Meat Suite makes it easy to shop locally at an affordable price :: WRAL.com

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This article was written for our sponsor, NC Choices.

In today’s world, high gasoline prices, supply chain issues and periodic food shortages have become increasingly common. In fact, food prices in grocery stores rose 10% from March 2021 to March 2022, according to the US Department of Agriculture. As the year continues, food prices are expected to rise, with some meat prices expected to increase by up to 7%.

These prices have prompted many people to find ways to save money, especially when it comes to buying meat. Although bulk meat has long been available at wholesale prices, the problem is that many consumers do not know how or where to buy it.

This is where Meat Suite comes in.

“NC Choices, a program of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and NCSU Cooperative Extension, launched the program in partnership with Cornell University to help shoppers connect with local farmers selling bulk meat,” John said. , a retired professor at North Carolina State University. Cornwell.

Cornwell has held several leadership positions at NCSU over the years, including director of the Agricultural Institute and associate director of academic programs for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. His background in education and the meat production industry led him to endorse the Meat Suite program.

“There are several benefits to buying our beef in bulk, including affordability, quality, value, convenience and supporting the local economy,” Cornwell said. “Buying meat in bulk allows us to pay a wholesale price as opposed to the high – and rising – prices found in grocery chains.”

Meat Suite is an online platform where farms across the state can list their bulk meat products. Customers then choose from a selection of bulk lots that include an assortment of meat cuts. Packages come in a variety of price points and sizes, allowing customers to choose a package that fits their budget and household needs.

“The convenience of always having meat in our freezer is a surefire way to prepare for busy work weeks, family gatherings, and even difficult times like shutdowns and food shortages,” Cornwell said. “The meat is always there and ready to be prepared at any time.”

Additionally, Meat Suite offers residents the opportunity to support local producers, keeping money in the local economy.

“Currently, a conglomerate of four major companies controls 85% of the meat distributed to American consumers,” Cornwell said. “This dangerous centralization of the food supply takes money, jobs and healthy food options away from local rural communities.”

The best way to resist this trend is to support local farmers and ranchers to keep resources flowing into the local economy. Plus, buying locally means you have a better chance of knowing where and how your meat was raised, which Cornwell said was important to his family.

“We place great emphasis on knowing where our food comes from and that it’s nutritious for our grandchildren,” Cornwell said. “Specifically, pasture-raised beef is rich in protein and healthy fats necessary for the growth and development of children.”

When an animal eats and digests plants, it passes those nutrients on to human consumers, Cornwell said.

“The animal has done the important work of digesting the plant for us while we benefit from receiving all the nutrition,” Cornwell said.

Meat Suite is available to consumers in New York and North Carolina. Website visitors can enter their zip code and choose a radius to find nearby farms selling bulk packs of beef, chicken, or pork. Search results show which farms are closest, what products they sell, and other animal information, such as whether they are grass-fed or pasture-raised.

“The meat is processed locally and traveled a very short distance from farm to freezer,” Cornwell said. “We place a high value on local bulk meat because of its affordability and high quality.”

This article was written for our sponsor, NC Choices.

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