Ethical farming at Feather and Bone
On Monday, 28 August both of the classes in the Year 10 Food Technology course went on an excursion to the Feather and Bone Butchery owned by Grant and Laura Dalrymple – proud supporters of the ethical and sustainable farming movement. The excursion was conducted to teach the boys about the process of food making in the food product development module in the two-year course.
The butchery is located in Marrickville and was established in 2011 with the intent of trying to give a market to the farmers that practice rotational farming, which is more sustainable and healthier for the consumers. Rotational farming is a systematic way of farming animals in which the animals are moved from paddock to paddock allowing the grass to naturally reproduce and therefore not have to use any chemicals or harmful pesticides that will eventually be found in the food. When explaining why they opened the butcher
Laura said “We wanted to bring the terroir around wine making into the farming industry.” Terroir is essentially the context of the grapes regarding the process of making wine and Grant and Laura thought that would be a healthy philosophy to apply to our consumption of meat. They then quickly found out that meat tasted better if it had been brought up on organic foods and had not been exposed to harsh chemicals meaning consumers were willing to pay a little extra for better quality meat.
When the business started in 2011, the butcher was sourcing from around 5 to 6 different farms as the technique was not proffered by the farmers but now they are sourcing from 30 to 35 farms. Laura said “The rotational organic farming industry has grown immensely in the last five years as the consumers have decided that they prefer the taste and knowledge around the food that they are eating. Grant admitted himself that their products cost slightly more than the conventional way of farming but the process is ethically worth it.
The boys really enjoyed the excursion especially the demonstrations and practicals that were completed which included the piping of sausages, making sausage meat and de-boning a whole organic chicken.
When asked about the excursion Ben Leung () replied “I reckon I will use the skill of being able to de-bone a chicken many times later in life.” While Ethan Kelly said “I preferred the making of the sausages because I would not normally be able to use the equipment and it was a good experience”. It is evident that the students definitely enjoyed the excursion as it was the perfect mix of practical and theory.
Overall, the general feeling of the boys after the excursion was that they supported the ethics that Laura and Grant wanted to achieve while owning a butcher, and would recommend the excursion to the other year groups. I personally would go to the Feather and Bone to buy quality meat when needed.
William Christensen (10/ME)