Returning to Tradition: The Farm to Fork Movement comes to Stillwater

Jennifer Apple works in the OSU Food & Agricultural Products Center slaughter facility. Photo by Tyler Seims.

Story by TSET Healthy Living Program

Farm to fork restaurants, also known as farm to table or farm to market, have become an emerging trend in the United States. Contradictory to contemporary American customs, the farm to fork model values quality of food over ease and accessibility. These food markets distinguish themselves by encouraging people to improve their nutritional intake by switching from over-processed, modified foods for local, natural, and unaltered produce, dairy, and meats. However, this is not a revolutionary concept, as our ancestors used this method for food sourcing many years ago. This re-emerging idea of a fresh, all-natural food chain coming directly from your local farm to your local fork has several benefits for your health, the environment, and also the local economy. Supporting local farm to fork establishments helps to:

  • Maintain food’s natural health benefits and nutritional quality.
  • Improve the economic vitality of small and local farms.
  • Ensure the safety of our food supply.
  • Avoid the use of genetically modified foods and GMOs.
  • Encourage diversity in the types of foods available regionally.
  • Decrease the environmental impact and carbon footprint of factory farms and mass food production.
1907 Meat Co. sources pasture-fed, humanely raised meat from local farmers and ranchers. Photo by Chris Peters

1907 Meat Co. has recently brought the farm to fork movement to Stillwater, helping people across Oklahoma understand where their meat comes from. 1907 Meat Co. sources humanely raised, pasture-fed animals from local farmers and ranchers — everything that goes through the store is born and raised in the great state of Oklahoma, and if it is not, it is clearly labeled.  As a whole-animal butcher shop, 1907 Meat Co. utilizes as much of the animal as possible, and offers hard-to-find, nutrient-rich items.

“We tell the truth,” said Adam Gribben, owner and operator of 1907 Meat Co. “That was something I really wanted to harp on — the authenticity and transparency. There are so many standards out there and there are different levels of skepticism, depending on the label you’re looking at. It’s a bombardment of different terms, and the consumer just wants to know what’s good to eat, what’s good to feed their families.” To achieve this standard, Adam has built a personal relationship with each local farmer that meat is sourced from. Each farmer’s story is featured on 1907’s website in addition to various photos of the farmers displayed in their storefront. Through this authenticity, consumers are able to better distinguish the lineage of their food and what they are feeding their families.

Frank Henry, Director of Food Services at the University of Oklahoma; Adam Gribben, Owner and CEO of 1907 Meat Company in Stillwater; and Kevin Barker, Director of Business Operations, attended the Made in Oklahoma Event hosted by the OU Housing and Food Department in Couch Restaurants in Norman on March 23, 2017.  Photo by Sally Asher

In a day and age when it is hard to know where meat on the shelf comes from and what is in it, 1907 Meat Co. is striving to strip away the confusion with complete ingredient lists and clear labeling. “People want to know where their food comes from, what’s in it, or at least what’s not in it,” Gribben said. 1907 Meat Co. has brought that option to Stillwater citizens. Not only does 1907 Meat Co.’s farm to fork movement provide Stillwater consumers the option to make educated decisions about the food they eat, but they are leading the way for a healthier, more sustainable Oklahoma.

To learn more about 1907 Meat Co., visit 1907meat.co or the store at 919 S. Main in Stillwater.

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