Raw, adjective: 2. not having undergone processes of preparing, dressing, finishing, refining, or manufacture


Sharp article in the morning Chron with a sobering update on Bill Niman's labor of love.

If you've perused a menu at any Bay Area restaurant in the last few decades, you've seen the "Niman Ranch" label affixed to various meat products.  The Niman name has serious cache around these parts; Bill was an early pioneer in the sustainable farming and "humane" ranching biz, emphasizing grass-fed beef and anti-hormone policies.  Yes, it's still ethically questionable in a fair number of ways,* but as animal husbandry ethics go, Niman and Co. have always been at the top of the list of socially-conscious entrepreneurs.

So I was disappointed to read this article and find that there's discord in the Niman legacy of late.  Seems that, after having to bend to shareholders in the wake of ongoing losses, the eponymous rancher won't even eat his own products anymore, because of the policy changes that have accompanied the shift in leadership.

It's a sobering look at the uneasy marriage of profit and sustainability.  I hope for Niman's sake that his newest pet project does turn out to be more of an, um, cash cow.**


*"Humane" slaughter?  Really??
**Can I please get a shout-out for not just one, but TWO bad puns in that last line?? God I'm brilliant.

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