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The USA's first Animal Welfare-approved restaurant opens in a '50s diner in Hudson, NY

by Evan Orensten
on 10 October 2011
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To call the newly-opened Grazin' diner in Hudson, NY farm fresh is an understatement. The first restaurant in the USA to be certified Animal Welfare Approved, everything served in the restaurant comes from family farms that raise livestock humanely outdoors and pasture feed the animals, and nearly everything comes from farms within an 11-mile radius. The restaurant opened on the first of this month in a shuttered 1950s diner in Hudson, NY, a town known for its farms and antique shops that draws regular crowds of NYC-based weekenders.

The diner's centerpiece are the burgers from the owners' own 2,000-acre, environmentally-friendly Black Angus cattle farm a few miles away. Grazin' Angus Acres farm relies primarily on wind power, and Dan Gibson and his crew keep their entire process completely natural, beginning with the way they raise their livestock.

The cows, chickens and pigs roaming the farm graze on a natural pasture diet. Grazin' abides by the scientific evidence that pasture-fed animals are healthier than those who eat corn, and the belief that grass-fed and finished meat tastes better, too. When it's time to slaughter the animals, Grazin' eschews industrial slaughterhouses, working instead with a local butcher.

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Piled on buns baked by our friends at Hawthorne Valley, a neighboring biodynamic farm, and topped with cheese from Hawthorne Valley and Consider Bardwell Farm, a century-old grass-fed dairy nearby, these are locavore burgers through and through. Wash it down with a milkshake made with homemade ice cream and organic milk from Grazin's neighbors at Milk Thistle Farm, or homemade organic soda pulled from their old-fashioned fountain.

The Grazin' Angus Acres farm is located in Ghent, NY and welcomes visitors, but because of their sustainable focus they don't ship any products. For people in the NYC area, Grazin' meats can also be found at several greenmarkets.

Grazin' Diner
717 Warren Street
Hudson, NY 12534
Telephone: (518) 822-9323

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