How picky should you be about the meat you buy?

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Naturally raised beef

When talking about BBQ you are talking meat. There are more and more people and recipes to find that are focused on grilling vegetables, but the meat will always be the main dish on the grill for me.

Cooking on the grill is more than slapping a piece of meat on there and be ready. Grilling is no exception to the fact that we feed our family and that means that we have to keep their health in mind.

Meat compared to other food

Just like with the other food we buy we have to have a look at the same things when we buy our meat. Things like:

  • Where does it come from
  • How are the animals raised
  • What did it eat

Just to mention a few.

Buying meat in a supermarket does not give you much information about it, it can be raised in a foreign country before being shipped to your store.

Let’s take a step back in history. Most towns had their own butcher shop that slaughtered local meat and sold it to the local people. This meant that you knew where it came from and how it was raised.

Not to mention the fact that they were raised more naturally. Nowadays cow, pigs, and chicken are not raised that way anymore. For some reason, we lost that way of raising livestock. 

Beef

Cows are placed in feeding lots to let them gain weight as much and as fast as possible to sell them at a good price,

pork

Pigs are locked up in confined space to make sure they do not move too much and al their energy goes into growing and gaining weight.

Poultry

Chicken are kept in large barns where they are fed a strict diet of food that they would probably not eat in a natural environment, for the sole reason to get them ready to slaughter as fast as possible.

What is slowly changing

There is, however, slowly a change in the way many people think about this way of raising animals and this explains the rise in demand for naturally raised meat.

Natural raised means in my opinion that they eat what they ate for centuries and that they are not confined in their movement but are able to roam around like in the old days.

The question is, however, that it is hard to find this type of meat in your regular stores since the demand for things like grass-fed and finished beef is not yet large enough for them to have a large stock of this.

That is why many people who are looking for this meat start looking online. There is a growing number of online stores that focus on naturally raised meats and you can find them here.

Most of them have local farmers as their source and make sure that the animals are raised the way it was meant to be.

Why eat naturally raised meat?

Let’s try to find an answer to the question of why you should eat grass-fed and finished beef, heritage pork, and free-range chicken. I limit myself to these three because that is what most people buy.

A cow that is raised on a pasture and eats only grass and hay, which is their natural diet, will growl slower than a cow in a feeding lot that starts out on grass and then is switched to eating grains and corn, which is not their natural diet.

That slower growth results in better quality meat that only contains the fats that are made by their natural food and not made by feeding them food for the sole purpose to gain weight.

The same story goes for pigs and chicken and I don’t think I have to repeat that here.

high quality ground beef in a bowl

My Take on buying meat

I try to eat mainly naturally raised meat and in my opinion, the taste of this is a lot better than the meat I buy in a regular store.

When I compare it side by side I see a big difference in them. The grass-fed beef has a different texture and a nicer marbling.

My opinion is that, although I love meat, it is better to eat a small piece of high-quality meat than eating a big piece with lesser nutrients.

I love to hear your opinion about this subject and you can leave it in the comments below.

Peter Jameson