David Bane, owner of Bane Family Meats, is playing a major part in bringing slow food to the Champaign-Urbana area. The Slow Food movement is a growing international movement that advocates food traditions around the world and highly supports local production practices.
The movement was founded in 1989 by Carlo Petrini in Italy. “It is the opposite of fast food,” Bane said. “Food traditions are very important in culture, and [we believe] there is more value in genetic diversity than similarity.”
The movement’s goals are to warn against pesticides, lobby against government genetic engineering and instigate ethical buying. Since its establishment, it has expanded globally to more than 83,000 members in 122 countries. The Banes have represented the United States in the annual slow food conference held in Torino, Italy.
On the homefront, the Bane family continues to support the movement. “The vast majority of [farm animals] are raised in confinement where they don’t have access to soil, grass and sunlight. The [farmers] control the environment,” Bane explained. This, of course, results in lower quality meat.
To do their part, the Bane family has for many years raised their animals free-range with no chemicals, no antibiotics and no hormones involved. “We want our animals to always have access to sunlight and plants,” Bane said. Despite the costs, the feed is locally grown at a feed mill in Ogden.
Another way the Banes distance their business from the way of fast food is how they promote their products. Most of the Bane customers came to be by word-of-mouth from friends or family. Though they have sold to a few grocery stores and restaurants, most of the customers are people they know personally, resulting in their meat usually being cheaper and of much higher quality than the competition.
While right now, they offer beef, pork and poultry, they are open to suggestions. “The main thing we offer is flexibility,” Bane said. “If you are interested in a specific product, we will be willing to work with you.”

About The Author

Related Posts