Side Dish: Higher Welfare

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Our readers may have noticed by now, that we aren’t new-age food zombies. To put it bluntly our bodies are made up of all ‘the bad stuff; black coffee, carbs and in our books they don’t make steak rare enough. We embrace being the minority. In a world of health food bloggers and trendy-vegan ethics we embrace being the big bad wolf… not that these are bad things at all, it’s just not what we do. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t feel strongly about certain aspects of the culinary world. So, let’s tackle something controversial… Let’s talk about meat.

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Just to put it out there, we do not have a problem with meat… at all. In fact we adore the stuff and as humans, we we are  designed to eat meat and, we need it to thrive. The entire design of our skull is built around the fact that we need teeth that can get through both meat and vegetables. Red meat such as beef or lamb contains so much goodness such as vitamins B, B12, D, E and minerals such as iron in bucket loads. Sure, it also has a high fat and salt content, but there are always two sides to every argument. Believe it or not, there are even some medical conditions require the consumption of large quantities of the meaty stuff to stay alive. Everything in moderation is always the key, but our species needs it, and that fact cannot be avoided.

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However, the thing we do have a problem with is our approach to meat and fish, we’re here to promote responsibility. It is far too easy to buy a nice clean packet of skinless- boneless – chicken breasts and not think about it as a living breathing, beautiful animal. It was recently where T had a moment of macabre epiphany when cooking a chicken thigh dish for a large number of people. “My God.” She thought. “There must be thirty chickens in here.” Albeit a little grotesque of a thought, but we wonder how many people think about things like this too? Probably not enough.

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The meat industry is intrinsically cruel, and that cannot be avoided, but we feel that consumers should be fully aware of that fact. If anything, just think about it a little. You owe it to the life you’ve taken don’t you think? There are a number of cultures, some extinct some existing, that pray to, thank or even celebrate the animal after its slaughter as a sign of respect for its life. As nice as that sounds, in the modern world that practice may prove a little more difficult to preach.

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What you can do is try and buy meat responsibly. Higher welfare animals have a better life while they are alive. They live on free range farms and spend a great deal of time outside foraging and behaving in their natural habitats. We went and spoke to the guys at The Butchers Quarter in City Centre Manchester and they feel the same way… naturally.

All the meat they sell is high welfare and comes from farms in the North. The quality really shows. The colour of the flesh is deep and vibrant and all of the meat is marbled well with fat.  The guys there are really helpful, and if you ever want to ask some questions, rather than listen to us ramble, they would be happy to help – you can find them on Tib Street in the Northern Quarter.

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All we ask, is that you just think about it, and if you find it too much then maybe you should go vegan? In which case, keep your eyes peeled for the post coming up on Thursday, you might well be interested…

How’s that for a clue?



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Hello! We are Ginseng & Thyme, two friends and work colleagues from Manchester with a passionate affinity for food, drink and lifestyle. Here’s our food story, what’s yours? Twitter: @ginsengandthyme Instagram: @ginsengandthyme

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