THE ROAD LESS TAKEN

In the past century, the Food Industry decided to meet the demands of the masses, and provide food products that were as cheap as possible with little concern or consideration where it came from, who was deriving a living from its production, what labour was necessary to produce it, what “artificial” interference (ie. chemical or genetic modification or alterations) was being injected into the product, and steadily(but stealthfully) from how VERY far away the food product was being transported. Food with passports became a norm! But CHEAP it was… and FAT… and FAST… and PLENTIFUL! Into this commercially driven food chain marketplace of the late 20th century, came new players, actually the reappearance of an old concept from centuries earlier, producers themselves marketing at “Farmer’s Markets”… small, local farms or ranches retailing their home-grown produce, poultry and meats, thus circumventing the entire Mega-market concept. The writings of Michael Pollan (“Omnivore’s Dilemma”), and Wendell Berry (“The Unsettling of America”), and agrarians such as Allan Savory and Joel Salatin who were writing and practising holistic management, land sustainability and animal husbandry, began to gain traction with a younger generation of farmers and ranchers who wanted to sustain the land and the animals who belonged there through nonintrusive, non-chemical agricultural methods SP Cattle Co. began operation in 2008, in the Cypress Hills of SE Alberta, with this burgeoning new outlook on sustainably driven ranching, grazing Galloway cattle (known for their heartiness, gentle disposition and genetic superiority), on the natural native grasses, gaining organic certification of those grasses by Ecocert. And the next natural step in a sustainably driven, ecologically friendly agricultural business, was to retail the beef product to the public directly. This pasture to plate sales began in 2009 at a small neighbourhood farmer’s market in Calgary. Our 11 years of developing the healthy Galloway herd, the ranching operation and establishing a direct marketing program/retail shops, has definitely been a “Road Less Travelled”… a strenuous effort … the object of serious skepticism… a significant financial commitment. But now we are providing clean, healthy beef products directly to our own outlets in Vancouver and Calgary. The need for healthy grass-fed and grass-finished beef has become even greater than in 2008. Mega consuming has possibly developed mega-sized health problems. Tango’s Meats and Top of the Mountain Foods is grateful for all the support that our wonderful customers have given and will continue to give us, as we continue further on this “Road Less Travelled.”

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