If you’re trying to eat healthier and create a diet that’s better for you and the environment, you are probably going to want to know more about where the food you’re eating comes from. This is especially important when it comes to meat. There has been article after article talking about how meat production is bad for the environment, but there are more sustainable meat producers out there.
What’s important is knowing where your meat comes from, so that you can be sure that you’re buying and cooking up a more sustainable product. Here’s what you need to know about meat sourcing.
A Big Factor: How Animals Were Raised
One of the most important things to think about when it comes to meat is how the animal was raised. Fortunately, it has become easier to learn more about the conditions that animals are kept in on farms. You can learn if an animal was free-range if it had space to roam and graze. You can learn more about what they ate. Did they get to feed on organic grass? Or did they eat corn and grains, along with other conventional feed that simply isn’t as sustainable?
If you’re looking for healthier, more sustainable meat, it’s also important to try and avoid meat sources that heavily use growth hormones or antibiotics. Growth hormones can help an animal grow and produce more meat, but it’s not necessarily good for the animal and there could be as yet unknown effects on human health. Most diners who want sustainable meat try to avoid them.
Then there are antibiotics, often used by factory farms to keep cattle healthy in dreary and crowded conditions. The use of too many can lead to the rise of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” that can spread disease among humans.
You can also get more information about how the animals are eventually slaughtered. More farms are doing this in the most humane way possible these days, so if you feel guilty about your meat-eating habits and want to assuage some of that guilt, finding more humane sources of beef and other meat is a good idea.
Looking for Better Sources
If you want to learn more about where the meat you’re eating comes from, you can often check the package at the store. More producers have begun to notice that consumers want more info about where their food comes from, and they are happy to provide it. You can learn whether beef is grass-fed or if the chicken is antibiotic-free by simply reading the package in some cases.
Alternatively, you can look for a local source. A nearby small farm that humanely raises animals and produces meat might be able to provide you with all of the sustainable meat that you need. If you can find a small farm near you, ask if they can sell to you directly or begin buying through one of their distributors, like a local butcher or store. This is one of the best ways to know that you’re sourcing more sustainable meat.
Learn More About Organic and Sustainable Food
If you want to learn more about organic and sustainable food sources, we can help. The Organic Restaurants blog and website are full of useful information that can help you form a diet that isn’t just healthier for you, but better for the environment too.