We believe the key to changing our meat production system is education, or, rather, re-education. By teaching everyone along the food chain—from consumers to chefs to butchers and farmers—how to bring local, humane, responsible meat to the table and utilize and appreciate the whole animal, the Good Meat Project supports a thriving, resilient, regenerative economy of meat production and consumption.
The Good Meat Project’s model of education offers consumers hands-on classes in whole animal butchery, charcuterie, and cookery, as well as humane slaughter. Our students, though diverse, have one thing in common: They want to learn where meat comes from and eat meat in accordance with their values.
Our founder Camas Davis launched the first Meat Collective in Portland, Oregon in 2010 in order to create a more educated consumer base that supports whole animal butcher shops and buys carcass shares directly from local, humane farmers.
The Good Meat Project incubates new Meat Collectives in communities across the nation—from the Central Texas Meat Collective in Austin, Texas to the Chicago Meat Collective in Illinois—and acts as the clearinghouse for all existing Meat Collectives.
Meat Collective classes are taught by local chefs and butchers. And we encourage all Meat Collectives to source animals from local farmers who employ honorable approaches to environmental stewardship and animal welfare. Meat Collective classes answer a lot of questions—and inspire even more. Above all, students learn the many ways good, clean, fair meat can reach their tables. Meat Collective classes are important stepping stones for any eater on a mission to reconnect to their sources of nourishment.
If you are interested in starting a consumer-focused Meat Collective in your community, we’re here to train and advise you. See what it takes and get involved.
Chefs and butchers wield immense influence over consumers, through their restaurants and shops, through the media, and, more recently, through advocacy and politics. Sourcing locally and utilizing humanely-raised whole animals is a superb way for chefs and butchers to reduce waste in our food system and to support healthy community food sheds and regenerative agriculture. Yet, bringing whole animals back into restaurants and butcher shops can be challenging, especially when uninformed customers often reject products and dishes prepared using unfamiliar parts, e.g. tongues, tails, heads, and organs. Changing consumer habits is challenging, but we believe chefs and butchers are the perfect ambassadors for a new model of meat production and consumption.
To this end, the Good Meat Project develops and hosts training programs and workshops for aspiring and seasoned food professionals wanting to source meat more responsibly and integrate whole-animal butchery into their restaurants, butcher shops, and production facilities. Help us change how America eats by contacting us today.
Raising livestock outside the current conventional model can feel like an uphill battle. Even informed consumers who want to buy better meat expect the cost of non-conventional meat to remain low. Yet the true costs of raising livestock in accordance with nature is necessarily much higher. Compounding this pricing quandary, a dearth of slaughterhouses and knowledgeable meat cutters willing to work with non-conventional producers makes regenerative animal husbandry even more of a challenge.
The Good Meat Project wants to help producers navigate this confusing matrix. Understanding how to fully utilize carcass cuts, knowing how to talk to your slaughterhouse and processor, figuring out the value and price of your meat, and attracting consumers are key to sustaining your business. The Good Meat Project curates and hosts experiential training programs for budding and seasoned farmers alike who want to successfully and sustainably bring their animals to market. Contact us today to find out more.
Grrls Meat Camp
Grrls Meat Camp (GMC) is a relatively new program of the Good Meat Project with the mission to inspire, instruct and initiate a sisterhood of farmers, butchers, cooks, and teachers, giving voice to women united by a shared interest in food animals and meat. We achieve this programmatic mission through in-person, experiential workshops, gatherings, and "meat-ups," and by continuing to grow a global online network of educators, mentors, and learners who are eager to share their knowledge with one another. Grrls Meat Camp brings together eaters, seeders, and feeders alike under the Good Meat Project mission. You can find out more about the history, mission, and goals of our GMC program here. For inquiries about Grrls Meat Camp email our coordinators.
Atlas of Butchery
The Atlas of Butchery is an urgent creative initiative from the Good Meat Project that documents, explores and shares endangered global meat traditions in order to create lasting change in our current meat production system.
For millennia, the intimate knowledge of whole-animal butchery and utilization techniques has passed from generation to generation, person to person. But the industrialization of meat has disrupted this lineage of skilled craftspeople who have traditionally supported a more balanced and responsible system of meat production, as well as a culture of reverent, respectful, and informed meat consumption. Additionally, the practitioners of these traditions are aging and their businesses struggle for economic viability in an increasingly industrialized food system. As a result, artisanal meat crafts are at risk of disappearing, to the detriment of tradition, quality, and responsible practices. The transfer of this knowledge to current and future generations will be critical to building (and restoring) an economy and culture of responsible meat production and consumption.
In response, the Good Meat Project has initiated the Atlas of Butchery, an ambitious new program led by author, educator, and GMP board member Adam Danforth. The Atlas project will identify significant regional meat traditions from around the world, find the modern-day practitioners who still honor these historical practices, and then document their unique place-based approaches to butchering, curing, and preparing meat. The resulting images and stories will reconnect a new generation of food professionals and food enthusiasts to the original values and skills of traditional whole-animal butchery and utilization.
By renewing the craft of butchery in the name of a more humane, equitable, ecological, and delicious meat culture, the Atlas of Butchery will preserve this language of food, teach authentic methods of global butchery, and inspire all of us to consume meat mindfully.
We are actively researching subjects to be profiled in the Atlas of Butchery project. If you would like to suggest a traditional product, practice, or practitioner for our consideration, please share it with us by filling out this simple form.
For inquiries about the Atlas of Butchery email our coordinators.