Warning: This post is not vegetarian-friendly
We discovered that the local super-stores put additives in their meat ("marinated in up to a 10% solution to maintain freshness!") but don't list the ingredients of said "solution". Because we can't trust commercial products to be gluten free unless they label, I went on a meat quest. Once you look beyond the megastores and their dye-soaked week-old overpriced cuts, it gets interesting. I have an advantage of being in a smallish city surrounded by rural, so if I was really motivated I could always visit individual farms. If I bought a chest freezer and found a place to put it, I could get half a cow for a big investment up front but a bargain per pound. Unfortunately I don't have that $500-$1000 initial investment money for the freezer and cow.
Luckily I made a discovery. It's called Quality Meats Incorporated, and it's the last of the multi-generational old-fashioned family run butcher shops within a hundred miles. It's also less than ten minutes away from the house. They use local meats that are hormone, antibiotic and additive-free. They're in this tiny little bare-walls shop by the freeway that (not surprisingly) always has a crowd at the counter. Everything's minimally processed with no gluten products. Best yet, they're CHEAP. Thick-cut smoked lean bacon right off the pig for less than $2.00 a pound. If you can even find packaged bacon in the store that guarantees gluten-free, it'll be more than twice that price, and mostly fat that cooks away. They even have "freezer packs" that are a 40 pound assortment of various meats and cuts for $50. Steak under $3.00/lb. Whole amish fryer chickens for $5.00.
It seems silly to wax enthusiastic about meat, but this is the first time the search for gluten-free has led to finding something both better and cheaper than store products. We've been struggling with the additional cost of this diet. His body has finally realized it can get nutrition from food, so he's going through a couple gallons of milk a week, plus daily red meat and veggies. It's an interesting study of intuitive eating, but this find allows us to pile on the proteins and iron while supporting a local family business and local small farmers. It's a win all around. I might have never discovered it if I hadn't been forced to think outside the big box stores.
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