Live Real. Eat Real.

White Feather Meats

I’d promised more about our adventure acquiring Chuck (our nickname for the side of grass-fed beef), and here it is.  I’ll try to make it interesting, but…well, today is one of those days when there just isn’t enough coffee in the state of Ohio to knock the menopausal brain-fog out of me.  :)

When I called Jon Berger and asked about buying some of his pastured beef, he suggested we pay a visit to White Feather Meats in Creston, Ohio – the people who process his beef exclusively – and buy some in their retail store before we made up our minds.  So we did, and we were very pleasantly surprised by what we found.

White Feather Meats

We’d been in the retail stores of a local beef farmer before – bustling places with huge counters stuffed with just about every kind and cut of beef you can imagine and people waiting in line to be served.  This was not our experience when we arrived at White Feather one Saturday morning at about 10 a.m.

First, there were no long counters full of meat waiting to be weighed and wrapped, just several freezers full of vacuum-packed meats, a small counter and a window into a back room that was dark and quiet.  A tall, dark-haired young man who introduced himself as Seth Perkins greeted us and asked if he could assist us in any way.

Seth's Brother, Scott

And assist us he did – answering all of our questions patiently, not only about their relationship with Green Vista Farm but their own business, which isn’t confined to Jon’s grass-fed beef.  In addition to processing and selling the products of many local farmers, including beef (both pastured and grain-finished), pork, lamb and some chicken, they also raise, process and sell their own bison.

Bison Steaks

It’s darn tasty, too.  Yup, in addition to several cuts of Jon’s pastured beef (which included a brisket) we bought some ground bison along with a couple of bison steaks, a bison brisket and some bison stew meat (I’m going to make chili with the stew meat in the fall).  We were so impressed with the quality of the beef and bison, we’ve been back several times and purchased pork chops, sausage, bacon, lamb chops and ground lamb – I haven’t gotten around to the lamb yet, but I have to tell you the pork we’ve purchased is so good that we’re going to source a whole pig through White Feather, as well.

Yummy Ground Bison

It isn’t just the taste and quality of the meat we’ve purchased that has made us such strong advocates of White Feather Meats and the Perkins family, it’s their passion for and knowledge about what they do.  On one of our subsequent trips to their farm, we spoke to Seth and his brother Scott about their processing methods and just couldn’t have been more impressed.  They explained to us, chart in hand, about the various cuts of beef, where they came from on the steer (only steers go to market as beef) and how they should be cooked.  These young men also did a marvelous job in explaining the advantages of pastured beef – so much so that they accomplished something in twenty minutes that had taken me weeks:  convinced Beloved that this was absolutely the right thing to do.

Cutting to customer specifications

I was also very upfront in questioning about their slaughter methods; Scott, in turn, was very upfront about answering.  Not only are their methods humane, they far exceed the USDA requirements as outlined in the Humane Slaughter Act.  They are also USDA certified, which means there is always a USDA representative on the premises during the slaughter process.  All of the meat is then dry-aged for at least 14 days in temperature-and-humidity-controlled facilities before it is cut to customer specification, vacuum-wrapped in USDA approved material and quickly frozen.

And they don’t prevaricate or fabricate in order to gain business – when I asked if the pork they sell is pastured, Seth was quite honest in answering “No.” But, he explained, the farmer they do business with treats his animals ethically – they are housed in clean, uncrowded living spaces, never given growth hormones or treated needlessly with antibiotics and are never fed any of the dangerous garbage and GMO-laced feed that are the normal diet of industrial, CAFO animals.

“We wouldn’t do business with him otherwise,” Seth said.

All reasons we are vocal advocates of supporting small, local businesses, ethical and sustainable farming operations and the folks at White Feather Meats.  They have loyal customers here at the Sushi Bar.


16 comments

Pseudo says:

I think I need to research how to get this quality grass fed meats here in Hawaii.

LPC says:

Great post. Although I bet it was the cool gear that convinced Beloved:).

Mama Badger says:

Slowly, slowly I’m coming around to grass fed meats. We might have to take a road trip to White Feather.

BE says:

What I like most about White Feather Meats is the people. Not only are they damn nice people, but you can tell that they love life and love what they do. They would probably be surprised that I consider them (the whole family) to be among the best salespeople I have ever met in my life. I guess that’s what makes salespeople great – they aren’t selling, they are just telling you what they do, love and why. I will remain a loyal customer because I LIKE doing business with them. While knowing your farmer & processor is among the most important things to keep local I wish I felt this way about more people I do business with everyday; that or maybe White Feather will keep expanding! Anyone for pastured fish?

Damn, bison is expensive! I think I’ll stick to ground turkey and beef for a while longer..

How fun! I wish we had a little bit of country somewhere around here … but no, we definitely don’t!
When I was a kid my mom did buy a cow from someone. A dead cow. But … that was many years ago now and I have no idea where a person would go around here. We don’t see many cows on the beach!

BE says:

Oh, did I mention that Chuck tastes GREAT?

When we decide to move, we might have to move where they have grass-fed beef. Maybe even the ‘happy’ grass your other post showed… ;)

Duchess says:

When I was a very young Duchess that Old Woman (who wasn’t quite so old in those days) bought half a cow, stored in the freezer in the basement. Each cut was wrapped in white paper, and my recollection is that they were wholly unlabelled, so that dinner became a kind of Russian Roulette — or so it seemed to a child who thought fillet (or even chuck) was just fine, but offal was a fate worse than death. Anyway, I swear that cow must have been gifted in languages, because it seems to me that we ate an extraordinary amount of tongue…

I love farmers so much. I love what they do and how they are part of making our nation such a great place to live!

So glad we could learn about this process with you. My Uncle and Aunt have cattle and they often get one steer a year for their freezer.

Linda says:

Our first purchase from Whitefether meats was to purchase a half cow from a friend of mine that worked at the same printing company I did. He also sold eggs at the time under the name Whipple Farms. I do not know if they still produce but I admire your purchase!

I found this really intersting. My younger daughter has worked on an island farm many years, and she’s sold me on the grass fed beef. It’s really hard to get here, and expensive. I’m hoping this will change somewhat as people start to become more educated about it. It does taste good!

Merci beaucoup for all the glowing feedback! We (almost) feel as if we now have halos radiating round our heads!

What a blessing to meet and deal with customers, such as the two of you, who not only hunger for good food, (after all, “Good food isn’t cheap; cheap food isn’t good”); but, are folks who care to learn and know the process.

The more of our knowledge that we share with the “Meat-eating Community”, the more they share with others!

Contrary to a lot of the stories circulating in today’s media, there are many, ranchers, farmers, and processors, like us, who care deeply about what goes into the animals what goes into the package; and, what goes into your freezer. We care so deeply at Whitefeather Meats that we like to tell our customers and clients: “We wouldn’t put anything on your plate that we wouldn’t put on ours!” It’s totally true and you totally have our word on it!

In closing, we did a great job confusing our family and friends by naming our six children, (3 boys and 3 girls), with “S” names: Sean, Shannen, Sarah, Seth, Scott & Stacy, (the last two being a set of twins); that it seems only fair that we should mention that Seth’s brother “Scott”, (the red bearded one), is the one in the photo.

May God bless you & may all your meals be happy!

Bunny Perkins
Whitefeather Meats

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