Always Buy The Best Quality Meat You Can Afford (And Read This Book!)

October 14, 2013

One of the rules I live by is to eat less meat but better quality meat.
As a health-conscious individual I try to buy only grass-fed, pastured and free-range meat (and fowl and their eggs) — it is said to contain more nutrients and fewer toxins than factory-farmed grain-fed meat.
Yes, it is more expensive and not always easy to find; but it’s worth. Every. Single. Penny.

Always Buy The Best Quality Meat You Can Afford (And Read This Book!)

It’s hard to shy away from huge chunks of wrapped meat from the supermarket — it’s so convenient. But most of the time that meat comes animals raised in factories unable to move, fed unnatural diets, pumped with hormones and antibiotics and living in filth. That alone for me is enough of an incentive not to buy it.
I’m not talking about the ethics involved here, I’m just pointing out that if you care about what you put into your body, you need to choose the best quality meat (and eggs) you can get your hands on. It’s a healthier choice, period.
In addition, it tastes better — pastured meat has a farm-y and robust flavor because the animals are grass-fed, free to roam, and raised sustainably and humanely.
Essentially it comes from animals that have acted and lived like animals.
So a big fat YES to grass-fed, pastured and free-range meat (and eggs).

Always Buy The Best Quality Meat You Can Afford (And Read This Book!) In NYC there are a couple of butchers who sell grass-fed meat. The most notorious has to be Fleisher’s (at least. in my humble opinion).
A shop located in Park Slope, that since 2011 provides New Yorkers - who are willing to take a subway ride to Brooklyn - grass-fed, pastured, free-range meat, eggs and the occasional dairy.
Fleisher’s owners, Joshua and Jessica Applestone, also published a book titled “The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meat: How to Buy, Cut, and Cook Great Beef, Lamb, Pork, Poultry, and More”.
A very interesting read if you want to learn more about the meat you eat.

Always Buy The Best Quality Meat You Can Afford (And Read This Book!)

This book comes from a man who was vegan, and whose wife was a sometime vegetarian.
It’s a riveting story of their shop, their experiences, their producers, their customers and in the enjoyable mix of these stories it explains a lot about meat — how to buy it, cut it and cook it for best results.
The Applestones are folks who care about how the animals are raised for the meat they sell, and are willing to explain why doing so is very important to them.
They do not encourage readers to eat more meat, but they want consumers to eat better meat, by making an informed choice.
With an easy-reading style and ample humor they give a lot of practical and factual information on how the various practices of animal raising affect both the quality of the meat and the quality of the life for the animal. Which makes much easier to understand why it is important to buy high-welfare meat.
Some of the information provided will help you recognize good quality meats at the shop, and what questions should you ask to the butcher as well. There’s also a very interesting explanation of the various terms you’ll find on labels, and what they mean and don’t mean.
All this is approached from the very practical position of butcher shop owners trying to make a living.
If you care at all about the food you eat and where it comes from then, this is a must read.
It will tune you into an informed consumer, more knowledgeable about what you eat.


  1. I'm totally with you on this one. Great post!

  2. I have been buying free range chicken for awhile now...and after reading your post, don't feel guilty bout the extra cost - Very enlightening post Mike, Thank You

    1. It's always worth it Shashi, it makes a whole lot of difference (especially chicken!)

  3. Look deeper inside yourself and eventually you will realize that all living beings are not for our consumption. Also eggs, you will do just fine without them :)