I am so focused on the quality of food that I give to my family and recommend to my clients. It is probably the most important part of eating well and being healthy.
So here is a cheat sheet to help sort it out.
Cracking the Beef Label Code
If your local butcher does not carry high-quality beef products, take it to the internet and check out U.S.Wellness Meats, Eat Wild, and Beyond Organic. And for Glatt Kosher meats Grow and Behold or Kolfoods.com.
Best- 100% Grass-Fed These cows have been raised on grass and pasture from birth to slaughter.
Good- Grass finished. Fed high-quality grass for the 100 days before slaughter.
Tricky- Grass-fed. In 2005 the USDA changed the grass-fed standards to mean that the cow must eat grass for 80% of its life. The other 20% can be anything. Antibiotics and hormones are allowed.
Don’t be fooled- Organic. All this means is that the cows were fed organic grains and NOT grass. The quality of the feed is better, but the nutritional composition is equivalent to commercial beef.
Better than nothing- Antibiotic /Hormone Free. Grain-fed cows tend to have more fat, which is exactly where they store residues from pesticides If none of the above are available, this will do, just be sure to trim off the toxic fat.
I’ll Pass- Regular Commercial Beef. I don’t go for it, I know too much about where it comes from. If this is the best you can do, go for the leaner cuts in order to avoid the toxins. Good luck.
Note; Properly raised bison, lamb, venison, and buffalo are also great for you.
Cracking the Poultry Label Code
Best- Free-Range from a local farmer. Get to know your farmers. Spend some time with them and see for yourself how the chickens are raised.
Cool But kinda Vague- USDA Free-range. The USDA requires that chickens certified as free-range have access to the outdoors. However, there is no guarantee that the chicken will have access to anything but dirt or gravel.
Not Bad- Free Roaming. Chickens have access to the outdoors. They do not live in huge metal barns under crowded conditions like factory chickens.
Decent- Organic. Chickens were not fed their ideal diet, but what they were fed (typically corn) was organic.
Trickery- Vegetarian Fed. All this means is that the chicken was fed corn (non-organic) this does not make it healthy, though. Chickens are not vegetarians!!
Better than nothing- Hormone/ antibiotic Free. You could use a little less antibiotics and hormones in your life.
I’ll Pass!!- Regular factory chickens. You would be better off passing on those as well.
Note; Turkeys same as Chickens.