Firefly Farms, 96 Button Road, North Stonington, CT 06359
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Cornell University On the Danger List: The Saga to Save the Randall Lineback Cattle Breed by Martha Herbert Izzi: So why all the fuss? Why have these people and others struggled so long to save this heritage breed of cattle? Clearly it is more than just a rebellion against the rise of industrial agriculture, but according to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, it is the loss of genetic diversity. Their hardy traits allow them to live in a variety of challenging weather conditions and increase their resistance to disease. They do not need grain nor antibiotics as modern commerical breeds often do. They are important genetic resources and when they become extinct the uniqueness of their gene pool is forever lost.
The Grit's What's the Beef by Don Schrider: One attendee, Lina Burton of The Mercer House, says, “And the beef – who would have thought that they really did taste different, and were so much better than what is available commercially in the supermarket?”
CNN Eatocracy's To Save This Endangered Breed, Eat It: After that, describing it has been a challenge. Attempts have included the "beluga of beef," "rose veal," or the "pandas of the cow world."
American Agriculturalist's And the Best Beef was... by John Vogel: "We have to eat them to save them," says Sandy Lerner, host for the tasting. "When we eat them, we're giving farmers an economic reason to conserve rare breeds and the important genetic diversity they represent."
Epicurious.com's Heritage Beef Breeds Taste Test by Ethan Book: The top three in the blind taste test were the Randall Lineback, the Galloway, and the Dexter!
Randall Linebacks in the News
Reader's The Whole Hog Project: What does mulefoot taste like? by Mike Sula:"So what does mulefoot taste like and where can you get some, you ask? Well it's wonderful, but it ain't easy to come by."
The Grit's Mulefoot Pork Wins Blind Taste Test by Hank Will:Once the results were tallied, the Mulefoot was on top!
National Geographic's Earth Day: Five Foods to Save the Planet by Mary Beth Albright: Mule Foot Pork. According to most studies, producing animal protein contributes more to environmental pollution than producing other types of food. If you eat pork, Mule Foot is the one to eat. Mule Foot is the top-rated in taste tests by Slow Food International but their popularity declined so much in the past century that now not many farmers raise them. (Most attribute this to the breed’s success in pasture, which makes them unfit for commercial feedlots, and the Mule Foot pig’s ability to produce copious amounts of high-quality lard, which until the past five years or so was not in high demand.)
The breed almost became extinct not long ago, and The Livestock Conservancy began working with farmers to commit to Mule Foot pigs. Through the effots of farmers like Many Rock Farms (sold at FreshFarm Markets, which runs the market near the White House) Mule Foots are now becoming popular again. It’s counterintuitive to say that eating an animal will save its breed, but this is how to get more farmers interested in raising them.
Mulefoot Hogs in the News