Is Meat Just Meat?
Local Vancouver butcher, better known as The Honest Butcher, knows his meats as well as the meat loving market. Far too often do most of us fall into the trap of convenience. Far too often do we support the 'quick buy', rather than taking that small, extra step to dig deeper and source sustainable, local and - for lack of a better word - healthy meats.
The more time I spend away from what was a daily interaction with what I love to do so much, the more I see how futile it sometimes seems to help make a positive change when it comes to meat. We like local, we like free range, we're still on the fence about organic meat mainly, it seems, because of the higher cost associated with it. We really like lean meat, chicken meat, turkey meat, bison meat, kangaroo meat, we hate meat with bones (when are they going to make boneless animals anyway?) we hate skin, tails, organs and faces, and most importantly we really, and I mean really HATE fat.
So here we are, we know what we like, we know what we don't like, we think we should get as much as we want, anytime we want it and we don't think we should have to pay a lot of money for it, after all, it's just meat right?
Meat is something that comes from animals, and those animals were alive at one point, what quality of life they had can solely be determined by us, the humans, and no matter how cheap or plentiful I can get it, I just can't bring myself to overlook the fact that the choices I make when I buy meat, even at what may seem to be the most trivial level, will make an impact, and its our choice to make it positive or negative. The information is out there if you want to see it, knowledge it free so why not soak it up? I like eating meat, a lot, and since I choose to do so I really want to know where it's coming from, I mean exactly where it's coming from. I want to know the name of the farmer or rancher who works so tirelessly to provide that animal with the kind of quality it deserves, I want to know that said animal walked around on pasture like animals should do, perhaps ate grass and shrubs as compared to feed consisting of animal byproducts and [GE] corn. And I want to know that when the time comes for that animal to give it's life, every single part of it get used and noting goes to waste.
There is a lot of choices there days when it comes to meat, a lot of buzzwords get used in order for us to feel good about what we are buying, but often those words end up making us feel intimidated or uncomfortable. Simply don't let them. Find a reputable butcher to buy your meat, head on down to the local farmers market, or contact farms directly, the options to buy sustainably raised meat are becoming more plentiful everyday and we are so lucky to have the choices we do.
That being said, despite how down I can sometimes feel about our buying habits or lack of effort in and around the kitchen, meat will never be just meat to me, I care about what I buy and where it comes from, I care about helping farmers provide use with the ability to have good meat, and I care about educating and helping with the understanding that meat is so much more than just meat.
Article written by The Honest Butcher.