Grass-fed, corn-fed: judge not by the content of the diet alone, but by the color and amount of the fat as well. You can tell a lot about the animal’s life by the way its carcass looks and ages. This, and more, I learned recently on a private tour of a local, independent meat locker. They supply many restaurants, both here and abroad, with very high-quality beef, pork, lamb, and other meats.
The owners took me for a tour of the facility, walking me through the process from slaughter to sale. Not only did I learn a good deal about the way meat should be handled, but gained a renewed trust in our foodways. The experience underscored the importance of provenance. You are what you eat.
Everything, from the kill floor to the meat counter, was immaculate, an antithesis to the nightmare that you might have seen in one of those documentaries about farms and slaughterhouses.
In one giant icebox, I stood alone, dwarfed among a dozen cow carcasses, each split in half and hung from the ceiling. It was quiet save the hum of the massive refrigeration unit beyond its walls. It was awesome.
For this twenty-seventh, and last photo of the week of 2010, I give you the meat locker: