Why Local Matters for a Healthy Diet

Eating healthy has never been a bigger priority for North Americans. Not only do we have greater access to a wider range of nutritious foods from around the world than ever before, but advances in health science have also given us an unprecedented understanding of the vital role diet plays in ensuring a long, active life.

Eating healthy has never been a bigger priority for North Americans. Not only do we have greater access to a wider range of nutritious foods from around the world than ever before, but advances in health science have also given us an unprecedented understanding of the vital role diet plays in ensuring a long, active life.

When it comes to eating healthy, most people still think about diet in terms of good foods and bad foods: ie. vegetables are good for you, gluten can be dangerous. Too much fat is bad, as is too much red meat. This simplistic understanding of nutrition means that too many people think about their diet in terms of cutting out “bad” foods that they enjoy.

The truth is much more complicated: just as there is a huge nutritional difference between fresh broccoli and the heavily processed broccoli consumers find in frozen dinners, so too is it misleading to lump fresh, grass-fed beef that has been produced in a humane and sustainable way to industrial beef that was raised on a factory feedlot.

When it comes to making healthy choices, it is just as important to ask where particular foods come from and how they were cultivated or raised as it is to think about what the right balance between meat, vegetables, dairy, and grains is for a good diet.

At truLOCAL, we understand just how important it is to source high-quality meat if you want to live a healthy lifestyle, which is why we have made partnering with local farms the cornerstone of our business.

If you want to know more about the philosophy behind truLOCAL’s fresh meat delivery service and how it can help you transition to a more healthy diet, read on to learn about the truLOCAL approach.

Healthy Meat Production Starts on the Farm

Food is only as healthy as the farm that produced it. Farmers that want to produce excellent meat need to take great care to ensure that each of their individual animals is being raised in a way that maximizes its own health and wellbeing.

But this is a time- and resource-intensive way of raising livestock, and unfortunately, it has become all too common for farming operations to focus on economies of scale in which meat quality becomes secondary to quantity.

Plenty of research has been done on the evolution of food systems in North America over the years, and one of the most consistent themes in these studies is the negative impact that industrial approaches to agricultural and massive farm consolidation have had on the quality of the beef, pork, and chicken North American consumers have access to.

Eye-opening films like Food, Inc. and books like The Omnivore’s Dilemma have done much to raise awareness among consumers about the dangers of large-scale agribusiness and the production-line approach to raising poultry, cattle, and swine.

This has, in turn, led to a renewed interest in alternative forms of agriculture. A generation raised to understand that animals need sunshine, movement, and good quality food in order to thrive are often willing to seek out meat that has been raised in ethical, humane ways, and a new generation of farmers has bucked the consolidation trend by building their businesses around a more artisanal approach to food.

For this reason, the first question anyone interested in eating healthier meat should ask is “where did this food come from?” Knowing which farm produced a steak, roast, or chicken breast allows consumers to understand what conditions the animal from which that meat has been harvested was raised in, which in turn makes it easier to determine the quality of the meat itself.  

Putting the “Local” in truLOCAL

Despite a growing awareness of the importance of smaller-scale agriculture and more environmentally responsible farming practices, it is still common for people to ask why local really matters when it comes to buying meat. Is there that much of a difference between a small scale farm in-province and a larger scale operation in the next province over?

To answer this question, it is necessary to understand what is meant by the term “local.” You may live next to a massive agribusiness feedlot, and technically that feedlot will be local, in the sense that it is nearby. But modern agriculture is a global affair, and it is common for meat that is raised in one part of the country to be processed in a slaughterhouse hundreds of kilometres away, and then packaged in yet another facility before being shipped again to another province or country.

This has a tangible impact on meat quality: not only is the meat less likely to be fresh, but it also relies on sophisticated safety management processes. When meat is being processed in stages and shipped all over the country, the potential for spoilage and contamination is much higher, as Canadians learned during the deadly listeriosis outbreak of 2008. This requires food companies to adopt industrial solutions to industrial problems, taking the meat even further from its natural state.

When you buy local, what you are buying is not just meat that was raised in nearer proximity to you (though this does, in and of itself, increase the likelihood that the food will be fresher); you are purchasing meat that has been raised outside of the industrial food model, by independent farmers who are committed to sustainable agriculture.  

Our vision at truLOCAL is one in which we serve as meat delivery experts connecting individual consumers to local producers within the same province. From the very beginning, cultivating good relationships with local farmers who share our values has been central to our vision, and it is one we have maintained while expanding into new markets in Alberta and British Columbia.

No matter what province you are ordering in, your fresh meat delivery box will contain lovingly prepared cuts from local producers. To guarantee full transparency, we’ve even included information about every farm we work with on our website.

