Greg Beato: Beef Goes Upscale


Credit: rick harrison / / CC BY-NC-SA

At the Belcampo Meat Company in Larkspur, California, the primary merchandise is presented almost as fetishistically as the iPhones at an Apple store. Sirloin tip cutlets, whole rabbits, Chateaubriands, and a dozen or so other varieties of raw meat rest on white platters lined with brown butcher paper. Lemons and bundles of rosemary serve as understated but striking visual sidekicks. The intended effect: plenitude, judiciously curated. In the meat department of the average supermarket, by contrast, plastic-wrapped packs of econo-beef are herded onto crowded shelves, pressed up indiscriminately against giant value-sacks of boneless chicken. It's cruel and unappetizing. But at Belcampo, the tenderloin filets have room to roam. From Reason's August/September issue, Greg Beato looks at whether the small-batch foodie revolution can transform the red meat market.