Where To Buy Non Factory Farmed Meat
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As long as the producer is within a certain distance of where the meat is being sold, usually the same state or administrative region, they can advertise as locally-raised, even if the meat being sold was raised in utterly inhumane factory farming conditions.
As we said, the reality is that most of us buy our meat from the grocery store, the majority of which is supplied by factory farming. This is why big chain stores can offer such large quantities of meat at such a low price.
The Certified Organic does not keep producers to the same high standards that the AGW and HFAC do. It does, at least, mean the animals that your meat came from had access to the outdoors, were pastured (in the case of ruminants), and had a more natural diet than factory-farmed animals.
Ninety-nine percent of meat, dairy, and eggs in the U.S. come from factory farms, according to SentienceInstitue. Specifically they mention the following percentage of USA farm animals live in Industrial Farms:
I am a huge advocate of only eating grass-fed, hormone-free, antibiotic-free and organic meat. This is because naturally-fed, humanely-raised meat is so much more healthy, ethical and sustainable than factory-farmed meat. I find that organic and grass-fed meat tastes a lot better than conventional meat too.
To conclude, although grass-fed and organic meat can be hard to find, there truly are top-notch meat delivery services available. You just have to do a bit of research and then sign up for one that suits your preferences. This will enable you to have easy access to high-quality meat, no matter where you live!
Three years later, I was still fighting factory farms but had moved across the country from New York to California. Surprising myself (and others), I had married a cattle rancher and meat company head, Bill Niman. Bill is no ordinary meat guy. He's spent his entire adult life slowly and painfully building a viable alternative to factory farms, the natural meat company Niman Ranch. Over the past six years, I've worked here on our ranch in Northern California and continued researching factory farming. And I'm still hunting down the foods of non-industrial, traditional farms.
My book Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms, released earlier this year, tells the tale of my journey through the meat system and from East Coast vegetarian lawyer to West Coast rancher. In a chapter called \"Finding the Right Foods,\" I also share what I've learned about how to avoid food from factory farms and how to get the good stuff.
2. Plan on reducing consumption. A typical American eats more than 200 pounds of meat per year and our consumption continues to rise. On top of that, over the twentieth century, average cheese consumption went from about three pounds annually to around 30 pounds, much of which is processed cheese in Big Macs and on pizzas. (And we wonder why we have an obesity epidemic). Meat and dairy products from traditional farms currently cost more than factory farm products. A good way to make this work in your budget is to cut back the quantities you buy (and the frequency and portion sizes when you eat animal based foods). Chances are, you're eating far more of it than you need anyway, so cutting back will probably be a good thing for your health as well. Consider adopting this as your new slogan: Eat less meat. Eat better meat. (The same goes for dairy products and eggs).
4. Ask questions (even if it sometimes seems futile). Few people these days ask where the food comes from when at grocery stores or restaurants. Americans have become accustomed to the idea that there's some giant commodity trade of fungible meats, eggs, and dairy products. But there is real power in simply asking the questions: \"Where is this from How was it raised\" Get into the habit at meat counters and restaurants of asking where the meat is from. If they don't know the answer, suggest (in a friendly way, of course) they find out. When we eat out, Bill and I always ask servers where the meat comes from. If they don't know, we ask them to ask the chef. If the chef doesn't know, Bill doesn't order it. I believe the simple act of asking this question - if enough people begin to do it - has the potential to spark a massive change in our food system.
4. Look for CSAs. An excellent way to know exactly where your food comes from is to join a CSA (community supported agriculture). You buy shares of what a farm produces. Generally, each \"shareholder\" (member) gets a box of farm products each week, which members pick up at a certain spot. Many CSAs encourage their shareholders to visit the farms for themselves, so they can really know where their food is coming from and how it was raised. When they first started, most CSAs were just doing produce. But in recent years, I've spoken with people from all over the country that are doing CSAs that include meat, dairy and eggs. Some farms and ranches are even doing CSAs that are exclusively animal-based foods. CSAs can be found by searching Eatwellguide.org and Localharvest.org/csa.
