The LaFrieda Family and the Evolution of the American Meat Industry
Pat LaFrieda, Cecilia Molinari
An insightful and engaging insider’s look at the history and business of the meat industry, from master butcher Pat LaFrieda
"A full-throated celebration of red meat from one of the nation’s major purveyors. . . . The true meat of his book is a study of how beef is brought from farm to table as well as an account of commercial success that deserves a place on any business school syllabus." -- Kirkus Reviews
It all began when Pat LaFrieda’s great-grandfather Anthony LaFrieda decided to pack up and move his family from Italy to New York in search of a better life, setting up the family’s first retail butcher shop in 1922 in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Almost one hundred years later, Pat LaFrieda, a fourth-generation butcher and third-generation meat purveyor, is at the helm of a family-run business that has been providing meat to customers for decades, through wars, the Great Depression, the tumultuous years when New York City was dubbed “Fear City,” the fall of the Twin Towers, unprecedented hurricanes, and even a pandemic.
Most people don’t know the amount of time, commitment, and extenuating work that goes into bringing them the piece of meat on their plate. What are the real implications of grass-fed beef on climate change? What is involved in humanely processing animals at harvesting facilities? Why is grading, labeling, and traceability essential for the consumer? And what’s the beef with eating meat?
There are two sides to every story; however, in the beef industry’s case, only one side seems to get most of the airtime. In Glorious Beef, LaFrieda shares his family's legacy and pulls back the curtain to reveal a behind-the-scenes view of each stage of the process involved in bringing beef from pasture to plate and the truths behind the industry’s story of survival and constant evolution.