Meat is wrecking our health and our planet. But the problem is not meat – it’s moderation. The Price of Meat is about helping you find the real value of meat. That $2/lb ground beef from the discount aisle?
Sure, it looks cheap in dollars but is crazy expensive in personal health & environmental costs. Explore the new, delicious world of truly amazing meat. Understand where your food comes from, how to buy, how to cook, and how to prepare some of the best food in the world. Read on!
But who are we? We are Price of Meat and we’re out to help the world eat less meat by discovering better meat. Mass production and consumption of meat is not sustainable. The price is too high. But meat that is diverse, respectful of traditions, and sustainable farming is just right.
We’re building a library of straightforward, accessible, clear information to help everyone figure out how to get the most value out of the meat they purchase & consume.
Principles for Better & More Valued Meat Choices
We’re inspired by Anthony Puharich & Libby Travers’ 3 Guiding Principles outlined in their Ultimate Companion To Meat –
1. Eat Better Quality Meat, but Less of It.
Most everyone knows the 3 R’s of recycling. But the first R is reduction – and it’s far and away the most important. Meat is the same way. Ethically & sustainably raised meat certainly helps meat’s environmental impact. Choosing better cuts & cooking better helps its nutritional profile. But, at least in wealthy industrialized nations, reducing the amount of meat that we consume is a must and replacing it with fruits & vegetables. The biggest price of meat is not even paid by most of us (consumers in wealthy nations). We hope we all can become more thoughtful and frugal about our consumption of meat. Read & listen to ads in the US from 100 years ago where a chicken or roast at Sunday dinner was an event of the week – that’s a better world. Buy better, more memorable meat – and savor it.
2. Eat The Whole Animal
We’re as guilty as anyone for buying chicken tenderloins and beef sirloin steak. But there’s a lot more to the animals we eat than just a single cut. Committing to eating the whole animal does a few things.
First, it makes the price of meat cheaper, literally. In a time where seemingly everyone in America is complaining about the price of meat – just look at what a whole, unprocessed chicken costs compared to a pound of pre-sliced breast meat. Cooking a whole animal reduces your costs.
Second, it’s less wasteful. Waste is bad – especially when we’ve spent so much as society to get that entire animal to the plate.
Third, cooking the whole animal forces creativity & cooking skills. Anthony Bourdain once noted that often the best foods were foods of poverty. Regions where or times when people only had access to poor, discarded, or undervalued pieces of an animal are often the times & places that created absolute best foods.
Now, we could do with less poverty & need in the world. But we can & should absolutely create constraints & boundaries to actually learn how to cook. That means using the whole animal – even if it means investing in some better cooking tools, seasonings, and knowledge. Our publisher remembers watching lechon in The Philippines from roasting a whole hog – and making use of every piece of it.
3. Eat Different & Wilder Animals
Industrial agriculture focuses on pork, poultry, and beef. This huge concentration of animals on our planet brings all sorts of problems. The most common solutions focus on making raising chickens / pigs / cows better. That’s fine and all…but we think that’s like adding more lanes to a highway and expecting traffic to go away. Obviously some of the solution is #1…but some of meat consumption is like transportation traffic. If we’re going to travel, do it differently with a lighter footprint. Ride a bike, take a train, rent a scooter, etc. Same with meat.
In wealthy countries with well-managed wildlife programs, hunting wild animals for meat is highly sustainable – even necessary. Game animals (such as deer, turkey, etc) require predators (like humans) to keep their populations in ecological balance. In fact, some species, like feral swine, are invasive and environmentally destructive, so hunting is even more of a positive. Native wild populations are adapted to their environment and have a much lighter footprint than introduced cattle / pig / chicken, which, in North America, can be directly substituted with bison, boar, and quail.
Even in the world of domesticated animals, species like rabbit and goat have external costs (like carbon, methane, and grain consumption, and land use) that are orders of magnitude lower than cattle / pig / chicken. Thinking a little bit differently with can bring diversity to nature & nutrition, and bring more value. And that’s before we even talk about the amazing world of synthetic meats!
Price of Meat Team
The Price of Meat team is made up of writers, editors & contributors are deeply interested in the economics & tradition of food.
Robert Greene, Team Leader
Robert Greene is a sustainability expert within the food and production industry. The conservation of the environment is something he’s extremely passionate about and has studied in detail over the years. He’s a huge fan of North American bison, deer, and elk. He manages Price of Meat’s team of writers & contributors.
Brian Adee, Contributor
Brian has been fascinated by food and drinks since he was a kid — from baking and cooking beside his mom to raiding the kitchen cabinets with his brother in search of the perfect beverage mix. He’s worked every restaurant position imaginable, and now writes about the effects of food, drink, and community on personal and environmental health.