I read somewhere that lamb and goat is pasteured and not grain fed as a general rule. Does anyone know if that is true? I am wondering if I can just buy regular grocery store lamb and goat or sheep milk cheese and feel that I am getting a healthier product. I do buy grass fed beef from a local farmer. Thanks!
From one of my favourite books (The River Cottage Meat Book), "Thanks to the sheep's ability to thrive on fairly marginal land, British sheep have not, generally speaking, been subjected to the horrors of intensive farming".
Interestingly, it also goes on to talk about the semi-intensive practise of getting lambs born in time for easter ('sring lamb') by feeding the ewes concentrated feed through the winter so they can make sufficient milk. Early to mid summer is when non-intensively farmed lamb is at its best.
In the US, lamb and goat are not fattened up in feedlots, but they are still supplemented with grain. I can detect the aroma of grass feed in lamb meat I buy from the grocery store, but it is just not as strong as the flavor in purely pastured lamb or beef.
Yes, as a general rule standard lamb will be more 'natural' than standard beef, chicken and pork. Any time you can get a game-type natural meat this is the preferred option. Basically the less popular it is, the better quality it will be (ironic isn't it!)
In Australia we have Kangaroo at the supermarket and it is cheap and not that popular (this is slowly changing though.) The animal lives its life totally wild, and is simply hunted and shot before making its way to your table. Again ironically, not only is this much healthier, it is FAR more sustainable since they take ZERO resources to grow to maturity.
Similarly, buffalo is a good choice to insure grass fed and pasture raised meat.
I prefer lamb and beef for this very reason. I can buy them at the mainstream mega-groceries at a good price without having to worry about the conditions they were raised in. Particularly with buffalo, they are still wild animals and don't get cycled through industrial feedlots.
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