Sunday, February 24, 2013

I'm Green, You're Green, We're all Green for...Nitrate Free Baceen...?

Here at Ray's we try to be as "green" as possible.  You won't see us walking around in hemp sacks, but we do try to do our best while still remaining normal people who run a business.

We buy meat and eggs from local farmers, and try to purchase organic when possible.  Naturally, being the dead of winter, Chicago is not swimming in fresh produce, but the Logan Square Farmer's Market trucks on throughout the coldest months holing up in the Congress Theater every Sunday.  Here are a few of our regular stops for goods:

Jake's Country Meats - run by Lou Ann...and  her husband (she seems to really be the one in charge :)  ) get us our bacon and ham every week.  Take a look at the website to see how their animals grow up - it's practically a cartoon.  Wide open grass spaces, trees for shade, rainbows and butterflies abound i'm sure.  No nitrates in sight and you can REALLY tell the difference with the ham compared to store bought.  Trust me on this.  My nickname at work is HAM HANDS.  Check out their video to learn more.

Tempel Farms Organics is our magic egg source.   In the summer they provide eggs and organic produce at the outdoor market, and in the winter Dave the Knife Sharpening Guy - relative to Tempel Farms, is nice enough to bring our eggs to the indoor market.  We've noticed with these eggs that the yolks look better, they hold together better (good for when you're used to getting frustrated flipping over easy eggs and cursing the gods when they break) and the whole experience is much richer.  We buy by the case but you can purchase just a dozen or so, or sign up for one of their summer CSA shares

Now once our guests have scarfed down the all-natural-nitrate-free-organic goodies for breakfast, they are often too stuffed to polish off that last little remnant of their breakfast plate - the garnish.  No worries!  We compost!  Leftover garnish and scraps from our ingredients get respectfully dumped into our kitchen compost and then transferred to the great outdoors to finish their journey (no meat, dairy, or pastry allowed!).  We had our contractor build us a special large compost bin which every couple months or so the luckiest employee or two gets to rotate and turn it to keep everything composting nicely.  Usually this duty falls on whoever's birthday it is, or the person wearing nice clothes and/or white.

Just a look into how cool and progressive we are, you know, not to brag or anything.  We also grow our own garden of herbs - which we can't seem to locate a nice summer picture of, so this may give you an idea: it's pretty much an urban fern gully.

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