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I just recently moved back to the meat eating camp. As a teenager I was a vegan and then went back to eating meat and then after being married a year I went back to being a plain old vegetarian. My decision to be a vegetarian was multifactor. I did it for health reasons (heart disease and cancer run in my family), I did it for ethical reasons (watch Food, Inc. and you’ll never look at food the same way) and I did it for environmental reasons (the mass production of livestock consumes huge amounts of energy, pollutes water supplies and generates significant greenhouse gases, to name a few issues).

I still feel the same way about the consumption of meat, but after being diagnosed with so many food allergies it became increasingly difficult to maintain a vegetarian diet. It was difficult to eat in a balanced way, food prep became burdensomely time consuming, I had almost zero food options at restaurants and talk about being a high maintenance dinner guest. So after much emotional deliberation I started to consume meat again, but with one requirement: I only want to eat happy animals. I know that sounds a little disturbing but it’s important to me the animals I consume were raised in an ethical, organic and humane (happy) way and they were also slaughtered humanely.

Enter local farms to the rescue. My husband and I get most of our produce and all our eggs form a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) from the Breezy Willow Farm and we get all of our meat from the Copper Penny Farm. We couldn’t be more pleased by the quality of meat we get from the Copper Penny Farm. The wonderful owners, the Gardetto family, gave us a tour of their farm to see how the animals were being treated and I’m pleased to say they’re living happy, and are well taken of. The care they put into raising their animals is clearly seen in the quality of the meat produced, it doesn’t get better than free range, grass-fed beef.

It should be stated there is a price to be paid for such high quality meet. So what is an eco-conscious, budget constrained girl to do? Learn how to make the cheaper cuts of meat taste like a million bucks. Occasionally my husband and I will splurge on the pricy cuts but usually we use marinades like the one below to make great tasting meals. The first time I used this marinade it was on a sirloin and when Anthony ate it he thought I had cooked up the Delmonicos. I don’t know about you but that is what I consider to be a good marinade (it doesn’t hurt that I started with a delicious, grass-fed steak). You could use this marinade on whatever type of meat you want.  I recommend marinating the meat for at least 12, but preferably 24 hours. Enjoy!

Whiskey Marinade

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup whiskey, we like good ol’ Jack
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 garlic gloves, minced

Combine all the ingredients and pour over your meat. Allow to marinade in the refrigerator 12-24 hours.

Make enough to marinade 2 pounds of meat.