What the heck is Sustainable Meat Monday? The Whole Smiths breaks it down for you and shares some of her favorite sustainable meat sources (like Butcher Box!) and recipes that you can use each Monday.
Join the revolution!
If you follow me on Instagram you know that I started a Sustainable Meat Monday revolution. Ok, well maybe it’s not a revolution… yet! But I’m working on it and hoping you’ll join the masses me.
The idea of Sustainable Meat Monday obviously stems from Meatless Monday. While I like the notion of being thoughtful about our meat consumption, I don’t think Meatless Monday covers the entire picture. I think simply cutting all meat out of our day doesn’t put much action into actually making our meat better.
But here’s the thing… changing our diets to only consume sustainably raised meats can be prohibitive for so many of us. Not only can it be hard to find but the price can be a hard pill to swallow. However, I strongly believe that we can pick one day a week that we dedicate to eating well-sourced meats. It helps support farmers that are trying to raise our food with better practices, it increases the demand for it and at the end of it all, it’s just plain ‘ol better for us.
To meat or not to meat. That is the question.
So you get the idea of incorporating sustainable meat into your Mondays but what if you don’t have any sustainable meat on hand that Monday? Well, in that case, you skip it and go for Meatless Monday.
You know I am a proponent of healthy animal proteins in our diet, I don’t recommend doing Meatless Monday lightly. I feel animal proteins are a healthy part of our diets. Period. However, going one day without isn’t going to make a drastically negative impact on our health. Particularly if you are thoughtful about how you are putting together your meatless dishes.
Keep in mind, this isn’t processed meal Monday. Constructing meatless dishes that are loaded with nutrient dense veggies and foods is optimal. Processed cheese pizzas aren’t what I’m aiming for here. Meatless recipes like my Pumpkin Curry or Butternut Squash Enchiladas ARE great options. Banana Egg Muffins make a great meatless choice for breakfast.
Find Your Sustainable Meat
So you’ve decided to join me on my Sustainable Meat crusade but now what? Finding sustainable meat isn’t always easy. Even Whole Foods doesn’t have grass-fed beef all the time. And while grass-fed ground beef has become increasingly easier to find what about other cuts?
If you’re able to source your meat from a local farmer, do that. A quick Google search will provide resources nearby to help you out. But what happens if that isn’t an option? Brad and I have started using Butcher Box and have been beyond happy with it so far.
Think of Butcher Box as a CSA for sustainable meat. Once a month you’ll have a box of sustainable meat (they have salmon now too!) delivered to your doorstep. It will be frozen so it’s perfect to throw right into your freezer for when you need it. Each month you’re able to select the size of the box you want and what kind of meat you’d like in it. You can do all chicken, all beef, a mixed box or a completely customizable box.
Right now if you join Butcher Box you’ll receive a FREE pack of clean bacon, FREE shipping and $15 off your box. It’s a great promo and a great way to start incorporating sustainable meat into your diets without having to commit to ALL sustainable sources. Their pricing is great too.
Mix up your meat!
It’s getting easier to find sustainable grass-fed meat these days, particularly ground beef, but who wants ground beef to be their only option? Fortunately, Butcher Box has a ton of options for you when it comes to sustainable protein. From chicken to pork (which is super hard to find) beef and salmon, they have you covered.
When it comes to my Butcher Box I really like getting their mixed box as it always is a surprise. It forces me to try new things in the kitchen. For example, I’ve never liked pork chops. They’ve always seemed so dry and flavorless to me. Bleh. Until they came in my Butcher Box one month. Holy smokes! They were phenomenal. I had no idea just how delicious a good quality pork chop could be. Now I’m hooked.
I encourage you to try out a new cut of meat in each box, something you may not necessarily gravitate to and go for it!
Pull Out Your Meat
Aw yes, the infamous #pullyourmeatout hashtag. I don’t recommend necessarily clicking on that hashtag per se but I use it on Instagram as a reminder to pull your frozen meat out in the mornings so that you have defrosted meat ready for dinner. Because isn’t it the pits when 4:00 rolls around and you have no meat ready for dinner?
But what happens if it is 2:00 and you haven’t pull any meat out of the freezer yet? What is one to do? Well, I have a magic trick for you that will shave your defrosting time in half, maybe more!
All you need to do is place your meat directly onto an aluminum pan and let ‘er rip. There is something about the way that the metal pan conducts heat that helps it defrost quicker. That’s as scientific as I am going to get with it. If you’d like a
boring scientific explanation, you can read this article from The Kitchn.
Be an early adapter!
I hope you and your family will join us in Sustainable Meat Mondays as I think it’s a great way to start including sustainable meat sources into our diet. Health and wellness aren’t about perfection but it’s about the steps we take to improve our health over time. It’s not a quick fix and changing our food supply isn’t either. But if we all do our part we really can make a difference.
Besides, when Oprah’s talking about Sustainable Meat Mondays two years from now, aren’t you going to wish you said, “Pshhh, I’ve been doing that ever since The Whole Smiths started it!”?
Make sure to head over to Butcher Box and check out their promo to get you started on your Sustainable Meat Mondays!