There’s a lot of talk out there about how meat-eating can be not only unhealthy, but environmentally unsound, as well, but this certainly doesn’t have to be the case! By slightly tweaking your meat-eating choices, you can adjust your consumption to be both better for you and better for the Earth. Read on to find out more.
While some of these options overlap with “green” choices you can make, here are a few ways to pick healthier meat options…
- Go for lean cuts to reduce your fat intake. For beef, stick to tenderloin, sirloin, chuck, and round, for the most part. For lamb and pork, try leg, loin chops, and tenderloin.
- Pay attention to ground meat. Store-bought ground options – even chicken and turkey – tend to contain fairly high fat content. Look for ground options that are marked as at least 90% lean meat, ask your butcher for a lean ground option, or grind your own meat at home.
- Try hormone-free and grass-fed. When it comes to beef, especially, these are some of the healthiest choices you can make. Grass-fed beef not only tastes better than most, but also contains less fat, fewer calories, and more vitamins and minerals.
Of course, a bonus of environmentally friendly meat eating is that it’s also good for you!
- Buy certified organic. Yes, it is more expensive, but when you buy organic meat, you help to significantly reduce the amount of waste that goes into water systems. The feed that animals are grown on, in this case, is also free of pesticides that could likewise leach into groundwater or otherwise end up in your food.
- Go for certified humane. If animal welfare is a concern for you, choosing meat that is certified humane is a good option to ensure that the pig, cow, or chicken you’re enjoying was treated well from birth to slaughter. Why is this good for the environment? Because no antibiotics or hormones are used, these materials won’t wind up in groundwater.
- Buy local. Getting to know a local farmer is a great way to reduce the emissions that come from transporting meat all over the country. Small-scale, local farmers tend to also use growing practices that are better for the environment, and while they may not be certified organic, many will also avoid antibiotics and hormones (although it’s always good to ask).
Check out this infographic for a quick summary of positive meat choices that you can make!