Executive Briefings

There Aren't Enough Slaughterhouses to Support the Farm-to-Table Economy

Everything at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., has a story. Servers, chefs, and farmers at the restaurant, which was recently ranked No. 11 in the world, are there to tell it to anyone with a few hundred dollars, several hours, and a reservation.

There Aren't Enough Slaughterhouses to Support the Farm-to-Table Economy

Depending on the day's menu, the braised pork belly may come from red wattle pigs, prized by Chef Dan Barber for their high fat content. At one point during a recent meal, a diner's candle was extinguished and poured over plates as a sauce, because - surprise: The candle was made of beef tallow. It's likely the only fine dining establishment where a trip to the manure shed is as coveted as dessert. All are part and parcel of the Blue Hill at Stone Barns experience.

Farm-to-table restaurants usually skip over just one small detail during these dramatic narratives. It's arguably the most important step in the process, but few people want to think about slaughter when they're cutting into their dinner.

It's also often cited as the most difficult. Despite ever-increasing customer demand for noncommodity meat, there aren't enough slaughterhouses to keep up. It's a major hitch in the supply chain — keeping supplies down, prices up, and making the already grueling job of farming even harder.

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Depending on the day's menu, the braised pork belly may come from red wattle pigs, prized by Chef Dan Barber for their high fat content. At one point during a recent meal, a diner's candle was extinguished and poured over plates as a sauce, because - surprise: The candle was made of beef tallow. It's likely the only fine dining establishment where a trip to the manure shed is as coveted as dessert. All are part and parcel of the Blue Hill at Stone Barns experience.

Farm-to-table restaurants usually skip over just one small detail during these dramatic narratives. It's arguably the most important step in the process, but few people want to think about slaughter when they're cutting into their dinner.

It's also often cited as the most difficult. Despite ever-increasing customer demand for noncommodity meat, there aren't enough slaughterhouses to keep up. It's a major hitch in the supply chain — keeping supplies down, prices up, and making the already grueling job of farming even harder.

Read Full Article

There Aren't Enough Slaughterhouses to Support the Farm-to-Table Economy