34 episodes

We think you should be able to hear from the real people who grow your food. So we’re giving you a look directly into their world: why they’ve devoted their lives to growing food, how they tackle the challenges they face every day, and what fears keep them up at night.

Real Food Real People Real Food Real People

    • Food
    • 5.0, 16 Ratings

We think you should be able to hear from the real people who grow your food. So we’re giving you a look directly into their world: why they’ve devoted their lives to growing food, how they tackle the challenges they face every day, and what fears keep them up at night.

    Case VanderMeulen | #034

    Case VanderMeulen | #034

    He grew up in Europe on a small family dairy, but he now runs a large dairy in Eastern Washington. Meet Case VanderMuelen, and hear his story of growth as he demystifies how large dairy farms really work.

    • 59 min
    Andrew Eddie part 2 | #033

    Andrew Eddie part 2 | #033

    Hay farmer Andrew Eddie explains how hay is made in Eastern Washington, and reveals a potential opportunity for this state's huge tech community.

    • 41 min
    Andrew Eddie part 1 | #032

    Andrew Eddie part 1 | #032

    When Andrew Eddie turned 18, he decided he wanted nothing to do with his family's Moses Lake hay farm. But with a few years away from home and a college degree under his belt, he began to see things differently.

    • 48 min
    Bobby Morrison | #031

    Bobby Morrison | #031

    Dillon Honcoop:Depends on what you’re passionate about and what you want your end goal to be with your food and your health because in the end, that’s what it is. Your food is your health.

    Announcer:This is the Real Food Real People Podcast.

    Dillon Honcoop:Welcome back to the podcast. Lately, we’ve talked to a lot of people with meat and beef in particular producing it here in Washington State, raising beef on ranch land, feeding beef, all this kind of stuff, but what about the next step, the person that takes that beef and turns it into something that you and I can buy at the store and cook up or that a chef in a restaurant can cook up? I wanted to talk with one of those people. This week, we talked with Bobby Morrison and it turns out he’s so much more than just that. He is a meat cutter, a butcher at Del Fox Meats in Everett, but he has a background as a cook and a lifelong passion that you’ll hear about for food.Join me as this journey continues. This is the Real Food Real People podcast. I’m Dillon Honcoop and this is all about my journey to get to know the real people behind our food, the farmers, the ranchers, the butchers, the chefs and many more of the people that create the things that we eat. Thank you for being here this week.

    What does a typical day look like for you on the job working with food? You work at Del Fox meats, right?

    Bobby Morrison:Correct. Yeah in Stanwood, Washington. It changes day to day, but well, typically, there’s nothing as typically right now with COVID.

    Dillon Honcoop:For sure.

    Bobby Morrison:Our business is busier than ever. Normally this time of year, we’re slower. Maybe we’re cleaned up and out of the shop by 3:00, 4:00, but-

    Dillon Honcoop:How early do you start in the morning?

    Bobby Morrison:Normal 8:00 this time of year, but right now, it’s been 7:00 or 6:00 and we and we don’t clean up anymore. We got a cleanup crew or a guy that comes up and cleans up, so in that way we can cut as long as possible and literally we are cutting from, so say Monday morning, we start at 7:00. We’ll start set up, put everything, scrap barrels, hooks, luggers, trays, get everything, all our [inaudible 00:02:39], everything is set up in place. Then, they almost roll out the beef and start cutting. Then, we have a break at 10:00. It’s about 20 minutes. Then, we’ll have another break at noon. Then, we’ll have a break at 3:00, but we’re cutting beef the whole time. We don’t stop until like 5:00, 5:15. It could go longer. Who knows what else comes up?

    Dillon Honcoop:Cutting beef, how does that work? What do you start with? Just in a nutshell, what does the process go?

    Bobby Morrison:Every shop is different. Every shop is different. Everyone cuts different. Everyone has a different theory or just a different method, however you want to put it. No one really cuts meat the same unless they’ve been cutting together for a really long time. Everyone breaks it just a little bit different. It’s like you could have it an inch different one way or an inch different another and it changes the muscle structure a little bit, but typically, the way we do it is we break everything by the half, and then, it’s quartered on the rail, so you would have what you would call your four quarter on the front and then the hind quarter on the back.That four quarter that’s on the front, that’s where you get your … We’ll go from the bottom from the neck because that’s at the bottom up to your ribeye. You get your neck, your brisket, shank, arm roast, clod roast. You could get your flatirons and teres majors out of there.

    • 54 min
    Bridget Coon part 2 | #030

    Bridget Coon part 2 | #030

    Bridget Coon:I have to stay connected. I have to try to bridge these two worlds because that’s who I am and who I’ve always been, but it’s just kind of grown and become a career on one end and then also carrying on this beef cattle legacy that I grew up with.

    Announcer:This is the Real Food Real People Podcast.

    Dillon Honcoop:COVID is changing our food system and it’s exposed vulnerabilities, but at the same time, it’s kind of turned us back to the importance of the food that we grow here and buying local but it’s left a lot of us with questions, is our food system something that we can trust? We heard about meat shortages and problems with meat processing. What was really going on behind-the-scenes?

    Dillon Honcoop:We tackle that and a lot of other really big picture stuff this week with beef rancher from Benge, Washington, Bridget Coon. She’s our guest again this week. This is part two of our conversation. If you want to hear some of her personal backstory and how she got to where she is now, make sure to check out last week’s episode, Episode 29 of part one with her. This is the second half of that conversation. Whether you’ve listened to that first half or not, there’s a ton of gems that come up in the conversation this week about what’s really happening with our food system and what the truth really is about how our food is produced here in Washington State and in this country.

