By now, you’re probably planning your Christmas meal of turkey, ham, or prime rib. But did you know there’s another feathered alternative for a holiday meal — grown right here in SW Idaho?
It’s the ostrich. And get this, it’s actually a type of red meat.
Idaho livestock typically has to travel miles and miles to other states for processing, but there is a new plant in town.
“We pretty much are straight farm-to-table establishment,” Jessica Jimenez, manager of Sustainable Meats said.
Sustainable Meats, a processing plant for livestock, is a new addition to the American Ostrich Farms location outside of Kuna. It’s a subsidiary of the ostrich company.
“We want to make sure to all of our animals are as humanely handled as possible, and that really allows us to do it just being here and being able to go straight to consumer,” Jimenez explained.
Jimenez said the proximity helps reduce stress on the animals and saves money.
“So not only do we harvest and process our own animals, we harvest and process other people’s animals,” Jimenez said, “with us being under USDA inspection, they can sell in grocery stores, they can sell at retail in farmer’s markets.”
Red meat that’s leaner
Ostrich is a red meat that’s on the healthier side.
According to the company, it’s 97% lean with much less fat than beef. In addition, the alternative livestock requires less freshwater and land while it’s being raised compared to its bovine peer/competitor. Ostrich is also more climate-friendly, producing less than a tenth of the greenhouse gases per pound than beef.
Sustainability is key for the Kuna-based operation and motivation to keep going with their mission.
“Everything we do here is sustainable. We try to use every single piece of meat off that animal without wasting anything,” Jimenez said.
It’s only been open a few years, but this family farm is already paving the way towards a red meat revolution.
“Being able to see how how the meat industry is moving and how we can actually make a difference within these smaller establishments. It’s a big deal,” Jimenez said.