It was from a hay bale podium inside Appleton Farms’ Carriage House that Patrick Martins shared his many thoughts on the future of local food, among other topics on Saturday night. Author of The Carnivore’s Manifesto: Eating Well, Eating Responsibly, and Eating Meat, Martins stressed the importance of buying from multiple purveyors who value food grown slowly, carefully, and with full access in mind.
“If you don’t go to five places to buy your food, you are not part of the local movement,” explained Martins, whose work as founder of Heritage Foods USA—a national supplier of 100 percent pasture-raised heritage breeds with the mission “to promote genetic diversity, small family farms, and a fully traceable food supply”—puts him at the forefront of the movement. Additionally, as part of Slow Food USA—a global network of over 100,000 members in more than 150 countries—Martins champions heritage herds of livestock as the most mindful means of eating meat. During his talk he gave a nod to Weir River Farm in Hingham—a Trustees property—as a local source for grass-fed Belted Galloway beef as well as pasture-raised pork and Icelandic lamb. (Appleton Farms itself is in the midst of expanding its grass-fed beef White Park herd to offer a wider selection of cuts.)
Given the season, it made sense for him to talk about Heritage Foods USA’s turkeys—raised by preeminent breeder Frank Reese—as “seasonal meats,” i.e. non-artificially inseminated. As such, he believes eating them furthers the Slow Food movement’s sustainability mission: “The current agriculture system is not feeding the world,” he explained. “We should be arguing for more expensive meat and smaller portions.” In other words, nourishing wholesome meats that support the food system and the farmers who run it—Martins’s battle cry.
Following a Q & A session, The Trustees served a feast featuring “slow foods” that included their own artisan cheeses and farm produce. Seasonally inspired dishes included the likes of beef short rib potpie with mushrooms, pearl onions, carrots, and parsnips. Eaten family-style, it was the realization of Martins’s vision.