Less But Better – Meat Production Gets A Grilling
Last month, Organic September spent a whole week shining a light on one of the juiciest subjects – meat. There are those who don’t eat it at all, whilst there are others that have it for almost every meal of the day. Wherever you sit on the spectrum, it’s always worth keeping yourself informed. There are concerns abound regarding animal welfare, feeding the world, pressures on eco systems – all quite rightly too. Meat consumption, especially in Western countries, has risen dramatically with the average person globally eating 42kg of meat a year, in the UK it’s twice that and the USA it’s almost triple. This exemplifies the notion that eating meat is a symbol of wealth and with cheaper production costs (often found by reducing quality), buying into this status is more accessible. The shame is the expectation for meat to be ubiquitous, despite farming production processes for this kind of consumption not being sustainable. We like to follow the advice from Soil Association, to eat less but better meat. By choosing organic meat, you can trust that animal welfare is of a very high standard; the organic regulations cover living conditions, diet (including no GMO), use of antibiotics and hormones, as well as transport and slaughter. With using practical farming models aimed at reducing greenhouse gasses and fostering local wildlife, it also positively influences the wider ecological environment. This is why we choose our suppliers very carefully. We are proud of the people we work with and the products we stock because we have such high standards, to be able to offer you a fantastic range of quality meat. We’ve worked with the folks at Adey’s Farm and Bishop Vale for many years and have started stocking fish from The Cornish Fishmonger and meat from The Well Hung Meat Company this year, all of whom are dedicated to their animals and organic farming practices. We know that eating organic meat on a budget can mean a change to your shopping habits so we’ve pulled together some top tips to help you eat less, but better meat.
- There’s more to the internet than cats.
There are loads of inspirational recipes and diet tips on the internet for delicious vegetarian or vegan meals, or how to easily reduce your meat consumption. Flexitarian Bristol and Part-time Carnivore are good resources for recipes and support.
- Woah there, take it easy!
If you’re new to the idea of eating less or no meat, it’s easier to start with small steps. Meat Free Mondays and Meatless Monday make the good suggestion of starting off with just the one day in your week devoted to vegetarian meals. This gives you time to get used to cooking with new foods and recipes, as well as a gentle introduction to bring others on your food journey if you cook for more than yourself.
- Make your meal more than a one hit wonder.
Making larger meals is more cost effective per meal as you can get more than one serving out of it. A classic Sunday roast can give you leftovers to put into all kinds of other recipes throughout the following days. A useful tip for leftovers is to portion them out and pop them in the freezer for a home-made ready meal. Also, meat doesn’t have to be the main attraction of a meal. Making sure that you’ve got plenty of other goodies in your recipe to bulk it out can help make your meat extend further.
- Meat-free is more than just for home.
Bristol is a fantastic foodie hub – there are loads of places to go that have a great ethical standing and that are vegetarian or vegan too. Not sure where to go? Just searching the internet for ethical restaurants in Bristol will give you a starter for ten but websites like Vegan Bristol are useful for suggestions of where to go.
- Get a little help from your friends.
Do you have vegetarian or vegan friends? Ask them for advice! It can be daunting if you’ve never considered cooking certain foods before (like seitan, tofu, tempeh) but you can get tips from those who have.