My family loves eating organic, grass-fed, humanely-raised meat.
The meat we buy is from a farm I have visited for myself to see the conditions that the animals are living in. I want to know that my meat was happy and healthy before giving its life for my benefit. I also have great relationships with many farmers in my area, and I am grateful to have that connection to my food. We have celebrated my children’s birthdays at these farms, helped feed the animals, and helped to harvest this precious food.
Most importantly, we are able to see first-hand the enormous effort it takes to produce good-quality meat.
In my area, there are passionate farmers raising pork, chicken, beef, lamb, and bison in very humane, natural conditions with no antibiotics. Some meats are "Certified Animal Welfare Approved", which is the highest standard for animal husbandry plus it also keeps you safe from antibiotics.
Animal Welfare Approved means that these animals are given the chance to freely roam the grasslands, birth their young naturally and safely, and live a life full of sunshine, safety, and freedom.
Just because a supermarket meat product says "Organic", does not mean that the animals are living a good, clean, healthy life. In my opinion, the organic standards are becoming quite diluted given that big corporations want to make large profits and are willing to pay politicians to change the rules in their favor. So look for Certified Animal Welfare Approved + Organic, and if you can, get it locally and visit the farm.
How Can a Person Afford Good, Healthy Meat?
For most people it can be tough to afford organic, grass-fed meat. Luckily, it is typically cheaper to buy directly from the farmer than to shop at the high-priced health food stores in your area. Eat Wild is an online tool to find local farmers in your area. The Local Harvest website has a more extensive list of farmers in your area and also includes vegetable and fruit farmers.
The trick is to prioritize your spending on good food instead of on entertainment. That might mean giving up that cable bill and instead watch Youtube or Netflix. It might mean cooking at home instead of going to restaurants.
Our family is very frugal in our spending, so we can afford to buy high-quality ingredients. We relish cooking up a wild salmon or a pork roast with Brussels sprouts and a wild greens salad. Those foods cost a lot, but in our mind it is worth it to enjoy food that is so healthy and delicious.
Necessary Iron and Protein
I am a breastfeeding Mama of twins, so it is especially important for me to get iron and protein in my diet. But children, babies, and pregnant women need extra iron too. Beef (and other meat) has a lot of iron in it, but there are other sources, too.
Organ meats, such as liver, have about twice the amount of iron per ounce. So sometimes I will cut up some chicken or duck liver and mix it into the recipe below. Meat has a much more absorbable form of iron (compared to iron from plants) called heme iron.
How to Cook at Home
If you're not skilled in the kitchen start simple. Here is my easy beef taco mix recipe for all that tasty meat you're going to buy! With quality ingredients, you don't need to be experienced in the kitchen.
A pan, a few ingredients, and simple preparation are all that's needed.
My beef taco recipe is perfect for packed lunches, as you can use it in a tortilla, corn shells, or even as a lettuce wrap or with pita pockets. I love to pair it with some homemade salsa, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. But sometimes it is good just by itself, warmed up on a cold winter's night.
Iron-Rich Beef Taco Mix Recipe
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes
1 pound Certified Animal Welfare Approved Ground Beef, thawed
5 chicken livers, raw, chopped small (optional)
1/2 cup homemade or store-bought Salsa (you can also use pasta sauce in a pinch)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 white onion (optional)
2 cloves of fresh garlic
1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
pinch of powdered cayenne pepper (optional)
Garnish: freshly cracked pepper, salt to taste, and organic cheddar
1. Peel and dice the onion. Peel and slice the garlic very thin. Sauteˊ them both with the cayenne in the butter until soft and translucent (about 10 minutes on medium/low).
2. Add the thawed out beef (and optional liver) and cook on medium (covered) until 180-190 degrees Fahrenheit. About half-way through, add the tomato paste and stir.
3. After the beef is cooked fully, add the salsa, stir and turn off the heat.
4. Garnish with a generous amount of freshly cracked pepper, salt to taste, and grated organic cheddar. Serve with fresh chopped cilantro, shredded lettuce, and a squeeze of lime. Stuff inside some corn shells or tortillas.
You can freeze a bunch of these for lunches ahead of time!
Rosemary Hansen is an Author, Homesteading Mama, and a Chef. She has spent the last 10 years “homesteading” in the city. She and her family have just started their off-grid homestead in rural British Columbia, Canada. Her books, Grow a Salad In Your City Apartment and Rosemary’s Natural Cosmetic Guide are a great way to ease into a healthy, pure lifestyle. You can connect with Rosemary at her website: www.RosemaryPureLiving.com or on her YouTube channel.