I remember one day when I was about five years old my father saying to me that nothing in life was free. I immediately tried coming up with all sorts of things I received for free. With every example I uttered he countered with someone or something that had to pay in some way for that free thing to exist. He was basically saying someone had to burn some calories to make “it” happen.
I have a saying that I came up with that is related, “calories demonstrate caring.” In our lives the things that truly matter to us are easy to figure out. Areas where we put in effort, show up, put in work are where we care. Helping a family member move, working on our guitar skills, taking our daughter to school, cleaning the house, learning spanish…..again.
These calories originally were photons from space, they then became food through photosynthesis, and then we burnt them while incorrectly conjugating spanish verbs. We have limited calories and where we spend them much of the time indicates the things that matter to us.
At Grounded, ecological health, animal health, the animals emotional wellbeing, and clean nutrition are all important to us. These values are important to most ranchers I know. However, achieving ecological health, animal health and creating healthy food take a lot of effort. More effort then just doing “business as usual.”
I get it. Life is hard, and between the economic squeeze, the regulatory and red tape pressures we face, putting in the calories to deliver on the values of ecological health, animal welfare and clean nutrition can be a bit much. It means developing your skills and knowledge as a land manager through continual education and observation. It means burning calories/dollars on infrastructure that allows you to manage more ecologically minded. It means doing things a little slower so the cattle are calm and healthy. In the end it means….burning more calories than the average bear in the name of your values, and we all got sh#t to do.
We at Grounded burn calories to deliver on our values, and so do our customer and we appreciate the hell out of them for it. In a world where people order toilet paper on their phone while using the toilet - convenience and ease is the name of the game. People (our family included) value time and ease and spend money and spew negative environmental externalities into the world by ordering something online from China through Amazon regularly. (Full disclosure my Prime game is fierce).
But despite this tide of convenience sweeping over the modern world our cow share owners care deeply about the environment, animal welfare, animal health as well as their own families nutrition. They care so much that they get a freezer. Then they drive...like to an actual place to pick up a share of a cow. Then they stand there and listen to us pontificate about how the hell we raised that cow. Then they go home and put it in their freezer. Then they have to remember to pull out a cut of meat for dinner. Or they don’t and then they put it in a bowl of water. They even learn how to cook different cuts of meat once in a while.
Seriously I’m exhausted just thinking about this. But they do it. They put their calories were there values are. They go against the tide of convenience (even though once you get started it is actually easier in our humble opinion) and forge ahead. They secure healthy, humanely, very tasty grassfed and finished beef. Did they save a ton of money over buying it at the grocery store? Yes...but that’s not the point. Did they secure better tasting and higher quality product then shopping weekly at a local natural food store? Well yes, but that’s not the point. Do they not have to worry about what kind of beef to by at the grocery store 52 weeks a year? No...they do not, once again, not the point.
The point is that our customers put their time, and effort on the front end to find us, shop and eat in a different way because they care. In this world of easy TP shopping that is a unique action. That is special. That is unicorn special. And we appreciate our customers so much for it. Those lovely little unicorns.