If you don’t work in the food or restaurant industry, it can be hard to understand the difference between marvel ingredients and superfoods that actually represent breakthroughs in nutrition, and those that are simply trendy.
When cauliflower and avocado were all the rage, you’d see them included in just about every dish imaginable, and the same was true of bacon before that. But were these foods actually good, or were these fads manufactured by agribusiness to move products?
This is a question a lot of people have also started asking about the rising popularity of local meat. For several years, it has been a mark of pride for restaurants and artisanal butchers to be able to advertise where exactly their chickens, steaks, and ribs originated. But does it actually matter?
What “Local” Really Means
Before it is possible to evaluate whether local meat is worth seeking out, it is first necessary to understand what makes local meat different from any other kind of meat.
Local doesn’t just mean that a cut of meat was raised in your particular part of the country — generally speaking, local meat comes from smaller farms and producers, and is contrasted against large agribusinesses that process huge quantities of livestock in the course of making their products.
Local meat, therefore, tends to be much more sustainably raised. Because these smaller, more artisanal operations don’t use feedlots, animals have greater freedom of movement and are often raised largely on pasturage. Chickens are frequently free-range.
This means that when you buy local, you’re usually getting a qualitatively different product then when you buy meat from a grocery store that stocks all of its beef, pork, and chicken from large conglomerates.
Why Local Meat is Worth the Hype
For this reason, local meat generally is worth the hype, because the animals it comes from have been raised in healthier conditions and given greater ability to exercise. This comes out in the overall nutrition of your steaks or chicken thighs, and it also imparts these cuts with better flavour and texture.
But this isn’t the only benefit to buying local. When you order meat delivery from a local farmer, you are also making an important contribution to your local economy.
Most supermarket chains work with multinational companies to supply your food, and this means that while your dollars are being spent on Main Street, they’re probably not staying there. If you care about supporting local producers, shopping through a local meat delivery service like truLOCAL that sources products from small, local farms is a great way to do so.
All of this means that you don’t need to be a foodie to see the benefit of buying premium local meat. As a product that is better for your health, better for the environment, and better for the local economy, the benefits of eating local should be apparent.
And the good news is that the local meat trend is making it easier than ever to find great options through online meat delivery services that specialize in connecting customers with local farms!