Today was the day DG and I went to the IFAS Meat Processing Center, a.k.a. "the meat market on campus." DG has been there before so she was my native guide for this adventure. We both got a package of brats and I got bacon for Sunday breakfast. It was not cheaper than the supermarket or even Ward's, but at least you know where the meat is coming from. It's all wrapped up in nice, neat, little butcher paper packages with a price sticker, and they've got a counter in the front where a nice gentleman rings you up. I did not feel it appropriate to act like I just stepped out of the Fresh Market and ask if the cattle are "grass or grain fed." I felt that would sour my newly-formed alliance with IFAS Meat Processing. This is the type of information you get through a carefully nurtured relationship with a school of butchery. And there might be something on the website.
Anyway, I'll update on this post when we've actually eaten said brats or bacon.
Update: I had one of the bratwursts for lunch today. It tasted great, just not like a bratwurst. DG had already tried one of hers and reported to me in the morning that she thought it was good but couldn't understand all the hoopla about bratwursts and how it was different from sausage. Now I understand what she was talking about, because there really wasn't much of a difference between the brats from IFAS and regular ol' sausage. But it was still tasty. Sunday morning we cook up the bacon.
*with apologies to PETA for playing on the title of their film about factory farming, Meet your Meat.