The T.O.M.S. Philosophy
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 block for the human body!
As the world's population grew, so too did the demand on our food supply.
Meat "needs" became meat "wants" at the cost of animal welfare, the environment, traditional farming techniques 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, animals, human health & future generations in jeopardy.
We need to shift our values and implement change. Change will come through our buying behaviour and paying the "true" price for meat. Adopting a 'nose to tail, less is more' approach, re-instating traditions and valuing what you put in your mouth can (and will) make a difference.
What is 'Certified Organic' produce?
Certified organic produce has been organically grown, harvested, prepared and transported in systems that guarantee the produce us 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 The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (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 qualification and certification.
There are many benefits to eating organic meat and produce. Here are some of our main reasons:
1) ANIMAL WELFARE:
It is at the forefront of our social conscious and has become and will continue to be a huge reason why we do what we do at T.O.M.S. There is no doubt that people will always continue to eat meat, however we believe that respect for the beast, how it has lived and the way it is treated and slaughtered is important.
Many Australians are not aware that it is inhumane to force feed animals what they would not normally eat (enter the debate of Grass vs Grain fed beef) within confined spaces, all for our human consumption.
Understanding the fundamental differences between 'Certified Organic', 'Free Range' and 'Bred Free Range' is important... we encourage people to talk about these things. We get great satisfaction out of educating and empowering people to make better choices when it comes to the meat they consume.
T.O.M.S. is now offering cooking classes designed to educate you on cooking with organic meat. Click here for more info!
2) PROVENANCE & SUSTAINABILITY
There are more and more people, month after month, that ask "Where does this meat come from?", "Have you met the farmers?", "How far does this travel to get to you?" "What farming methods are used?"
Unlike most supermarkets, food chains and conventional butchers we can answer these questions with 100% confidence.
3) NUTRITION/ ALLERGIES
We can advise people with surety that all our animals are grown free from exposure to pesticides, growth promoting feed, antibiotics, fumigation and irradiation. These things (never intended for human consumption) have strong repercussions on people's wellbeing.
We often get feedback that organic meet has a very 'true' flavour. A flavour they haven't tasted for many years (or in fact never tasted!), chicken and pork being the most common. We have never claimed that organic meat will taste better or be more tender, but have observed the overwhelming feedback from our customers.
We Dry-Age our beef up to 10 weeks, which also makes a remarkable difference to taste!
Grass-Fed VS Grain-Fed
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 the market sooner.
However, as cattle are ruminants, a diet of grains leads to intestinal issues, bloating and increased PH levels in the gut. Grain-fed cattle have significantly decreased levels of Vitamin A and Vitamin E due to their diet and the associated stress of being penned in an intensive feedlot. This can depress immune function, subsequently increasing risk of infection, disease and viruses and require 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 due to perceived tenderness, it can lead to a decrease in human health due to the increased 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 or joint at a stable temperature and humidity for an extended period of time, anywhere from 2-10 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 (cryovaced). This involves the slaughter, processing and packaging under vacuum seal of meat. This commonly takes place in a very short time span (usually only 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. For example it can sour over time by simply not allowing the moisture to escape, this can then lead to the meat degrading.
At T.O.M.S. we strive to eliminate cryovac and plastic packaging wherever 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 of it's glory!
Learn more about our wonderful family of organic growers & suppliers HERE