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Photo argentique élevage bovin boeufs et vaches

How to eat meat better?

Posted by Armand Heitz on

Breeding is quite hectic at the moment. Animal welfare, environmental sustainability, methane release. Indeed, livestock, like any other crop when practiced intensively, has disastrous consequences on the environment. Let's take a look at what actions I have decided to put in place so that my farm becomes virtuous.

La ferme Armand Heitz élevage bovin et ovin Morvan

First of all, the farmlands have often preserved a diversified bocage landscape rich in biodiversity, while the cereal plains are closer to the desert where only wind turbines and methanizers adorn the landscape . Many farms in mixed farming tend towards autonomy. The strength of the breeder is that he produces a black gold called manure. This manure helps fertilize the fields that feed the herd. This resilient autonomy is far from being achieved in many other production sectors.

The origin and quality of meat

When I see the prices in butchers or restaurants, I see that the customer is ready to put a high price on a piece of meat. Unfortunately, in general, the quality of the product is not there, the seller's advice is non-existent and the highlighting of the breeder's work is lost between the various intermediaries. This inevitably leads to poor customer satisfaction.

We are used to talking about beef, but in France we consume almost exclusively female meat. For some reason that I don't know, French markets strongly devalue male meat. This has the consequence that France exports to Italy 800,000 young males a year to be fattened there. It is scandalous from a carbon impact point of view as well as animal welfare. A study has shown that when tasted, there was no difference between meat from a heifer or a young male. To counter this sector disaster, we market our young males in boxes to the estate or to our professional partners. In each of our boxes, we slip a descriptive sheet of the animal as well as a simple recipe to enhance each piece of the animal.

La ferme Armand Heitz élevage bovin et ovin

Here is another example that has a strong impact on the value of the breeder's work. I invite you to ask when you go to the restaurant or to your butcher if he knows the breeder who provides him with the piece you buy from him. Butchers and restaurateurs who don't want to bother buy directly from a wholesaler who offers them easy-to-sell cuts. It's a bit like buying a bottle of wine in a restaurant without knowing either the winemaker or the AOC! I assure you that it is better to eat a piece of rump steak whose origin is known than a piece of fillet which has passed through Rungis.

A cow is not just tenderloin, flank or ribs. The ratio of braising chunks to boiling chunks is about half and half. This does not mean that the pieces to be boiled are less noble. One of my favorite dishes is the shank. It is a piece of meat to be boiled and disconcertingly simple to cook. In order to fight against this loss of value of the animal, we distribute our meat locally and to restaurants concerned about their supply. We also manage to add value to all of the offal. Unfortunately, 95% of catering professionals are above all looking for a low price and ease of supply. The remaining 5% are militant addresses for respect for producers and customers.The satisfaction of our project is that it is often these addresses that are appreciated by gourmets and that are highlighted by Gault et Millau or the Michelin guide

Photo argentique des bêtes de l'élevage bovin Armand Heitz producteur en Bourgogne

Eating healthy, for yourself and for our terroirs

To eat meat better, you should therefore ask your butcher or restaurant owner if he can tell you about his product. Many distributor brands highlight the products of short-circuit breeders. The price war with the competition to ensure higher purchasing power will always tend to pull down the breeder's margin. The best when you have the possibility is to buy directly from the breeder.

Armand Heitz

Photographs @jibpeter

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