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ehtical meat/eating

 
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Carly



Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 14
Location: Melbourne Australia

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:54 am    Post subject: ehtical meat/eating Reply with quote

after watching the horrendous BBC show on dogmeat in korea, i've decided i need to be more educated about where my meat comes from. i want to eat ethically.

i have been fully vegetarian before but because of my health i need the nutrients meat provides. now i eat meat about twice a week, and have done fro around 4 years.

i want to find out more information about where i can source ethical meat (if that's not an oxymoron?). as in, animals that have been treated well before killed for food.

my parents have a few sheep and kill them for meat at the end of season. i realise these sheep get 5 acres to roam on, shade, feed water, no torture before a clean(?) death...i think i want to eat my meat that is raised like this.

can someone please provide me information about this? do you know of any free range butchers? FYI, i live in melbourne victoria, australia.

I dont want to sound silly in saying i care for animal welfare but dont want to go fully vegetarian - i like the taste of meat. i want to know the food i am eating is treated well before killed.


(I already know of sustainable fish i should be eating.)

thanks in advance.

carly
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Richard Leader



Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Posts: 77
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:12 am    Post subject: Re: ehtical meat/eating Reply with quote

I think the best thing is to trawl round all the butchers you can find and ask them... In the UK, you can get Rick Stein's Food Hero listing book (can't quite remember what it's called) - it lists all sorts of producers and retailers of free range meat as well as vegetables, fish etc. Is there something similar for Australia?
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emilyj



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 184
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are quite a lot of producers in Australia who produce free-range meat. One big producer in Australia is Lilydale chickens which are stocked in my local coles supermarket as well as most reputable butchers (in Adelaide, but I think that they distribute nationwide).
My mother always buys from butchers who advertise 'country- killed meat' I am not sure what the labelling requirements are for this but she seems to think that they are treated more humanely. I have no idea whether this is true or not... There are a lot of butchers that advertise 'country killed meat' in my area, I'm sure there are probably even more in Melbourne.
As Richard said, it would be worth going into your local butcher and asking. If they don't have it then they might be able to tell you where to go in your local area.
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was listening to a program on NPR about a Halal butcher in London who was looking for organically fed, free range meat for his shop and what he said implied that in order to be halal, certain humane conditions had to be met. I might have misunderstood. I am sure someone here knows more than I do about this!

He also said in looking for sources for his meat, that he needed to do a bit of educatiing of the farmers he was speaking to. Initially many of them were against selling him meat, but once he taught them the philosophy behind what he was doing, he gained some very good suppliers. The implication was it was an anit-Muslim bias.

Anyway - exploring the halal butchers might be an option.
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Richard Leader



Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Posts: 77
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to live near Brixton in London which had a number of halal butchers. While I found some of their meat to be good (poultry in particular - you could buy a good 'boiling fowl' cheaply - good for making stock, for example) I did also find that some of their beef could have been better hung.
A halal butcher should be able to provide you with good lamb or even mutton if you're lucky, and kid/goat if you want to give it a go (there was a good piece on radio 4 here at the weekend about goat and how it is a good healthy alternative to other red meats).
Of course, you'll not get pork in a halal butchers, and to my mind, pork is one meat that it really pays to buy properly reared and free range.
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Expat Chef



Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 3:36 am    Post subject: There are a lot of questions to ask Reply with quote

You may have an easier time of it in Australia than here in the US. I have been trying to source natural meats, and have had some luck. I started with my local Slow Foods group and the local food circle.

From there, I had a list of questions for the farmers:
1. Is the beef grass-fed only, or grain supplemented as well?
2. If grain supplemented, is the feed free of animal by-products and antibiotics or other additives?
3. How much time in pasture does the animal get? Is it ever confined to a feed lot?
4. If it is a chicken, is the chicken cage-free but fed only a grain diet?
5. Or, does the chicken have access to pasture and a natural diet of grasses and bugs in addition to the grain?
6. Is the grain feed free of arsenic and antibiotics as well as animal by-products?

