I absolutely adore Ron Swanson. But I dislike how little he understands what really constitutes good meat. (Buying half-thawed hamburger at the Food n’ Stuff? Really?)
I used to think that “good meat” meant either “the best deal on the cheapest meat at the store” OR “the most mushy corn-fed steak possible.” Or, y’know, just…meat. I thought it was all the same.
Then, I learned that none of those qualifications would guarantee that:
- the meat I ate was from a reputable, safe source;
- the animal was treated properly or with compassion; or
- the animal lived in its natural environment at any point in its life.
Even if I DIDN’T care about basic animal welfare, I would still care about those things, because they have a direct impact on the nutritional value of the meat I eat. The more naturally an animal is raised, the more nutritious it is for me. To me, it’s important that my meat is from an animal that:
- ate its natural diet
- was raised in its natural environment
- was not given added hormones or sub-therapeutic antibiotics.
What our animals eat – and the lives they led – is passed along to us in the form of inferior OR superior nutrition. As my husband’ll tell you, I like to feel superior. So I choose the latter.
But this is a tough approach to take sometimes. This whole “grass-fed/pasture-raised/know your meat” thing is a relatively new movement; but luckily, it’s becoming more accessible all the time. Good, healthy, naturally raised meat is becoming more common, more affordable, and easier to find thanks to sites like EatWild.com.
Common objections to this approach:
- grass-fed and pastured meat tastes different (gamey or tough)
- it’s too expensive
I totally understand both objections, and first off, remember that you don’t have to be 100% “perfect” all the time. There’s no judgment here – just ideas. But if you happen to be into this idea, just try. Kick it around. Learn how to prepare grass-fed/pasture-raised meat. And as far as affordability? Well – just watch my video and see what I have to say.
(if you can’t see the video, click here)
Have advice about making good meat affordable? Leave it in the comments!
Thanks for reading & watching!
Great post & video Liz!! I love that you’re sharing this info & showing people it’s not that hard to get good meat from healthy animals. My husband & I actually just purchased our first Quarter Beef & are picking it up tomorrow. Yay!! I think it’s so important to support better animal treatment & health. 🙂
Great video Liz! I found this out a couple of years ago. I contacted a local farm. Went to visit it and meet the farmers. I found out after asking questions that in the Spring they butcher bt finish on grain 😛 BUT in the fall they are all grass finished, no grain! There is a waiting list a mile long so I have to call in May to get my side for Halloween delivery! It comes out to be about $3.79/lb, this is figuring in the butchers cost too! Not too shabby:) It is a big chunk of money all at once, but I just prepare for it, and we are set with our family of 3 for 6 months, approx. Still squeamish about trying to eat the heart, but I will get to it! LOL! They gladly give the soup bones, liver etc. as most people don’t ask for it! WIN WIN for us! Keep up the great videos! I love them! I think it is a great medium for you 🙂
Of all the organs the heart is actually the least weird tasting because it’s actually just muscle meat. Albeit it’s a bit different type of muscle, but it truly is delicious.
Liz! You’re the best! I’m loving the video posts. This is such a great topic and I love your tips. And, by the way, I’m doing the raw liver shots. My hubby too and he swears it actually makes him happier and more alert. 🙂
Hey Liz! I agree with the comments above – your videos are the best! My family runs a pastured, beyond organic farm in So-Cal called Primal Pastures. We’ve been trying to promote the idea of buying animal shares to our customers lately and this is an excellent resource on the topic. I’ll definitely be sharing/referencing this post soon!
I’d be honored if you’d share, Bethany! I hope I can meet you next time I’m in your neck of the woods 🙂
Liz, definitely let me know if you’re ever in the area! I’d love to show you our farm, hear all about your homesteading ventures, and share funny animal stories over a glass of wine…or two (we’re located in the heart of Temecula’s wine country). 😉
I sure will, Bethany! Would be honored.
Great post Liz! I like that you dealt with the common excuses directly and with practical advice.
If any of your readers are lucky enough to live in the mid-Atlantic like us, you can join Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm’s buying club. We live in Va Beach and pick up in Williamsburg; they do monthly deliveries all over mid-northern VA, MD and DC. Our quarter cow cost us less than $6/lb, chicken larder was less than $4/lb. We get our pork and eggs from local farmers but Polyface sells those too.
This is great! I also found some nice deals at my Denver Urban Homesteaders market. As a single lady in an apartment, half a pig isn’t really an option. But by poking around town, I have found some great purveyors at reasonable rates (like pasture raised and smoked heirloom bacon for $8/lb).