Farmstead Meatsmith Releases First Instructional Video

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

A few months ago, I posted about Lauren and Brandon Sheard, a young and passionate couple from Seattle, Washington who founded Farmstead Meatsmith with the goal lay one more step on the path to a new food culture by reviving the traditional practice of homestead meat provenance.

The loss of consumer contact with a local butcher whom they know and trust is one of the most damaging aspects of the rise of factory farms. The “butchers” of today are really not even butchers — they are simply specialty grocery workers who receive prepackaged and precut portions of meat off a delivery truck and arrange them in a desirable manner in the meat cooler section of the store.

Most consumers have sadly never even met a real butcher, someone responsible for the respectful slaughter and traditional meat processing of locally raised livestock. USDA approved slaughterhouses have put an end to all that with the processing of animals located as far away from the consumer as possible so that the horrific practices of factory farming of animals can be kept hidden.

Livestock harvesting is clearly a missing link in the chain of sustainable agriculture as even organic and locally produced meats are required to be processed at USDA slaughterhouses which can effectively negate much of the health and nutritional benefits of local sourcing of meat in the first place!

I don’t know about you, but I want my meat not only sourced locally, but processed locally by someone I know and can talk to and develop a relationship with!

Lauren and Brandon’s quest is very close to my heart as my own grandfather was a butcher. I have often been saddened that the lifelong career of which he was so proud and skilled has become nearly extinct in recent decades.

I am excited to let all of you know that Farmstead Meatsmith has recently released its first in what will become a series of free butchery instructional videos:  On the Anatomy of Thrift: Pork Provender in the Home Kitchen.

If local sourcing and, most importantly, butchering of meats is of interest to you, I encourage you to watch this video and keep tabs on their progress in the coming months. As I said in my earlier post, it’s people like Brandon and Lauren Sheard that change the world.

Congratulations to Farmstead Meatsmith on the completion of their first instructional video. I am ecstatic that the goal of $10,000 was successfully met to fund this valuable project and I am so glad this blog was able to contribute to bringing this project to fruition by notifying others of your need!  I look forward to more videos to come!

On The Anatomy Of Thrift: Side Butchery from farmrun on Vimeo.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


Comments (24)

  1. I’m so excited this is finally underway! I’ve been waiting impatiently!! We raise and butcher our own chickens but we’ve really wanted to branch out to our other animals as well (pigs, cows, lamb…raised between ourselves and friends.) Thankfully we live in a rural area where we can know where we’re taking our animals for butchering (great and caring folks) but we want to learn to do it ourselves. This is much needed.

  2. The hog they were butchering looked amazing!

    That was no run of the mill, factory farmed pig. When he cut into the elbow and it exposed the bone, the bone as well as the meat looked so healthy. The meat had a wonderful color and the bone was white as snow, aka raised as one happy healthy pig.

    I keep wondering, do our ancestors looking from the great beyond, laugh at ( some of ) us for eating the so called ‘ food ‘ of today?

  3. Delia Carper Garcia via Facebook November 28, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    LOVE this! We raise our own meat (chicken and beef) and will soon be adding pigs and sheep. I have been dreaming of being able to butcher everything ourselves. This is fantastic.

  4. Carolyn Waite via Facebook November 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    My grandfather was the town butcher in Pioche Nevada, a small mining town. He passed away before I was born but I always wish I could have Grandpa Butch around to pass down his knowledge! These videos will be perfect.

  5. Thanks for sharing this resource, Sarah. I am amazed at how clean the butchering process can be. We are fortunate to have a wonderful butcher about 30 min drive from our home (Long’s Meat Market in Eugene, OR). They only process free-range and sustainably farmed meat and the customer service is incredible. My husband loves it when I ask him to stop there on his way home from work to pick up an order. I wish everyone could have access to such a fabulous resource.

  6. My children watched this with me and were fascinated as I was. He makes it look easy. My children are now playing butcher shop!

    • That is so sweet! We need more children to become butchers in the coming years and revive this important profession! I would prefer one of my children to be a local butcher to having a stupid corporate job, like what I wasted 10 years of my life doing, that’s for sure.

  7. Thank you for this!
    I must say, I don’t think they are “ground breaking” I would say they are rebreaking old ground, which is far more important…
    My grandfather was the Grocer and Butcher for a small town in Kansas. Whenever we visit I still hear stories about how he had the best cuts of meat. He inspected every inch of the animal and butchered as if his livelihood depended on it. Because it did…

  8. Loved seeing this! I grew up Amish and am fortunate to have learned many skills that so many people work so hard to learn. We always did our own butchering, (raised most of it, too) We still get together to do butcher pigs, every other year at Christmas we make the ten hour drive to butcher 5-7 hogs with my parents, and who ever of the siblings who want to come, usually there are 4-5 of the twelve of us. We work together and divide the meat at the end. My brother-in-law raises the pigs, letting them run wild in his large pasture all summer, he also provides the space to butcher and owns the electric meat saw, suasage grinder/stuffer and huge cast iron pot. SO we all pay him according to how much meat we take, but the cost is quite minimal.
    There are a couple of things we do differently from the video, most of them have to do with our Amish heritage and some of the traditional foods that we still all love and crave. Instead of having so many roasts, hams, and chops, we prefer having more sausage. So we cut the meat off the bones, grind the meat for sausage then throw the bones into the cast iron pot. We also put in all the organs, the sweetbreads, ears, any bits of meat trimmed from the head, and other other scraps and bits. That is boiled a number of hours then it is all scooped out of the broth and spread over stainless steel tables. We all stand around eating our favorite bits sprinkled with salt. Then we pick off all the meat from the bones, and grind it into something called “pan pudding” or actually growing up we called it liverwurst because it had the liver in it. Most of that ground cooked mixture is now canned or frozen. It is ready to eat as a breakfast food. Some of it is returned to the big pot into the broth, which is then thickened with cornmeal. This is called scrapple and is OH SO GOOD!!!! We all stand around the big pot dipping our spoons in and tasting it. It is then poured into a vast quanity of beat up old bread pans, chilled till firm, sliced and fried for breakfast.
    We also do lard, after the scrapple is out of the pot and washed. We render the lard, eating bits of cracklings, and we can’t forget to peel a bunch of potatoes and slice them thinly, then fry for potato chips!!
    Ohh, my mouth is watering! I know this is too long, I got a bit carried away with the memories! Unfortunately, this is the inbetween year so we won’t be butchering this December but I still have a number of jars of snowy white lard to use. Everything else is long gone.

  9. WOW! I don’t even eat pork and I thought it was amazingly informative!! Can’t wait till they make a video about beef and/or lamb!!!! Please let us know, Sarah, when more videos are available!!!!!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • You can be sure that I will be keeping up with Farmstead Meatsmith’s progress!!! A free video series about proper and traditional butchery is just what folks need to understand why they must avoid meat processed at USDA facilities even if organic. Videos like this have the potential to spark a movement!


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