5 ways to know you're getting the best pastured meat
I often get questions about the quality of the meat. Ding ding ding. This is a sure sign that the quality of meat sold in America is, in general, questionable. Oh how I wish it weren’t so!
Let’s see if I can lend a hand and help you easily know you’re getting the best pastured meat. Here are 5 important things to look out for.
1- You can visit the farm the animals are raised on.
I mean, how can anyone trust what a label says is true if the consumer cannot verify it? Visiting the farm is basically impossible with store bought meat (with the exception of some really amazing small health food stores that have direct relationships with small farmers).
You are welcome to schedule a visit to Miller’s Bio Farm in Quarryville, PA. The barn doors are open! And, if you live too far away, you can watch the Farm Tour video.
2- The animals are raised humanely on a small farm’s pastures.
When animals are allowed to live an active and healthy lifestyle, the result is naturally healthy and happy animals (no need for antibiotics, hormones, or vaccines). This natural state of health translates into the quality of the meat. Truly pastured animals produce the most nutrient-dense meat.
3- The best meat is frozen.
Americans have been conditioned to think that fresh meat is the best meat. But, this simply isn’t true.
You see, small farms raising animals humanely with active and natural lifestyles cannot provide fresh meat… at least not without a good amount of waste or profit loss. Small farms don’t send animals to the processor weekly and don’t turn over inventory that quickly.
If small farms produce the best quality meat, then the highest quality meat is frozen.
The biggest myth here is that frozen meat is less nutritious compared to fresh meat. When meat is frozen quickly when fresh and kept 100% frozen, there is no nutrition lost. When meat periodically thaws (like in “frost free” freezers) this is when quality loss happens due to ice crystal damage.
Miller’s Bio Farm’s freezer is kept at 0F. The farmer must wear a full body snowsuit (with boots, a hat, and gloves) to pack orders. Believe me, there’s no meat thawing in the freezer!!
4- Truly pastured meat is more flavorful and has more texture compared to conventional meat.
Before I switched to pastured meat, I had no idea how tasteless and mushy conventional meat was. It was all I had known! And, I’ll be honest. My transition to pastured meat had its struggles. I had to reimagine how I cooked and my expectations. But, now that I switched, there’s no way I’m going back!
5- The most nutritious meat is made with only real ingredients.
This includes what’s put on the fields (no glyphosate, please), what the animals eat (no soy, please), and how they are processed (no chlorine, please).
On top of this, I don’t see why you’d take the highest quality meat packed with B12 and Omega-3s and then blend it with synthetic ingredients like MSG and nitrates. Listen, this is a struggle for us. Even small scale processors love adding these questionable ingredients that the USDA supports. But, we do our best to work with the processors and get you meat with the highest quality ingredients possible.
Is your meat up to snuff? What do you look for when shopping for meat?
PS: It’s worth mentioning that purchasing meat from small farms is also extremely reliable. Our small processors won’t get hacked or instantly shut down. It’s fairly easy to increase supply and keep shelves stocked. Your pastured meat supply is secure with us!