Statistically speaking, we are all aware that eating meat has a larger impact on our environment than eating plant-based, when it comes to land use, water use, and greenhouse gas emissions. At Spud, we are big advocates for choosing plant-based options when possible. But did you know, you can still enjoy meat in a sustainable way? Follow our top tips for eating meat sustainably and supporting our local farmers.
1. Eat less, but higher quality meat
Eating meat sustainably can be slightly more expensive. If you are looking to enjoy meat, try to cut back on the overall quantity so you can increase the quality of the meat you buy. Better for your wallet, and better for the planet.
2. Choose Pasture Raised Meat
Pasture-raised animals in comparison to those raised in the industrial farming system generally have a less environmental impact because it more closely mimics what happens in nature. Pasture-raised animals eat vegetation reducing the dependence on growing grains for animal feed which uses high amounts of energy, land, and water. Farmers who produce pasture-raised meat can use field, livestock, and waste management techniques that reduce the methane emissions that come from animals’ manure. Try Top Grass Cattle Co. for pasture-raised meat from Alberta.
3. Locally-fed or Grass-Fed Meat
If you cannot get pasture-raised meat, grass-fed meat is another great option. This reduces the need to grow grains for livestock feed which is not only environmentally inefficient (instead of using the land and water to grow grains for humans), but it is also not the best for the animals. Choosing locally raised animals reduces the overall emissions from farm to fork!
4. Diversify the Type of Meat
Larger animals will naturally have a more significant environmental impact as they need more water, more food, and more land to grow and therefore produce more waste resulting in more greenhouse gas emissions.
Eat a little bit: Beef, pork, lamb
Eat more: Chicken, seafood, eggs
4. Reduce Food Waste
When you do buy meat, try to use every part of what you purchased, by meal planning in advance. Check out how to make your own bone broth!
Sustainable Meat at Spud
Our meat products are raised without the use of antibiotics, hormones, animal by-products, chemical insecticides or ionophores. They do not contain MSG, or other additives. And it is essential all our all animals are humanely raised.
When sourcing new farms and companies to work with there are many aspects of their farm we review and audit:
- Humanely and ethically sourced livestock
- Not purchased off feedlots
- Raised outside (weather permitting)
- Pasture rotation (to allow better grass quality and overall yields rather than continuous grazing)
- Non-GMO feed
- Grass-fed and Grass-finished – this means they are fed grass their entire life, not supplemented with grain
- Free Range
- RWA (Raised without antibiotics)
- Certified Organic
- Ethical supply Chain (non-local suppliers/ mainly fisheries)