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Survey: Bay Area Meat CSA / Slow Food Meat Club



The Bay Area Meat Community Supported Agriculture (BAMCSA) group is a fast-growing band of conscientious eaters who want to find a reliable source of healthy, sustainable, local meat. BAMCSA has recently teamed up with Slow Food Berkeley in the hopes of forming a template that — with Slow Food's help — could be replicated on a national scale. The CSA model, by which consumers "subscribe" to a local farm's (or group of farms') harvest have proven successful in raising awareness of and access to the local food system. We think a meat version could contribute a good deal to sustainable livestock and poultry raising and marketing.



Please fill out the following survey at your earliest possible convenience. As we move forward, we need to know your  motivations, priorities, and goals. If you’re on the BAMCSA list-serv, or have been invited to take this survey, it’s because we imagine you have already perceived the lack of availability and can contribute valuable observations about how you and your family can help address it. Your answers will help us to formulate a mission statement and take the next steps to getting this up and running.





1. Which of the following statements best describe your reasons for wanting to join the BAM/Slow Food CSA? Please rank them in importance, with 1 as most important.

(a) I want healthy food for myself and my family (no added hormones or antibiotics, etc)

(b) I want to support environmentally responsible agriculture

(c) I prefer to eat meat from humanely raised animals

(d) I like to eat tasty, high-quality meat

(e) I want to support local farms (within 100 miles)

(f) I want to eat meat from animals that were raised on pasture and it’s hard to find

(g) All of the above are equally important to me

(h) Other  __________________


2. How important is it to you that the participating farms follow these practices?

(Choices to mark for each one: Don’t Care, Somewhat Important, Important)

(a) No artificial hormones

(b) No antibiotics, ever (sick animals removed from herd)

(c) Antibiotics for illness OK (not routinely used sub-therapeutically, for growth)

(d) Humane practices (no debeaking, forced molting, tail docking)

(e) No synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizer on pasture where animals live

(f) Certified organic feed only

(g) Feed that is not certified organic but that is not genetically modified

(h) Vegetarian diet (note that chickens and pigs are naturally omnivores)

(i) Free range/free roaming


3. Some farmers do not seek certification of the above practices because of the expense and paperwork involved. How important are the presence of the following labels to you vs. just the practices behind them?

(Choices to mark for each one: Don’t Care, Somewhat Important, Important)

(a) Certified organic

(b) Free farmed (allowed to engage in natural behaviors)

(c) Certified Humane Raised and Handled (cage free, no hormones or antibiotics except for sick animals)


4. Are you already aware of the differences between grass-fed and grain-fed animals (fat profile, taste, cooking qualities)? (Yes/No)


5. Please rank your preferences in beef and lamb. (1 is most desirable)

(a) 100% raised on grass (grass-finished)

(b) Raised on grass for most of its life but finished (last three months) on fattening grains like soy and corn

(c) Raised on grass for most of its life but finished (last three months) on grains like barley, probably NOT corn

(d) I don’t care, as long as it tastes good!


6. What’s the maximum distance our suppliers should be from San Francisco?

(a) 0-100 miles

(b) 100-150 miles

(c) 150-300 miles

(d) I don’t care, as long as it’s a good farm with good meat


7. How important is it that you and/or your family be able to visit and tour the farm for yourself on a semi-regular basis?

(a) Very important

(b) Somewhat important

(c) Not really


8. How important to you is it that the meat you eat adhere to the following standards (Very important, Somewhat important, Not really)

(a) Be slaughtered in a USDA-certified slaughterhouse

(b) Be cut up in a USDA-certified butcher shop

(c) Be cut up in a state-certified butcher shop


9. Would you be willing to sign a liability waiver to participate in BAMCSA?

(a) Yes

(b) Maybe, depends on what it says

(b) No




10. Which meat purchasing model would you prefer? (Pick one)

(a) Community Supported Agriculture model (subscribers pay up front for a certain period of months and get a monthly or biweekly box at a preapproved weight, comprising, say, some beef, pork, and/or chicken)

(b) Animal share co-op. The group buys larger whole animals periodically and divides them up. (Some examples: beef - 1/8 share minimum is about 50 pounds; pork - 1/4 share minimum about 50 pounds, lamb - 1/2 share minimum about 30 pounds

(c) Bulk meat orders. You order off a list of cuts and get a discount for the group volume.


