When you buy your steak, or a piece of chicken, how sure can you be that it fits with what’s important to you? Whether it’s high animal welfare standards, buying British, or avoiding excessive use of antibiotics, there are many issues that might influence the meat you buy.
We looked at all the beef and chicken products in our database of over 250,000 supermarket products and asked the following:
- How easy is it to find meat with good animal welfare standards?
Look out for organic (Soil association and EU organic), RSPCA assured, or free range to eat meat with reasonable welfare standards
- How much of our meat is UK produced?
The Union Jack flag, made / produced in UK, or the red tractor logo are all indicators that the meat was produced locally.
- How easy is it to find meat that has limited the use of antibiotics?
There is currently no antibiotic free label and there are cases, when an animal is sick, that antibiotics are required. In the EU they are now banned for use to promote growth, however they can be used routinely to control infection in cramped living conditions. If you wish to avoid routine usage, the best bet is to go organic – organic rules ban routine use of antibiotics.
- 1200 beef products in our database,
- Only 10% had an animal welfare certification
- Just under half were UK produced and
- Just 10% were organic, so guaranteed minimal use of antibiotics
- 1450 chicken products
- Only 5% had an animal welfare certificate
- Just 10% were free range. Compare this to egg products in our database, where 75% are free range. Why is animal welfare more important for laying chickens than those destined for meat?
- Like beef, nearly half the chicken products were UK produced, but just 3% are organic, so have low antibiotic usage.
These figures raise some key questions:
- As a nation of animal lovers – nearly half of us own a pet – why is it so hard to find meat with good animal welfare standards in the supermarket.
- Why can we easily access free range eggs now, while buying free range chicken is much harder.
- Although antibiotic usage on farms in the UK has reduced, it is still used routinely and finding meat that has limited use is difficult and often more expensive.
If you want an easy way to select your meat in line with what’s important to you – try the Giki app, launching in the spring – sign up here to be the first to hear when its released (for free).