Cheap Meat

Last night Stuart was reading blurbs of this article to me. This morning I read it myself. And even thought it wasn’t a huge “surprise” based on the way things degenerate when ‘big’ anything takes over, just the amazing amount of cruelty was completely overwhelming. And disgusting. And sickening. Yes, actually sickening!

Yet I am going to recommend that you read it just the same CLICK HERE for the article. It contains some video footage as well, which I’d highly suggest that you don’t let any kids see! I only watch a couple minutes of it and literally felt physically ill. It’s revolting and completely cruel!

Now before you think I’m going down the “Animal Rights Activist” road, let me tell you that I am not. In fact reading/watching this makes me more than ever determined to raise our own meat. I just can’t buy meat from the stores knowing that it came from animals that are treated this way! Animals are supposed to be food for us, sure, but not like this. No way!

And it also begs the question of how ‘good’ can meat from animals in these conditions actually be?

So what’s the solution? We can’t all move to plots of land and start raising our own cows, chickens and pigs, right? Right! But there ARE other solutions. And to be perfectly honest with you the price that you pay in dollars will be well worth it to NOT be supporting this kind of heartlessness AND to be getting food that is going to be better for your over all health.

While we are in the process of building up our little farm operation. We are still in the same boat. Trying to find sources of good food and humanely raised meat until we can produce it on or own. So I’ve got a few suggestions for you if you’re willing to do just a LEEEEETLE leg (or computer) work that will help put better quality food on your table and stop supporting those horrible meat manufacturers. I’ve managed to find farms in our state that will sell quarter or half grass fed beef for as little as $4.90 per pound!! If you’ve been shopping lately you’ll probably notice that that is actually LESS than what many supermarkets are charging you for the beef that comes from tortured animals. Really!

A quarter beef is going to be in the 80- 100ish pounds of meat range a half beef like 160-210lbs and a whole beef would get you 350-450lbs of meat. Now that is a LOT of beef and it also seems like a huge chunk of change to plop down all at once. So one option that I think is a really good one, would be to go in with a friend or 2 to buy as much beef as you think you’ll need for awhile. A good freezer is a must! Then you can kind of spread out the initial expense and you’ll have a freezer packed full of good quality beef that’s from grass-fed cows who’ve been allowed to see the sun and wander through pastures. Not stay cooped in a stall so small that they can never turn around their entire lives.

But how to unearth these places is the real question. One website that I thought was cool is called “Eat Wild” <-- Click the link} and it has a map of the states that you can click on and find places in your area that provide good food. I was as lost as could be when I first started trying to track down this stuff, but this was the first place I started and it got me off on the right foot. 🙂 Another option would be if there is agriculture around you somewhere, then ask at the local feed stores if they know of farmers that are selling meat. Sometimes they have bulletin boards in those stores as well for people to tack up their advertisements on. So that's a way to find something that is local. Good food is out there, it's just sometimes hard to dig up! 🙂 Once you've found a good farmer that you trust and build a relationship with it's much easier to keep going back! We are going to be asking some local people we know about their prices for beef here pretty soon. I've still got meat in the freezer from various stores and I'm not going to waste it, but you can bet I won't be buying any more!! Then if neither of those options work for you, but you have access to a Whole Foods type market then please shop there for your meat. Make sure that it says "grass-fed" or "pastured" on it. And for the eggs/chicken, it really does need to say "pastured" because just "free range" or "cage free" doesn't necessarily mean that the birds were allowed to roam at all. They are often still packed into really disgusting, overcrowded warehouses, and all they have to do to get the label "free-range" is to allow them access to the outside, which may be nothing more than a cement patio. SO there ya go. I wasn't going to write this post today, but after reading the article and especially after actually seeing some of the footage (I couldn't make it through the whole thing) I think it's time to make the change. We were heading that direction already, but it just really gave me that nudge to make it now. It's easy to think that it's all good when you pick up your package of perfect pink meat at the store. Easy to know it came from an animal but not really have to get our hands dirty to enjoy it. Raising animals to slaughter can't be easy either, but it's got to be better than what those poor creatures are going through so that people can get easy "cheap" meat. I still have plans to raise broilers this summer... and maybe a pig if I can talk Stu into it. 😉 So if you're interested in buying some chicken, which will be pastured, and organic, from me, let me know and I'll add a few extra birds to the mix. 🙂 Though I can't make any promises at this point since I'm still a green horn. 🙂

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