Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Monday Feature: TLC Farms

Here is the first Monday feature in my new series. I've decided that I will post just one a week. The goal is to do this every Monday. I think that will be a nice way to start off the week, don't you?

The local business for my first feature is from the Medicine Hat area. TLC Farms is located out on Hwy 3 right by the town of Whitla (just past Seven Persons) and is owned and run by Alastair and Lynn Olsen. They are a local farm selling many types of meat and poultry, such as beef, pork, lamb and even buffalo! You can also purchase chicken in many forms and the most delicious free range eggs (I get a dozen almost every week), as well as in season fruits, veggies, and herbs. They have beef and pork variety packs to keep your freezer stocked and even pre-made meals to help you on those busy work days, when you just don't have time to make a good home made meal.

"So what", you might be saying. I can get all that and more at the grocery store. If you like your processed, artificially colored and flavored, chemically altered food, then the grocery store is for you. However, if you're ready for something wholesome and natural, here's what sets TLC Farms apart from what you buy in the major grocery stores.

To quote TLC Farms from their website "(we) offer the choice of buying meat that was raised outdoors, without the use of chemicals."

All of their livestock (with exception of the buffalo) is raised on location and is free range (raised in a field, not in a stuffy barn or a feed lot). "...through the summer, (their cattle) are grazed on grass and, in the winter, are brought closer to home for protection… All of the feed rations are grown and processed by (TLC Farms)…" The Buffalo are raised in Northern Alberta where grass is abundant.

TLC Farms boasts of being chemical free. They have full control of all their products. They know who is handling the meat, how it is handled and processed and know that all those who are in contact with their products are thorough in cleanliness and adhere to the strict standards that are in place. Because of this, and also because of the natural feed they give their livestock, there is no need to bathe their meat in ammonia or other harsh chemicals that are hazardous to those of us who eat it. One has no idea who has handled the food at a grocery store, whether their hands were cleaned properly beforehand or what has been in contact with that meat. Also, with TLC Farms' ground beef, you can be assured of no "pink slime". There are no animal by-products added to their ground beef. Just pure, delicious meat, which is so lean there is no need to drain any excess fat after cooking. I pick up some ground beef almost every week as we go through it so fast. It makes the most delicious burgers, meatballs, spaghetti sauce, and anything else you can conjure up.

Another thing I LOVE about TLC Farms, is all their livestock are antibiotic and hormone free! This is a rare find indeed as you can be almost guaranteed the meat you buy at the store is chalk full of antibiotics and hormones. Another unnecessary thing we consume with our food. I'm discovering that these additives are effecting people and causing reactions similar to that of allergies. TLC Farms goes back to the roots of raising livestock, like in the olden days, and nothing is injected into their meat.

My husband and I have purchased eggs, chicken breasts, bacon, sausage, steak, and ground beef and have enjoyed it all. I personally would much rather support this local farm, knowing I'm helping them out, but also knowing I'm making a more healthy choice for my family and myself. Every step counts. Are their prices higher then you find at Costco, Superstore and the likes? They are. However, TLC Farms has a motto "You can have it good or you can have it cheap, but you cannot have both". This could not be more true. It's like comparing making burgers at home from scratch or buying a Big Mac from McDonalds. Which is cheaper, but which is better?  There is no comparison between the two and wholesome is always the best choice, even if it is a bit more expensive.

To all you Hatters, TLC Farms products are a must try! I challenge you to step away from the mass produced abundance of the big chain stores and try out the vast variety of what TLC Farms offers. Take a leap of faith. I promise you won't be disappointed. As for my family, we have become a loyal TLC Farms customer and supporter.

You can find TLC Farms at the Medicine Hat Farmers Market every Saturday (go early as they sell their products quickly) and they also do free delivery into the city on Wednesdays if you put in an order ahead of time. They also encourage people to visit their farm, to see how they run it and to purchase products right there. Alastair and Lynn are open and honest and absolutely friendly. You will always find a smile when you visit them.

For more information on TLC Farms, contact information, to read their history in full and for their full product and price list, please visit their website: www.tlcfarms.ca

Happy Eating!

Next weeks feature hint: Something Sweet! Plus a free give-away! Follow me and stay tuned!

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