Finding Texas Ranchers & Recovering From Vegetarianism - Lisa Flynn's Story

I became a vegetarian out of necessity. I was a passionate cook stuck eating in a college cafeteria with mystery meats. But as I read more about animal welfare, studied environmental agriculture and listened to podcasts, I moved from apathetic non-meat eater to passionate vegetarian. In the height of the farm-to-table movement, there was still too much to question when it came to meat and factory farming. Vegetarianism was the safest option.

But I struggled with my health. After graduating college, I moved to Austin, Texas where I decided to address my worsening gastro issues and food allergies. I went to a holistic doctor who encouraged me to ditch the vegetarianism, along with the processed and sugar-filled replacements. Instead, she suggested I focus on a high-quality grass-fed meats.

The first piece of meat I ate was barbecued Austin squirrel. Lean, locally caught (the host’s backyard),cleaned and butchered by a father/son duo. The dad wanted to teach his son about the consequences of careless bb gunning in the backyard. Not a Rosso & Flynn ribeye, but an important place where my lesson in sourcing started.

Over the next year, I dove headfirst into reconnecting with what I put in and on my body. I subscribed to a CSA farm box from an Austin farm, ditched food and body products with ingredients I couldn’t pronounce, planted a garden in my Bouldin Creek house, visited SFC farmers’ markets and made my own lotions and shampoo. Physically, I felt better, but I still felt disconnected from the new hero of my plate: meat.

 

We deserve more information about where our food came from and how it came to be. Big Ag, conventional farming and a race to the bottom pricing pushed out the neighborhood butcher in favor of the plastic-covered mystery meat we know today.

What does “air-chilled” even mean? What about “natural” or “organic” or “fresh”? I’d spend hours in the meat section trying to understand the terminology on the saran wrap.

The quality of meat that I found at local Austin farm to table restaurants and farmers markets inspired me to search beyond the disappointing meat section at the grocery store. I started regularly visiting ranches near Austin and I met the faces behind the cottage agriculture movement in Central Texas and understood the effort and cost of raising animals the right way. Like Ranger Cattle who pasture raised Wagyu humanely in Austin city limits. Or Cobb Creek who never uses growth hormones or antibiotics for their chickens. Once I met these ranchers and farmers, it was impossible for me to imagine not knowing the stories of where my meat was coming from and how it was raised.

Manuel and I started Rosso & Flynn for us. Studying the meat industry made us question the protein on our plate and what we were putting down on the dinner table. We felt we deserved to know where our meat came from. We believe you do too