAs in the montreal area.
@mtlmaven, the equiterre link is only in french. If you are unable to use it, let us know where you live and we will help you find who delivers in your area. Also, if you plan on participating in CSA, make sure you do so as soon as possible as there are limited spots and some farmers sell out pretty quickly.
We split some replies about Food Inc. over to our Food Media & News board, as they didn't have any connection to Quebec food specifically. They're off topic here, but we didn't want to lose the conversation. If you want to continue that discussion, please reply here:
ios94 I am going to try and not be long-winded plus the infos noted are from the last time I checked which means practices might have changed.
- Porcmeilleur is milk/grain-fed pork, no antibiotics no hormones but they are neither organic and they're animals are barn-raised. The quality is generally really good and I know that they care about the type of operation they run, plus you can get all manner of offal and such. The store only carries meat from their own production.
-Veau Charlevoix sells product from an association of farms in the Charlevoix region, they are by definition smaller farms again not organic although it's important to note "Agneau de Charlevoix" is the first product in North America to benefit from an I.G.P., which is the equivalent of a the European A.O.P. so there are clearly defined guidelines in order to raise the animals which are transparent for the consumer. Again the quality in my experience is good and it's a least closer than some unknown Styrofoam package in the supermarket.
-St-Vincent AFAIK the butcher shops sell a mix of what is produced by ferme St-Vincent and the rest is from various organic farms around the province. It's the only one that carries strictly organic.
-Prince Noir is a butcher shop with no particular affiliation which does not mean bad or good I just mean that the sell an astounding variety of meats from numerous sources so the selection is great but in order to trace the products it's trickier.
Being able to trace where your meat comes from can be difficult, it’s often a question of trust and a matter of building relationships. Asking lost of questions and engaging in conversations with said butcher/retailer if they are so inclined) most butchers purchase from packers/abattoirs/large distribution, there are exceptions but the majority do this. Besides I think it can't be black or white. For example which is better the organic certified farmer or the farmer who does not use Gmo's hormones and who raises his animals as naturally as possible but who does not want to go through organic certification because he will occasionally treat his animals in necessary? It’s up to you to decide.
Thank you cricklewood. I have spoken to Porc Meilleur and Veau Charlevoix employees in the past but not in any deep engaging conversation (which I should), it was more them just telling me "our products use no hormones, no antibiotics but we're not certified organic".
I think the fact they told "we don't use hormones and antibiotics" was enough for me to keep shopping at both PM and VC plus the quality and taste is always there. But now I'm curious as to how they are raised and what they are really fed which you helped answer.
Yah, I had lamb from VC a while back, it was terrific as was the one from St Vincent.
Is St Vincent's beef strictly grass fed? I wish the prices were slightly lower, I can't yet bring myself to pay $70-80/kg for a a rib steak, although I did buy some ground beef from them this past weekend which made some excellent tasting burgers and meat loaf.
Some earlier discussion on local sources for grass-fed beef and on Fermes St-Vincent in particular:
grass fed beef
Quest for beef and salmon
Grass Fed Beef; Free Range Chickens; Local Veggies