Food banter with Young Farmers
18 May 2015
Aimee Young is proof that you can take the girl from the country, but you can’t take the country from the girl. She may have left the chickens and cows behind her in Beaudesert when she moved to Brisbane to pursue a career in fitness and health, but she found that Brisbane was missing something she had always taken for granted – the opportunity to throw a locally raised grass fed piece of beef on the BBQ. Aimee and partner Simon decided to do something about it, starting Young Farmers last year to share their passion for locally produced, ethical and sustainable meat with carnivorous Brisbanites. We had a chat to Aimee about why she is so passionate about her beef. Describe what it is you do so well in a sentence, no need to be modest. We sell the best locally raised grass fed tender juicy beef in Brisbane. How did it all begin? My partner Simon and I started Young Farmers because we believe everyone should be aware of where their meat comes from and how it’s been treated. We believe in ethical and sustainable farming practices and that grass fed meat is an important part of our diets and most of us can really thrive off eating good quality meat alongside a high plant based diet. We’re all about local produce, but why is it so important to buy local beef? Buying your beef local means you can trace where it’s from and how it’s been farmed. It enables us as consumers to remove any doubt we have as to the quality of the produce and the land it was farmed on. That’s important to us and we’re finding out every day how important it is to others. Operating a small farm is tough and it’s getting harder. This predominantly stems from the dominant pricing regime of Australia’s big grocery retailers. By buying from your local farmers there’s often a charitable aspect to it because you can see who you’re actually supporting and you can be confident that a while lot more of your money is going to those who earned it the most. Finally, keeping it local reduces transport costs, which has massive environmental benefits also. And why only young farmers? Well the name is really a play on words with my surname being Young. At the same time we know how hard it is starting out in business and we want to encourage the next generation of Australian farming. Choosing farming as your career these days is a much tougher decision than it used to be and by supplying to us we can help make it a little easier via access to great technology, more customers, and better prices – all without needing to leave the farm. We love that Young Farmers promotes nose to tail eating, what’s the most creative dish you’ve made from your products? I could talk about this topic for a while, a lot of my creativity goes into finding ways to get offal into regular meals so that Simon and my friends will eat it too! One of my recent dishes is a chilli con carne using 50% Young Farmers Premium Mince and 50% Young Famers Offal Mince. The offal mince is made up of kidneys, liver, heart and tongue and lends itself to a high iron and protein mince which can be cooked with in so many different ways. What is your proudest achievement to date? Probably when my father John Young came and helped out at our stall at our first markets in March at the Powerhouse. I’ve never seen him so proud and happy. Farming is something he holds close to his heart and while starting this business has been trying at times I would remind myself of something he always says to me: ‘You have to just get up and give it a real crack to see things come to life.’ He can’t see the point in just talking about things and I feel that we’ve done a lot more than just talk about it. Are there any Australian producers, suppliers or thinkers inspiring you at the moment? Many! A big inspiration for us came from Leeuwin Grass fed beef in Margret River, WA. They are so passionate about the health benefits of grass fed, locally raised beef and have done a tremendous job building their business. We also love our local business who operate with the same values as us like Jan Powers Farmers Markets, Food Connect, Wandering Cooks, Mondo Organics, Sourced Grocer, Nodo Donuts, Merriweather café and Plum Tucker. Cyndi O’Meara and Pete Evens have been a huge inspiration – I love what they’re about and hope Young Farmers further supports the movement they have been instrumental in creating. Our mate James Bell (now on Masterchef Australia) is a big supporter of paddock to plate eating and is a genius in the kitchen. Finally all our wonderful supportive local gyms who walk their talk of showing the importance of diet and fitness and have been instrumental in getting our food onto the plates of our neighbours! Can we expect to see you on a plate at any Brisbane restaurants or cafes around town? Not at this stage but who knows what the future brings. Where/what was the last great meal you ate in Brisbane? This morning we tried out the new café King Arthur on Arthur St. We were amazed by the deliciousness of our food! A melt in your mouth slow cooked goat with poached eggs and a bowl of the seasonal salads, the perfect start to the day for us. What is your food philosophy? JERF: just eat real food. How can we get our mitts on a piece of Young Farmers products? Order online at http://youngfarmers.co and pick up from our Teneriffe location OR keep up to date on our Instagram and Facebook page to see when we are next at the Jan Powers Farmers Markets in New Farm.