Washington, DC — Seven food writers recently participated in a food and farm excursion to see first-hand how veal calves are raised. The North American Meat Institute, on behalf of the Beef Checkoff, hosted the tour which included visiting multiple veal farms in Pennsylvania and Indiana. The writers visited with farmers, animal nutritionists, veterinarians, feed representatives and chefs to learn more about the transformation that has occurred in how veal is raised today.
“There’s so much that has evolved in the world of veal farming,” explained Holly Sander of Taste and See. “There are so many regulations and quality initiatives in place to ensure that veal farming meets the highest standards. Think about it… why would a farmer sabotage their livelihood by cutting corners or mistreating their investment? Plain and simple… they wouldn’t and don’t.”
The ReVEAL Food and Farm tour included visiting veal farms in Pennsylvania hosted by Marcho Farms as well as veal farms in Indiana hosted by Midwest Veal LLC and Strauss Veal Feeds. The food writers on the tour represented Rust Nutrition, Souffle Bombay, Windy City Dinner Fairy, Taste and See, Confetti & Bliss, Claire Matern, and Bell’alimento.Combined, these professionals reach more than half a million food and nutrition followers.
“The culture surrounding raising veal calves has been a taboo subject for as long as I can remember,” the Windy City Dinner Fairy stated in her blog post about the tour. “I’m here today to tell you that veal calves are humanely raised and are actually a sustainable aspect of the dairy industry.”
“I’ve been eating veal for as long as I can remember. To me, veal is incredibly delicious albeit often misunderstood,” said Paula Jones of Bell’alimento. “I’m excited to share what I personally experienced and learned. What struck me the most is how large these animals are. They are about 500 pounds at 22 weeks at market. That is a large animal.”
Culinary inspiration for preparing veal was provided through a multiple course dinner featuring veal at Nunzio Ristorante Rustico in Collingswood, New Jersey, hosted by Catelli Brothers. Lunch featuring a Greek inspired veal burger was prepared by the chefs at Joseph Decuis Emporium in Roanoke, Indiana, concluding the three-day event. Each food writer then received a delivery of ground veal, cutlets and chops to create their own veal recipes to feature on their websites and social media platforms. The fresh package of veal was provided by Mountain States Rosen Veal.
“I encourage you to give veal a try. From a culinary perspective, veal is a specialty meat that’s flavorful and unique,” said registered dietitian, Rosanne Rust. “Adding ground veal to your meatballs or meatloaf, for instance, will definitely kick them up a notch.” Her veal recipe post will be featured on Chew the Facts.
What these food writers learned and experienced on the tour was that while farms may differ from one state to another, farmers share a commitment to raising healthy veal calves, following the gold standards of animal care set forth in the Veal Quality Assurance program and delivering a safe, quality meat to consumers.
There are approximately 500 farm families that raise milk-fed veal in the U.S. The primary states where veal is raised include New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. Milk-fed veal is raised today with no tethers and in group pens with space to stand, stretch, lie down, groom naturally and socialize with other calves.
About the Beef Checkoff:
The Beef Checkoff Program (www.MyBeefCheckoff.com) was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. In states with qualified beef councils, states may retain up to 50 cents of the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.
About the North American Meat Institute:
NAMI, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, is a national trade association that represents companies that process 95 percent of red meat and 70 percent of turkey products in the US and their suppliers throughout America. In addition, NAMI conducts scientific research through its Foundation designed to help meat and poultry companies improve their plants and their products. The Institute’s many meetings and educational seminars also provide excellent networking and information-sharing opportunities for members of the industry.
“Internal links within this document are funded and maintained by the Beef Checkoff. All other outgoing links are to websites maintained by third parties.”