What Kind of Meat Should I Buy?
Meat is a crucial factor in Paleo. Eating the best possibly sustainably sourced meat available is a main factor in nourishment. Below is some information on what you will find on food labels & how to make the best choice possible for your health.
This is about as clear as mud. In fact, this label can be placed on meats that have actually been given antibiotics, which do come from a chemical. The animal could have also consumed any type of grain or forage as this is not regulated. This label does however mean that the meat cannot be altered during the harvesting period. It is also worth noting, that government standards do not allow growth hormones in any meat product.
When a meat or poultry product is labeled organic, it is simply referring to the feed the animal was given. It is a guarantee that what it was fed was organic and that it has not been exposed to chemical fillers. The organic label is important but needs to be combined with the grass fed label for beef.
This means just what it says in that an animal was given a grain-based diet for a period of its life. Feeding grain causes animals to grow more quickly therefore cattle farmers are able to turn livestock into food more quickly. The average life span of a grain fed cow is significantly shorter than a grass fed cow due to how fast the animal grows on a grain fed diet.
Grass fed beef is generally leaner and contains more naturally occurring omega-3 fatty acids. Most producers of grass fed meat do not give antibiotics or growth hormones to the animals, however this is not always the case and is subject to the farmers’ discretion.
Wild Caught and Farm Raised are your only options when it comes to seafood. Wild Caught is always the best choice, however there are times when Farm Raised seafood is sustainable and well treated.
Organic, free ranging is always the best choice. The same terms that apply to many of the egg labels, also apply to harvested poultry. Remember that the government doesn’t allow any growth hormones in meat production and hasn’t since 1959, so this label is just a marketing ploy to make you believe you are getting the best. Read carefully and try to by organic, free-range poultry when possible.
Organic is really the only way to go with this meat. Animal welfare is crucial to the meat quality of pork. Pigs raised outside of an organic environment are generally crowded into sheds and barns that are very unsanitary and disease is common.