LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
With more and more people beginning to ask where their food comes from and what the livestock was fed, they can be confident their questions can be answered at their local farmers market. London-Laurel County Farmers Market President Fred King has even brought the bones to prove it.
King started selling his USDA inspected, grass-fed Texas Longhorn cattle at the market, assuring there were no growth hormones or antibiotics used in the process. His "Just Passin Thru Farm" produces 90 percent lean meats from T-bone to New York Strip cuts.
"They hit the ground and they get what they get," King said about his cattle.
In the past 10 years, thousands of U.S. ranchers have switched their herds to an all-grass diet, and a few farmers in Laurel County have jumped on the bandwagon. The majority of the nation's food supply is grain-fed and supplied hormones, which supports rapid weight gain. Rapid weight gain is good for the farmer's profit but bad for the consumer's belly because the meat's tissue becomes high in saturated fat.
Grass-fed beef is lower in calories, contains more vitamins A and E, a multitude of healthy omega-3 fats and higher levels of antioxidants. Currently two farmers sell meat at the farmers market, from cattle to goat, while the majority is grass-fed and has grazed locally. Regardless of controversy that still looms across the nation on whether or not to let cattle graze or feed off grains, the United States Department of Agriculture has discovered the value of sustainable agriculture far surpasses the nutritional values.
Not only is farming locally sustainable but so is buying local. From the ground to the table, fuel costs are cut all around. There are more than 10 local vendors/farmers at the market every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon each week who can tell you how they grew their produce and even share recipes on how to cook your local groceries.
Pumpkins, gourds, squash and peppers are filling up the farmer's tables. The London-Laurel County Farmers Market is located on the corner of Main and Dixie street in downtown London.