If we tell you that we think you should eat less meat, you might think we’ve gone off our rockers. We’re a meat company, right? But actually we do think you should eat less meat. Hear us out – it really makes sense…
While we’re still trailing behind our American and Australian cousins, in the UK we eat a lot of meat. Statistics show that on average, we each consume about 80kg of meat a year. Sound a lot? In the US, it’s about 125kg per head. To put that into perspective, during World War 2, rationing meant that the British population ate about 20kg of meat products (including fats) in a year. Admittedly, it’s not a level playing field, but a fourfold increase in just over 60 year? That’s going some.
The reason this remarkable statistic is possible is the cheapness and availability of meat. Ready supply has stimulated demand and for many of us a meat-free day just isn’t a thing. Industrialised farms using intensive methods to grow animals bigger and faster churn out meat at rates we’d previously have thought impossible. Predictably, this isn’t proving to be a good thing.
At Coombe Farm Organic, we’ve got some distinctly old-fashioned ideas. We work to the standards set by the Soil Association to farm in a way that is ethical and sustainable. This means we don’t cover our fields with chemicals, routinely dose our animals with medicines or stuff them up with growth promoters.
As far as we’re concerned, the old way is the best. Animals live in small groups, they grow at the speed nature intended and eat an organic diet that includes plenty of grass. Their manure is used to fertilize the fields, so what they take out is put back in. It’s a well-balanced cycle and it’s worked for a long time. But it’s not quick and that means it’s not cheap.
Of course, every cloud has a silver lining. By taking our time and letting nature do her thing, we have grass that’s nutrient rich, land that’s populated by diverse wildlife and animals that produce healthy, nutritious meat. It’s naturally clean meat that has no chemical or pharmaceutical taint, so it’s about as good for you as you can get.
In organic, grass-fed meat you’ll find higher levels of important vitamins, antioxidants and beneficial fats including CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and long-chain omega-3s. Meat like ours is associated with anti-inflammatory and immunity-boosting effects. Plus, it tastes ridiculously delicious.
What you might have noticed is our meat is a little bit more expensive than meat you see in the supermarket. That’s because we take our time, farming the hard way, without cutting corners or using chemicals. It’s also because we believe in paying our partner farmers a fair price, in recognition of the work they’ve put in.
So what do we recommend? We think eating less meat, but buying the best quality there is makes sense for everyone. You’ll taste the difference in every bite and your body will thank you for it, too.