Farm to Fork Traceability Protects You From Fraud and A Comforting Sauce Recipe For Tonight …
Here is a reminder that you still have some time to get your orders in for the weekend, we’re extending the order time to 12:30 today – get your order in and Sam will bring you your food for the week-end….We are fully stocked on beef, full stocked on lamb (new stock arrived yesterday) and we still have some chicken left. There are still Ambersky chopped vegetable packs in, great for quick but comforting week-end Winter cooking.
Wensleydale clementines and apples are in..the clementines especially have been consistently fantastic, I cannot find a more flavourful clementine anywhere else, I’m going to feel very sad when the season ends..if you’ve been disappointed in the past with the lack of punchy flavour in clementines….order Wensleydale ones currently and put yourself through what I call an emotionally corrective experience:)
Natter and Chatter..
I’ve been scarce this week, I know!
I’ve been riding rather low of late for a collection of not very interesting reasons like swine flu, school holidays and riding some emotional highs and lows…just ordinary life I guess.
I’m also in a very intense period of introspection about this space, what I mean to achieve with this business and where we can improve.
I’m spending so much time on logistics that I’m not getting enough time for the as critical piece of serving the Jozi Real Food Revolution through helping create a platform of sharing, community, education and food activism.
So I’m quietly working on a new way of thinking about my role here and how best I can free up more time to get us all together, to do more cooking, to do more farm visits with you, to do more face to face interaction and spend proper time with you connecting all the players in the real food revolution that slowly but surely gathers momentum.
Over the next 3 months, there will be transformation in this space that frees up some space for me to do a lot more of that.
Food Fraud – Telling It As It Is..
Yesterday I was reminded of the value in just telling it as it is.
There is fraud in food. Have I been bitten? Yes. Have I come across misleading marketing about organic food? Yes. Have I been burnt? Yes. I’ve learnt the hard way that one of the principal needs in this revolution is direct traceability to a farm and 3rd party assurances where the distance is great, where there is a conflict of interest or any potentiality for something being represented as anything other than what it is. And assurances that you as the consumer can check outside of the retailer so that you are assured the wool is not being pulled over your eyes, This is critical in the revolution about how we buy and sell food and how you need as a consumer to play a more active role.
That is why you’ve seen in the past year, our commitment to direct farm relationships and quality assurances. The assurance of 3rd party audits is mission critical.
Real Farm To Fork Traceability – What That Looks Like..
That is why we are committed to Kalahari Certified Grass Fed Beef and Keith Harvey. There are registered standards for this meat that ensures that it is a pure grass fed only beef protocol. We can prove that the meat is what it says it is because SAMIC (South African Meat Industry Company see www.samic.co.za) audits these farms to make sure that what they sell us is exactly what they say it is. There is no way with this audit, that a farmer could claim grass-fed for example yet stick an animal in a feedlot for the last few weeks of its life and still call it grass fed. This an entirely misleading practice but it happens. This is my way of protecting us from any such fraud.
I was chatting to Keith yesterday about how far we’ve come and how we’re finally hitting a place of great stability with this process Kalahari Beef and he was telling me how well the audits work. When SAMIC audits him and any contributing farms to the Kalahari Beef Certified Grass Fed stamp, they don’t give him any warning. They just arrive. I smile, because I know we have meat here that we can trust, a wholly veldt reared animal. When the carcass arrives at the HACCP approved (the highest international standard for food hygiene practices) facility to be cut, we get the tracking number of that animal, the carcass is checked to see that the Kalahari Beef Certified stamp is on it so that they know it is coming off Keith’s farm. We check the tracking number from the deboning plant, that it correlates with a Kalahari Beef Farm. We have become neurotic about this practice, this is proper farm to fork traceability.
This is also why we are so committed to Karoo Meat of Origin (www.karoomeatoforigin.com) for the lamb. Their protocols and standards that ensure that it is Karoo Lamb, are registered like Kalahari Beef’s, with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, registered with SAMIC and audited in the same fashion so that we know you are getting a wholly veldt reared animal from a genuine Karoo Farm.
This is the standard and quality of produce, we are committed to. I dedicate the rest of my working life to the endless pursuit and improvement of sustainable farming and food.Equally, I will support any farm and any business, that adheres to standards like this.
Shortly, we will have the same assurance for pastured chicken so that we can have an independent audit proving that it is what it says it is.
I will be posting up the Kalahari Beef Certified Grass Fed Beef standards up on the blog during the course of the day.
Do Your Own Check..
You are also welcome to call SAMIC (www.samic.co.za) and check that there are approved, registered and audited standards for Kalahari Certified Grass Fed Beef and for Karoo Meat of Origin. You can even ask them to mail you the protocols and check the fine detail of what gets audited for these standards so that, without me, you can check that your meat is what it says it is. As a business selling only the best food from the most sustainable farms, I want us to sell wholly veldt reared animals on indigenous shrub, bush, grasses or veldt.
An Invitation To You..
Where that isn’t possible as that is the gold standard of sustainable farming but not widely available, we will bring you the next best thing and make sure that free-range is actually meaningful by our own definition and yours. I’ll give it to you, as it is, and you decide if it’ a farm you want to support. I’d also like to involve you when we draw up protocols, so in the near future, I will set up information evenings where we can meet, cook, and make sure that we understand the protocols for what we are selling and involve you in drawing up new ones when we do.
I need to finish off now though to remind you that you still have some time to get your orders in for the weekend, we’re extending the order time to 12:30 today – get your order in and Sam will bring you your food for the week-end….
Stay Warm…I’m making a mushroom sauce tonight for Kalahari fillet using Mandy’s cream from her grass-fed cows….it’s a treat in our household because it is unbearably delicious…but it does have sherry in which isn’t something I want in my diet everyday…still, you can leave it out of this recipe altogether and you’ve still got a great sauce…
Simply – slice up your mushrooms of choice – chop up 2 cloves of garlic – throw a knob of Mandy’s butter into a pan and throw in the mushrooms and garlic and crank up the heat. This part is tricky with mushrooms..you have to be standing there..your mushrooms need to be in a single layer in a hot pan, if they touch and the pan is over crowded, they start steaming and releasing liquid – not ideal – they taste the best when you fry them on high heat quickly so that they don’t get a chance to lose liquid and steam and go all limpy and poofy (love that word:))….when they are going golden on the outsides, throw over about 1/8 to a 1/4 cup of sherry…it will bubble furiously over the mushrooms – leave it for a minute or two, then reduce the heat, add a heap of chopped fresh thyme and then a pot of Mandy’s cream…stir the cream through until warm….serve this over anything – over fillet, over a Kalahari steak (heavenly), over Mandy’s chicken….over a tray of roast vegetab les….with pasta….endless…in fact if you served this in a tea cup it would be great! 🙂
I need to dash…..see you again a bit later with a link to the blog with all of the Kalahari Beef standards on…and to those that are avid Kalahari Beef supporters, I’m working on getting us altogether with Keith when he is next up in Joburg around September so that you can meet him, we can have an evening of chatting to him about his farm and cooking up the grass-fed beef….we’ll have some fun…it’s been a very serious year so far but we’ve earned the right to lighten up. I’m going to place more focus on getting us together and creating a more active and robust community…and because you’re reading this, you’re already invited:). I am in a space of transformation right now, like when a caterpillar cocoons, transformation is messy, chaotic, dark and not all that pretty, but when the butterfly in this process gets released, we will have something new for the revolution and I’m inviting you to come with me…
Stay warm, Stay nourished..