Docs Humane Meat Buying Guide for Charlotte, NC

Humane Meat Buying Guide for Charlotte, NC

Humane Meat Buying Guide for Charlotte, NC

Nancy’s Weekly Sprint Goal for the week of 12/7-11

Last week, I embarked on a Weekly Sprint Goal: to make a flier sharing about places to buy meat locally where animals are humanely raised. This week, my goal was to create a editable wiki version of the flier so others could update the information with other farms they know are good to buy from. Please follow these instructions to add to this wiki: 

  • Provide a link to the farm website.
  • Provide a brief description of what is offered (type of meat) and how the animals are treated.

I am a meat eater. I care about where that meat comes from.

As a part of my next “Be the Change Goal” I’m going to eat less meat. When I do eat meat, I’m going to chose the source carefully. Raising cattle makes a huge impact on the environment. I want to do my part to lessen that impact, so I want to choose from farmers that use sustainable farming practices & humanely treat their animals.

A blurb from

Grassfarming Benefits the Environment

When properly managed, raising animals on pasture instead of factory farms is a net benefit to the environment. To begin with, a diet of grazed grass requires much less fossil fuel than a feedlot diet of dried corn and soy. On pasture, grazing animals do their own fertilizing and harvesting. The ground is covered with greens all year round, so it does an excellent job of harvesting solar energy and holding on to top soil and moisture. As you will read in the bulletins below, grazed pasture removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere more effectively than any land use, including forestland and ungrazed prairie, helping to slow global warming.

It’s a different story in a confinement operation. Here, the animals are crowded into sheds or kept outdoors on barren land and all their feed is shipped to them from distant fields. On those fields, the crops are treated with fossil-fuel based fertilizers, sprayed with pesticides, and planted, tilled, and harvested with heavy equipment. Each of these operations requires non-renewable fuel. Then the feed is shipped to feed manufacturers where it is dried, flaked or pelleted, and mixed with other ingredients and then, finally, shipped to the waiting animals, using yet more fossil fuel.

There is also a day-for-night difference in “manure management” on the two systems. On well-managed pasture-based farms, the animals spread their manure evenly over the soil where it becomes a natural source of organic fertilizer. The manure improves the quality of the grass, which increases the rate of gain of the animals. It’s a closed, sustainable system.

On factory farms, the excrement builds up in the feedlots and sheds where it fouls the air and releases ammonia and other gasses to the eco-system. The fumes stress and sicken the animals and farm workers, and they lower the quality of life of people in nearby homes. To get rid of the waste, it is shipped to nearby fields where it overloads the land with nutrients. The excess nitrogen and phosphorous pollute the soil and ground water and drain off into streams, rivers, and estuaries where it can create “dead zones” that threaten the fish population.

Meat Buying Guide in Charlotte, NC:

Farmers offering 100% Grassfed Beef: Most beef that is labeled “Grassfed” is not Grass finished – meaning the beef is fed grains the last 90 days to fatten them up before slaughter. These farms never feed their cows grain or corn products.

Hickory Nut Gap

Where sold: Whole Foods, Ingles, Earthfare, Heathy Home Market in Plaza Midwood (where I usually buy)

Our mission is to connect sustainable agriculture practices, our family history, and our customers by sharing the family farm experience and serving as an example of healthy land stewardship.

Also offers:

Pastured Pork – these pigs get to be pigs, playing, rooting, rolling, roaming the pasture edges and in the woods. They are free from confinement.

Pastured Poultry – chickens are moved around the pasture in a large enclosure for predator protection. They get to eat insects and move around the pasture. The Turkeys forage in the orchard and berry fields.


Proffitt Farm

Our mission is to produce high quality beef grown in a natural way.  To provide our animals with an environment that lets them live their entire lives as nature intended, by allowing them to forage exclusively on pasture.  On our farm we let the cows and pasture land sustain each other with only rain and sunshine. There are no chemical inputs on our pastures or cattle, of any kind. Our animals are never given routine hormones, antibiotics, or treated with chemicals for worms or flys.

Where Sold: Exclusively at Whole Foods in South Park


Salem Hills Farm

It all starts with the pastures.  Our pastures are Certified Organic, consisting of fescue, clover and native grasses.  No herbicides, pesticides, or synthetic fertilizers reach our pastures.  All products used on our pastures are OMRI (Organic Material Research Institute) listed and certified.

Where Sold: Kings Drive Farmers Market


A Better Choice for Chicken

Springer Mountain Farm

Over the years, we have studied and learned a great deal about the benefits of better animal care, better living conditions, and more stringent biosecurity practices. That enabled Springer Mountain Farms to become the first poultry producer in the world to gain the endorsement of the American Humane Association under their American Humane Certifiedprogram. With that extra care, our chickens are raised on a vegetarian diet without the use of antibiotics.

Where to buy: Harris Teeter, Publix

Chicken: This farm is in Georgia and has much better practices than most poultry farms. While the chickens are not pastured, they at least are housed more comfortably in chicken houses with room to move around (as opposed to tiny, crowded cages). I see this chicken sold in major grocery stores more and it’s a much better option if you don’t have time to go to a farmers market or Whole Foods.