Be sure to read the intro to this post over at Katie’s place, where I explain what a CAFO is (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation), why you want to find a better alternative for the meat you buy, and how pastured meats are more nutritious. (If Katie’s post isn’t up yet, it will be soon.) ALSO, as part of the whole Get Out the Junk Series, Katie has offered prizes each week for those who enter a link or add a comment here. The prize this week is a Real Food Ingredient Guide.
The best way to sum all this up is to show you the Food, Inc.trailer. I’ve seen it a couple dozen times and still get chills over and over. (If you haven’t seen the movie yet, DO IT.)
Now because I’m all about hearing both sides and deciding for yourself, be sure to check out this link with the “other side” and see what you think: Get the Facts About Food, Inc. As I’m writing this I saw Katie’s Monday post in my inbox and she has more links with another point of view that you may want to check out.
Be sure to read Rachel Ritter’s whole comment there, her opinion happens to be where I fall on this as well. Here’s part of what she wrote:
“Families own many large farms, and I wouldn’t vilify them. I believe they generally make a good faith attempt to do the best job they can while remaining financially viable and competitive in the marketplace. Despite this, if you’re feeding your cattle organic grain on a feedlot, confining them, and doing your best to manage their waste, the cattle are still living unnaturally. This unnatural lifestyle is less healthy for them and for those of us who eat them.”
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Any way you slice it, I’ll stick with a local farm like the one in this video with Joel Salatin – this also gives me chills every time:
Now you may be wondering, what is the alternative to factory farmed meat?
Instead of buying your meat at the local grocery store, the alternative is to find a farmer near you who understands this stuff, someone you can go visit, get to know, see firsthand how your food is raised, and then support these food heroes with your food dollars. If you can’t find one nearby or if there’s something you can’t find locally, you can order from a company who will ship it safely, but this doesn’t let you off the hook. You still need to call and ask them how they raise their animals and get to know them even if only over the phone, so you feel confident and know without a doubt that you are getting high quality, safe, nutrient-dense meat. (We get most of our meat locally, but if there’s something my local farmer doesn’t have, I still feel confident getting meat from this online source because I know and trust them…like beef tallow for one!)
How do we afford Real Meat?
Before I give you my number one answer to that question, first keep in mind what Joel Salatin says, “You think Real Food is expensive? Have you priced cancer lately?” Or Michael Pollan: “Cheap food is an illusion.” Keeping that in mind, still, what I suggest is that you don’t have to eat meat at every meal. Stretch out your meat budget by serving it less often. That’s what they did in the old days or in the traditional cultures that Weston Price wrote about, they didn’t try to justify raising more animals as fast as possible no matter the ramifications just to make it more affordable. (And yes, I realize they didn’t have the technology that we do today, so they couldn’t have done that even if they wanted to back then, but you get my point.) You could add in meals like casseroles with bone broth as one of the ingredients, or nutrient-dense egg dishes, etc. We have quite a few favorite meatless meals around here, and mostly that’s the answer when I forget again to pull something out of the freezer until it’s too late.
Now it’s your turn!
I hope you’ll jump into this conversation and add your links with Mr. Linky below, we’d love to hear what you have to say! If you don’t have a blog, join in down in the comments, and if you do either one you’ll be entered to win a Real Food Ingredient Guide. Check back next week for more in the Get Out the Junk Series when Laura @ Heavenly Homemakers discusses pesticides.
Note: If you buy from the meat affiliate link above, I’ll earn a small commission, and thank you.