It’s hard to eat right in a city that moves as fast as New York. Late nights at work, inhumane deadlines and soul sucking commutes usually add up to less than stellar decision making when it comes to choosing what to eat. 

Those subways ads don’t make it easy, either.

Those subways ads don’t make it easy, either.

 

I’ve been there...ravenously scrolling through the scant delivery options still available at 11pm. Sometimes your thumb has a mind of it’s own. In these situations, it’s hard to know where your food comes from; and I don’t just mean whether or not the pad thai that’s warming your lap is from Thai 101 or Thaiholics.

I’m talking about where your food is actually from...particularly the ingredients.

Learning To Eat Right

Eating right is more than just fanatically auditing the nutritional facts of every label. It’s about knowing the story and the upbringing behind what you’re eating, too. My world has always revolved around athletics and, naturally, that meant striving to maintain peak physical performance. When I started playing football as a kid, I never thought twice about what I was eating, let alone the nefarious hormones and chemicals that lurked inside. But over time I learned that what I put in my body has a direct effect on what my body can put out.

It’s cliché, but you really are what you eat. And the food that feeds you needs to be fed well, too.

Ironically, New York was where I eventually learned about the connection we all have, whether we know it or not, to what we eat.

One of many trips to the Poconos.

One of many trips to the Poconos.

The Discovery That Changed My Life

That life changing shift in philosophy didn’t happen at a local farmer's market or at a friend’s dinner party talking with an overly zealous vegan. It happened when a friend of mine introduced me to hunting.  I know, New York and hunting don’t usually mix, but spending entire days in the backcountry surrounded by the calm tranquility of nature opened my eyes to a whole new universe. The game that I hunted and brought home to eat had lived in its natural habitat for its entire life. The closest it had ever come to hormones or chemicals or non-native food was probably a leftover can of soda at a campsite.

It was the first time I felt a real tangible connection to what I was eating, and it felt AMAZING.

Soon I started bringing the game back to the city to share with friends. I wanted to introduce everyone I knew to this sensation I was feeling. Lucky for me, I live in Harlem, home to a strong community of lovers of good food, good wine and thought provoking dinner parties.

Bringing people together with good food and good wine.

Bringing people together with good food and good wine.

My friends instantly felt the same connection I did. They loved the more intense flavors and that the food tasted like real food. It dawned on me that something deep inside us all wants that subconscious knowledge that our food came from the right place and arrived on our plates in a humane way. They were as hooked as I was, so I started looking for a more regular source of naturally raised meat.

The answer was 100% grassfed beef.

I became obsessed with learning about the process and how grassfed meat is the best answer to America’s hyper-industrialized and mechanized agricultural industry. The more I learned, the more I discovered why grassfed beef was truly amazing. I began to understand red meat as a whole has earned a bad rap because your average supermarket beef is about as healthy as the mystery meat in a fast food burger. I learned how and why grassfed beef is actually a movement towards sustainability, and works in a symbiotic relationship with many of the organic produce we eat. How grassfed beef is rich in healthy nutrients, vitamins and minerals. 

Photo credit: Glen Mary Grassfed

Photo credit: Glen Mary Grassfed

The Start Of Something Special

That’s when the stars aligned. One of my closest friends owns a farm in southern Maryland that just so happened to raise some of the best tasting and most humanely raised grass-fed beef on the East Coast. Glen Mary Farm is a beautiful slice of family run farming, where they still speak the language of the land. Because when the needs of land are met, everyone benefits. The animals eat better, live healthier, and we’re rewarded with the gift nature intended to give: wholesome, delectable and nutritious meat. The farm is nestled into the gently rolling hills of southern Maryland, overlooking a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. If there’s a place worthy of being called heaven on earth, it’s Glen Mary Farm.

Hamlet Meats Is Born

With help from my friends at Glen Mary, I was able to transform this labor of love, my passion, into Hamlet Meats.

Why call it Hamlet, you ask? Hamlets are a protected community within a larger community. Which is exactly how this company started – by small groups of like-minded people who were looking to protect and preserve the integrity of the food they were eating and sharing with loved ones.

Each farm Hamlet partners with is hand picked for the care they give their animals, the attention to their diets, the quality of their life, and how humanely they’re killed.

100% Grass-Fed Beef

100% Grass-Fed Beef

My vision for bringing grassfed meat to New Yorkers was born from the swell of pride and love I felt when I first started this journey. I want every New Yorker to have the chance to feel the same way I did. So I made sure that Hamlet was tailored to the unique needs of New Yorkers. That’s why each meat share is skillfully packaged by local small batch USDA butchers. This minimizes waste of the animal, and curates portions so it never hogs precious freezer space. And to make the process as pain free as possible, every meat share is delivered right to your door, for free.

Know where food comes from. Care about the story behind it. Love the way the animal was raised. And I promise you, every meal you eat will be filled with the most satisfying food you’ve ever tasted.

- Josh Ott
Founder, Hamlet Meats
Harlem, NY

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