Ding Dong Moo?
Well, I’m a bit of a country lady and many times I find myself a bit behind the news of current fades. Recently while sitting in a dentist office, I read about the Butcher Box company and became facinated by their kickstart success story. They have a hash tag #dingdongmoo. I'm a small heritage breeder of turkey, chicken, lamb with a specialty in Tamworth Swine. Being a member of the Livestock Conservancy, I know that most heritage breeders are small in production like myself. Heritage breeds are small in numbers. They are slow to mature and take time to raise, care for and produce. So I became curious about this Butcher Box and their claims.
How can a company work with several farms and deliver that much heritage pork all over the country when there are so few farms available? I just had to investigate. Don’t get me wrong, I think that it is a fabulous mission to re-establish the heritage livestock breeds, that is what I do as a breeder myself. So introducing heritage meat to a larger audience is very good indeed, but is it really heritage? I looked at their definition of Heritage on their website for pork and they have the definition almost written word for word from the Livestock Conservancy website, so their knowledge is correct. But when I scrolled down and saw the three pigs that they use are Berkshire, Chester White and Durocs, I became confused? While Berkshires may still maintain some heritage to their breed genetics. The other two breeds are mostly known for their use in Commerical Operations. To quote the Breeds of Swine:
The Chester White breed is known for its mothering ability, durability, and structural soundness. For many years, Chester Whites have been popular with pork producers because of their extreme longevity. Packers prefer Chester Whites because of their white colored skin is easily removed during the harvesting process.
The Duroc breed is known for being red in color and having floppy ears. Duroc hogs are very prolific, have good longevity, and are noted for outstanding terminal siring ability. Durocs have been utilized as terminal sires by commercial producers for many years. Duroc hogs are known for for their lean gain efficiency, carcass yields, and muscle quality. Their popularity has made Durocs the second most recorded breed of swine in the United States.
Those breeds are mostly commercial and I would have to bet that the Butcher Box contains most of the commercial breed to maintain their inventory. They would just have to , in order to deliver and ship to so many costomers.
I am a breeder of Tamworth Heritage Swine and I run an honest business. Education is key as we move towards the preservation of true hertiage breeds for the health of the planet and for the health of ourselves. We need to support farmers that are really working to make strides in sustainability and heritage breed preservation. I would like to encourage everyone to spend some time and KNOW YOUR FARMER! By purchasing local (I mean local, not 500 miles like my local grocery store calls local), we can work together and change the planet. Local means a small carbon foot print and the support of closed farming systems, whereby the animals work with the plant life and produce beautiful vegetable gardens as well. A closed system is sustainable, humane and healthy. It does not need certification from a third party. It is evaluated by the farmer and the consumer face to face on the farm. It is easy to see that the animals are treated well, living healthy lives where they can pursue their natural instincts. This is how good hertiage meat is produced. It cannot be done with a ding dong!