Just over a year ago, we brought this vision to a national audience when we appeared on the CBC television show Dragon’s Den. Our conviction that there was a hunger for this twenty-first century approach to local delivery was confirmed by the many offers we received from interested investors (click here to learn more about our Dragons Den appearance and how it has shaped our development and expansion).

As we move into 2019, we plan on making even more delicious local meats available to Canadians everywhere.

Buying Quality Doesn’t Mean Foregoing Choice

Our commitment to providing local meat is borne out of our belief that eating local shouldn’t be restricted to affluent Canadians who live in close proximity to high-end butcher shops, or people who have the space and resources to purchase fresh local meat in bulk directly from the farmer. But we also believe that eating local shouldn’t force people to restrict themselves to a narrow range of products.

Central to the truLOCAL approach has been partnering with farms and local producers who can provide a wide range of exciting meat options, including gourmet sausages, buffalo steaks, and seafood as well as the perennially popular chicken, roasts, steaks, and pork cuts that form such a significant part of Canadians’ diet. 

For this reason, in every province in which we operate, we have a large number of products available for delivery many of which you would only expect to find at premium butcher counters. For example, Ontarians can order everything from main dishes like hams, seasoned rump roasts, and whole chickens, to basics like ground beef, ground chicken, and burgers. We also offer zesty special options like marinated chicken breasts, lamb shanks, scallops, bone broth, and beef sausages.

This means that when you shop at truLOCAL, you don’t have to sacrifice choice for quality. Whatever your favourite meats are, with truLOCAL you can include them in your meat box order. Because we are constantly seeking to add to our product line, you always have the choice of trying something new.

Unlike meat delivery services that require you to buy in to a quarter of a cow, or subscriptions where you are contractually required to sign up for the same thing month after month, with truLOCAL you can mix and match whatever meat you like, safe in the knowledge that everything you are getting is coming straight from an in-province farm.

Fresh Meat Delivery: The Best of Both Worlds

While the local food movement grows stronger every year, for people who want to shift to a local meat diet but who don’t have ready access to farmer’s markets or specialty grocery shops and butchers, there are still significant barriers to entry.

Those who live in rural areas are more likely to have access to informal networks that allow them to purchase directly from farmers, but for people based in Ontario’s many large cities and suburbs, knowing where to find good local meat can be difficult. To make matters worse, many of the markets that specialize in local food charge a significant mark-up, making it harder for Canadians on a budget to embrace a healthier diet based on local meat.

One of the things that makes truLOCAL unique in the world of Canadian food is its commitment to bringing high quality, transparently-sourced local meat directly to consumers doors. When you sign up for the truLOCAL delivery service, you have maximum flexibility in building your order and selecting the meats you want, but you also have a lot of options in terms of the delivery itself.

Not only can we bring your personalized meat box directly to your front door anywhere in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia, but we also offer delivery to offices, gyms, apartment buildings and cottages. Because our meat is shipped in innovative refrigerated boxes, you don’t need to worry about being home to receive your order, as the meat will stay fresh all day.

Furthermore, our subscription service is designed to offer you complete freedom. You can choose to order a one-time meat box, or set up delivery to reoccur at two, three, or four-week intervals. Should you want to skip a delivery or pause your service, there are no fees or penalties for doing so.

This approach offers subscribers the best of both worlds: not only can you build a healthy diet with high quality, sustainably raised local meat, but you can also do so without having to go out of your way to shop at a specialty market or restrict yourself to a handful of cuts. With truLOCAL, making sure you always have a great supply of healthy, environmentally friendly meat on hand is easy.

As Canadians become more aware of how interconnected health, food, and environmental sustainability are, many are searching for ways to adopt better habits and a diet and lifestyle that are rooted in good, nutritious food produced in ways that are good for their bodies and good for the earth.

But given the hectic nature of modern life, taking the necessary steps to switch to a more local diet based on foods that are sourced from independent farms and local producers isn’t always easy. This is where truLOCAL’s fresh meat delivery service comes in. At truLOCAL we are passionate about connecting conscientious consumers with ethical producers to ensure that as many Canadians as possible have access to a wide array of delicious local meat.

If you want to explore the truLOCAL difference and find out for yourself why so many people are making fresh local meat delivery part of their lifestyle, why not start putting together your own meat box today? With mouth-watering options that will appeal to gourmands and salt-of-the-earth meat and potatoes fans alike, truLOCAL’s locally produced Canadian beef, pork, chicken, buffalo, lamb, and seafood is the best way to start building a healthy diet.

Posted on July 13th, 2021