There, I said it. And I have found ways to buy and store it without plastic packaging. I’ve wanted to share some of these ideas on this blog but have stopped myself out of fear of reprisals from those who feel that if I really cared about the environment, I would not only stop eating it myself but would also not mention its very existence. But living from fear, or at least that particular fear, ends today. I’m getting pretty burned out from writing what I think people want me to write rather than what I actually feel excited to share.
For four long years, I ate only a vegetarian diet, and the only meat I bought was for our cats (who are obligate carnivores.) In fact, I wrote a very reasoned and heartfelt blog post about why I decided to become a vegetarian. But while my heart and mind loved the idea of being a vegetarian, my body didn’t.
Two years ago, I started doing accounting for a family-owned, local, sustainable Bay Area meat and restaurant company. For the first six months, I remained a vegetarian, despite being surrounded by meat. And when I say “meat,” I mean whole animal carcasses brought in from local farms to be processed by the skilled butchers at our company. Somehow, seeing the actual animals and knowing where they came from made it easier to consider eating meat again. And one night at work, exhausted and hungry, I went ahead and ate some organic, pastured, heritage turkey leftover from the holidays. And I noticed that I actually felt better physically than I had in a long time. So, I crossed over to the grass-fed meat-eaters side and have not looked back.
I’m not interested in arguing
On this blog, I aim to inspire people to make changes by giving them information and alternatives for reducing plastic in their lives. I do not do it by judging their personal choices or scolding them for the plastic they do use. Therefore, I expect the same consideration from the commenters on this blog. If you want to argue about whether anyone should eat meat or not, please take it to a forum dedicated to that topic. This blog is about avoiding plastic. And with that said, here’s a way I have found to avoid plastic packaging around meat!
Life Without Plastic’s Airtight Stainless Containers
Life Without Plastic, which is a sponsor of this blog, has designed some awesome containers that are great in the refrigerator, freezer, and even the oven! I have written about storing bread in these containers, and cheese, and frozen veggies. Nowadays, I also take them with me to the butcher counter to buy all kinds of meat. Most butcher scales have the ability to tare the container so that you only pay for the contents and not the weight of the container itself.
I bring the big container home and portion out the meat into single serving sizes in smaller stainless steel containers that will stack in my freezer.
Recently, I discovered that a whole, pastured chicken will fit inside one of these containers, too. And the butchers in my neighborhood have no problem putting my meat or chicken in my container. They just slap a sticker on it. (Yes, the sticker is plasticky. No, I can’t avoid it.)
The beauty of this container is that it’s all metal — no plastic or silicone of any kind — so I can put the chicken straight into the oven in the same container.
And then I can store the cooked chicken in the same container in the refrigerator.
And when the carcass is picked clean, I can use it to make broth and keep the chickeny goodness going for as long as possible. I’m also experimenting with spatchcocking the chicken to save the raw backbone for even more nutritious broth (since the rest of the bones have had much of the nutrients roasted out of them.)
My next post will continue with the theme of broth… like what to do when you need it and don’t have any. (Don’t reach for a can!) I also have a beef jerky post I’ve been meaning to write since Burning Man last year. Stay tuned.
Disclosure: I have joined the Life Without Plastic affiliate program. If you make a purchase via the link on this website, you are also supporting the work of My Plastic-Free Life.