In the Paleo diet there is considerable focus on grass-fed meat. This is because grass-fed meat contains a higher level of nutrients and a healthier ratio of healthy fats compared to regular produce. It is also more sustainable and environmentally-friendly.
However, whilst there are many farming methods in Scotland and across the UK, the labelling laws are not yet clear on this issue. Only a few farms sell grass-fed or pasture-fed meat that meet the requirements of the Pasture Fed Livestock Association and can label their products 'pasture for life'. I have yet to see this label in supermarkets so currently I just try and buy organic meat when possible.
However, if you have any significant health problems, are trying to heal an auto-immune condition or just want to take your health to the next level then it is possible to buy grass-fed meat in Scotland. One of the best ways is to go straight to the suppliers via Farms and Farm shops. There is a list on my website here under Paleo Resources. If you can buy meat in bulk and then freeze it, that can also be highly cost effective too. Another good source is to visit your local Farmers market. A list of markets are available here to browse through. Again, Farmers' markets can be a lot more affordable than you might think as they cut out the middle man.
Personally, I wouldn't let not being able to buy grass fed meat put you off starting a Paleo diet. You can still have an extremely healthy diet without it. Switching to a Paleo diet from a standard Scottish diet will immediately (and vastly!) increase the amount of nutrients you eat, reduce inflammation, and lead to good gut health which we increasingly know is vital for well-being.
If you just want to focus on buying organic meat, my recent blog post here details my experience of shopping for organic meat in supermarkets. There also seems to be healthier meat products continually coming on to the market. Marks and Spencer's now sell nitrate- free bacon and the Northern Irish company Finnebrogue sell nitrate-free ham, bacon and sausages in some Scottish Sainsburys stores. I think these items will become more common place as consumers become more aware of the links between nitrates in meat and some serious health conditions.
Whilst I try to buy organic, my diet most definitely contains non organic meat (more trips to fast food places with my young son than I care to admit!) and I don't fret about it - I just try and buy the best meat I can depending on availability and cost. It is also important to say that whilst meat seems to be intrinsically (and weirdly) connected with the Paleo diet in mainstream media, in reality it can play a relatively small role in the Paleo diet.
Whilst proteins, such as meat, fish and eggs, are important for health, the bulk of our meals should ideally contain as wide a range of plant based foods as possible. A good rule of thumb is to have at least half your plate with vegetables or salads and to include approximately a palm sized amount of protein (or a quarter of your plate). The remaining quarter can be made up of healthy fats and healthy carbohydrates such as starchy vegetables or fruit.
I hope this helps you find the foods you want to eat. I would love to hear if you have found any other good sources of quality meat in Scotland or how you include other good sources of protein too. Feel free to comment in the section below,