Are Hinckley's Fancy Meats "organic"?
Several of our farmers go beyond what the USDA requires for the organic certification. Some of our farmers have gone through the certification process, others might practice organic farming methods but have chosen not to pay for expensive organic certification. One of the deciding factors in us choosing a farm is how the farmers treat their animals and their land. We don't do business with farms that don't operate with complete transparency. And we choose farms that allow their livestock to live in an environment which allows the animals to express their natural tendencies.
Do I need to cook grass-fed beef differently?
Beef that has been raised freely on pasture can be a bit tougher than the industrial beef raised in feedlots. Cows roaming about the countryside will develop more muscle and pack on less fat. Grass fed beef has a more robust flavor than grain fed beef. You may find that you need less in your recipes. Tougher cuts like brisket and chuck will generally require a longer cooking time than grain fed cuts.
Is the feed GMO-free?
We encourage all of our farmers to use GMO-free feed for their animals. Some do, some don't. ALL are transparent with us and will show us receipts of their animal feed. If maintaining a GMO-free diet is important to you, contact us and we will work with you to make sure that your order is in line with your dietary requirements.
Is Hinckley's Fancy Meats sold fresh or frozen?
Most of our products are fresh and ready-to-eat. We carry some fresh grinds and sausages that are frozen.
Do your farmers use antibiotics?
Excellent question! We're glad you asked! The use of antibiotics on the farm is a tricky situation because we don't want to ingest a bunch of unnecessary antibiotics so that animals can live in foul conditions, but we also don't want animals dying off in wholesale numbers over treatable illnesses. Our farmers do not use antibiotics in their feed. If they have to treat a sick animal with antibiotics it is removed from breeding stock. Hinckley's Fancy Meats does not purchase animals previously treated with antibiotics.
What's the difference between bone broth and stock?
Usually when people refer to "stock" they are referring to the classic French method of bringing bones, mirepoix (onion, celery, carrot), and aromatics (herbs, spices) to a near boil and then a gradual simmer for 2-4 hours. Our "bone broth" is more similar to the umami-rich "Tonkotsu" broth that you might find in legit ramen noodle restaurants. Our broth is made by bringing bones and water up to a boil and then leaving it at a rapid boil for up to 12 hours. This lengthy boil breaks down the bones and make a lip-smacking paleo-friendly broth that many people drink for a wide variety of health benefits.
Do you use sodium nitrite? Why not celery powder?
We use a curing salt containing sodium nitrite in some of our products to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses. Sodium nitrite occurs naturally in some of the vegetables that we consume. The current fad seems to be using celery powder, where nitrites occur naturally, rather than nitrite as an isolated chemical. By using celery powder manufacturers can label their product as "organic" even if there is a higher nitrite count than another manufacturer using chemically isolated nitrites. We don't like using nitrites. But we also don't like botulism, which is the most acutely lethal toxin known to mankind. Read more about nitrites here.