I’ve been working on a cookbook, as I mentioned back when I was on hiatus, and I suddenly had a need for chicken breasts for a certain recipe, but didn’t have any chicken in the freezer. Since it was farmers market day, I first looked to see what my friends at Crane Dance Farm had, but they only had whole frozen chickens and I needed something thawed. Usually, I don’t hunt for chicken breasts because it’s nearly impossible to find happy ones unless they’re still on a chicken. Then I remembered Montello’s.
Several of my friends have told me that Montello Meat Market is now carrying grassfed meat. So I thought I’d stop by and see what they had, if they had happy chicken, and where they sourced their meats.
I was pleased to find out that all the beef in their butcher shop comes from Michigan, and the grassfed beef–without antibiotics or hormones–comes from a nearby farm called Dykstra’s.
The chicken, it turns out, is from Kapenga Farms, a local farm that I’ve heard of but haven’t had the opportunity to visit. When I asked if the chicken was pastured raised, I was told it was pasture-finished. I’m still not sure if this is the optimum choice, but I like what they say on their Local Harvest page: “Our chickens are free from antibiotics, hormones and steriods, and we never inject water and sodium into our processed birds. We also now use NON GMO soybean meal in our grain mix.” I’m looking forward to visiting their farm soon!
Montello’s has been providing grassfed beef since January, 2010. And many of their customers buy it. In addition to local and grassfed beef, plus the chicken from Kapenga’s, the pork, lamb, and veal they sell are raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones.
We’re lucky to have good food choices in West Michigan–from local farmers with good ethics to farmers markets to co-ops to a meat market such as Montello’s.