Sustainably raised meat is fantastic; it tastes great, it’s produced without destroying the environment or threatening public health, and its sale supports responsible farmers who choose to use sound agricultural practices. Unfortunately, it’s more expensive to raise animals sustainably than to mass produce them on a factory farm (these industrial operations benefit from hefty government subsidies and don’t have to pay for the damage they cause). As a result, sustainably raised meat usually costs more than the cheap meat churned out by factory farms. But don’t be discouraged; you and your family can still enjoy sustainable meat even if you're on a tight budget, by choosing quality over quantity. Why not experiment? One week, take the money you would have spent on meat, and use it to buy a smaller amount of sustainably raised meat at your local farmers' market, food coop or health food store. While you will eat less meat that week, you may find that you don’t miss the factory farmed stuff one bit when you taste the delicious, sustainable alternative. And, with Americans, on average, eating twice as much meat as is recommended for a healthy diet, eating less meat of higher quality may be just what the doctor ordered. Sustainably raised meats have a wide range of nutritional benefits. Compared to factory farmed meat, sustainable meat from animals raised on pasture contains less fat, fewer calories, and higher levels of essential omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, beta carotene, and other important nutrients. As an added benefit, sustainably raised meat is produced without the use of growth hormones, no therapeutic antibiotics, or unsavory feed additives that undermine public health. And of course, unlike factory farms, sustainable farms don’t sicken workers and neighbors by spewing harmful pollutants into the environment.

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