Don't Skimp on the Quality of Your Meat


By Nancy Smorch

Many people claim that it’s too expensive to eat healthy… so they continue to fill their bodies with toxic food and wonder why they are overweight, sick, or just plain don’t feel well.

Well, I’d like to encourage my readers out there to think a little harder, and get more creative when it comes to buying healthy food! There are a number of strategies and ideas that can help you get the (delicious) nourishment your body needs, without spending a ton of money.

I thought I would focus this post on meat, because for most people, simply making the shift from eating factory-farmed meat to meat that is pasture raised and hormone and antibiotic free would result in huge health benefits.

I’m assuming you probably already know why you should avoid factory farmed meats, but if you are still unsure, or would like some in-depth information, you can watch the movie, Food Inc., and/or read further in this article : Man-made Problem Turned Deadlier Than Aids (the headline is a little dramatic, but let’s face it, this is serious stuff!).

So here’s what I do to ensure that my family is only exposed to healthy meats.

Here in Holland, Michigan, where I live, we have a couple of great meat markets in our community. I particularly like Montello Meat Market and Earl’s Meats. If I’m not buying my meat directly from the farmer, I will go to one of these places to get my meat rather than buying it at the grocery store. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I bought meat at the grocery store!

The other day, I went to Earl’s and I came home with:

2 pounds of grass-fed ground beef

2 pounds of ground buffalo

Raw bones (for the puppies)

2 packages of bacon

2 dozen eggs

2 packages raw, frozen pet food (one venison and one chicken with ground bones)

2 beef jerky

2 beef bones for stock

2 pounds beef stew meat

Elk stew meat

Elk steak

1 package blueberry bratwurst

And this was all for less than $70!

A couple of my friends also own a share in a cow.  It’s a much more cost-effective way to buy your meat, and then you’re sure of where the meat is coming from, as well as how the animal was raised and fed. is a great tool for tracking down farms in your area that sell, not only beef and pork shares, but organic produce and CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture).

Now, I just recently discovered Earl's and Montello's within the past year or so. How did I find out about them? I asked around. I talked to people. I talked to farmers. I talked to friends and people I come in contact with. They all know how I am, so when they hear of something they think I might be interested in, they’ll tell me about it and I’ll go check it out to see for myself.

When I visit places like Earl’s and Montello’s, I’ll ask questions.


Where does your meat come from?

Is it hormone and antibiotic free?

Is the beef grass fed?

Is it cage free or pasture raised?

These are simple questions that will get you started when looking to buy quality, healthy, humanely raised meats.

I strongly encourage you to educate yourself, do your own research, talk to knowledgeable people, put feelers out about what you’re looking for, and demand better for yourself and your family! Delicious and healthy food is within everyone’s budget—and you deserve it!