The Real Costs of Cheap Food

Time magazine ran and excellent article on August 21 entitiled “Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food” by Bryan Walsh. Early in the article he point out “And perhaps worst of all, our food is increasingly bad for us, even dangerous. A series of recalls involving contaminated foods this year — including an outbreak of salmonella from tainted peanuts that killed at least eight people and sickened 600 — has consumers rightly worried about the safety of their meals.” I encourage you to read the entire article but I’m going to focus on food safety for now.

As we head into Labor Day and the final summer weeks of outdoor grilling, I feel compelled to share a very sobering number with you: “an astonishing 1,675,600 plus pounds of beef and ground meat were recalled since June 8, 2009” for possible salmonella and E-coli contamination according to US Food Safety. Some was distributed to Connecticut and could have been further processed into other products by the stores.

If you have some ground meat in your freezer that you bought at a local grocer, I recommend you follow US Food Safety’s advice to throw it out just to be safe. My motto is “when in doubt, throw it out” because E-coli can be deadly.

You have options for buying local meat! Here are quite a few farmers’ markets that have local meat vendors that do not use hormones, steroids or antibiotics and raise their cattle at least partially on pasture:

Fairfield Farmer’s Market at the Brick Walk on Saturdays from 9-12 counts Eagle Wood Farms as a vendor. You can call or email ahead to place a special order for pick up at the market. Call 860-379-5978 and ask for one of the owners, Bryan Woods or Dave Finn, or email them using their web form. My favorite so far is their baby back ribs.

You can also find Eagle Wood at:

  • Georgetown Farmers’ Market on Sundays from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Monroe Farmer’s Market on Fridays from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Please visit the Fairfield Green Food Guide’s Buying Guide for farmer’s market locations and other information.

Westport Farmer’s Market at Imperial Avenue
on Thursdays from 10-2 features Ox Hollow Farm, which just merged with Greyledge Farm and now bears their label. Contact them to place a special order you can pick up at the market. E-mail Tammie at
or call her at 203.263.6807 or 860.354.3315. The last steak we got from her was like butter.

Ox Hollow Farm is also a vendor at these farmers’ markets:

  • Darien on Wednesdays from 11-6
  • Ridgefield on Fridays from 3-6 pm
  • New Canaan on Saturdays 10-2
  • Branchville sells their burgers on Saturdays from 10-3, to go or hot off the grill.

Please visit the Fairfield Green Food Guide’s Buying Guide for farmer’s market locations and other information.

Rowayton Farmers’ Market at Pinkney Park on Fridays from 12-5 (new hours) offers Kinderhook Farm’s pasture-raised, grass-fed beef. This Hudson Valley, NY farm boasts “several hundred acres of rolling hay meadows and pastures allow us to raise our beef cattle on a 100% grass and legume diet that includes no grain, antibiotics, growth hormone, or animal by-products.” I haven’t tried this farm’s meat yet, but plan to soon.

What’s your favorite source for local meat?

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