Mariposa Farms Jersey Cows program commencing this week here at North & Navy. They will be featured on a few new menu items.
Jersey cattle are a small breed of dairy cattle. Originally bred on Channel Island of Jersey (between France and England), the breed is popular for the high butterfat content of its milk and the lower maintenance costs attending its lower body weight, as well as its genial disposition.
Typically the male cows are deemed unprofitable because they do not produce milk. Some of them are kept for breeding, some are used in the veal industry, and some are raised on the farm for “freezer meat”, but the majority of the beef becomes dog food or worse.
For the majority of the time that the cows have been domesticated there was only one kind of cow on homestead. The males were raised for meat, and the females for dairy then meat, regardless of breed. Only since the rise of modern factory farms has the breeds been sub-divided for the dairy and meat industries. Recently those concerned with sustainable food production have questioned the logic that justifies this divergence. They point out that many of the least sustainable aspects of large scale agribusiness coincide with this practice. This practice has also been blamed for the deterioration of nutritional value for both beef and dairy.
Since 1980, MARIPOSA farm has specialized in the production and marketing of Barbarie ducks, Embed geese and crossbred pigs. Ian Walker and Suzanne Lavoie have been fixtures in Ottawa’s culinary scene since they opened. They have done this by providing high quality products, and employing an impressive list of young Chefs in their barn turned restaurant who would go on to help shape the city food community. Located in Plantagenet (45 mins outside Ottawa) the farm resembles those illustrated in children’s books with happy animals and beautiful vegetables at every turn.
The best argument for using this meat does not come from the fact that it would otherwise be wasted. It comes from farms like Mariposa. The purpose specific breeds are designed to take advantage of the latest drug and mechanization technologies that a small scale farm like Mariposa can’t afford. They can afford to purchase male dairy cows and raise them on a small scale. If chefs can create a market for this beef then farms like Mariposa can raise the cows and fewer will go to waste.
Thank you for hearing us out
Adam Vettorel chef & co-owner of restaurant with Chris Schlesak & all the NoNa team