Oct 5, 2010

Reasons to Pay More for Grass-Fed Meat

This article is written by guest blogger, Katie from Farm Girl Food.

Over the years we’ve had quite a few customers ask why pay more for grass-fed or pastured meats and eggs when the grocery store counterpart costs less.

It’s a legitimate question if you’re discovering products with the same names as those in the grocery store, but with prices sometimes twice as high. In this case, the age-old adage is true: “you get what you pay for.”

There are three very real reasons why everyone should consider their local meats a steal, no matter the price.

Reason #1
Your body will thank you. Not only are grass-fed and pastured animals happier, but the foods they produce are simply better for you.

Eggs from hens living on pasture like ours do have from three to six times more vitamin D and 30% more vitamin E than eggs from hens raised in confinement. This benefit comes only from chickens that are free to graze, eat bugs, and bask in the sun, activities that are not guaranteed when you buy simply “certified organic,” “un-caged,” “free-range,” or “vegetarian diet” eggs.

Even fat from pastured pigs like ours is different- lower in saturated fats with higher total omega-3s and a healthier ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, like fish oils this fat can be good for you.
Totally grass-fed beef and lamb show similar differences from their “big-box” counterparts, with leaner meat and higher protein per serving. Well-known farmer Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms, describes this kind of red meat as “salad bar” quality because it’s health benefits and nutritional properties can rival those of vegetables.

Reason #2
Building community - we’re smaller and more personal in every way than the producers supplying Walmart or Kroger. Each of our animals gets our personal attention everyday, we are the ones that load, move, and drive the animals and meat, and we are the ones who sell it to you. When you spend a little more at our stand, you’re paying for the chance to have a real relationship with your food; to know where it comes from, how it gets to you, who cares for it along the way.

And on an economic level, every dollar spent closer to home stays closer to home, multiplying as it is spent and re-spent to create and maintain local jobs, radiating into the public sector as tax dollars for our schools and public works. Even if you don’t care for us, purchasing our products creates further support for the rest of your community.

Reason #3
The animals and the environment - Not only are grocery store foods trucked an average of 1500 miles by the time they reach that store’s shelves, the ingredients are grown using extremely energy intensive, ultimate scale methods that increase stress in the lives of the animals and create toxic manure runoff.

Our pigs know us, and the sounds of our boots in the grass, not an automated feed timer and the hum of fluorescent lights. Our critters get to be their natural selves, which inevitably means they fit into nature so much better (and studies show they taste better too).

So spend an extra dollar to turn manure back into fertilizer, revitalize your community, and to restore the real food qualities of the things you eat.

Farm Girl Foods began in Katie’s mind when she was just a youth in the heart of the natural, "green" food movement in Berkeley, California. She's always had a passion for healthy, delicious food, for working outdoors, and for sustainable living.  In 2003 she signed on as a livestock intern at the Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas. At the Heifer Ranch, Katie learned more about sustainable livestock production, rotational grazing, and helped with grant-funded research projects. What started as a farm adventure and a curiosity in food production developed into a passion for the endless challenges of farming.  Katie started Farm Girl Natural Foods on leased land in 2004.  She also has a blog where she frequently posts specials for their meat as well as recipes.

share facebook tweet

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails