A butcher’s guide to buying better meat

PUBLISHED: 16:14 27 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:14 27 October 2020

Meat is the main part of many people's Christmas meals, but there are ways in which we can make healthier, more sustainable choices. Photo: Getty

Meat is the main part of many people's Christmas meals, but there are ways in which we can make healthier, more sustainable choices. Photo: Getty

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Looking to buy better quality, more sustainable meat this Christmas? Butcher Ben Creese offers his advice.

Buying high quality meat is better for your health and the environment. Photo: GettyBuying high quality meat is better for your health and the environment. Photo: Getty

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without some sort of festive feast. But with many of us becoming more aware of what we’re eating, making better and more sustainable meat choices can have an important impact on the environment and our health.

We spoke to Gloucestershire-based butcher Ben Creese about how to buy better meat over the festive period.

Where can I buy high quality meat?

From handmade sausages wrapped in traditionally cured bacon to dry aged beef hung on the bone, you can’t beat your local butcher for a diverse range of high-quality meat. The price of meat in a butcher’s shop is not much more than what you’d pay in a supermarket, and what you’re getting is far superior. You’ve also got access to an expert who can share their knowledge and advise you on what cuts to buy for your family gatherings and how to prepare the meat for best results.

What should I look for when buying meat?

Ben Creese Country Butchers are offering a range of quality meat for Christmas. Photo: Ben Creese Country ButchersBen Creese Country Butchers are offering a range of quality meat for Christmas. Photo: Ben Creese Country Butchers

It depends on personal preference, but there are a few things to look out for to ensure you’re getting good quality. Outdoor reared, grass fed and free range meat indicates high levels of animal welfare – and the better the animals are looked after, the better the meat will taste. Butchers can tell you exactly where your meat comes from, so you can be sure that it’s got these marks of quality.

How do I choose meat that’s healthier?

A lot of processed meats from supermarkets contain nasty chemicals, whereas we always use natural ingredients. For example, our sausage meat comes in natural skins rather than synesthetic skins and when curing bacon we do it without the addition of a chemical solution. Free range chicken, turkey, pork and pasture reared beef also tends to have less fat than intensively produced meat but a higher proportion of healthy fatty acids.

How can I ensure the meat I buy is sustainable?

Most butchers like ourselves source their meat from local suppliers who practice sustainable farming, which helps to conserve the landscape and reduces the supply chain. All of the meat from our butchers comes from farms within a 10-mile radius and the farmers care about the animals they’re rearing and feed them on quality ingredients.

Ben Creese Country Butchers

Ben Creese Country Butchers is a family-run butchery specialising in high quality meat sourced from local farms. Visit their online butchers shop at countrybutchers.co.uk or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact them on 01452 840 510. They also offer a butchers delivery service in the local area.

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