Meat Sources

Happy Holidays and Winter Solstice

Lunar Eclipse was on December 21. It was one of those very rare events when a lunar eclipse and the winter solstice coincide, apparently it hasn’t happened in more than 300 years. I woke up early and was fortunate enough to watch it from my bedroom window – what a treat!

SOURCES FOR MEAT

Where’s the beef come from? Reasons for knowing the source of meat.

  1. Healthier meat = healthier people and animals
  2. When the prey animals lead a happy life (on pasture, not in feedlots, slaughtered humanely) the chemicals in their body are healthier to ingest and your conscience will be clear.
  3. You can personally visit your local, small rancher/farmer and know how the prey animals are raised and know that you are eating what the farmer eats and see that you are supporting a family that is also supporting the community you live in.
  4. The inputs to this type of farm come from local sources and natural diets, so you do not have to worry if the cows are being fed meat scraps and byproducts that could spread disease from other countries.
  5. Many use heirloom breeds so you are supporting long term sustainability. If you purchase from large breeders, their single, genetically modified breeds can be very susceptible to as yet unknown problems. Genetic variety is critical.

BEEF

Great article telling the benefits of feeding locally raised beef that also speaks of the lives of the new breed of cattle “rancher”. http://www.charlottemagazine.com/Charlotte-Magazine/September-2010/Raising-the-Steaks/

Some exerpts:

“[There is a] quiet revolution of independent ranchers who are taking their cows from birth to market. Rejecting the traditional model of selling their cattle to large corporations that move them to feedlots and slaughter them in large factories, they are raising small herds on pastures, using local slaughterhouses, and selling their meat at farmers markets, farm stores, and by subscriptions.”

“Few shoppers [of beef from grocery stores or distributors] know anything about what they’re buying—where the cow is from, what it was fed, or how it was slaughtered. ” I remember an eye-opening day years ago when I was at an Amish market in York, PA. Only one of the 20 or so butchers there raised their own meat – the rest bought the meat at an auction – source unknown.

“In feedlots cows are fed corn supplemented with hay and soybeans, and grains like milo, barley, wheat, and flax, as well as industrial byproducts such as potato waste from making potato chips or French fries. Corn-fed cows quickly bulk up—often with additional help from antibiotics, which stimulate appetite, and hormone injections, which increase muscle mass.” Purchase of this beef (and I buy it when I eat out with my husband and order a meat dish) is less healthy for you and your planet. If we saw that list of what is fed the cows, chickens and pigs on every menu and every package of meat in the store – we might think twice about buying it. “We [and our animals are] eating drugs, hormones, and pesticides that may be affecting our health.”

“The meat itself [of grass reared beef] is also better for you [and your animals]. Susan Duckett, chair of the Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at Clemson University in South Carolina, published research last year that identified ten aspects of grass-fed beef that make it more nutritious than grain fed. She found that grass-fed beef is lower in total fat, lower in saturated fats, and higher in a number of healthful minerals and vitamins.”

For your animals, to support the planet, ask for and look for the parts of the prey animals that we do not like to eat – chicken feet and gizzards, beef hearts and spleens, chicken backs and necks, etc.

SHRIMP

If you make shrimp for holiday parties (I do) or anytime of year, go to www.Marvesta.com for sustainably raised shrimp. They are more tasty, too. When you use the heads and shells to make a stock for sauces for you, the extra stock can be used as treats for the animals.

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