Australia’s interest in head-to-tail eating (eating most parts of an animal instead of just the choice cuts) has grown considerably over the last few years. It prevents waste, it is less expensive to buy unpopular cuts of meat and is more environmentally sustainable. This principle is important to Harris Farm Markets. It is attempting to break the mould by reshaping our preconceptions of what meat to eat.
Off the back of its hugely successful Imperfect Picks campaign last year, Harris Farm Markets launched a new initiative, Curious Cuts, last week. While the aim of Imperfect Picks was to challenge the importance of visual perfection in fruit and vegetable produce, Curious Cuts attempts to modify Australians’ perception of premium cuts. “The issue with secondary cuts is that they’re not as quick or convenient as premium. Over time they have fallen out of the lexicon of Australian consumer repertoire and we end up wasting product,” says Tristan Harris, CO-CEO of Harris Farm Markets.
In most cases, while cuts such as eye fillet and scotch fillet are sold to the public, the majority of the animal is either ground into animal food, made into second-grade products or sold under market value overseas. “Food waste is a huge global food production system that sucks up enormous resources,” Harris says. “To not appropriately value food is almost criminal,” Not only does this have a negative impact on the environment; increasing food miles and wasting production resources, but Australian farmers and consumers also suffer, with unequal product values resulting in rising meat prices.
Curious Cuts ensures farmers get full and fair prices for their produce while consumers experience a range of cuts and flavours usually overlooked, and buy meat 30 per cent cheaper than premium cuts. “The product, when cooked right, is every bit as good as a fillet or sirloin,” says Harris.
The range includes four Tasmanian grass-fed premium Cape Grim cuts; beef brisket, beef chuck ribs, beef bavette (from the flank), beef tri tip (from the loin) and a pork shoulder.
“If these cuts become a regular part of Australian eating we can incite change at an international level,” says Harris. The Imperfect Picks campaign saw Woolworths follow suit with The Odd Bunch range of fruit and vegetables. With beef prices rising there has never been a better time to embrace a plate of sustainably minded innovation, without compromising on taste.