1. Domestic, please. Whether you're worried about your food's carbon footprint or how much you can verify about its source, there are lots of good reasons to support farms close to home. I am generally skeptical about claims (like \"organic\") on food imported from foreign countries. US government authorities barely police imported food's safety nor the validity of its label claims. We always try to buy domestically because we want to feel confident about how it was produced. We also want to help build the demand for traditionally farmed foods so that more and more American farmland is occupied by real farms and ranches instead of factory farms. Of course, when you're shopping at a farmers market, this is generally not a concern. But lots of stores offer imported meats and fish. In particular, 90 percent of lamb comes from Australia and New Zealand and most seafood comes from Asia.
2. Organic is very good, (but the label isn't perfect). USDA regulates the use of the term \"organic\" on food labels. If you see the official \"Certified Organic\" label on a food, that means that USDA is maintaining a certain degree of oversight and that the food item was (or at least should have been) produced in accordance with USDA's standards. In many ways, especially with respect to animal feeding, the standards are stringent. Animal based foods labeled organic must be fed only organic feeds (which has at least 80 percent organic ingredients and does not contain slaughterhouse wastes, antibiotics, or genetically modified grains). These are important distinctions from typical factory farm foods. The organic standards also provide some assurance about how the animals are housed and handled. They require that organic livestock and poultry be provided: \"living conditions which accommodate the health and natural behavior of animals,\" and specifically mandate that animals have some access to the outdoors, to exercise, and to bedding. These too are crucial differences from factory farms. The problem, however, is that the standards have not clearly mandated access to pasture. Thus, much organic milk (and other dairy products) comes from cows that are housed in enormous metal sheds and spend most of their days on cement floors, having no access to pastures. For this reason, I prefer to know precisely where and how the animals lived that produced my food and do not like to rely on the organic label.
4. Antibiotic free doesn't mean much. Some poultry and red meats are labeled \"antibiotic free.\" This is slightly better than your average factory farm product because the animals were not continually fed antibiotics. But there are several serious problems with this label. Most importantly, \"antibiotic free\" meat can be (and usually is) from a factory farm. Secondly, many companies are calling meat antibiotic free even though they used other anti-microbial drugs to raise the animals. In other words, it's largely a matter of semantics.
4. Goat: Goat is the most frequently consumed meat in the world but most Americans have never tried it. However, as the US population changes and as palates broaden, goat meat is gaining popularity here for the first time. One advantage to eating goat meat is that this is a non-industrialized part of the meat sector. There is no such thing as a goat factory farm. In fact, goat is probably the most environmentally friendly of all meats, because, when properly managed, goats do little damage to the landscape and consume naturally occurring undesirable vegetation, (like poison oak and coyote brush). Look for it at your local farmers market. The best goat meat is from animals raised specifically as meat goats, (rather than dairy goats), especially the Boer and Spanish breeds.
5. Chicken: Like pork, almost all chicken produced in the United States today is from enormous confinement buildings. Instead, look for chicken that was raised on pasture. If it does not specifically say that it was raised on pasture, assume that it was not. Factory farms all raise the same white chicken from a narrow genetic pool. Their bodies are unsound and would be unfit for life outdoors. Thus, even better than just pasture raised are heritage breed chickens raised on pasture, such as the Plymouth Barred Rock, Cornish, and Silver Laced Wyandotte . To the greatest extent possible - buy whole birds, which mean there's been less processing of the meat and it makes it more affordable. Remember that most \"antibiotic free\" comes from factory farms. Remember, too, that \"free range\" does not mean the birds were on pasture but it does mean the birds had outdoor access, (so it's somewhat better than non-free range).
The most popular and convincing arguments for the claim that vegetarianism is morally obligatory focus on the extensive, unnecessary harm done to animals and to the environment by raising animals industrially in confinement conditions (factory farming). I outline the strongest versions of these arguments. I grant that it follows from their central premises that purchasing and consuming factory-farmed meat is immoral. The arguments fail, however, to establish that strict vegetarianism is obligatory because they falsely assume that eating vegetables is the only alternative to eating factory-farmed meat that avoids the harms of factory farming. I show that these arguments not only fail to establish that strict vegetarianism is morally obligatory, but that the very premises of the arguments imply that eating some (non-factory-farmed) meat rather than only vegetables is morally obligatory. Therefore, if the central premises of these usual arguments are true, then strict vegetarianism is immoral. 59ce067264