Due to the lacking availability of grass-fed meat in the UK, I have started ordering our meat online. I have found a wonderful company that supplies grass-fed beef, as well as free range chicken and turkey. The farm also provides their own bacon, free of sodium-nitrates. For £60 we get 12 meals worth of quality meat, coming to a total of £5 per dinner, with left-overs for lunch the next day. Bargain!
This is an important question, especially for those of us living in the UK. Most meat in the UK is barn-raised, whereas in my home country, New Zealand, all our meat is grass-fed or pasture-raised. What is the difference? Most importantly, the difference is found in the nutrient quality of barn-raised and grass-fed meat. When cattle or poultry are left to roam pastures, eat grass, and spend time in the sun, they receive ample nutrients that they wouldn't when kept in a barn.
Meat from grass-fed animals is nearly entirely saturated and monounsaturated fat, which supports a healthy lipid profile, energy creation, muscle formation, and fat loss (despite what the critics have to say). Meat from barn-raised animals contains oxidized polyunsaturated omega-6 fat and added hormones to make the animal grow faster. Omega-6 fat is pro-inflammatory, increasing inflammation in the body, which we know leads to disease. Grass-fed cattle has 2 - 4 times more omega-3 fatty acids than pasture-raised cattle because omega-3 is produced in the chloroplasts of grass, which is obviously eaten by grass-fed cattle. Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, promoting wellness and decreased risk of disease.
Animals that are raised in pastures have ample sun exposure, meaning their that levels of vitamin D are significantly higher than their counterpart barn-raised friends. The UK and New Zealand both suffer from vitamin D deficiencies, which creates argument for consuming more quality grass-fed meat.
Furthermore, barn-raised animals are usually fed grain; corn, soy, or wheat. Research shows that proteins in these grains are more difficult to digest, are often genetically modified, and are lacking in adequate nutrients. Considering that what we eat becomes part of our body, we need to understand that what our food eats also becomes part of our bodies. Now that's something to think about....
Part of our meat box this time round included diced turkey breast, which was a pleasant surprise. The only obvious meal to prepare was a turkey pie! You could very easily swap the turkey breast out for chicken breast, which is easier to come by at the supermarket.
Nutrient Quality of Turkey
- Turkey is a rich source of protein; one of the highest meat concentrations of protein.
- It contains minerals; iron, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus.
- Vitamin B6 is also found in turkey, which is important for energy creation in the body.
Turkey & Leek Pie
Serves 4 - 5
500g turkey breast, cut in bit-sized chunks (or chicken)
2 leeks, sliced
handful fresh thyme leaves
2 Tbsp grass-fed butter
2 tsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp buckwheat flour
500 ml vegetable stock
1 large potato, pealed and cut in large chunks
1/2 cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees.
- In a cast iron pan, melt butter. Add leek and thyme, cover and allow to cook for 15 minutes. Check regularly to ensure the leeks are not catching. If the pan becomes dry, add a couple spoons-full of water. Set aside.
- Add coconut oil to the pan and add the turkey with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides.
- Add the leeks back into the pan.
- Add the flour and stir for 1 minute.
- Add the stock and mix well.
- Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer. Allow to simmer until reduced by a quarter, or for 20 minutes.
- To make the topping, place potato in a medium sized saucepan and cover with water.
- Bring to the boil and allow to cook for 10 minutes.
- Add cauliflower to the potato and allow to cook for a further 8 minutes, or until soft.
- Drain and place potato and cauliflower into a food processor, add butter and salt, blitz until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Allow the turkey mixture to cool for 5 minutes then spread the topping over. Grind pepper over top the pie.
- Place pie in the oven and allow to cook for 25 minutes, or until the topping is slightly golden.
- Serve with minted peas or a raw green salad.
Feed, nourish, value yourself.
Asprey, Lana, and David Asprey. The Better Baby Book. Print.