Our first meat box delivery
October 6, 2006
The quest for a reliable source of fine organic meats has led us this week to the knowingly-named Well Hung Meat Company. This lot are based in Buckfastleigh, just down the round from Riverford farm in South Devon, an area of the country which must surely have a uniquely high concentration of right-on farmers per square hectare.
And why did we choose this company? Because they’ve got a photo of Hugh Furry-Wheatheringstal handing them a certificate on the front of the website. Because they’ve got Soil Association Organic Food Awards coming out of their hairy pig’s ears. Because they came first in Google when we searched for an organic meat delivery company, and we’re too lazy to look any further. And because, if their name is anything to go by, they leave their carcasses strung up to mature slowly for a decent length of time. Which I’ve been told is a GOOD THING.
I don’t know about you, but I’m usually too distracted to study the small print about how these country folk rear, educate and slaughter their animals – if their farm has won a load of organic awards and HFW thinks they’re alright, then that’s good enough for me. Well meaning but lazy consumers like me will always just look for a trusted logo, rather then investigating deeply into the origins of the produce, which is why articles like this in yesterday’s Guardian are quite worrying.
Anyway, we ordered their introductory meat box, which comes in at the non-trivial price of £40, plus an £8 delivery charge. And what did we get for our hard-earned reddies?
*a 750g topside of beef (£11.39)
*a 410g pack of lamb loin chops (£6.56)
*a 1.4kg leg of lamb (£18.12)
*a 495g pack of beef steak mince (£4.45)
*a 395g pack of sausages (£3.16)
Which Maths chick has added up to come to er…. 40…. um…. carry 3…. um 42 pounds and…. no, hold on, 43 pounds and 68 new pence. Which is a saving of almost £4 for the intro box. Which is better than nowt.
I reckon we could get more meat for our cash down at Islington farmer’s market (with fewer food miles) but that would involve getting out of bed before midday on a Sunday and sitting on a bus for an hour. Hence we’re happy to foot the extra quids to have our joints delivered. At least I am – Maths chick thinks 50 quids a bit steep for four smallish packs of meat and a decent-sized leg of lamb. I reckon you’ve got to be prepared to pay at least twice as much as usual for properly butchered organic meat to be delivered to your door.
The most traumatic thing about getting the box was that, because we were both at work, the delivery man left the box with the people in the dodgy-looking house across the road. Now if this was in a wee country village that would be no problem. But, living as we do in Norf London, imagine our distress when we realised we would have to MAKE CONTACT with our neighbours. Not only this but surely, we agreed, they’d have opened the box by now and injected smack into our lamb chops.
However, our paranoid fears turned out to be ill-founded as the box was delivered to our door during the night by our saintly neighbour, who even left a card with a smiley flower on the front and this message inside:
“Good Morning! Here is your dinner, I hope no foxes have run off with it! Sorry, I took it in and then went out all day, but I left it in our fridge, so it has been kept cold. Hope it’s all present and correct!
Zoe at Number 19
And in return, I’ve just dropped round a jar of our home-made apple chutney as a little token of thanks. Ain’t we lovely, too?
So not only do we now have a fridge full of well-hung lamb and beef, we also have a renewed belief that common kindness and humanity still flourishes, even in the sink of depravity that is 21st century London. And surely this is proof that the organic food box movement breaks down the barriers of fear and prejudice that blight urban life.
Hurrah for Zoe! Hurrah for us! Hurrah for the Well Hung Meat Co!