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The Eugene Meat Collective

Eugene OR, eugenemeatcollective@gmail.com

The Eugene Meat Collective is part of a national movement that brings local meat to local people. It’s a network of Eugene citizens who are looking for a cost-effective way to buy meat directly from Oregon’s small ranchers and farmers. While the Eugene Meat Collective draws on meat CSA models that have popped up around the country, it is also an up-close-and-personal traveling butchery school. The Collective not only helps consumers procure whole steers, pigs, or lambs directly from small Oregon farms. 

We also provide butchery and charcuterie classes for the proud new owners of those animals, so that they can learn how to transform those sides of pork into chops, bacon and ham roasts. In our classes, students decide how they want their animal carved up and they do all the butchering themselves, with the help of the Collective's diverse group of instructors. Students wield knives and bags of curing salts, and they learn what to do with all those specialty cuts once they’re at home in the kitchen.

The Eugene Meat Collective brings a dynamic, local, sustainable approach to buying and eating meat straight to the people.

About Jonathan

In 2008 Jonathan Tepperman moved to Columbus Ohio as a refuge when the Bay Area housing bubble collapsed. It was there that he started his journey of reconnecting with food in a meaningful and sustainable way. First through simple gardening he began to wonder "what were these weeds in his garden?" He realized that not only were many of them edible, they were also medicinal and there were many more wild foods to be discovered. Apparently FOOD IS MEDICINE. 

Next, in order to come to terms with his struggle with eating factory farmed meat, he looked for a sustainable way to eat animals.  Jonathan felt that in order to do so he should be able to hunt, kill, process and cook meat himself and this lead him to learn what humans have know for 99.99999% of our existence; how to thrive in our native habitat out side! In order to master “primitive skills” or human technologies, he began educating himself in bushcrafting and soon became a wilderness self reliance instructor, teaching things such as fire skills, shelter building, maple tapping, and acorn harvesting.

Jonathan realized that it wasn't practical in this day and age to live in a bark hut in the woods and forage for food, so he started looking for a new way to eat sustainably in our modern world. He began collaborating with the budding urban homesteading scene in Columbus OH and the next thing he knew he was hanging out in a friends driveway cutting up a freshly butchered pig, grilling samples as they went, drinking beers with the farmer while his three year old marveled at the pigs head. It was at this point that he realized that this was how our connection to food should be.

In 2015 Jonathan moved to Eugene OR to create a more meaningful life for his family and it was here that Adam Danforth introduced him to Camas Davis and the Portland Meat Collective (PMC). After his first PMC event he knew that he had to create something similar for Eugene. Through collaborations with the other meat collectives, local farmers, butchers and a community of people who support sustainable farming, the Eugene Meat Collective was born.

 

HISTORY OF THE MEAT COLLECTIVE

The first Meat Collective in the country was started in Portland, Oregon in 2009 http://www.pdxmeat.com. In 2013, the Portland Meat Collective's founder Camas Davis launched the Meat Collective Alliance, a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire responsible meat production and consumption through experiential education. Since then, the MCA has helped dozens of individuals and communities across the country launch their own Meat Collectives. The Eugene Meat Collective is proud to be one of those.

 

Our Philosophy

Our Philosophy: We at the Eugene Meat Collective believe that everyone is entitled to a thorough understanding of the myriad, and often complicated and confusing, ways that our food gets to our tables. The more we understand and become skilled participants in this process, the more control we have over the system that feeds us—and the more we can potentially change that system for the better.

Because the portion of that system that delivers meat to our tables has been a particularly closed and hidden loop for the past century, we believe that a shared, community-minded education in slaughter, butchery, meat cookery, and charcuterie can provide an effective and necessary path to rethinking our food system. Plus, it’s been our experience that food is far more pleasurable to eat when we are involved in the decisions that lead to its preparation.

We encourage people with all levels of experience and skill to take part in the our classes. The Meat Collective model is spreading across the country and all kinds of people are taking Meat Collective class from, college students, bike messengers, lawyers, bankers, single moms and dads, hunters, farmers, chefs, web designers, social workers, aspiring meat cutters, artists, musicians, doctors, professors, the list goes on. Some of our students take our classes because they want to become professional meat cutters. Others take it just to have a new experience, or to learn more about raising and processing their own food. Students often come to our classes because they want to start purchasing whole or half animals directly from farmers who they trust and they want to be able to cut these animals up themselves. Others were given a spot in our class as a birthday present and had no idea how much they would enjoy learning to process a pig until they tried it. Some students come so that they can someday start their own salumerie or butcher shop. Farmers take the classes so that they can learn how to slaughter and butcher their own animals for their family. Still others take our classes just so that they know how to have an educated conversation with their local butcher about the difference between a pork butt and a picnic roast.