Cooking Guide

Why You Should Be Buying Grass Fed Meat and Poultry

You might have noticed that your supermarkets are changing. Words like "organic" and "free range" and labels like "gluten-free" or "vegan" aren't just for that specialty food section of the grocery store anymore. There's a "new healthy" at work in the United States, one that places an increased focus on sourcing our food more naturally. These products aren't just better for the animals involved, but they can be healthier for you to consume as well.

We eat an average of 66.5 pounds of beef and 90 pounds of chicken every year. That’s a lot of meat! Many people are choosing to patronize local and independent farmers for products like free range pork, grass fed beef, and other natural meat products. In the past, shoppers looking to make healthier choices were restricted to buying local produce from the farmer's market, but today the Internet makes it possible to purchase meat directly from the farm as well.

Why purchase meat directly from farmers?

In the same way that purchasing fruits and vegetables from the farmer's market supports local farmers, purchasing meat online allows you to patronize ethical, independent farmers that might normally be out of reach for you. Not only does this result in fresher meat for your dinner table, it also results in meat you can feel good about.

Alarmingly, a 2011 study that appeared in the Clinical Infectious Diseases Journal estimated that almost half of the meat and poultry that shows up in supermarkets has some amount of staph bacteria. And in 2001, it was estimated that between 60-80 percent of the antibiotics made in the United States were given to livestock. Some meat also tends to have the wrong kind of fatty acids and lacks the right vitamins and nutrients. These statistics are a stark reminder that mass produced meat usually isn't the healthiest choice.

In comparison, grass feed beef has as up to seven times higher levels of beta carotene than grain fed beef and higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Grass feed beef can also provide consumers with more Vitamin A and Vitamin E, as compared to grain fed beef. Whether you're purchasing grass fed beef, free range pork, or grain fed beef, when you buy meat online through HarvestBox, you can always have confidence in your meat.

Is there a difference between grass fed and free range?

Grass fed meat is often an effect of free range farming, but they're not necessarily the same thing. Free range pork, for example, simply means that the pig had the ability to roam outside and to graze on the grass available in that area. Grass fed means that the animals in question have the freedom to move around and eat fresh greens, but other plants, grains, insects, and vegetation are also fair game.

If you're scrupulous about where your meat is sourced, free range pork may be just as natural as grass fed pork; indeed, it could be the same thing.

Where can I find ethically sourced meat products?

While some supermarkets now carry free range pork and/or grass fed meat in their meat and poultry section, the selection can be limited. If you want to know exactly where your meat is coming from, consider buying meat online instead. Not only are you supporting independent and local farmers, but you also know exactly where your meat is coming from, most have information about their local farmers.

When you choose to buy steaks online, you can pick out the freshest, most natural products and have them shipped directly to your home. Seeking out and purchasing naturally raised meats can be beneficial to your health and support more natural farming practices.

If you want to start patronizing family-owned farms, contact HarvestBox today!