When I was first teaching myself to cook, before I became a vegetarian for many years, I discovered Veal. As I did not know what it was, I read about it. The public Library was a great place of discovery for me then, and it still is. It was there that I discovered the vile practice of “Veal Crates” and producing white Veal. But I also discovered there was an option of Pink Veal and I was able to try it, taste it and like it.
The problem with White Veal was simply that the calf’s were tethered in a create so they could not move. Hence with no movement the muscles would never develop much of a blood flow and the flesh would remain pale and white. With Pink veal the calf’s are still feed milk but are able to move about and the flesh is much more pink. The milk diet though makes the meat of Veal a pale and not the full depth of colour that Beef or Steak would have. Also the taste is a much more delicate flavour than Beef.
However, going back to my early cooking days, when I tried talking to others, especially my parents about where Veal came from, I was told that the books are wrong and Veal was not produced by mistreatment of the calf. Then a couple of years after I had become a vegetarian, the truth of the farming practice became widely known to the public, and Veal disappeared from the shelves of the supermarkets and larger shops.
As White Veal was one aspect of bad farming practice that the public were happy to see the back of, the term Veal was seen as a “Bad Meat” There was no distinction between White Veal and Pink Veal in the public’s minds. Yet as each milk cow has to give birth to lactate and produce milk, the calf’s have to have some use. The females obviously grow up to become new dairy cattle, but the males ended up being “Shot at Birth” rather than being used to produce Veal.
While there are ethical arguments regarding any form of rearing animals for eating, as we do eat animal flesh then we should not waste any food resource in this cavalier manner. I ceased being a vegetarian when a small but significant number of farmers had dispensed with the unethical practices that government and big business had imposed upon them. And the best way I could support this change was to buy and eat meat from farmers that were producing the higher welfare produce that had been lacking when I stopped eating meat.
It is likely that because I did not eat meat for over twenty five years, I can taste the difference between the factory farmed, fill the supermarket shelves stuff and good quality well reared meat. Yes it does cost a little bit more than the supermarket pap, but I prefer to eat it less often and have something that is enjoyable to eat than just feed the lower ethics of factory farming by paying for the poor quality tasteless stuff.
Now we need to fast forward to the twenty first century, in fact today. As today I went to the Bishop Auckland Food Festival. One of the delightful discoveries there was a local company that is producing Pink Veal from two farms.
I had looked on the internet for suppliers of Pink Veal, but I had only found farms at the other end of the country. While I would have been prepared to buy in that way, I would always prefer to support local farmers if I can.
While the primary reason for wanting to find a supplier for Veal was to make a number of recipes that need Veal. As Veal is a low fat (and Low Cholesterol) meat, it is a very healthy meat too. Also I like to have a good variety in my diet and the dishes I cook.
New moor Veal can be found here www.newmoorveal.com
This posting is not an advert for them, although I am happy to promote them as simply they are they are producing food the way I personally believe it should be produced.