A group of farmers in the Seattle area are testing out a new $300,000 “Mobile Meat Processing Unit”—a 45-foot stainless steel trailer that comes with its own USDA inspector and a butcher—in an attempt to see whether they can make a profit selling their meat locally instead of shipping livestock off to a feedlot “hundreds of miles away.”
The unit, complete with a USDA inspector and organic certification, will go farm to farm, so animals won’t have to be shipped. It will drive the carcasses to a cut-and-wrap facility in Thurston County.
Farmers then can sell to whomever they want, hopefully turning a profit.
The Seattle Times says it will take a year to get the operation running smoothly, and just because it’s local doesn’t mean it will be bought and sold by local markets if it doesn’t meet their standards. But if the program succeeds, then you might be able to buy local meat at Seattle restaurant the next time you go out to eat:
But Caswell, who in the fall hopes to open his downtown Seattle restaurant, named emmer & rye, thinks consumers can’t get enough of locally grown products.
“Restaurants are using that as a selling point,” he said. ” ‘This is from such-and-such farm; we met the farmer.’ It’s a conversation piece. It’s something we can talk about. We can have a story behind it.”
“Slaughterhouse on wheels aids ‘locavore’ movement” [Seattle Times]