Modern consumers have become increasingly selective over their choice of food, and this is especially true of their choice of meat. Because we have better knowledge about what exactly we need to be eating, we can make more conscious attempts to choose only foods that we already know are going to be good for us. In the UK in particular, more and more emphasis is being placed on organic, grass-fed, free-range meat produce. With all the benefits this brings, it’s clear that many consumers are looking to make the healthier choice and go free-range. But what benefits does this really bring? Here we dig deeper to find out!

Taste

Taste is the usually the first significant consideration people make when choosing what meat they want to eat. Meat should ideally taste fantastic, full of richness, flavour, and with a texture to remember. Buying beef from standard feedlots can result in fatty, bland beef; it has more than likely been feeding on a mixture of corn and grains which give it this unfortunate flavour. However, buying beef that has grazed and matured well will often result in a rich, intense flavour which is hard to compare with any other kind of meat.

Pork and chicken are similar in that they will usually have a far superior taste if they have spent large portions of their life free from the captivity of intensive animal farming.

Nutrients

Free-range meat has been indicated as having a greater amount of nutrients and protein than meat taken from animals confined to feeding on corn or ones that haven’t grazed. For example, grass-fed beef is not only leaner than standard beef but actually has about a third of the fat contained within. As well as this, free-range meat has been shown to contain a higher proportion of omega-3 fatty acids and is higher in beta-carotene (powerful antioxidant) and vitamin E too. Ultimately, all forms of free-range meat are far leaner than their standard counterparts and packed with the kind of nutrients and protein we need to keep healthy!

Environment

Animals relegated to feedlots inevitably use up more fossil fuels and energy in the process. Feedlots tend to use a substantial amount of fossil fuels, since the vast equipment and machinery required (pesticides, tractors, fertilisers, insecticides) inevitably cause this to happen. Transportation of animals from one place to another also uses up valuable fuel resources. Sourcing your meat locally therefore ensures that you are choosing a more sustainable, eco-friendly option than if you were to source from a normal supermarket.

Animal welfare

Animals confined to horribly claustrophobic spaces, force-fed antibiotics or not given the freedom to roam as they would like will inevitably end up leading a more stressful life, consequently affecting the flavour and taste that is left behind at the end. If you like to benefit from a range of free-range animal produce that guarantees the welfare of the animals raised, visit us at www.martinsmeats.com.

Martins Meats are an award-winning family butchers established in 2003 by husband and wife, Martin and Emma Gilder. Martin’s father and grandfather have been cattle farmers and dealers for many years.  Take a look at our website www.martinsmeats.com to find out more about who we are and what we do.

 We don’t enter into competitions for any glory (although it is nice to win and be recognised), but we do enter because we believe it is the perfect way of showcasing our passion for our industry.  It’s also a great way to educate the public about how best practice and husbandry of animals leads directly to superior quality meat.

 We go to great lengths to make sure that the farms we select our meat from, including our own, are of an exceptional standard before, during and after delivery of livestock. We are proud to state that this, combined with our understanding of meat and how to get the best from it, enables Martins Meats to recommend the best methods and recipes to maximise the flavour and tenderness of our meat and meat products.

 Find out more about the individual awards here: Great Taste Awards | Taste of the West

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