One of the things that keep me up late at night tossing and turning is Bruce Wayne’s food. Literally, I over analyze it, research foods and stress about ingredients. One of the main reasons I switched over to a raw and home cooked diets for Bruce Wayne is because I have trust issues (sigh). After hearing a few years ago about Blue Buffalo breaking and lying about their promise not to include by-product meal into their kibble, I always worried about companies taking short cuts and deceiving consumers about what is really in their products. But that’s another conversation for another day.
There are many small businesses out there that will prep and make your dog’s food for you, then ship it to your house. But how do I know they are using the freshest ingredients that are up to my standards? I don’t and this is why I started making Bruce Wayne’s meals myself. I have complete control. I know that the red bell pepper going into his meals is organic and the freshest I could possibly find.
Unfortunately, there are not any local markets that carry ground beef that meets my requirements of being all-natural, grass fed, lean (90%+) ground beef. I have to travel about 30 minutes north to Wegman’s (grocery store) where they actually carry this kind of beef. This is where I’d buy Bruce Wayne’s ground beef. Until now.
The other day, I was on Instagram and through the @visitmaryland page and saw a cattle farm picture that they had posted. Much to my surprise, it was in Harford County, which is our neighboring county. In Baltimore County, we have little to no land that hasn’t been built on so I was surprised to see that the farm was relatively close to us.
After contacting @jakeslegacyfarm on Instagram, I set up a date and time to come to the farm and pick up some ground beef for Bruce Wayne. I cannot put into words just how sweet, kind and knowledgeable the family is. We met with farm owners, Doug and Vicky and their daughter, Lindsay and her husband, Jeff. They kindly took the time to show us their 83 acres of beautiful land, explain the cattle business and even cooked us some burgers on the grill to sample! Now, I don’t eat many burgers, but I’ve had some here and there. When Jeff was grilling them, he told us that there was no salt and pepper, just a few minced onions to help retain the moisture. Needless to say, I was thinking that sure it might be good, but no salt or pepper? No chipotle blue cheese guac dry rub spices mixed in? (Just joking, but poking fun at all the things people mix into their burger meat.) Much to my surprise, it was delicious just as is! I didn’t even miss the salt (and this is coming from an Asian, lol). You could truly taste a difference in the quality of the beef, which is exactly what I was looking for.
I was surprised to learn that most cattle farms only keep their cattle for about 10 months before they are sent to the butcher. Here, at Jake’s Legacy Farm, they keep and raise their cattle for a minimum of 2 years. All cattle are 100% natural, grass-fed without any hormones or antibiotics. What you see wandering in the fields is exactly what you get. I’ve been to a cattle farm once or twice before and I can honestly say that these cattle look healthier and happier than I’ve ever seen. Pictures do not do them justice, but I’ve never seen cattle with such luxurious hair. It doesn’t get any fresher than this. It is literally farm to Bruce Wayne’s bowl! 🙂
I know what you’re thinking. Ground beef is ground beef. NO! So the other week, I couldn’t get up to Wegman’s and needed to make Bruce Wayne some food, stat. I went to another local market and although it wasn’t “natural”, it was lean and free of hormones and antibiotics. Immediately, I could tell a difference. When I was mixing it, I could feel that it wasn’t as soft or easy to mix. No one wants chewy beef.
I can’t wait to go back in a month. I will be getting more ground beef, steaks for me and bone marrow to make some beef bone broth for Bruce Wayne. (Check back for the recipe next month when I give it a whirl.)
I cannot stress how important quality ingredients are when making food for your pups (or yourself). Take the time to research where your ingredients are coming from and you’ll be surprised to learn things you never thought about before. By buying directly from a local farmer, not only are you getting the freshest ingredients possible, but you are also supporting an actual local small business and in this case, we are supporting a family’s dream. We encourage you to take the time to Google cattle/chicken/produce farms near you. Quality ingredients can make a difference in your dog’s life!
We’d like to thank the Norton family for their time and generosity. We look forward to attending their Burgers and Hops event in March and encourage all of our friends that are in the Maryland area to try their beef and learn about their cattle farm. It’s about a 45 minute drive for us, but well worth it knowing I am getting the best possible beef for Bruce Wayne! 🙂