“Why is your meat more expensive than so and so’s? They’re both all natural, right?”
Yes and no.
All natural refers to the meat after it has been processed. According to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, “natural” can be used on a label as long as a product does not “contain any artificial flavor or flavoring, coloring ingredient, chemical preservative or any other artificial or synthetic ingredient; and the product and its ingredients are not more than minimally processed (ground, for example).” Under these guidelines, CAFO pork and chicken can be labeled all natural. Marczyk meats and chickens are antibiotic free (producers have been banned from using hormones for years so hormone free is a given) and free range. If you ever wonder, just ask!
Where do we get our fish?
We get most of our fish from Seattle Fish Company, a family-owned company founded in 1918. They are the Rocky Mountain region’s largest supplier of seafood, open 7 days a week. Seattle supports sustainable fishing, and is one of the first American companies to be certified by the Marine Stewardship Council as an official “chain of custody” supplier certified as sustainable from catch to consumer. This is a big deal! There are only a dozen fisheries certified with MSC, so not all the fish we get can carry the MSC label, but we do our best to bring in the best.
How about chickens?
We carry 2 kinds: Boulder Natural Meats brings us whole birds, breasts, wings, thighs. We make our “road kill” chickens: semi deboned and marinated; and our stuffed chicken breasts out of these. They are an ABF (antibiotic free), Free Range product. They are around $3.49/lb. The second chicken we carry is from a Bennett farmer, who also raises our heritage turkeys for us at Thanksgiving. He uses heritage breeds: Bard Rock, Jersey Giant for example. They are “prairie foraged”, which means they are outside and inside, pecking around in the dirt in addition to their feed. They are not a typical chicken: they are a little smaller, and have a very meaty texture and a deep chickeny taste. We have people drive from Boulder for these! These are sold whole, $5.99/lb.