Have You Tried Non-Medicated Meat?

Beef, pork and chicken from “naturally” raised animals are purer than conventionally produced meats—and way less expensive than organic.

Grass Fed Cows iStockMONEY WELL SPENT | We’re fast coming up on barbecue season when everyone eats more beef burgers, lamb chops and chicken parts than usual. It’s no lie that meat is expensive and that organic meats, much as I would prefer to eat them, are even more so. So I was happy to learn about a less-expensive but solid alternative to the hormone-laden conventional meats in most grocery stores and many butcher shops.

Non-medicated meat comes from animals that have been naturally farmed. While they may or may not have been given organic feed (which is imperative for organic certification), naturally raised livestock receive no antibiotics or growth hormones and are fed an entirely vegetarian diet with no animal byproducts. Naturally raised poultry are not left in cages and can move freely about while pigs and cows are pasture raised outdoors on sustainable land and humanely treated. Organic-meat purists may balk at the unverifiable things that go along with naturally raised livestock like feed source and land conditions, but everyone else (like me) is just happy to have another option.

Where To Find Naturally Raised Meat

Our favourite sources for non-medicated (a.k.a. unmedicated, a.k.a. naturally raised) meats are Real Canadian Superstore and 3P Natural & Exotic Meats in North Vancouver (or Naked Naturals if you live on Vancouver Island).

President’s Choice “Free From” beef, chicken and pork products are more expensive than conventional ones but not extravagantly so. For example, last Saturday I found Free From fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts for $18.29 a kilogram; the Blue Menu version was $17.19 a kilogram. Superstore doesn’t sell organic boneless skinless chicken breasts because they’re expensive so I called Whole Foods for a price check and found them for $37.40 a kilogram.

3P Natural & Exotic Meats may be more expensive than Superstore (it’s a single owner operation, after all) but not so much more that you’d avoid shopping there. On the contrary, if you’re a meat lover you’ll seriously appreciate this butcher shop that sells naturally raised versions of almost any meat (and cut) you could want: beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, buffalo, ostrich, kangaroo. Last week I purchased naturally raised just-ground lean beef at 3P for $5.29 a pound (the Superstore prepackaged equivalent was 60 cents a pound less). —C. Rule

Find out more about President’s Choice Free From products at www.presidentschoice.ca. See what 3P natural & Exotic Meats has to offer at 3pnaturalandexoticmeats.ca. Check out Naked Naturals at www.shopnaked.ca.

Photo: iStock

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