Eliza recently had had the opportunity to meet up with fellow farmer Suzanne Nelson of Cozi Farm, chef Jeff Barney of the Saxapahaw General Store and The Eddy, filmmaker Graham Meriwether and Frank Stacio of National Public Radio to discuss how meat is raised in America. The discussion centers around the new documentary American Meat, that looks at the challenges of modern meat production in America and ideas on how we can better feed out nation.
Frank Stacio asked about the consumer movement toward smaller conscientious farms, the market for sustainable and naturally raised meats, and how things have changed or moved along since he last interviewed Eliza in September of 2007. Here is what Eliza had to say about it: “Demand has increased, as we expected that it would. And I’m glad that it has and more and more farmers have come to the area. More and more people are producing more than just for their own families on their smaller pieces of land. Jeff (Barney) is a great aggregator of those people too… of those who don’t do the farmers markets like I do. More Farmers markets have come up in the last few years. I don’t think the market is saturated but you have to keep you eye on the ball to stay in this business. It’s still not easy. None if us would do it if we didn’t feel some immense pride in it. You cant work this hard and and make this little money unless you love every moment of it…. I remember talking with you four years ago about the critical mass thing. We’re getting there but I don’t think we’re yet there. There are still lots and lot of consumers who need to be brought into it and room for more producers. We need to collaborate.”