What’s ethical about your meats?
All of our beef and lamb is 100% grass fed. We only buy from farms that have achieved Pasture for Life certification or are operating to the same standards, this ensures that the animals are only ever fed pasture containing grasses, wildflowers and herbs. Most of our beef and lamb is also sourced from farms that practice Holistic Management farming.
All of our chicken and poultry is high welfare and free range, we also do not source from farms that use ‘quick growing’ breeds. All of our chicken and other poultry is kept in conditions that allow the birds to express their natural behaviour in a stress free environment.
All of our pork is strictly Organic according to Soil Association standards.
Organic is the only standard which offers not only higher animal welfare standards, but also environmental benefits in terms of waste management, residue, pesticides and fertilisers. The Organic standard also guarantees that no GMOs have been used in the feed.
All of our packaging has been considered to offer a minimal environmental impact. Our boxes are recyclable and our insulation made by Cool Wool is 100% biodegradable.
Is your meat healthier than factory farmed meats?
Grass fed beef is leaner than the grain fed alternative and yet has higher levels of good fats such as omega 3.
A study by the British Journal of Nutrition revealed that people who eat moderate amounts of grass fed beef receive a healthier level of essential fats compared to people eating the grain fed beef. And the benefits go beyond good fats: several studies show that fully grass fed animals also contain considerably more vitamins and minerals such as beta-carotene and vitamin E.
But how exactly is it healthier?
Here is the interesting bit. Plants naturally produce their own powerful antioxidants to protect themselves from UV rays, disease and premature ageing. When this pasture is digested by the cows, the nutrients accumulate in their fat, and are then transferred to us humans when we eat their beef.
Grass-fed beef may have some heart-health benefits that other types of beef don't have. When compared with other types of beef, grass-fed beef may have:
Less total fat
More heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids
More conjugated linoleic acid, a type of fat that's thought to reduce heart disease and cancer risks
More antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E
What about the environmental aspects of keeping cattle such as global warming and greenhouse gas?
Rearing animals entirely on pasture rather than a mixture of grass and grain is much better for the environment.
According to Graham Harvey, author of Grass-fed Nation and agricultural advisor to the BBC’s show The Archers, clover-rich pastures do not need to be maintained with any fertilisers or pesticides, and that includes those nitrates which are a major source of harmful carbon emissions. This process compares favourably to industrial livestock fed a diet of soy and corn (aka grain) whose production has led to farming monocultures and deforestation.
Encouraging cattle to graze on pasture also increases the fertility of the soil. This is incredibly important for lowering carbon emissions. A British experiment comparing the sustainability of food from grassland and from cultivated crops over a 30-year period showed that soils under pasture retained higher levels of carbon in the ground and more organic matter compared to intensively cropped soil.
Healthy soils contain soil microbes called methanotrophs that reduce atmospheric methane. So the grassland on which the cattle are grazing can absorb a large amount of the methane they produce. The highest methane oxidation rate recorded in soil to date has been 13.7 mg/m2/day (Dunfield 2007) which, over one hectare, equates to the absorption of the methane produced by approximately 100 head of cattle! 2, 3
‘Methane sinks’ bank up to 15% of the earth’s methane. Converting pasture into arable production reduces the soil’s capacity to bank methane and releases carbon into the atmosphere. Fertilising and arable cropping reduce the soils methane oxidation capacity by 6 to 8 times compared to the undisturbed soils of pasture. The use of fertilisers makes it even worse, reducing the soils ability to take up methane even further.4, 5, 6
So to convert pasture to arable land in a ‘quick fix’ to try and grow more plant-based foods considerably accelerates the climate change situation.