MinnPost follows a steer "from prairie to plate"

Categories: News

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Christian Heindel/Flickr

MinnPost ran a great feature this week on Starbuck, Minn.'s Prairie Horizon Farms, a small organic beef farm a couple hours northwest of the cities which raises Australian Lowline Angus grass-fed cattle.

Reporter Mark Neuzil picks out one of the prized herd -- Larry, or #713-- and walks through the process by which the steer, how shall we say, "goes to market," with an emphasis on the hurdles small, organic farms must overcome in order to market their product.

They are complications Prairie Horizon is willing to take on though, especially after previously having a larger, dairy operation and the entirely different set of regulations and attendant costs that accompany that.

The article made me want to go back and re-read Michael Pollan's 2002 New York Times Magazine article "Power Steer," a significantly longer piece in which Pollan does something similar to Neuzil, though also something quite different.

Like Neuzil, Pollan follows an animal to slaughter, but in his case, it is a feedlot animal, so Pollan goes into great detail about the really rather gruesome details of a young calf's life as it is overfed and undertended as well as the corn and antibiotic industries behind it. It's a really worthwhile read.

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