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Look closely at the cuts of meat in this series by Brent Herrig and you’ll see something particularly unique to grass-fed animals: marbling. Many butchers believe you can’t get exquisite ribbons of fat in cuts from cows not overfed on grain and corn, and none of the beef, pork or chicken at Lindy & Grundy Local, Pasteurized and Organic Meats in Los Angeles are from commodity animals. But during the height of the growing season on California’s coast farmers work around the clock to get their cattle up to weight. The resulting ribboning excites owner/butcher Erika Nakamura. But ribboning is not the bottom line.

“At the end of the day this is about trust. I’m doing the investigative research so I can tell my customers, ‘This is incredible stuff. You can trust me on this.’ My pig farmer has no idea what a pig from him looks like after I cut it up. So when I receive the animal I’ll cut it up, text some pictures to him and say, ‘look at this; this is amazing’ or ‘this doesn’t look so hot; let’s talk about why.’ There’s a dialogue and connection.”

Nakamura and partner/wife Amelia Posada are both former vegetarians who spoke out against the injustices of American factory farming. Now with Lindy and Grundy they use cleavers, knives and a load of information to inform their customers as to why their products are superior and should be given attention.

“It’s not just about what tastes good to you – that’s actually really selfish in my opinion. That’s a privileged statement. It’s about being conscious about how the community is changing and how you can influence that. The agricultural system has been hijacked by the government, big agriculture and corporate industry. So many people are controlling the way in which our food is being produced, processed, labeled and presented to us. Where is the nourishment? Not everything is about full-on pleasure. You have to understand what the entire picture is about.  You vote with your wallet.”


Photographer: Brent Herrig

Writer: Jacqueline Raposo