Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mmm, mmm, Meat.

So my husband and I are having a silent discussion about meat. Here and there, no more than a couple times I guess, about me mentioning that I was interested in getting meat that's organically and humanely produced, including eggs because chickens are raised in such terrible and unsanitary conditions it would make you cry tears for not only them, but for all future omelets you'd like to eat.

After reading Michael Pollan's books, "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and "In Defense of Food," I've become more aware of what a crappy and nasty life farm animals go through and there are sustainable, much more efficient, clean ways to eat meat.

One way I propose would be to keep my own chickens for eggs, but I am losing on that end with the husband. (Note, when I am not a happy wife, I call him "the husband" not "my husband" :P)

The temptation to "accidently" hatch some chickens in the yard is great. Just like I the time I "accidently" got a pet rat for myself for Christmas when I was 13... and didn't my inform my parents ahead. They dealt with it and didn't turn it (or me) out of the house amazingly, but I did get hell for it. I will say, rats are one of the best pets ever and I hear that chicken are great pets too. I just need to confirm that the suburb allows that sort of thing...

Another way to get healthy meat would be from local Fresh Markets or Whole Foods, but the price is always prohibitive and my husband and I have a hard time not being thrifty especially when the Kroger nearby sells ground beef and chicken for so little in comparison. My husband and I usually grocery shop together and stop by the manager special meat section, but the past few times we've just avoided it. The topic of other meat sources is at a stand still for now as we are clearing out the meat aplenty that is in the freezer.

I am starting to do research on the prices and options of local farmer produced meat. I am hoping the prices start to be right to the husband as I figure, we are mostly veg already, the meat that we do it will be so little that we might as well eat the good stuff and the price won't be such a pain.

Anyways, little rant from me. If anyone has any suggestions it would be appreciated.

UPDATE: West Wind farms is a local option, but the change from $2/lb meat to :

Split Chicken Breasts
Two split chicken breast halves, with bone, skin on. Moist and delicious. Each package weighs 1.0 to 2.0 lbs.

for $14 is frightening. Maybe I should just go completely veg....


A Home Made said...

I know the feeling. Dave and I go buy our chicken at the grocery store for typically under $2 a pound when it's on sale. The organic chicken goes on sale for $9-10 a pound. As much as I like the idea of eating the organic chicken (though not sure honestly if it's just organic or also sustainable and humane) I find myself saving money and finding it hard justifying the extra $7 per pound.

I think the best way really is to find a local farmer where you can buy it direct.

I did a quick google search and found a farm near me that offers meat/dairy. The prices aren't as good as you generic hormone grocery store finds but it's $6 for boneless skinless chicken breasts which is better than the $9-10 at the store (and it's only $4 per pound if you buy the whole chicken). It's a little easier to swallow $2-4 extra a pound than $7-8.

Minus google searching, the best bet may be to contact a co-op office. I believe that some CSA's are set up which do dairy and/or meat specifically too.

If I stumble on anything in the memphis area in my searching I'll send it your way.

A Home Made said...

Back already. I found a website that's really helpful

It looks like there's a few farms in Southhaven, MS just south of memphis that may be worth checking out

gck said...

You might like this one as well:
(it was easily available at my library when I read it)

By the way, if you really believe in eating properly handled meat for ethical reasons, I don't believe price should be an issue. To take it to a different extreme, if all companies producing meat killed little children to do so except one company where the meat cost $100/lb, would you buy the kid-killing meat? Of course not. You'd either shell out the money for the other kind or eat less/no meat. So if you only have a certain amount of money to buy meat, just buy less.. eat more lentils. :)

I do know people who buy shares of cows or whatever here and then split it among several people so it's more manageable, and the prices end up being ok.

persephone said...

gck, agreed entirely on the no price for good clean meat thing. More or less, David has the issue more than me... we haven't purchased meat (unless you count frozen fish stuff, not as though that's entirely better) in months, going off of old freezer burned stuff we have had forever in the past from meat sales.

We've gone mostly veg for a while, lots of legumes as you have mentioned, but every so often, yeah, it's nice to have the protein you grew up with.

My argument with David often is, that we purchase so little now as it is, the price for good meat while expensive, through the entire year would not be so great anyways.

But yeah, still trying to convince him.