A Weird Analogy

Although the landscape is still shades of brown and grey, slight hints of green suggest a new season is rapidly approaching.  The world will undergo a significant transformation in the next couple of months and I want us to be thinking about forage reared mobile ungulate protein: grassfed beef.

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This has become my passion and obsession, so you’ll be hearing a lot more about it as we approach the 2019 Clarion Farms Grassfed Beef Release.  Now, what I want to address today are some observations I made last year, specifically in regard to perception.

The way I’m going to make my point is to create a somewhat unusual analogy, because, you know, we’re all hardwired to remember the strange and not the drab and boring blah blah, right?  Right.

Here’s what I’m saying: beef and dance are the same.  Think about that.

I’m by no means an expert on dance: I can’t dance.  I don’t dance.  I have no desire to dance.  But my sister Kate danced on stage since the very first time she put on a tutu, and she continued to do so all the way through high school.  You better believe that when Sister Kate was performing, Brother John-Scott was loaded into the car and hauled along to watch.  So I’ve spent my share of time at a recital.  Does that make me a recital expert?  Maybe.  But don’t sign me up for Dance Moms yet.

What did I observe at all these performances?  A very key insight: there is DANCE, the heading, or the overriding theme of the evening, but that’s not the end of the story.  There isn’t only one kind of dance; we would watch ballet, and tap, and contemporary, and hip hop, and a ton of other styles that all very accurately fall under the category of dance.  Different genres exist below the umbrella of dance.  In those huge auditoriums filled with people, the axiom of the evening was that dance isn’t a singular term.  Nobody needed to be told, they just knew.  Never once did I see a steaming grandma grease up the walker and make for the door because she thought a dance recital was going to be three and a half hours of ballet.  Do you get my point?  People intuitively accept that there are different styles of dance, and that each can be spectacular.  Nobody upholds the belief that DANCE is just ballet, then, adhering to said belief, ridicules tap dancing as not being dance.  To do so would land you in the crazy house.

What does this have to do with beef?

What has happened in the world of my favorite bovine sourced protein is a dramatic simplification that has spanned decades and generations.  To mimic our example above, we have BEEF – the heading, or the overriding category – and beneath the heading we have ‘The Waltz’.  That’s it.  1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, prime, choice, select, prime, choice, select…waltz.  The axiom of our time is that beef is beef is beef.  Can you see the issue?  If dance was just ballet since the first ballet was performed, the arts would barely progress and we’d still all be watching the same darn thing they were watching a thousand years ago.  Such a thought makes most people with an engaged cerebrum shudder, but it’s exactly the world we live in when it comes to beef.

Intelligent people always seek improvement in every category of their lives, and there’s a rapidly strengthening undercurrent that’s pulling people to find improvement in beef.  When people want something, the market responds and variations eventually become available.  Now, here’s the problem: when we finally encounter the new variations of beef, we automatically compare them with The Waltz.  Beef is beef is beef, right?  Prime, choice, select…right?  This reflex back towards what we’re familiar with short-circuits change.  It stops innovation in its tracks.  If someone measured a world-class hip hop routine by ballet standards, the hip hop, however good, would fail miserably.  Friends, we do that with beef, and we don’t even realize it!

There is my challenge for today: cement in your mind that beef does have genres, and that each can be truly exceptional and unique.  I’m not asking you to eat garbage while trying to maintain a smile in the name of diversity, but I am asking you to realize that you’ll encounter different flavors and textures when you experience a different style (specifically, in this case, grassfed versus grainfed).  Avoid scrambling back from your plate when it happens; pretend you’re at a recital and the curtain closed on contemporary and opened for ballet.  Find what you like about each, don’t leave the auditorium the moment you discover a difference.

I keep reading about all of the fake meat substitutes that are exploding into the mainstream, led by do-gooders who think mass extermination of ruminants in favor of millions of additional acres of soybeans will save the planet (more on that soon).  The misguided vitriol spewing forth from the counterfeit foodies directed towards cattle (ALL cattle, no matter how well they are managed) breaks my heart.  Is this truly where we’re headed?  Substitute food will be conjured in a lab and distributed to the flock?  Will we forgo diversity and earth grown sustenance?  I don’t want my kids raised like a butterball turkey on a scientist formulated diet.  In fact, keep your science formulations out of my food, too.

The reason these movements are gaining such traction is because we’re pigeon-holed into such a singular selection in the animal protein world.  Diversity is needed to make a better, more wholesome tomorrow, and that will never occur unless people buying food ‘get it’.  Unless YOU ‘get it’.  I’m begging you, open your mind to new genres of beef and try to understand that variation is wonderful and necessary.  Do I sound a little desperate?  Desperation is appropriate – my stomach roils at the thought of bean-paste burgers and pseudo-steak.

Clarion Farms 100% awesome, totally grain free, mobile herd, land massaging, fertility distributing, earthworm attracting, never medicated, completely real grassfed beef, coming June 2019. It’s not The Waltz. Be excited.

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