Friday, May 16, 2008

Too Much Beef

Devora Kimelman-Block has a problem some of us might like to take on: more beef than she can handle.

Kimelman-Block operates a meat trade out of Takoma Park, MD, that specializes in grass-fed, kosher meats. Why kosher? Because "Jews should not have to choose between eating according to their values and keeping kosher," declares her website.

But in the process of gathering kosher beef and lamb for her business, Kol Foods, Kimelman-Block produces quite a lot of non-kosher meat that she is busy trying to market to non-kosher families and also for the Hilal trade. Thus, The Slow Cook received some e-mails recently.

"I live on the border of Takoma Park and Silver Spring. I don't have a store. About once a month I get an order of organic, grassfed, local beef or lamb," Kimelman-Block writes. "I know the family farmer well. I'd like to make it available to others since I know that it is hard to find at bulk prices and I know many people are concerned with their family's health and the health of the environment."

Then Kimelman-Block explains how a surplus of meat arises. "As a biproduct of making kosher meats available, I get even more (much more) non-kosher meat. And that is what I am really having trouble selling. I can't create enough kosher meats to meet the demand because I have to sell so much non-kosher meat to do so (which is very risky financially for me)."

Kimelman-Block does not raise the beef and lamb herself. This is done mostly on Content Farm in Rocky Ridge, Maryland, and similar local family farms in southern Pennsylvania. The animals are all grass-fed without hormones or antibiotics. They are taken George Ruppersberger and Sons in Baltimore to be slaughtered and USDA inspected. The kosher-bound meat is transported to Shaul's Kosher Place in Silver Spring to be Kashered and butchered under the supervision of the Va'ad Harabanim of Greater Washington/Rabbinical Council .

Kimelman-Block says a typical box of beef contains 23-25 pounds of frozen mixed cuts, individually labeled and wrapped for freezer storage. The next order of beef is scheduled to arrive May 29, with mixed cuts priced at $9 per pound and hamburger at $6.50/lb.

Check the Kol Foods website for details.

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