Meat + ten veg

meat and 10 veg from Riverford OrganicAfter two years of living with an intermittently vegan, intermittently vegetarian, occasionally carnivorous and invariably combative teenage daughter, I feel well versed in the social, ethical and environmental arguments around eating animals, eggs and dairy. My boys remain committed, unquestioning, steak-loving carnivores but I find that, though it may take a little more thought, I am happy to eat much less meat than I used to. In fact, if I am away from home for a few days I positively crave vegetables.

For most of us, eating less meat, less often would be better for our health, better for the planet and, if we use some of the money saved to buy thoughtfully, better for the animals involved. You might think this is just a self interested vegetable grower speaking, but last year I bought the Riverford meat box company from my brother Ben, so it is in my interests to promote a balanced diet, with at least some meat. Grazed grass and clover plus manure (the welcome by-product) are also vital to maintaining soil fertility and allowing us to grow vegetables successfully. Our message, which you will hear us preach occasionally through the year, will be to eat good meat less often, to eat all the animal and to be sure that you are happy with how it is produced. We know all the farmers who supply our meat (many of them also supply vegetables); the animals are slaughtered carefully in a local, small family run abattoir and hung and butchered by hand by our team of skilled butchers. Even my daughter is happy to eat it, sometimes.   

How does meat fit into your diet, if at all?

Guy Watson from Riverford in Devon

4 responses to “Meat + ten veg

  1. Hi Guy,

    Yes, I totally agree, I crave veg when I’ve been away from home and been subjected to a junk food diet, been convinced by my kids to take the pizza option or even had too much of eating out. Why do restaurants pile on the cream and dairy whilst skimping on the veg or salad accompaniment?

    Living in Somerset, I haven’t had the chance to visit your Field Kitchen, which is high up on my things to do, I’m sure it’s not like that there.

    I am vegetarian and on a low income. I think this allows me to be able to afford organic veg as a home-cooked, veggie diet isn’t too expensive.

    I’m doing a PhD on cooking, eating and growing veg and when doing research on a local allotment, I wrote about the kale and sprouts growing made me feel hungry. My supervisor thought this was quite funny!

  2. Guy – I totally agree. we need to eat less meat to fit in with the carrying capacity of our planet. Much like our parents did when meat was a special treat, and not a feature of every meal time. I was inspired to become a Weekday Veg after hearing this Ted Talk from Graham Hill http://www.ted.com/talks/graham_hill_weekday_vegetarian.html

    Love it: a compromise between my head and my stomach. I LOVE meat, but am aware of questionable ethics around eating meat.

  3. I’m always going on about eating less meat, animl welfare, and against intensive factory farming methods that are harmful to the environment. Keep up the good work.

  4. sally crockford

    I am eating less meat these days, though my diet is restrictive due to food allergies, so dairy is an issue………any chance of Goat dairy products?
    Sheeps dairy does nothing for me sad to say.

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