One of the most common questions we receive from prospective shareholders is, “What is a Meat CSA?” For those who are completely new to the concept, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a program designed to create a symbiotic relationship between farmers and their community members. The farmers benefit from the local economy and the community members benefit from fresh, locally grown produce. It is a growing concern for many people to know where their food comes from, that it is of high quality, and grown in an ethically and environmentally responsible way.
Most CSAs function in a similar fashion. Shares or subscriptions are sold seasonally to members on a first-come first-serve basis. Depending on the scale of the farm or CSA program, deliveries or pickups are made on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. Over time, many communities and farms have benefited from the rehabilitation of this relationship. It allows farmers to spend more time focusing on food quality and reducing food waste, as opposed to spending a large portion of their efforts on distribution.
Traditionally CSAs focus on providing locally grown produce. Here at The Genuine Food Company we sell shares of what is known as a Meat CSA. It’s the same concept as a produce-based CSA, but instead of ethically grown produce, we raise free-range, grass-fed, and humanely treated cattle and pigs. Meat CSAs have been slowly popping up across the country in response to the poor treatment of animals in factory farms and the low quality of meat produced in them.
Our animals are treated with respect and get to enjoy the outdoors in their own natural way. We’ve found our cows get excited when the first blades of grass start showing in the Spring and our pigs often choose fresh milk over hog food. The superior quality of grass-fed beef and milk-fed pork should be enough to convince anyone to join our Meat CSA. The next time someone asks you, “What is a Meat CSA?” All you have to say is, “Try a bite.” That is, if you’re willing to share.