Know Your Meat Quality

If you know your meat quality you’ll know that every part of a healthy animal is useful for something. Normally something in the kitchen. The challenge is discerning whether the meat you’re buying was recently a functioning part of a healthy animal; preferably an animal that was altogether oblivious to the fact that it was one day going to be a burger.

But how do you know what you’re eating? Meat, after all, doesn’t have an ingredients list.

The good news is that determining meat quality is easy.

Where does this meat come from?

What conditions did thod animal live under?

What food was this animal fed when it was alive?

Does this meat contain unnecessary chemical?

Sure, the shop attendant might not know, but the meat you’re eating didn’t appear on their doorstep without explanation; somebody ordered it, and that person knew the meat quality when they paid for it. The chances are that person will be the one with your answer, and it’s just a matter of asking.

Reclaim The Jungle

If nobody can tell you (and yes, that does happen), then don’t buy it. You owe it to yourself to know what you’re putting in your body. Frankly it’s shocking that anyone would expect a person to buy food that they didn’t know the quality of. This highlights one of the more terrifying effects of the separation of the human from their food source.

Be the hunter, not the hunted; know how to find out where the prized stags are in the herd of possible purchases. Know your meat quality.

You are important enough to the world that you deserve to know what you’re eating. Part of the modern hunting experience, much like the ancient one, involves a degree of social interaction and cooperation, so embrace it. Ask your tribesmen where they got the fish they’re offering you, what the cow you’re buying a piece of was fed when it was alive, and weather or not either of them were raised on artificial hormones not targeting specific illnesses.

I’ve lived in the Venezuela, the United Kingdom and Canada, and in all of the places I lived I tended to have three or four places that I shopped for food every week. I learned to work visits to those places throughout the week into my schedule. This gave me the ability to shop regularly at a place that I knew had good prices for quality meat, and another place for my tinned food, breads and fish, and yet another place for the best vegetables at the best prices.

Work quality into your routine however you can, if you can.

Judging Meat Quality

With beef the ideal is free range, grass fed cows, free of hormone or chemical exposure, from a farm that you know the name of. The more local the better, as that’s less time in transport, which means less exposure to preservatives, which they don’t have to tell you about on their labels. You won’t need to learn the names of many farms, as you’ll find that most of the good meat you buy will come from the same few places in your area. So ask around or just check the internet to see if they meet your meat standards.

With fish the ideal used to very recently be wild over farmed, but with the plastic pollution that has recently come to light across the ocean, farm fed fish may actually be as safe a choice as wild line caught fish. The trick with fish is getting it fresh, wild for taste. So ask when the fish you want gets delivered, and buy it within a day or two of being caught. For the very best taste and the very best nutritional payoff try getting fish on your plate that’s been caught on the same day as its consumed.

With poultry and eggs we want them to be free range, grain or legume fed and free from hormone or chemical exposure, just as with cows. Regardless of whether we’re talking about poultry eggs or flesh I don’t concentrate much on the farm my poultry comes. In the western world at least, the details above define meat quality for poultry from the perspective of nutrition.

For some help cooking with these fabulous high quality ingredients come check out my recipes in the How2Cook Section.

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