In the beginning, meat as a protein was consumed sparingly and purely for nutrition and nourishment. It was the cornerstone of our food requirement and the building blocks for the human body.
As the world population grew, so too did the demand on our food supply. Meat ‘needs’ became meat ‘wants’ at the cost of animal welfare, traditional farming techniques, the environment and ultimately our human health.
The dollar cost of our meat has become top priority. Industrial agriculture has become the norm and factory-farming techniques have led to the true worth of meat being critically undervalued.
If we maintain the status quo we are placing the future of our land and animals, our human health and future generations in jeopardy.
We need to shift our values and implement change. Change will come through buying behaviour and paying the ‘true’ price for meat, adopting a ‘nose to tail, less is more’ approach, re-instating traditions and ultimately valuing what you put in your mouth.
Certified organic produce has been organically grown, harvested, prepared and transported in systems that guarantee the produce is not contaminated by synthetic chemicals, fumigation or irradiation.
Organic produce sold on the Australian market must be certified by one of the seven organisations accredited by AQIS. To guarantee that a product is organic it must be labelled as ‘certified-organic’ with the registration number and certifying body’s logo. No matter how ‘organic’ or free from pesticides your produce may be, it is an offence to sell it as ‘certified-organic’ without the necessary certification.
Traditionally all beef in Australia was grass or ‘pasture’ fed and cattle were able to graze freely across farmland. As farming techniques changed over time, the way in which they were reared also changed dramatically affecting meat from the beasts. Cattle were routinely fed processed grains allowing for huge weight gains over a short period of time, in turn, allowing farmers to get the product to market sooner.
However, as cattle are ruminants, this diet of grain leads to intestinal issues, bloating and increased PH levels in the gut. Grain-fed cattle also have significantly decreased levels of Vitamin A and Vitamin E due to their grain diet and the associated stress of being penned in an intensive feedlot. This can depresses immune function in the animal, which subsequently increases risk of infection, disease and virus therefore requiring treatment by antibiotics and other synthetic medicines.
Grain feeding cattle vastly increases the level of intra-muscular fat or ‘marbling’. Whilst being ‘on trend’ and highly sought after it can lead to a decrease in human health due to the consumption of this saturated fat.
The environmental impact of feeding grain to cattle is far reaching. These production methods require intensive use of fertilisers and herbicides on land that then takes years to regenerate naturally.
At T.O.M.S. we always provide a selection of Dry-Aged beef for our customers to experience. The dry-ageing process involves the hanging of a full carcass of beef at a stable temperature and humidity for an extended period of time, anywhere from 2 to 10 weeks.
Once ageing begins, a crust forms over the surface of a carcass and provides a cocoon like environment for the natural enzymes to break down the fibres of the meat. This process leads to a more tender, stronger-flavoured meat.
Using the dry-ageing technique the carcass will lose moisture (hence the Dry-Ageing name) and thus lose weight. Together with the need to trim the completely dried exterior prior to selling, Dry aged beef will yield a higher price point per kg every time.
Beef that is not Dry-Aged will be Wet-Aged (cryovacced). This involves the slaughter, processing and packaging under vacuum seal of meat. This commonly takes place in a very short time span (usually a few days!).
Wet-Ageing results in little or no moisture being lost and thus the full weight of the carcass is maintained with no financial penalty. There are many drawbacks to holding meat in plastic cryovac for extended periods of time. It causes the meat to sour over time simply by not allowing moisture to escape. This can then lead to the meat degrading.
At T.O.M.S. we strive to eliminate cryovac and plastic packaging where possible. Not only out of respect for the beast but to eliminate the obvious plastic waste element.
Dry-ageing is truly the only way to eat meat and enjoy it in all its glory.