The idea sounded so good: In "Meat with Meaning at Whole Foods," his May 2009 post, Tyler Nemkov described how Whole Foods had contracted with California-based Panorama Meats to buy organic, grass-fed beef from a ranch owned by the Northern Arapaho tribe on the Wind River reservation. "If I'm going to buy a few nice steaks this summer, these are the people I want my money going to," Nemkov wrote.
But Nemkov can hold onto his wallet. The idea that was announced with much ceremony -- including a "prairie chicken" dance at the Belmar Whole Foods -- fell apart in March.
According to John Lancaster, who wrote about it for WyoFile, the tribe pulled its beef after a "price dispute" with Paramount, and are now selling their cattle in the traditional beef market. "We weren't making a profit," Harvey Spoonhunter, chairman of the tribe's business council, told Lancaster. "it just wasn't a good fit."
That's a different story than Spoonhunter offered Nemkov fourteen months ago: "During this economic downturn, it's hard to find the words to express what this means to the Arapaho tribe."
We'll bet he can find some new words now.
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Read Lancaster's excellent story here.