Here at AWA, we’ve been thinking a lot about this special holiday and how we may have more in common with our ancestors than we think. Upon arriving in America, the early pilgrims ate what was locally available (granted, they didn’t have an alternative!). This happened to be animals that ranged and foraged in the woods and pastures, eating a diet specific to their natural needs and free from non-therapeutic antibiotics or added hormones. Sounds like a Certified AWA farm, doesn’t it? Meat, dairy, and eggs from animals raised outdoors on pasture or range is better for you, better for farmers, and better for the planet all great reasons to give thanks.
The Raleigh News & Observer’s restaurant critic Greg Cox came out with his annual recognition for local restaurants today. Topping the list as “Restaurant of the Year” is the new Bella Mia, the coal-fired pizzeria in Cary, NC. According to Cox, “Its blistery-crusted pies immediately raised the bar far above anything the area has ever seen.” AWA is proud to announce that all of the beef used by Bella Mia is supplied by Rare Earth Farms of Zebulon, NC.
Rare Earth partners Karl Hudson and Mann Mullen raise 125 grassfed Angus crosses on pasture, with no antibiotics, no added hormones and no animal by-products. Mullen has been farming all of his life while Hudson has returned to his farming heritage after a career in retail management. Rare Earth Farms uses rotational grazing to provide quality forage and Karl says he has some of the friendliest cows around. “We take people out to see the cows, and they just come right up to you.”
Karl recounts how he met chefs Louis and Anthony Guerra at the State Farmers’ Market and began to talk with them about Rare Earth and its AWA certification. Louis wanted to see for himself and spent a half day at the farm. The farm obviously impressed Louis as all of the beef served at Bella Mia is AWA certified from Rare Earth Farms.
Animal Welfare Approved farms also supplying Gold, Silver and “Best in Class” award winners include Cane Creek Farm (pork), Captain John S. Pope Farm (lamb), Cohen Farm (eggs), Fowl Attitude Farm (eggs), and High Ground Farm (eggs).
“We are proud of these farms that are providing high quality products to high quality restaurants in the Triangle region,” said Andrew Gunther, Program Director for AWA. “In addition to AWA farmers’ presence in major retailers, they are making a big splash in the best restaurants in the U.S.”
Animal Welfare Approved audits and certifies family farms that raise their animals with the highest animal welfare standards, outdoors, on pasture or range. The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has lauded these standards for two years running as being the most stringent when compared to other third-party certification programs. Visit Animal Welfare Approved’s website for an online directory of approved farms (now in 42 states), as well as restaurants, shops and markets where AWA farmers’ products are sold. Choose the one independent food label that means healthy, safe, environmentally responsible and humanely raised.
For details on winning restaurants and farms that supply them read the press release.