Posted by: lemonator | July 16, 2009

Reflections of a Carnivore on Local Eating


Hi, I’m the Lemonator, and I’m a Carnivore.  When Hil and I decided to try our local eating challenge, I knew the biggest issue on my mind was:  Where. am I. going to get. my. Meat?  My encounters with farmers markets had been decidedly meat-less… our Sunday market has nothing beyond bread, fruit and vegetables… which are fine, but not going to sate my manly appetite.  Hil and I had determined that certain brands of poultry would be okay, as they were raised in California, which fell roughly into our ‘local’ category.

Chicken is fine, but what I really wanted and needed was steak.  As Hil has mentioned previously, one can buy branded chicken, but steak is blandly unidentifiable.  I resigned myself to a month of chicken and beans.

But then, something wonderful happened.  We went to a Tuesday evening market, and lo and behold, there were local ranchers selling steaks of all sorts.  Grass-fed, local steak.  I was thrilled, until, that is, I saw the price.  The prices were several dollars more per pound than anywhere else I had seen, and the selection was smaller.  I wasn’t surprised, mind you… I knew that no local place could compete with a national chain in terms of price and selection, but… bravely, we went for some… although, sadly, much less than I would have liked to get had it been at a lower price.  I typically can eat 3/4 of a pound or more of steak, and buying 3/4 of a pound for the two of us made me sad.

Until, that is, I ate the steak, and discovered that my appetite for steak was not based on quantity, but on what I call my quota of ‘steakness’.  After eating less than half a pound of the steak, I was completely stuffed, and the meat was so flavorful and delicious that I was completely content.  We continued experimenting, and I’ve found that in a lot of ways, this principle works for a LOT of the things that I tend to eat and drink too much of.  Local organic milk fills me up faster than regular grocery store stuff, etc, etc.  Hil jokes that her new strategy to help me learn moderation is to get me good quality things that fill me up and that are more expensive so my naturally frugal nature reigns me in as well.  Silly, yes, but amazingly, I think it works. 

So, in conclusion… to those of you who are dreading the idea of giving up meat in return for going ‘local’, or those of you who are trying to convince a meat-lover to join you… the meat is there, if you find it, and it will be tasty and some of the best steak ever.

Lemonator out.



  1. At the Farmer’s Market near my parents’ house there is always meat and sea food that my parents will get and love.

    I think it’s a wonderful observation you had that it’s not the amount of meat that makes steak good, but the tastes. Awesome!

  2. Thanks Lemonator! I agree, even though the meat is more expensive, it’s totally worth it because the taste is amazing.

  3. This is the exact “crisis” we’ve been having since starting to eat more local. I’m fine with a mostly-veggie-only diet, but my b/f is not. All of this is really good to know for when we do buy – less is more, it seems!

  4. I know, there really isn’y anything like a steak. I have no local source for grass-fed meat. Down in La Jolla there is one shop that sells a variety of local, humanely raised meats, but I’m never down there. What/where was the evening farmers’ market that you went to?

  5. Alexandra–we get our steak at the Culver City farmer’s market from J&J Grassfed Beef. I believe that they also are at the Santa Monica market on Saturdays, and they operate a CSA program throughout Southern California.

    Here is their website:

    And here is an article about the business:

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