by Emily Kovach
One Saturday per month, retired mother Nancy Price and her adult daughter Candice Price drive their pickup truck from Germantown to Lancaster and back again. On the way there the truck is empty, but on the return trip, it’s loaded with meats, dairy and produce from small family farms. The haul isn’t just for them, but for up to a dozen families who place orders through their delivery program, Persnickety Protein.
The Prices have been running this operation since early 2010, when Candice read “Eating Animals” (an animal rights exposé by author Jonathan Safran Foer) and became appalled by the conditions in which most farmed animals live and die.
“It was a really eye-opening, heartbreaking experience for her,” her mother remembers. The two made a commitment to only buy humanely raised meat, and they began researching and visiting farms in Lancaster County. Friends and acquaintances took an interest, and soon they were making weekly treks up with coolers.
They’ve made the trip regularly ever since, with a rotating list of buyers.
Their program is easy to navigate, and a low-commitment for customers. Every month, about 10 days before delivery day, they send an email out with a spreadsheet of all the products offered. Members place their orders from an impressive number of items: proteins, of course (all kinds of meat and dairy), as well as pantry staples and seasonal produce. Once the Prices make their run, buyers come to their Germantown home to pick up and pay. There is no membership fee, the food costs and delivery charges are reasonable, and conscientious eaters can rest assured that all the farms have been vetted by the Prices, who take animal welfare extremely seriously.
“We are not only supporting family farmers that are quickly becoming the poorest people on this earth,” Nancy says, “but we are supporting the humane treatment of all of the animals. When you go to these farms, the animals are running around playing with each other in the grassy fields, just being free.”
Member growth has been slow, as they have very little capital and don’t spend money for marketing or advertising. But their labor of love will continue, as long as the pickup still runs and orders keep coming in. Find out more at persnicketyprotein.com.