Do you know what you're getting?
Do you know what you're getting?

What Exactly Is Free Range Meat?

You've heard of free range meat, but do you know why it's so important? There are many good reasons to consider switching to free range, and if you're serious about buying humane animal products you should always read the label carefully to make sure you know exactly what you're purchasing.

Free range pork

Free range pork originates in pigs that were born, raised and lived their whole lives in outdoor paddocks rather than indoor pens and sheds, before being transported and slaughtered humanely. Pork products that are classed as 'bred free range' mean the animals were born free range but later relocated to an indoor farming system.

Free range chicken and turkey

Free range turkeys usually spend their whole lives in an outdoor environment, whereas free range chickens and hens roam free in outdoor areas during the day and sleep securely in sheds or barns at night. These outdoor areas should provide shade from the sun and rain as well as protection from predators.

Free range beef and lamb

Most beef and sheep products sold in Australia come from free range animals. If the meat is not listed as free range, it may have come from animals held in feedlots to control their growth rate in the later stages of production.

Pasture-fed meat

If you're already dedicated to buying free range meat, you could also consider the advantages of pasture-fed meat from animals allowed to graze in paddocks rather than fed grain. As well as being better for the animal's digestive system, pasture-fed meat is also 65 per cent lower in total fat and higher in vitamin E, beta-carotene and anti-cancer selenium, among many other health benefits.

Visit Coolangatta's first free range butcher

Craig Dudgeon has brought his successful free range artisan butcher from Byron Bay to Coolangatta. Stop by The Meat Merchant Coolangatta at The Strand to find the best value on locally sourced, free range and grass-fed beef, lamb, pork and poultry, open 7 days a week.