    Dillon Honcoop:This is the Real Food Real People Podcast. I’m Dillon Honcoop. These are crazy times that we live in with everything that’s going on in the world right now. Again, it’s leaving a lot of us with questions and that’s part of the focus of this podcast is to get some answers. We do some of that this week. I really hope you enjoy this conversation. We pick up right here where we left off last week with Bridget Coon around her kitchen table in Benge, Washington.

    Dillon Honcoop:Technically, what’s your gig now? Is it just basically freelancing stuff or what do you do, aside from the ranch stuff, your other work?

    Bridget Coon:I held on to sort of that employment level situation with the Beef Commission until about 2017 and that was after having two kids. It was just really hard to be performing at the level that I wanted to be in that job and then not shortchanging the family, not shortchanging the kids. There’s not a lot of childcare options out here. Notice and so I tried to piece it together for a long time and I think I finally just got to the point and it should be a pretty, it’s like probably a pretty relatable feeling for a lot of women in my kind of my set that I just finally realized that I couldn’t get up earlier and I couldn’t put more effort in and I couldn’t really control for sort of this ongoing feeling like I get to the end of the day exhausted, but not really feeling like I did a great job being a mom and not doing my job at the level that I’m used to doing because I’m doing this works well before this arrangement.

    Bridget Coon:What I do now, just started with actually quitting, which is probably one of the hardest changes that I had to come to and stop being stubborn and realizing that this was the change that had to be made but I just never really lacked for work and that’s kind of your farm kid, you’re just wired for it.

    Dillon Honcoop:The fun stuff to do.

    Bridget Coon:People, if someone knows that you can do something, it’s just you’re going to get that opportunity. What started with quitting parlayed into actually just sort of, I don’t have to do nothing. I just couldn’t do exactly what they needed.

    • 46 min
    Bridget Coon part 1 | #029

    Bridget Coon part 1 | #029

    Bridget Coon:So even though they’re going to a larger processing facility, they’re going to be marketed under a brand that you might be familiar with seeing in the grocery store, that’s coming from ranches, family ranches like ours.

    Announcer:This is the Real Food Real People Podcast.

    Dillon Honcoop:From growing up on a farm in Western Washington to working next door to the White House, then back to Seattle and now farming in Eastern Washington, our guest this week has done so many things and has so much cool professional background, but she also has a really cool personal story. Bridget Coon, she and her husband and their family raise beef on a ranch in Benge, Washington. And as she says on her website, you’re probably going to have to Google where exactly that is.

    Dillon Honcoop:She shares how she got to know her husband, how she ended up in this career in politics and how that eventually led her back to her farming roots. And we also get into some of the sticky issues too, about food and about beef and the controversy. You’re really going to love this one. She’s a lot of fun to hear from and hear her stories. I’m Dillon Honcoop and this is the Real Food Real People podcast documenting my journeys across Washington State to get to know the real farmers and ranchers. And this week we talk with Bridget Coon on her ranch in Benge, Washington.

    Bridget Coon:We raise beef out here. It’s this really dry rocky scab land, and so about the only thing you can grow on it is beef. And we also raise hay for premium and export market, and then of course, those two commodities work together on our farm and ranch where we can feed hay throughout the winter.

    Dillon Honcoop:So some of your hay is for your cows.

    Bridget Coon:Yes.

    Dillon Honcoop:And the rest you sell to-

    Bridget Coon:Primarily, so we have basically two enterprises or two parts of our family farm with the hay and ranch with the cattle.

    Dillon Honcoop:So how does that work? How do you determine like which land you do hay on and which you do cattle on?

    Bridget Coon:So like I said, most of this is we’re in the channeled scab lands here. It was carved out a million years ago in the Missoula floods, and it’s just a lot of rock. You can’t grow anything. You can’t till it. You can’t farm it. So cows are about the only thing that can come from it that turns into food.

    Dillon Honcoop:There’s still quite a bit of grass and stuff though, around the rock, right?

    Bridget Coon:Yes. So it’s just what we’d call range land, and cattle are really good at taking what’s growing out here and we just do our part to manage the land, determine how many head of cattle can graze a pasture and keep the pasture healthy for us to be able to do this year, decade, generation after generation. That’s kind of our … that’s our job, I mean-

    Dillon Honcoop:How do you tell, like how do you know how many cows to put on a field, cattle I guess I should say.

    Bridget Coon:Cattle, yes.

    Dillon Honcoop:I grew up around dairy so all the cows-

    Bridget Coon:All your cows are cows.

    Dillon Honcoop:All the cattle were cows, yeah. But you have boys and girls.

    Bridget Coon:Yes, we do. So we mostly have, we are what’s considered a cow calf operation or a cow calf ranch. And so what we do is we have a herd of mother cows, and then we have a little squad of bulls and the cows are bred each year to produce a calf each year.

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

A Tegner ,

I have learned so much!

This podcast completely opened my eyes to all the misnomers out there in relation to farming and the source of our food - whether we are talking organic products, food labels, labor laws, and big grocery stores. Hearing from the “horses mouth” on the processes, nuances, family stories and political dynamics surrounding farming is imperative if you fancy yourself a savvy informed urban dweller. Give this a listen and challenge what you digest as true information when it comes to what we put in our mouth.

Vballkit ,

Real people, real stories

Great podcast sharing the stories of real people. So good to hear first hand stories of how people are working so hard to keep agriculture alive.

Love coming from Fresh Local Honest the Podcast

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