How Local is the Meat You Eat?

How Local is the Meat You Eat

Most Americans probably don’t spend that much time thinking about where their meat comes from, especially those who live in cities. Pre-packaged cuts of steak, chicken, pork, and fish appear in the supermarket every day, and it’s easy to forget that each of these items came from a particular animal, raised in a particular part of the world.

But where your meat comes from matters, and not only in an environmental or economic sense — the circumstances in which an animal is raised has a profound impact on the quality of meat it produces, and people who care about taking care of their bodies as well as the planet should care about how their food was produced and where.

Unfortunately, everything about the modern industrial food system conspires to make it difficult to find out exactly where a particular steak or chicken wing originated. So how can conscientious urban consumers adopt a more local approach to eating without having to spend hours driving to farmer’s markets and specialty food stores?

Tapping Into the Local Food Movement

The local food movement that has gathered steam over the past decade has gone some distance toward removing the obstacles that stand in the way of access to local food.

As farmers and consumers alike have come to see the value in the kind of local, sustainable approaches to agriculture championed in best-selling books like The Omnivore’s Dilemma, more opportunities for local shopping have become available.

Tapping into the local food movement can be a great way to improve your diet and get more authentically local foods, but it isn’t always easy to do: if you don’t live in the downtown core of a large city, or you can’t afford the premium prices at a speciality butcher’s, eating local can be surprisingly difficult. 

How Subscription Services are Making it Easier to Eat Local

Perhaps ironically, this somewhat nostalgic desire to return to earlier, more local patterns of eating has started to intersect with grocery subscription services at the cutting edge of the modern food industry.

Grocery delivery is nothing new, but the rise of app-based food ordering has made it possible for smaller, more artisanal companies to do an end run around the massive supermarket conglomerates and offer bespoke delivery services to discerning customers.

When it comes to local food, for example, has distinguished itself by working with local farms and producers to source high quality meats that are delivered straight to their customers’ doors.

Because this service is available both as one-off deliveries of choice cuts or as a bi- or tri-weekly or monthly subscription through which customers receive a regular box of their favourite meats, it has proven to be an easy way for consumers to get a steady supply of local meat whether they live in the country or the city.

For this reason, if you want to feel a greater connection with the food you eat, understand the connection between sustainable local meat and your own health, and care about supporting local farmers, meat box subscription services like this can be one of the most effective ways to start getting your favourite cuts of pork, beef, and chicken through local producers.