The Health Edition

Free Range Meat vs Factory Farmed: Health & Nutrition

A lot of people don’t consider where their meat comes from. We take for granted what is on our supermarket shelves and believe it’s all the same. Meat is just meat. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. With such a huge demand for meat there are several different methods used to farm meat for consumer consumption, with health and nutritional differences to match. The primary difference we are talking about here is that between free range meat and factory farmed.

As the name suggest, free range meat, comes from an animal that was raised with access to an extensive environment that they are free to roam. They are animals that generally live outdoors, in open area with plenty of space. When it comes to feeding they are likely raised on grass instead of grain or artificial feed and tend to be free of antibiotics or artificial hormones. In a nutshell, free range meat is the healthier option to consume.

Factory farmed animals are at the other end of the spectrum. These animals are farmed and raised in extremely crowded areas where they have minimal room to move. The goal here is to fit as many animals in as small a space as possible to increase production and maximise gain. Most factory farmed animals spend their entire lives in these cramped indoor environments, never getting to access to the outdoors. They are fed all number of artificial products and chemicals such as growth hormones and antibiotics. Factory farmed animals aren’t as good to eat as their free range meat counterparts.

Why Free Range Meat is Healthier than Factory Farmed?

One of the more important reasons as to why free range meat is healthier than factory farmed is the lack of chemicals and drugs used during the farming process. Factory farms are designed to produce the largest amount of product possible. This has lead to the introduction of various chemicals and drugs in the farming process. These factory farmed animals and subjected to large amounts of growth hormones and stimulants to increase appetite so that each animal provides the maximum amount of meat during slaughter. Huge amounts of antibiotics are also used to prevent the animals from getting sick due to the environment they are raised in being so toxic due to overcrowding. These chemicals the factory farmed animals are subjected to have been shown to accumulate in the meat, blood and tissue of the final product and are known to have negative effects on human health.

The addition of artificial additives doesn’t stop after slaughter either. Most of the factory farmed meat is pumped full of preservatives to increase the shelf life of the product. Where a free range butcher’s meat is fresh and intended for quick consumption, meat on the supermarket shelves has an extended life due to these preservatives. These added preservatives have been linked to many current health problems in humans and should be avoided.

The phrase you are what you eat can be applied quite literally to meat production. What animals eat during their lifetime has an impact on their nutritional value after slaughter, affecting things like the leanness of the meat. Keeping an animal’s diet as close to its natural intended diet is paramount in keeping the meat leaner and full of more nutritional goodness. As an example, grass fed meat from beef has a potent amount of Omega 3 present where it’s grain fed factory farmed alternative does not. This Omega 3 is found initially in the free range animals natural diet and stored in their tissue which is then transferred to you by way of the free range meat produced.

As you can see there are many health benefits that go along with eating free range meat as opposed to their factory farmed alternative. Nutrition and health are important and can be maintained by choosing a diet rich in free range meat and avoiding factory farmed animals. Get in touch with your local free range butchers, such as the team at for all things free range meat including a selection of the finest produce on offer.