The crowds were thick at opening day today for Mallery’s Grazin’ Meats. Mark and Lynne Faille, owners of Simply Grazin’ Organic Farm in Skillman, have taken over the space in the little mall near the intersection of Routes 518 and 601 (Blawenburg), that I last visited as a gelato shop.
I’ve long enjoyed Simply Grazin’ meats in local restaurants, and bought it regularly at Whole Foods. For most of us, the Faille’s were our first introduction to the organic grass-fed meat movement, and I remember writing about them in 2003 when the Whole Earth Center carried meat, their meat, for the first time.
The word must’ve been out for the free BBQ today, as that is what all these people were in line for. It felt like a party out there, but rather than stand in line, I just went right inside and bought myself a ribeye steak, some ground hamburger, and sliced bacon. Meat is cut and ground on premises, right behind a big glass window into the butcher area. They offer chicken, veal, beef and pork.
Bins near the door hold organic vegetables from local farms, breads are from Terra Momo Bread Company, and cheeses are from Ely’s Pork Store in PA. There are also spices, lunch meats, beef jerky, and eggs. The store (like the farm) offers membership plans with discounts, a great idea for families especially. They will be open Tuesday through Sunday.
My steak (cut to order by the butcher), cost me about $25. Pricey, yes, but this is not a frequent treat for me, and it exemplifies what it means to pay the full cost of the food on our plates, when that food is humanely and sustainably produced. We are so used to cheap, mass-produced food (often by poorly paid workers with no benefits), that we’ve lost sight of the real cost of food. I eat meat less frequently than I used to, so when I do, I might splurge.
I recently finished reading “The American Way of Eating,” and these issues deserve our serious attention. (And when you dine out, remember that the cost of your meal must include labor costs for the kitchen and other staff, who may get no help with health insurance or paid sick or vacation days.)
Meanwhile, be sure to visit Mallery’s Grazin’ Meats soon.