If you eat meat, it's a safe bet that you're eating young animals—those whose lives are measured in months rather than years, writes Eve Fox at Modern Farmer. That's because the meat is more tender, and tender is what sells. But Fox talks to author Adam Danforth (Butchering) and makes that case that eating older animals is the way to go. It's not only better for the animals—assuming they've been allowed to lead full lives on a well-run farm—the meat tastes better.
“The components of flavor are in the life of the animal and the work that it does," says Danforth. "The longer an animal lives and the more work it does, the more flavorful its meat becomes." The trick is to raise the animal right (giving it room to roam and forage), kill it right (painlessly and quickly, preferably on the farm), and age it right (depending on the size of animal and other factors). "Not only do older animals offer great flavor at bargain prices, the meat goes down easier when you know that the animal in question lived a full, natural life before making its way to your plate," writes Fox. Click for the full column. (Read more animals stories.)