We hear a lot about "sustainable farming", but what does it even mean? First, it means animals raised on food that is grown without harming the planet – so cows raised on pasture that stores carbon, rather than chickens raised on GM soy. Even better are animals raised on our own food waste, such as pigs fed scraps from the supermarket – better still, the resulting waste goes back into the system to fertilise the land.
In the UK there are parts of the country where pasture grows particularly well and few other crops would thrive. This has led to a deep tradition of livestock farming and the landscape we know and love. I realise it can be difficult to source meat from these farmers, but the internet or farmers markets are good places to start. You can also look for labels like Soil Association Organic, which is generally found on free-range meat raised on land farmed without chemicals.
Yes, it's more expensive. But if we cut down on how much meat we eat and use every cut, including the offal, we can make high-quality meat go further. I have learned to cook liver, kidneys, and even heart. The best way to source high-quality meat is to find a good butcher who can tell you how the meat is farmed and even give tips on different cuts and cooking methods.