The average family looks to save costs wherever possible. Running a household isn’t cheap. Sometimes, these attempts end up working out on an environmental level, too. We turn off the heat and find natural ways to keep warm. We switch off lights when we leave rooms, and make sure nothing stays on standby. Though we do these things to save our bank balances, we can rest easy that the environment benefits as well.
In some cases, though, the opposite is true. One prime example is food. Feeding a family can set you back more than anything else. As such, it’s no surprise most of us reach for the own-brand, cheap options available, even when it comes to meat and fish. Few of us opt for the expensive cuts and pick up cheaper alternatives instead. And, it’s easy to see why. Feeding a family on premium meat products just isn’t realistic.
But, there’s also a price to pay for buying cheaper animal products, and few of us realize it. In some cases, the compromise here won’t bother you. But, in other instances, the impact will be enough to make you reassess those buying habits. Either way, it’s crucial you know what your food shop is costing elsewhere. So, we’re going to take a look.
Low-cost companies can’t afford to care about the environment
If farmers have to produce cheap food, they can’t afford to care about the environment. There’s no way around that. This is most definitely an either/or situation. If you want your meat cheap, you can be sure that practices will be basic and minimal. Machinery is likely old and not environmentally friendly. Methods probably aren’t what you would call natural. But, all that stuff costs money.
The same applies to any fish products you buy. Cheap farming involves large tanks which don’t look great. In some cases, cheap sea nets are used which catch all manner of byproducts. There are alternatives which focus on sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, and you can learn more at globalsalmononitiative.org and other sites like them. But again, initiatives like these aren’t cheap. If you’re not willing to pay above the odds, these options just aren’t practical. You can be sure that your budget-brand options don’t have the earth’s best interests at heart.
Animal rights aren’t on the cheap agenda
Even avid meat eaters tend to stray away from issues of animal rights. It’s an uncomfortable subject for sure, and something which never entirely goes away. Hence why more and more people are turning to a vegetarian and vegan diet. But, even if you can’t bear to give up your animal products, buying cheap is about the worst thing you can do. Most cheap options come from factory farms. And, as you can see from sites like onegreenplanet.org, animal rights are rarely met in such conditions. Articles like these aren’t easy to read, but they can certainly open our eyes.
To some extent, though, these issues should come as no surprise. If you pay less to farmers, they have no choice but to squeeze as many animals as possible into small spaces. They can’t afford the luxury of individual pens, or outside grazing for their animals. This is very much an industry which is dictated by how much we’re willing to pay. And, when those prices are minimal, these conditions are the reality.
Even if you don’t care as much about the animals, this applies to any eco-warriors out there. After all, animals are part of the environment, and letting them down can have an impact on the whole planet. Not to mention that factory farming methods are a significant area of concern when it comes to C02 emissions. The sheer quantity of animals involved makes for astounding amounts of waste. For proof, it’s worth heading to some of the many documentaries out there on this subject. Options like Cowspiracy look at the issue in depth. Either way, it’s clear to see that factory farms, only necessary for cheap meat, are the source of the problem.
With that in mind, you might be wondering how you can make a change without breaking the bank. As we’ve already mentioned, buying prime meat isn’t an option for many families. The good news is, there are ways to take responsibility without impacting your life. And, we’re going to look at the main ones here.
To ensure you can buy more expensive meat products, it might be worth opting for meat-free nights. That way, you can cover the extra cost by cutting back on the amount of animal product you buy. You wouldn’t be alone here, either. Projects like meat-free Mondays have brought this idea to the fore, and many are jumping on board. Not only will this be good for the environment, but also for your family. It’ll certainly give you an excuse to try some healthy recipes that you may not have considered before. Start with one week, then see if you can build the practice. Even two meat-free nights a week will cover those extra costs.
A farm at home?
If you’re willing to put the work in, you could always consider starting an organic farm at home.
You don’t have to go all out with this, but starting out with some chickens and veg could get you going. Then, you may want to expand to other animals down the line. There’s no denying that there are some upfront costs involved here. And, you can be sure they’re more than your budget chicken nuggets. But, you stand to make more money back. After all, you’ll likely have more food than you need for your family. So, if you expand this enterprise, you may find yourself in a position to sell in your local area. It doesn’t get much better than that for helping the environment.
This option also has the benefit of teaching kids how to use their environment without harming it. And, that’s got to be worth your time, hasn’t it?