by Catherine Dunwoody
Although the concept isn’t new, it certainly is timely. Founded by Victor Straatman who recently partnered with Chef Trevor Bird (Top Chef Canada Runner-up, Fable Kitchen, Fable Diner) to create a ‘meat sharing’ company called Meatme.
Many consumers want to know where their food comes from, especially when it comes to meat, and increasing awareness of the factory farm industry is driving people to want to purchase meat from farmers who raise their beef ethically and humanely. But how can we be sure when we buy it from a supermarket and the grey area of the elusive middle-man makes it challenging?
Enter MeatMe. Operating business from Gastown and North Vancouver plus butchering done in Abbotsford, the company supports BC farmers who raise their cattle right – 100% grass fed, free range, no chemicals or antibiotics, locally sourced Angus beef.
Here is how it works:
Buy your beef share
Online, you order a “nose to tail” meat box from a whole animal. The animal will only be slaughtered when it is 100% funded, meaning zero waste. 1 share is 15 lbs, or order the smaller half share of 7.5 lbs. Expect your box to contain either a bone in rib, New York strip or tenderloin, some braising meat like short ribs, minute steaks, flat iron or some other grilling steak, ground beef, and bone broth.
Age & butcher
The meat will be aged for a minimum of two weeks to achieve premium taste and texture.
Approximately three weeks after slaughter, your MeatMe package is delivered to your doorstep. Freeze or store in refrigerator for immediate use.
We had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Vancouver’s consummate advocate for “Farm to Table” cuisine, Chef Trevor Bird about MeatMe. Here’s what he had to say:
How’s consumer response so far?
Trevor: We have had great feedback from customers, and at my restaurants Fable and Fable Diner I can introduce them to the MeatMe concept too. For instance, if I have 30 leftover portions of MeatMe ribeye, I can share that on social media, serve it at the restaurants, and people get to try it and love it.
Can you tell me your thoughts on MeatMe so it’s clear how it works for interested consumers?
Trevor: The accessibility to the concept is not new, a lot of websites exist, “Urban Digs” is great for instance, but our platform is so easy, you click ‘buy a share’ and the meat shows up at your door. If you get something in the box you don’t know how to prepare, you go on the site and I give you recipes and tips on how to cut it etc. For instance, “I braised my meat but its not tender.” Answer? Braise it longer.” Or, “How do I cut my steak against the grain?” And I’ll show you with video tutorial, coming soon.
Where do you see MeatMe going?
Trevor: We are starting with BC raised beef, but we do want to become the AirBnB for well raised animals. This is the start up stage, but we’d like to get it to the point where people can choose which farm, or order meat from dual cows (cows that were used for milking and then for their meat) which lessens our carbon footprint even further. 600 liters of water are required to make one burger patty, so encouraging people to eat less meat in general is important to us. No one needs to eat a 16 oz Porterhouse steak.
Is a share too much for a single person or couple?
Trevor: We offer a half-share for 1-2 people now as well, and 7.5 lbs of meat doesn’t make take up much space in your freezer. And a full share for a family is ideal.
How are you marketing MeatMe?
Trevor: We’ve met with farmers markets that cannot have a butcher on site for various reasons, but we would like to have a kiosk where people can order MeatMe, and pick it up at the farmers market later.
How does MeatMe help the local farmer?
Trevor: It supports that farmer who doesn’t want to put her meat on the conventional board. If we want to make a difference we need to make it accessible, and $99 per month for meat consumption for your family I believe is doable.
What exactly is minute steak? I hope it isn’t that pounded pulverized stuff we grew up with.
Trevor: We make a minute steak with this big machine that needles it to tenderize, then slices into steaks.
What about other meat in the box?
Trevor: These are great cuts you can’t find at the grocery store. Our beef is a bit stronger tasting that conventional meat. I get asked, when I make burgers what should I add? Eggs, bread crumbs? And I answer umm, ground beef, some salt. That’s it man. From the braising selection, short ribs, brisket etc – I suggest you cube up all that meat, braise it all in the bone broth, throw some onions, carrots and pop it in the oven at 200 degrees for 6 hours, then freeze in small containers. It’s the great start of stroganoff, pasta, chili, stew – you can turn into 30 different things. Makes meal planning super easy as well.
Visit MeatMe at meatme.co.