Local, REAL Food

Last week, I was thinking about my grocery list.  With payday being yesterday, I wanted to have everything in order once the check hit our account so we could resupply the fresh foods that we consume in mass quantities.

As I started to prepare said list, I got to thinking about the summer.  We’re going to start some chickens this year, and we want to get a real garden in the ground this year.  While this’ll help some with our monthly food bills, I still found myself pondering a CSA.  We have a couple farm markets near us, but the food isn’t always local, so I was curious about our options.

After a Google search, I happened upon Going Local: Indiana Local Food Guide.  I thought I was going to dance right out of my seat! While I didn’t seem to find much of an answer when it came to fresh, local produce, I DID find a company that isn’t too far from me, and their items looked promising.  I fired an e-mail off to the company’s e-mail contact, and within short order, I received a detailed and courteous reply

The farm, Vogel Certified Organics, sells grass-fed beef and lamb, pastured pork and chickens, eggs from pastured chickens and a large selection of dairy products made from raw, “organic” grass-fed milk.  There’s only one catch (if you want to call it a catch).  In Indiana, we’re not allowed to buy raw milk for human consumption.  Our state in it’s infinite wisdom doesn’t seem to think that we consumers can make important choices about the foods we eat, so they “protect” us by making the sale of raw milk illegal (when it’s intended for human consumption.)

Vogel Certified Organics does a very fine job of holding to the letter of the law.  When my dear friend went on a shopping trip for me yesterday, she purchased:

  • 3+ pounds organic, pastured pork
  • 2+ pounds breakfast sausage made from said pork
  • 1+ pound of real lard from said pork, not the hydrogenated garbage you get in the baking aisle at the store
  • 5 dozen eggs (from their pastured hens)
  • 1+ pound of sharp cheddar cheese made from raw, grass-fed “organic” milk (which is allowed in Indiana because it’s been aged for more than 90 days)

But most impressively:

  • 1/2 gallon raw “pet milk”
  • 1 quart “pet” heavy whipping cream
  • 2 pounds “pet” yogurt (which, amusingly enough, says “For dogs or cats or both” on the label)

Now, I have dogs, and I have cats, but I certainly wouldn’t find myself concerned if the milk “accidentally” ended up in my kids’ cereal or the cream “accidentally” ended up in my coffee.  I’m the one making the choice, right? (I can tell you though that it does taste a lot better than the dog food I tried eating as a kid.)

I can’t wait to try some of the other items that came from the farm, and I’m so thrilled to know that I have another source for beef when my grass-fed quarter runs out.  Eating that kind of food is EXPENSIVE, but it’s SO worth it for us, even when money is sometimes at a premium.  I feel so blessed that I’m in a position where I can make those kinds of choices.  And I couldn’t be more thrilled that we found a good farm that’s close enough to us to make it worth our while.  (While we don’t drive to Franklin much, my dear friends live in Franklin and visit us often.  I plan to contact the folks at the farm though and see if they’d be willing to let us bring our kids for an educational visit.)

Real food gets real people real freedom!

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