Locally made meat substitute takes the world by storm

Unhappy with the options for providing wholesome, nutritious meals to her growing vegetarian family, Lancaster resident Laura Lapp decided to take matters into her own hands.

“I was reading the label of a popular meat replacement one day when I realized, ‘This isn’t even real food!’” she says. “It was then that I decided to start experimenting with ingredients in my kitchen.”

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Countdown to PF3: Meet Sweet Stem Farm

Philly Farm & Food Fest is almost here! A partnership of PASA and Fair Food, the event brings together regional farmers, unique food producers, and sustainable businesses and organizations. We're counting down the days to Sunday, April 14 with videos of exhibitors you can expect to find at this year's PF3. To learn more about the event, check out our exclusive event guide. And don't forget to buy your tickets. See you there!

Don’t let their name fool you – you won’t find any plants in Sweet Stem Farm products. What you will find, and what keeps customers coming back for more, is locally and humanely raised, pasture-fed meat. At year’s PF3 booth, Sweet Stem will feature different cuts of their famous pork and samplings from their new line of gourmet sausages. Eating locally means sourcing your food from regional farmers working on all stages of the food chain. There are few farms more dedicated to the project of raising humanely treated, delicious, local meat than Sweet Stem.

Recipes: Snout-to-tail movement

The Simplest Pot Roast Ever

This recipe is from Long Way on a Little: An Earth Lovers’ Companion for Enjoying Meat, Pinching Pennies and Living Deliciously, by Shannon Hayes (Left to Write Press, September 2012, grassfedcooking.com).
The secret to this recipe is a good sear, followed by time in the slow cooker with very little liquid, resulting in concentrated beef flavor, and intensely flavored sauce. Serves 4-10

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Whole-y Cow: Philly cowshare makes purchasing beef snout-to-tail a cinch

If the snout-to-tail movement sounds more like an ideal than a realistic approach to cooking, Jessica Moore, founder of Philly CowShare (PCS), wants to help. PCS sells 100 percent local, grass-fed, dry-aged beef to both retail and individual customers. The cows, guaranteed free of growth hormones and antibiotics, come from local farms in Lancaster, Chester, Delaware, and Mercer counties. But it’s not just the product that makes PCS unique, it’s how you buy it—in eighth, quarter, half, or whole shares. “Our business model revolves around the concept of moving whole animals,” explains Moore. The CowShares are designed to accommodate different sized families, and provide a variety of cuts for easy incorporation into meal planning.
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The Whole Hog: Philadelphia meat farmers embrace the snout-to-tail movement

Standing next to meat hooks and the cage where bison, cows and pigs are fatally stunned in the first step of meat processing, Jay Smucker talks about his work. “We really enjoy what we do,” says the manager of the family-owned Smucker’s Meats, a slaughterhouse in Mount Joy, Pa. Smucker isn’t referring to the slaughter, but rather to the enjoyment of operating a small-scale, USDA-inspected facility that handles only seven animals per hour (big meat plants typically process around 1,000 pigs an hour). Smucker takes pride in providing a crucial service to link farmers and their consumers and, as he explains, “being good stewards of what we’ve been given.”
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Meadow Run Farm


The strongest prosthelytizing tool in a food sustainability advocate’s bag-o’-tricks might just be a farm fresh egg. Crack that thing open into a hot skillet and watch onlookers gasp in awe at a yolk the color of a perfect Florida orange.

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How to Braise

The best thing about cold weather is ending the day with a rich, hot plate of food. So, there is no better time for braising—the low and slow method of cooking that produces deep, comforting flavors. Meat is one of the more obvious choices for braising, but you can also use fish or vegetables.

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