Grocery store meat usually looks ok, but looks can be deceiving. Grocery store meat is sourced from far away farms, often overseas. To travel so far, certain less-than-healthy methods are used to keep it looking fresh, although it may not taste fresh.

Where you source the meat for your family and yourself really boils down to trust, peace of mind, quality and the life of the animal.


When you buy meat from the grocery store, you have no idea where it came from, how it was raised, or what is in it. For example, there are no label requirements anymore for the country of origin. You could be buying something from an unknown country that has literally traveled halfway around the world in unknown conditions, containing goodness-only-knows what parasites and drugs before it hit the shelf.

There’s no label requirement to say if the animal was given daily antibiotics or growth hormones to make them grow faster and overcome an unhealthy environment (massive confinement with tens of thousands of animals together, for instance).

The vast majority of today’s meat animals (excluding lamb) are given growth hormone implants to make them grow faster. They are fed antibiotics in their feed daily so they can be fed more than they would otherwise eat without getting sick, in order to gain weight faster.

This is the true cost of the inexpensive protein we have in this country. Are these methods better for the animal and the customer? I would say no. That’s why its really important to buy from a local farmer you can trust. We don’t implant our livestock with hormones, or feed them daily antibiotics, we let them grow naturally with plenty of room to move around.

We take the utmost care of each animal, but our methods are slower, healthier (for you and for the animals) and takes longer to bring an animal to market. This means it costs more than the meat that is made using unethical, toxic and unhealthy methods… those that are used by “big ag” and “big meat”.

Peace of Mind

Everyone wants to have confidence they’re feeding their families nutritious, clean food. The problem is that options are often limited. It’s a job to search out local, quality protein and produce. Many of the labels these days in the grocery store don’t amount to a hill of beans, as “greenwashing” is the marketing tool of big ag. When you buy from Dry Branch, you enjoy peace of mind. We know food and farming, and we can see through the label game. Shopping at Dry Branch Farm Market is like having a farmer in the family.


In 2004, a new three-gas mixture used for packaging of red meat cuts and ground beef products was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This mixture is 0.4 percent carbon monoxide, 30 percent carbon dioxide and 69.6 percent nitrogen. These gasses are used to make the meat look fresh and bright red, even when the product is old.

We don’t do this. We also don’t use “stay fresh pads” in our packaging to make it look better than it is and increase shelf life. A person would be crazy to think the meat doesn’t absorb chemicals from these.

The Life of the Animal

How an animal is raised matters. Raising animals in small cages or in pens with tens of thousands of other animals just isn’t right as far as we’re concerned. The stress this causes not only diminishes the quality of the animal’s life, it floods the meat and the organs with stress hormones.

I’m not saying the heavy hand of the government needs to be involved from a regulation perspective, but the customer can help this by supporting small farmers, whose animals live natural lives, with plenty of space to move around in comfortable environments.

The slaughter matters too. One thing you don’t want to see is commercial chicken slaughter/processing. You’ll never eat chicken again. Tens of thousands of animals processed on conveyors, being electrocuted in dirty water, then processed with machines – its horrible.

We slaughter our animals with respect and care, the old fashioned way…one at a time. You can be assured that our standards are humane and the life and death of the animal is important to us.