My store is up at http://www.blaistix.com and blaistix are also available on www.amazon.com. Though the beef jerky and beef stick markets appear crowded, there are few, if any, that live up to the standards of Local Pasture’s BLAISTIX.
BLAISTIX are built from the ground up with nothing buy the highest quality ingredients. The most important of which is 100% grassfed beef. That’s grassfed and grass finished. If you see 100% grassfed beef, it HAS to be grass finished. After all, all cattle, including the millions processed in feedlots start out on pasture. Of course, once in the feedlot, they are fattened on a diet exclusively containing corn, antibiotics and growth hormones.
BLAISTIX beef comes from a true, small family run, grassfed beef farmer. Matt Rulevich understands the science and art of raising quality grassfed cattle and brings them to size in the time that only nature permits. There is no big corporation behind Kookaburra Farm, the name of Matt’s farm.
Smuckers Meats, dedicated to serving all small beef farmers in York and Lancaster counties in Pennsylvania, processes all Kookaburra cattle and helps these farmers keep their businesses small and local.
BLAISTIX are made only from grassfed beef as well as seasonings and starter culture. Nothing else. There is not a single ingredient on the BLAISTIX label that you wouldn’t recognize. But what about that starter culture, what’s that you ask?
Well, all sticks (and salamis, pepperonis etc) have traditionally been ‘cured’ through lactic acid fermentation, creating a distinctive tang and increasing the acidity of sticks so that they are shelf stable. Bigger brands add nitrates, nitrites and msg to ‘guarantee’ shelf-stability for about, oh perhaps 20 years. Local Pastures uses none of these salts because 6 – 12 months of shelf stability created through natural fermentation seems plenty long to us.
Finally, Local Pastures has a grander goal in mind with BLAISTIX. Blaise Santianni, the owner believes that grassfed beef is the future of beef in this country. We all know about the problems created by feedlot beef and we understand the arguments made in support of the beef industry. Many of these arguments are valid even though many environmentalists argue that a nation and a world fed on grassfed beef (and other properly raised meats) is possible. Agreed. However, many of the efforts made by the forces behind the promotion of grassfed beef, free range chicken, organic pork etc are counterproductive.
The only way we can get serious about grassfed beef is to embrace many of the big beef industry’s ways, not reject them. Supporting farmers markets, buying clubs and farm stores may help some individual farmers, but it creates a ceiling on growth that is limiting the real potential of grassfed beef.
However disappointing this may sound to die-hard food environmentalists, farmers would much rather farm than package, market and transport their products. These facets of the grassfed beef market are holding farmers back. I approach farmers and offer to buy all their trim ( that which normally is ground but in this case used for beef sticks) and pay them their price. They then can sell steaks and roasts to another purveyor like me and get back to farming. Even if they choose only to sell trim to me, they only have to find outlets for steaks and roasts. The dirty little secret about cattle is that most of the meat that comes out of any given side is destined only for the grinder. In the case of grassfed beef, about 75% of the beef is only valuable as ground. I want to help the grassfed beef farmers move this, frankly, hard to sell excess of ground beef.
Local Pastures markets, transports, packages, labels, designs and does anything else required to turn all this excess trim into a viable market that can be sold in a retail market. That’s the key to their success. Building grassfed beef brands in retail outlets as well as online.
No one should be presented the choice between 5 identical beef sticks brands at a store checkout without having the option of buying a product that is the antithesis of the other 5 sticks offered. And the more BLAISTIX are bought, the more excess trim I can buy from farmers like Matt. As a result, Matt is less concerned about increasing his herd because he knows there will always be a buyer for 75% of the additional beef he will be producing. Basic supply and demand my friends. Let’s all work together to move in this direction.