I just finished an egg-buying guide with similar questions. You can find that list here: http://eatlocalkc.typepad.com/eatlocalkc/2007/03/what_you_need_t.html

You can also find more information in the eat well guides referenced in the egg article. Good luck!
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Expat! I think I intuitively could have come up with most of those questions about beef (and eggs too) but it is great to see them all in print. I appreciate the info.
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Expat Chef



Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 3:44 am    Post subject: It's pretty easy ... Reply with quote

for anyone who has done a bit of research. You'd be amazed at how few people have any awareness of where food comes from and how it is raised. I forget, then find myself in conversation trying to explain all this.

Glad you are wide awake and aware of your food choices!
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artichoke



Joined: 02 Jun 2006
Posts: 5
Location: Quakertown, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just yesterday finished reading a completely eye-opening book (and completely stomach swishing) from Peter Singer, "The Ethics of What We Eat." He is a professor of bio-ethics at Princeton University (and an ex-pat from Australia) and I consider this to be mandatory reading for anyone who wishes to be informed about their food choices. I am not a vegetarian, and have always tried to eat meat from animals that were grown and killed humanely and wholesomely, but trust me, in this country at least, not much is as it appears on labels and such. For example, "free-range, organic, high omega-3" eggs reveal chickens that live not in a cage, but 20,000 to an enclosed, indoor pen. And yeah, they eat organic grains, but they also have their beaks seared off without anesthetic, the only "affordable" way, so they will not peck each other to death. Therefore, free-range simply means they are still grotesquely crowded, never go outdoors, and must have their primary sensor mutiliated from their faces. I could go on...... I don't know quite what I will ever eat again -- I'm still figuring that out. Anyway, I am not dogmatic, simply fascinated, concerned, disheartened and disgusted, and trying to do things better. Check it out.
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carly at least in Australia you get to know the country of origin of your food. In NZ our government turned down a bill to make it compulsory to label alll food with country of origin. Our shops are selling pork from Korea, Canada and America, because it is farmed on a larger scale than in NZ and cheaper. Some bacon packaging even states Product of NZ because a percentage of the bacon is from NZ. Companies refuse to say what percentage. Prawns are marketed with packed in Australia and the supermarket staff assure me they are Australian prawns and in the small print I find Product of Vietnam.

I am constantly challenging the staff at my supermarket and it is surprising how little they know about the product the are selling.
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Carla



Joined: 14 Oct 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carly, for pork products you could try Eastwind Farm in the Yarra Valley, their website is: http://www.largeblackpigs.com.au/

The following website lists butchers and farms in Victoria including a few places in Melbourne that sell free range rare breed pork, turkey, beef and lamb: http://www.rbta.org/meatmarketing.htm

Hope this helps.
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Expat Chef



Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:33 pm    Post subject: Regarding Eggs Reply with quote

I just did a post on how to shop for eggs and what all these terms mean. You can find that at my site, http://expatriateskitchen.blogspot.com/2007/04/happy-easter-and-bit-about-eggs.html. The post covers all the different terms like free range and pastured and what it means for you and the chicken as well as the nutritional content of eggs. I hope you find it helpful.
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sweetbabyjames



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 357

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Wikipedia on halal meat:

Advocates claim that the Islamic method of slaughter is the fastest method to kill the animal among those used in the modern day. Many refer to a study done by Professor Wilhelm Schulze et al. at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Germany. This study is cited by the German Constitutional Court in its decision regarding dhabiha slaughtering.

Detractors however, most notably some animal rights groups, still contend that this method of slaughter causes unnecessary pain and suffering to the animal when compared to modern methods, which involve stunning the animal prior to slaughter. In the United Kingdom, the government funded Farm Animals Welfare Council recommended that conventional dhabiĥa without stunning be abolished.

Inducing unconsciousness
Electrocution is frowned upon by many Muslims, since it causes "small blood vessels (to) rupture" and leaves the "meat tainted with blood which is full of germs, bacteria and waste material."

Debates still rage among Muslim jurists and the general Muslim population about whether or not stunning, anesthetics, or other forms of inducing unconsciousness in the animal prior to slaughter are permissible as per Islam.
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