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Pastured is Better than Organic – Open Book Farm

Open Book FarmWe had a wonderful visit at Open Book Farm with Mary Kathryn and Andrew Barnet. The West Frederick Farmers’ Market community is blessed and fortunate to have them as a new vendor for pastured pork, chicken, turkey, eggs and 100% grass-fed Black Angus beef cattle.

I am grateful that farmers’ markets are not just for fruits and vegetables anymore. One stop shopping!

Pastured is the label of choice. Labels and words are quite confusing. At times one does not know what is good for you and what is not. Pastured is in and the label to seek out when purchasing meat to feed you and your family. A pasture is open land available for animals to graze on grass and other plants rather than being raised indoors. This model is sustainable agriculture at its finest.

Imagine, if you were a chicken, would you prefer to eat only organic/non-GMO feed, live in an indoor pen, in artificial light, and be constantly bumping into other chickens? Or would you wish to spend your life outdoors, in nature, where you had room to walk on the earth and peck for bugs? All Open Book chickens are pastured, fed either a diet of certified organic or non-GMO feed. Non-organic, pastured is ok!

During our tour we saw laying chickens, broiler chickens, turkeys, pigs, and cattle in the fields. The animals have access to ~30 acres of land, thus they graze in various pastures. Space to roam. The pigs and the cattle were doing absolutely nothing. They were content to lay in the shade and enjoy their Sunday afternoon. I was told that in summer, animals are more active at night feeding than during the heat of the day.

The farm animals can do what ever they want: move, walk, explore, sleep, play, or eat the grass, vegetation, and bugs. It is picturesque and lovely. There were no disagreeable odors. Two Great Pyrenees dogs protect the animals.

I often recommend Food, Inc. a documentary on how food is mass-produced in the United States. What is striking is the abuse to animals in the factory farms. The images of cattle in the feedlots and sick chickens in poultry barns are ingrained in my brain forever. It was a turning point in my life. I love animals and as a non-vegetarian, I want to ensure that they have only one bad day in their lives. During my graduate studies in nutrition, I was learning the health benefits of eating 100% grass fed beef (higher content of Omega-3 fatty acids) and pastured chicken (healthy chickens with less potential for harmful pathogens).

I am now enlightened and eat similar to generations before me, prior to corporate farming controlling our food supply. Pastured meat from Open Book is fresh, local, and tasty. Try it and your taste buds will be happy. There is no need to be fussy. Fancy recipes and ingredients are not necessary. Often all I use for seasoning is sea salt and pepper. Anyone can cook! Mike, my partner often laughs when I say, “this is SO good”. He smiles and replies, “yes I know”. Together we share a steak and have leftovers. He remembers the days when it would have been a steak for one. Quality wins over quantity.

There is a downside. We rarely eat out. In restaurants it is often an unknown where the meat was sourced and how the animal was raised and treated. Food-to-table is the new buzz. Have you noticed that every restaurant proclaims to be food-to-table? Beware, unless you can identify with the farm providing the food on the menu.

Mary Kathryn and Andrew are thrilled to share with you their farming vision and practices. Stop by their booth at the West Frederick Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. to purchase their meat, raised on fresh, green pasture and with love. Visit their virtual farm.

Jump over to my nutrition consults page and let’s set up a time to chat about how pastured meat can optimize your vitality. Feed your body with meat, a dense source of high quality nutrients (protein, fats, vitamins and minerals including iron and Vitamin B12). Do you feel heavy, bloated after eating meat? Perhaps you could benefit with some digestive support. I can help!

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