Our smoker recently “retired” without notice.  While exploring new smoker designs, Josh stumbled upon a video showcasing a BBQ restaurant that smokes an impressive 135 Briskets per day. As a small farm and cow calf operation, this number truly astounds me! 135 Briskets! That’s the equivalent of harvesting 68 animals daily for one cut of meat!

Brisket is undoubtedly a favorite here. Mastering the art of smoking a brisket is a skill in itself, resulting in an exceptional eating experience that never fails to please a crowd. No wonder the restaurant  specializes in this single cut of beef—it’s what the people want and love!

Over the past three generations, we’ve moved away from whole butchery and the use of the entire animal within the same community. Instead, we now have a system where a simple phone call can deliver truckloads of tenderloin (less than 1.5% of an animal). Such unlimited access to individual cuts is made possible by our current system, which uses industrialized confinement feeding, massive processing plants, and centralized processing and distribution.

Just imagine this restaurant serving up three locally sourced grass-fed steers per day instead of the single cut of 135 Briskets. People would line up for the limited items of freshly smoked brisket & steaks, followed by smoked chuck, sirloin tip & shank BBQ, short ribs, and mouth-watering smoked burgers. Plus, one could experience the soup of the day comprised of bold and rich, nutrient dense broth, packed with herbs, spices, tender smoky flavored meat, and fresh local veggies available each season.

These deliciously prepared meals are all crafted using the artisan skill of a seasoned meat-smoking team. Such a shift could potentially expand the market share for the restaurant, attracting burger lovers and families. This is not the world we currently live in, and it would require a few logistical changes. However, it’s the only world where food is raised within a community by actual farms and stays within that community, providing nourishment, social connections, and nutritional benefits.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already on board with a more local, community-based food chain, or at least you’re intrigued by the possibility. Change doesn’t come easily or quickly, but if it’s going to happen at all, it will be driven by consumers.

I urge you to seek out a local farm and experience your part of the whole animal—it’s a truly liberating journey. If you’re already familiar with the benefits, spread the word to friends and family. Become an advocate for community-based systems. Like and share what they do. We are all partners in shaping the future for the next generation and our community.