11. What frequency for the meat orders would be OK with you? Select all that apply.

(a) weekly

(b) bi-weekly

(c) monthly

(d) every other month

(e) every 3 months


12. Indicate your preference for the following meats

(Choices: Love it, Neutral, No Thanks)

(a) Lamb

(b) Beef

(c) Pork

(d) Chicken

(e) Fish

(f) Goat

(g) Goose

(h) Duck

(i) Rabbit

(j) Fish


13. Which of the following statements best describes how important choice of cuts is to you? (Pick one)

(a) I want to be able to specify exactly which cuts I receive (NY boneless, rib chops)

(b) I want to be able to specify generally what I want to get (steaks, roasts) and don’t want to get (liver, tongue)

(c) As long as I can say what I really DON’T want, it’s OK to surprise me

(d) Whatever is easiest — I’m flexible


14. To simplify things, if we went with the typical CSA model, we would likely offer 3-4 "tiers" to choose from. Which of the following rough drafts of tiers would fit your needs? (Choose one)

  • Tier One, $$$$: Prime cuts of steak (top sirloin, T-bones, New York), roasts (boneless strip loin, tenderloin, etc), braising cuts (chuckeye, short ribs, brisket), and ground beef; pork (leg roasts, chops, ground pork); whole chicken
  • Tier Two, $$$: Secondary cuts of steak (flank, hangar, skirt), roasts (London, sirloin, tri-tip), braising cuts (stew meat, shanks, oxtail, brisket), and ground beef; pork (shoulder roasts, ground pork); whole chicken
  • Tier Three, $$: A mix of Tiers One and Two, at the discretion of the farmer
  • Tier Four, $: Braising cuts (neck bones, shanks, oxtail), and ground beef and pork


15. Which of the following offal cuts would you be willing to receive? (Chose as many as apply.)

(a) Meaty bones from any animal

(b) Beef tongue

(c) Beef sweetbreads

(d) Beef liver

(e) Beef brains

(f) Beef heart

(g) Beef kidneys

(h) Oxtail

(i) Pork head and/or head parts

(j) Pork liver

(k) Pork heart

(l) Pork kidneys

(m) Pork tripe

(n) Pork trotters (feet)

(o) Chicken heads

(p) Chicken feet

(q) Other  __________________


16. Some meat might be available as fresh or frozen. Which do you prefer?

(a) Fresh

(b) Frozen

(c) Don’t care


17. Is fresh or frozen a dealbreaker for you if you don’t get your preference? (Yes/No)


18. Which of the following products would you be interested in if they were offered as optional “add-ons” to a share? (Choose as many as apply)

(a) Fresh sausage

(b) Cured (dry) sausage

(c) Bacon

(d) Eggs

(e) Cheese

(f) Raw (unpasteurized) milk


19. Would you accept nitrates in the cured meats?

(a) yes

(b) no

(c) if that was the only way to get bacon


Practical aspects


20. How many pounds of meat would you commit to ordering per month?

(a) < 5

(b) 5-10

(c) 10-15

(d) 15-20

(e) > 20


21. Do you want to be able to “skip” a delivery with enough notice?

(a) Yes

(b) No

(c) Don’t care


22. Pricing. Select any of the following statements that apply to you.

(a) I expect to pay less than I would at Whole Foods for this meat

(b) I expect to pay less than I would at the Ferry Plaza farmers market for this meat

(c) I want “to chew the right thing,” but my budget is pretty limited

(d) I am willing to pay more than I would at Whole Foods and Ferry Plaza in order to work with smaller farmers who don’t yet have economies of scale

(e) I don’t care how much it costs, I’m in!


23. Where do you live? (choose one)

  • San Francisco northeast quadrant (North of Market St. and east of Van Ness)
  • San Francisco southeast quadrant (South of Market St. and east of Twin Peaks)
  • San Francisco northwest quadrant (North of Golden Gate Park and west of Van Ness)
  • San Francisco southwest quadrant (South of Golden Gate park and west of Twin Peaks)
  • Sausalito/Marin
  • Emeryville
  • North Berkeley
  • North Oakland (above 580)/South Berkeley
  • Central Oakland (below 580)
  • South Bay
  • Other __________________


24. How far would you be willing to travel to pick up your meat?

(a) 0-5 miles

(b) 5-10 miles

(c) 10-20 miles

(d) > 20 miles


25. Are you willing to host a drop-off/pickup site? (Yes/No)


26. We are thinking about having pick-up be at a Saturday farmer's market (ideally one in SF and East Bay), both to spread the word and to encourage you to spread your dollars among more local growers. What do you think of this idea?

(a) Great idea

(b) Indifferent

(c) That will not be convenient for me

(d) Other comments ______________


27. Is there anything we didn’t cover that you’d like to make sure we consider? __________________


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