HEALTHY LIFESTYLES: Local meat can be a healthier choice

Grass-fed and finished is what Carnivore Meats and More is all about.

  • Aug. 13, 2015 10:00 a.m.

Owner of Carnivore Meats and More in Brentwood Bay

By Carlie Connolly/PNR staff

Opened a year and a half ago, Carnivore Meats and More is one of the very few businesses that carry a local meat product within its store.

Not only are the products local, but everything is hormone, antibiotic and steroid free, making it a healthier choice for consumers.

Ian MacDonald, owner of the Central Saanich store places great emphasis on the fact that the beef and lamb they carry are grass-fed and grass-finished, which means that the animals are raised on pasture-land. This carries a number of benefits for the consumers who are purchasing this type of meat including a better tasting and healthier product.

“The health benefits are many and the more research you do, the more you come across more health benefits,” he said.

While most cattle are spending the majority of their lives in pastures eating grass before moving to a feedlot, where MacDoanld said they crowd hundreds of animals into very tight quarters feeding them very heavy doses of grain and pumping antibiotics and steroids into them, their grass-finished beef cattle remain on a pasture diet.

“It’s also very healthy for you in that it’s not full of hormones and antibiotics as most of the beef product and pork product that we consume in Canada is,” he said.

MacDonald said that when people put cattle on the grain-based diet, it changes the nature of the fat, and it makes the fats very unhealthy, greatly increasing the levels of bad cholesterol while reducing the good cholesterol levels.

With the grass-finished diet, it makes it so that the cholesterol levels are much healthier and full of lots of anti-oxidants and anti-carcinogenic properties.

The key to finding good quality and healthy meat is asking questions about where it’s from.

“If it’s a good product the purveyor will shout it loud and proud,” said MacDonald.

He said that a lot of times, there are places that try and green-wash the product, making it appear that their product is more local, more healthy and more environmentally friendly. Often times, this isn’t the case, he said.

He added that 98 per cent of the beef that is consumed in Canada is mass produced in four plants in Alberta that are all exactly the same.

Carnivore Meats and More’s beef is produced locally at Quist Farms in the Cowichan Valley as it’s their main supplier. MacDonald met them while doing business years ago and asked the right questions and did his research before doing business with them.

Located in Brentwood Bay, MacDonald is committed to bringing the best quality local products to his consumers to enjoy the many health benefits of grass-fed meats.

“Things are starting to move the other way, but we’ve got a long, long way to go.”

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