My Cousin Joel: Part 1

Today's post is coming in late thanks to a long afternoon/evening. To summarize, our kids have ear infections just bad enough to warrant a trip to the doctor for a prescription; they'll be fine but we were gone for 4 hours taking care of everything.

Anyway, this weekend I'd like to turn the spotlight on my cousins Joel - Joel Metzger today and Joel Runyon tomorrow.

My cousin Joel Metzger and his wife Heidi have a smallish farm in southern Michigan, and what makes it unique is that everything they offer (beef, pork, poultry, and dairy products) is produced without the use of hormones, antibiotics, or GMO feed. When I visited the farm a few years back to take photos for their website, I witnessed chickens and turkeys that had lots of room to move around and fresh, natural food - they were kept within a sort of mobile fence that got moved to a new patch of pasture on a regular basis. The cattle and pigs also had plenty of room to move and seemed like happy animals (I guess they don't know how delicious they are). I also lived just down the road during the summer of 2010 and can confirm that they weren't just putting on a good show for the photographer; they run a great farm.

While I'm not the type to think the world will end if my hamburger was fed some GMO grain before it became hamburger, I can't deny that Joel's methods produce some really tasty food. In addition to the way that they raise their animals, the quality is also brought about by the types of animals they raise. For example, the beef from their Piedmontese cattle is tender and flavorful without being too fatty, and if you eat meat you owe it to yourself to try a Piedmontese hamburger sometime. If you want more information you can check out their website or contact them via Facebook.

*I should also mention that they didn't ask me to write this recommendation and I'm not being paid to promote them in any way - same goes for tomorrow's post about my (other) cousin Joel.

Reminder: check out yesterday's post and leave a comment with which Christmas song you want me to record this month!