E-Business Where the Buffalo Roam Essay

Submitted By l1pike
Words: 1288
Pages: 6

Over the past several years, both the media and health organizations have awakened us to the national epidemics of obesity and diabetes, and the result is many consumers have started to ask themselves “what am I eating?” Bonnie Liebman, M.S, Director of Nutrition for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, in her article “The Changing American Diet – A Report Card”, reports the average American now eats approximately 120 pounds of meat, poultry and seafood a year. At the same time there is clear evidence of the impact of commercial meat production on the environment, as Robert Lawrence, founding director of The Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, points out, in an interview titled “Less Cows, More Vegetables”, “To grow the grain to produce one pound of beef requires 840 gallons of water. Clearly that’s not sustainable.” Information like this prompts some consumers to make significant changes in lifestyle. My family has shifted to a small homestead operation where we produce all of our own chicken (for eggs and meat), turkey, and ducks. We maintain a large garden, root cellar, and food pantry, and we purchase as many food items as we can from local farmers. There are many evenings when all the ingredients in dinner came from our neighborhood. Still, like many people, we occasionally like to enjoy the taste of a burger or steak cooked on the grill and the choices at that point, are very limited. Where does a committed “locavore” in Tamworth, New Hampshire get low fat, pasture raised, hormone and antibiotic free red meat? They can purchase it from www.YankeeFarmersMarket.com. New Hampshire natives Brian and Keira Farmer started selling bison from a dining room table top business while they were still in high school. Why bison? Bison is lower in fat than both beef and chicken, higher in protein and iron than chicken, and is high in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids which aid in combating cholesterol. Quite simply, Brian and Keira wanted to provide their customers with a healthy alternative to red meat. From the table top they branched out to the “chuck wagon” which they set up at both local fairs and farmers markets, selling their bison burgers to devoted fans and curious adventurers ready to try something new. In 1999, Yankee Farmers Market relocated to Warner, NH. Over the past 22 years the business has grown into a three location farm network whose mission is to provide locally grown, environmentally friendly alternatives to commercially processed red meat and, as the website states, “drive farm sustainability through not only the farm, but for the farms we support.” According to the National Bison Association consumer demand for bison meat grew 10% in 2011, the sixth straight year of double-digit growth for bison meat in the marketplace. More than 4,400 ranchers/farmers now raise bison in the United States. Approximately 60,000 bison were slaughtered under federal and state inspection in 2011 in the U.S and this number is more than double the processing figures from 2002. When compared to the approximately 35 million head of cattle Robert Lawrence states in his interview are produced for food every year in the United States, it is clear to see the bison industry has plenty of room for sales growth. The bison for sale at www.YankeeFarmersMarket.com are pasture raised and enjoy a diet of natural hay and fresh fruit. They are grown without the use of hormones, stimulants, or antibiotics. By comparison if we cite again the 840 gallons of water needed to produce one pound of beef then Barry Popkin, University of North Carolina, in his comments in Nutrition Action Newsletter, articulates the issue with commercial red meat production very clearly, “The growing consensus around the world is that red-meat production – be it beef or pork – uses more water, uses more energy, and provides more antibiotics than the production of other foods in our diet.”