Former employee of a trendy Santa Monica "farm to door" meat shop shows us what they really sell

Originally published at: Former employee of a trendy Santa Monica "farm to door" meat shop shows us what they really sell | Boing Boing


If you want to cheat the rich, I say go ahead and cheat the rich, just don’t get caught cheating the rich, they are animals that will savage you in the social media and beyond.


Tasmania??? How on earth can that be cheaper than cows from the midwest?? If it isn’t cheaper, wouldn’t you sell it as some sort of exotic “Tasmanian Beef”?


I’m not at all surprised. I had something similar happen at a local farm that sold veggie and meat CSA shares.

The farm had a thousand people in their FB group, but when I went to the farm I only saw a small garden and a few chickens. Nowhere near enough to produce enough veg, eggs or meat for the hundreds of weekly customers.

A few months later the con man closed the farm and took off with the prepaid CSA money. Turns out all the produce and meat and eggs that he had been selling came from local wholesale grocery terminals. Yet there were still hundreds of people defending the local farm-to-table quality of the products.


Believing is perceiving. Wine tastings done with blindfolds will give radically different results from tastings where the labels can be seen. Who wants to admit that they couldn’t tell the difference between cheap meat from Costco and the stuff they paid twice as much for?


I’m never sure what to make of it at the farmers market when they are selling produce that doesn’t grow locally. I don’t think the intention is to be deceptive. They are probably legitimate farmers who are supplementing what they grow with selling outside product, maybe?


That kind of stuff happens all the time. Put cheap wine in an expensive bottle and people will love it. Let a famous violinist play on the street and people will walk right past. Perceived quality is based on expectations as much as reality.


You’re right, AND it’s not always about taste. If you want local, it’s not necessarily because it tastes better… though eating it might be a more pleasurable experience because of where you think it comes from, your relationship with the farmer/seller, etc., your feelings of virtue for not having your meat shipped around the world at great cost of fuel, or other reasons that might not make perfect sense, like pastoral fantasies. And that’s completely legitimate. We are not homo economicus, and thank goodness.

I remember a kerfuffle in Paris in ~2012, when it was learned that high-end restaurants were buying pre-cooked meals. It was a scandal! The government came up with a “Fait Maison” badge for restaurants who promised that they cooked everything in-house from fresh ingredients. An aggrieved agribusiness executive complained, As long as it tastes good and looks good, what’s the big deal? Well, it was a big deal, because it’s not just about some raw “taste” thing, it’s about the cultural primacy of cuisine and the importance of craftsmanship. The joue de veau and the chocolat fondant at this place is supposed to be different from the same dishes at that place. That’s part of the fun of dining out.

People like to make distinctions, even if not everyone agrees that their criteria are important.


Yea I see this kind of thing all the time here in west-coast Canada… Tons of food (meat, produce, citrus) coming from Australia/New Zeland, Mexico, or even Israel. Seems like the US would be a cheaper source, and “greener” to boot, but costs in global trade are super weird and every country supports their own industries in different ways (not to mention seasonal differences). “Free trade” is… complicated… a misnomer at best.


Of course I can’t know if they’re telling the truth, but at my farmers market in Mar Vista (in West Los Angeles), they have to grow what they sell. We get our eggs, chickens, turkeys, and (twice a year) beef brisket from a stand there. Is everyone a bunch of liars? I doubt it, though I also doubt that everyone is 100% on the up and up all the time. Mostly I think they probably are. And I’d rather give them my money than go to WF so marketing and finance executives and hedge funds can get a big slice of what I pay for organic romaine.


That’s right. I have a sneaking feeling that containerization is a big part of the story.


Given US food hygiene standards are some of the lowest in the world, is that what you really want?

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OH I agree, but at the same time, Santa Monica is IN the US. We shouldn’t have any weird tariffs or trade differences. Unless it is just way cheaper to raise a pound of beef in Tasmania. Or maybe there is some weird trade deal that subsidizes trade with Tasmania. :confused:

Though on the flip side - food production and world wide distribution is pretty fucking amazing if you think about it.

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What’s pretty amazing is we have this trillion dollar global distribution network, and produce so much food nearly half is going to waste, yet people in many places are still starving and malnourished.


I’d call that more tragic than amazing. Yes, we have enough food, just not every where that needs it. And we could distribute it as needed if everyone worked together on it.


That sounds like fucking communism. America will never fall to the red menace of

looks at notes

Preventing people from starving!


I don’t think that’s a fair assessment. One of the biggest issues for my partner and I in moving to the US was worrying about food traceability and sustainability. We did a lot of research to find out how that was handled in the US vs Canada, and that didn’t require buying expensive “fru fru” meats, it just meant asking the local butchers and / or supermarkets where their food comes from. It turns out being in south-Texas really helped in that regard because of the long history of traditional animal husbandry down here.

I do not refute the idea that locally farmed or sustainably / humanely raised foods and foodstock are more expensive than factory-farmed alternatives, and as someone who has spent time on social assistance in Canada some time ago I would never decry making the cost-effective choice if you have no other options - but suggesting that only the rich care about animal welfare or food traceability is, I feel, an entirely unfair assessment.


Nope [s]


Tasmania doesn’t actually surprise me that much, considering how much meat (particularly lamb) is already imported to the US from Australia and New Zealand. The BoingBoing post says “Tanzania,” though, which did leave me a bit more befuddled.


Oh, that’s a tanning salon chain, oddly enough though run by a bunch of Tazmanians.