“Ethnically” Raised Lamb at Farmers Market Angers Delmar Woman
By Fred Furnace
Published February 2nd,2015
ALBANY – A Delmar woman is organically angry, claiming she was intentionally mislead Saturday at the Albany Farmer's Market.
Maryann Flepp of Delmar purchased a rack of lamb from AK Acres ubder the impression that the farm employed ethical and humane practices in raising and slaughtering its animals. It was only after making payment, however, that Flepp sensed something was off.
"I looked again at the farm's placard, and realized the sign didn't say 'ethically raised,' as I assumed, but rather 'ethnically raised,'" Flepp said. "What the hell does that even mean?"
Flepp, who describes herself on Facebook as being “a friend to the Earth,” an “eco-conscious mom” and a “yoga-holic” became irate at the misleading signage and demanded a refund. But Aasif Karzai, owner of AK Acres, refused the request, informing Flepp that all sales were final.
Karzai acknowledged the sign could be misinterpreted if not read carefully, but remained unapologetic for his marketing practices.
"My sign is written in English," he explained. "It clearly says ‘ethnically raised.’ It makes no claims about ethics or humane treatment. If these rich ladies in their fancy cars don’t look closely at the words I write, how is that my fault?"
According to Karzai, a native of Afghanistan, “ethnically raised" simply means he uses Afghani farming practices and speaks Farsi to his animals.
When asked if his "ethnically raised" animals are also ethically and humanely raised, Karsai grimaced and shook his head: "Afghanistan is a very hard country, especially for the livestock."
Flepp and several other patrons said they would file a formal protest with Eat Local Albany, which organizes the Albany Farmer's Market. Flepp hopes to ban AK Acres from the market to prevent other wealthy women from being similarly misled.
"What that man is doing is just awful," she added. "And now I have to live with the fact that non-humanely raised lamb touched the backseat of my Lexus Hybrid. It just makes me sick."