Cost V Conscience – Solving That Ethical Meat Dilemma

Published / Written by Anna Scott / No Comments Yet

You may or may not recall a previous blog post of mine about the benefits of sacrificing meat consumption for one day a week – not an overly dramatic lifestyle change but a potentially important one. Now I’m going to take this one step further and talk about the type of meat that you might continue to consume…

Cow and calfThe sort of meat you buy and where you buy it might be determined by one of two factors, or indeed, both – how your meat was reared and how much it costs. And it would be natural to assume that one directly affects the other – if we want to start eating meat that was guaranteed to have had a happy, fulfilled existence, at the end of the day this means having to fork out more money, something you might not want to do.

Especially in the current economic climate, you don’t really need me to tell you that this isn’t always possible. And you probably really don’t need me preaching on about the said happy existence of a particular cow or pig and make you feel even more guilty and exasperated when you can’t stretch your budget to more ethical meat purchases.

But fret not. I’m not going to do that. You can carry on reading. I’m going to try and help you go some way to solving that old Cost vs. Conscience dilemma…

Going forward from dropping the meat-eating a few days a week, this simple move should lighten the load financially, even by just a few quid. The money you would have spent on buying cheaper cuts every day, you can now put towards better quality meat on fewer occasions. But where to start? It’s all very well saying you should go to your local organic butcher on a thrice-weekly basis, but then we’re back to the old bank balance problem again.

Let’s start with the supermarkets. If we’re honest, this is where we buy most of our cuts. But instead of reaching for the better value chicken breasts, why not opt for the free range or organic thighs? They’re generally a cheaper option and can prove tastier, so the cost should be comparable. Supermarkets are falling over themselves to tell you where their more ethically-sourced meat comes from these days, so the label will give you a whole heap of information.

Ok, so you can’t pretend it’s the 1950s and become a patron of great-regularity at your butcher, as much as you would love to. But can you manage a top quality meat purchase maybe once a week or a fortnight? And it’s not all about spending big bucks on a leg of lamb or beef joint. Ask your butcher for lamb neck fillet, pork belly or lamb shank. These are those much talked about cheaper cuts that can be just as delicious and a bit kinder on your wallet. And if you have the room in your freezer, it’s also possible to bulk buy meat direct from the supplier with that rather handy internet thing.

So why not combine these oh-so-fabulous money saving tips with some of our other oh-so-fabulous money saving tips – you remember the post about saving money by choosing your supermarket value veggies wisely? Yes, that one. Well, there’s nothing stopping you combining your basic vegetables with your top draw, cheaper-cut meat and you may well be spending less on your dish than you normally would. Yes, these blogs posts are all linked to become one grand, master plan to change your family eating habits for the better. You have been warned…