Ask where your produce is coming from this Christmas
THIS Christmas, do your bit for the environment, the local economy and the health and welfare of animals by choosing locally-produced meat.
Let's face it, most of us have no idea how and where supermarket meat is produced, how far it has travelled to reach us, what the animals were fed or what conditions they were raised in.
You can ask all these questions and more when you buy from a local farmer.
You'll also discover that meat produced from animals that are well cared for, and with access to fresh air, fresh pasture and natural diets, tastes better.
Here are three local meat producers to source your Christmas meat from this year:
Byron Creek Farm: Local chefs rave about the flavour of the pasture-raised chickens produced on this regenerative farm at Coopers Shoot.
The free-range birds live outdoors and have constant access to the fresh grass and insects that make up their natural diet.
They also live longer (mass-farmed chickens are slaughtered at about six weeks of age), which makes them considerably bigger.
At 2kg minimum, they are the ideal substitute for the traditional Christmas turkey.
Byron Creek Farm doesn't take orders, but you can pick up a fresh or frozen bird at its New Brighton or Mullumbimby farmers' markets stalls and keep it in the freezer until Christmas.
Hayters Hill Farm: Fifth-generation farmer David Trevor Jones spends a lot of time taking care of the cattle and pigs he raises on the family farm near Byron Bay.
The animals are moved regularly to fresh pasture, which keeps them healthy and minimises their impact on the land.
The on-farm butchery uses traditional techniques to create top-quality meat that's free of additives like nitrates.
Hayters Hill is currently taking orders for its free-range Christmas hams, which are gluten free, free of emulsifiers and nitrates and naturally smoked with lychee wood.
Find Hayters Hill at the Mullumbimby Farmers' Market.
Byron Bay Pork: This local business is known for its juicy and tender pork cuts, produced from locally-raised Berkshire and Berkshire-cross pigs.
Visit the Byron Bay Pork stall at the Mullumbimby Farmers' Market to order Christmas hams or pork roasts.