The Scoop: Many meat products that Americans purchase lack nutritional value because large farms typically feed animals grain and keep them confined in cages and barns all day. Small farms that allow cattle and other animals to roam freely and graze on grass produce high-quality meat, but often can’t connect directly with consumers. FarmFoods brings those parties together by offering consumers grass-fed, naturally raised meats from small farms across the country. Its products help couples make date night dinners at home more adventurous with a selection of unusual meats, including ostrich, elk, and beef cuts they can’t find at their local butcher.
Many couples have been spending more time home alone together due to COVID-19 restrictions. And with many restaurants closed to stop the spread of the virus, many couples are getting tired of their date night takeout routines.
Instead of driving to a restaurant to pick up an expensive to-go meal, couples are choosing to connect in the kitchen. Those looking to shake up their dinner menu can experiment by cooking different cuts of meat on date night.
“There’s a cooking journey that couples can embark on together, no matter where they are. They can cook meat in different ways, with grills, pressure cookers, and smokers — there is so much variety,” said Janna Land, CEO of FarmFoods.
FarmFoods delivers grass-fed meats and other sustainable products directly to individuals and couples. The company specializes in healthy meats, many of which people won’t find at their local grocery store. The company also builds partnerships with small farms around the United States to source the highest quality meats.
Its customers have found plenty of creative ways to prepare the products while they stay at home. For instance, the company sells Colorado elk, and some home cooks have substituted it for ground beef to get the slightly wilder taste of elk in their burgers.
FarmFoods makes it much easier to experiment with unusual meats, like elk.
“We’ve been doing the beef for years, but the fully grass-fed and grass-finished elk just started in 2020. We sell bison and ostrich, as well,” Janna said
Many couples in quarantine also try meat preparation techniques that require more time. Some FarmFoods customers have been making bone broth or a cut of meat that requires hours of cooking. While they wait, they can spend some quality time together.
The Benefits of Grass-Fed Meat and Small Farms
FarmFoods was founded to provide people with a healthier alternative to industrially produced meats. The small farms FarmFoods partners with all offer grass-fed meat. In contrast, most factory-farmed animals, especially cattle, are exclusively fed grains.
Grain-fed beef has more calories and fat than grass-fed beef, which contains omega-3 fatty acids and has other positive nutritional benefits.
Those problems with American-produced meats encouraged Janna to establish FarmFoods.
“Eating a standard American diet isn’t actually good for you. My glucose levels were high, and we see problems in our kids,” she said.
So she started looking for a small farm that could supply her family with grass-fed beef. Only after her family ordered an entire cow did they realize just how much meat they were getting.
“We talked to our friends and neighbors and asked them to split the whole cow with us. Eventually, we thought we could make this kind of meat available to more people,” Janna said.
FarmFoods got its start by connecting consumers who wanted nutrient-rich beef with small farms that let cattle graze on grass. The company initially offered only beef before branching out into other types of meat. It has kept the same mission throughout its expansion.
“With our meat, you can know that it was raised well and treated well. And everything we offer is richer in nutrition,” Janna told us.
FarmFoods also supports small farmers, many of whom are too rural to regularly come to farmers markets to sell directly to consumers. The company promotes sustainable, ethical meat production by giving those local farmers a broader customer base.
“I care about small farmers. It makes me happy to see that they have other options to get their products out to the whole country,” Janna notes.
Catering to Clients With Varying Goals
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the company’s regular customers cared primarily about the meat’s health benefits.
Now, more customers are choosing FarmFoods for the convenience of delivery. Those buyers may not have a local butcher available or have decided to forgo trips to the supermarket during quarantine.
FarmFoods customers certainly don’t have to order unusual meats, or even beef, as the company sells chicken, pork, seafood, and pheasant, among others. Ordering sustainable meat products may be a benefit, but not their primary objective.
Still, other customers seek out FarmFoods for its rare cuts that they can’t find elsewhere. The company sees more couples and families ordering barbecue packs, a product that typically tapers off during the colder months.
“We have customers who want to buy in bulk and those who buy for convenience. We’re also seeing new categories of customers,” said Janna.
FarmFoods plans to offer more types of meats, and other healthy foods, including paleo breads, to deliver in the same shipping containers. That will further diversify the menu for those who enjoy having their products delivered.
“We’re shipping boxes of frozen proteins, so any product that could be of interest that could go in that box is of interest to us, as well. We want to make sure we can serve the customers we have and have good inventory for our current and new customers,” said Janna.
FarmFoods Wants You to Start Cooking With Your Partner
FarmFoods helps couples switch up their routine to avoid repeating the same date-night meals. Janna told us how she and her family purchased a smoker this year to try something new.
“We’ve had to try to recreate restaurants at home. Couples can experiment more with new cuts of meat and preparations now that they have more time with their partner,” Janna said.
Tracing where meat came from and how it was produced can also spark some interesting date-night conversation. For example, FarmFoods partners with a family in Alaska that does small-scale wild salmon fishing. Learning about production in that industry could certainly give partners something to discuss.
“That’s how our company has grown by connecting with more small-scale farmers doing interesting things. There are more people out there like us who want to know the origin of what they eat,” said Janna.
FarmFoods posts information about each of its small farm partners on its website, so visitors can read about the various farms and what they produce. Customers can even choose to buy from a local farm or one that practices farming techniques they support.
The tool helps couples understand where their food comes from and what is — and isn’t — in it. Many couples want to know the origins of what they eat to ensure they don’t support meat production processes that harm animals or diminish the nutritional returns on the food.
“You have to eat, so you may as well make it special. While you’re making it special, also consider your health,” said Janna.