As consumers you have more power than you think. Quite simply, the purpose of supermarkets
and other food businesses is to make profits, which are generated when you buy their
products. They will only stock what sells and what you buy.
1. Make meat a treat
Start by giving Meatless Mondays a go. Reduce the portion size of meat you use in dishes and make the humble vegetable the hero. Also reduce your dairy intake and support small artisan cheese and milk producers who farm using organic or biodynamic principles.
2. Choose more eco-friendly meats (and fish)
All types of meat have an environmental impact or ethical consequence, but there are some meats whose farming/harvesting has less of an impact than others. Learn which meats and fish are a better choice, e.g. wild-harvested meat, like wild rabbit or hare is likely to have the least environmental impact, farmed lamb and beef have the most.
3. Choose grass-fed or pasture-raised organic meat, dairy & eggs
Choose milk from organic/biodynamic farms and beef from grass (pasture)-fed over grain-fed cows, because fewer resources have gone into the feeding of these cows. Milk and meat from grass-fed animals is also more nutritious and therefore better for you.
4. Support a nose-to-tail philosophy
Choose less popular cuts of meat like neck cuts, liver, ears, and support a nose to tail philosophy. After all if an animal has to die for us, we should respect it enough to eat all of it.
5. Buy ethically-farmed meat from small organic or biodynamic farms
Small-scale farms practising organic or biodynamic methods take care to minimise their impact on the environment. Avoid factory-farmed meat. If a meat is widely available in supermarkets, it is likely to be from a large-scale or factory farm, and likely to be grain-fed, or at least finished at a feedlot. As a general rule, chickens and eggs sold in large supermarket chains under the free range label at a similar price to the conventional equivalent are unlikely to meet strict ethical standards.
6. Shop at accredited farmers’ markets
They are a great place to purchase your meat from as you can speak directly to farmers who have often chosen to raise heritage breeds in smaller quantities. You are likely to pay a little more for your meat, however, the extra cost is worth it because the taste is sensational and if you have committed to making meat a treat, you will be buying less of it anyway.