Good Meats

happycowThere are a few healthy options out there for meat-eaters.  If you go to the butchers at someplace like Whole Foods you’ll probably see some meat labeled Organic.  That sounds good right? You’re right, it’s good, but it’s not necessarily the best option when choosing your meat.

Organic Meat:  The animal must be born and raised on pastureland that has been certified to be free of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers and other amendments. All the feed that the animal receives must also be certified as organically grown grasses and grains. The animal could never be given antibiotics or hormones and must have ready access to open pasture.  But that doesn’t mean that they are grass fed.

The majority of the meat we consume in the US is grain or corn fed, not grass fed. Feeding our stock grain or corn not only increases the fat content of the meat, but also the quality of the fat. Grassfed meat is lower in saturated fat, and higher in nutrients like beta-carotene, Vitamin E, and Omega-3 fatty acids.  But, that doesn’t mean that the animal was raised without antibiotics or hormones.

There is a label you can look for from the American Grassfed Association. They require that the meat sold with their label was raised entirely on grass, with no hormones or antibiotics. grassfed label

All animals (including people) store the majority of the toxins we can’t immediately process in our fatty tissues, so that means that when you’re eating a fatty portion of meat that you want it to be as free of toxins as possible.

Look for grass-fed beef, pork, and lamb; wild caught fish, and organic chicken. There are several good sources at local farmer’s markets, occasionally Whole Foods, and independent places like Marin Sun Farms.  There are online sources available too: U.S. Wellness Meats and Grass Fed Traditions.

Additionally, be mindful of seafood high in mercury. Usually seafood high in mercury is high in lead as well. Avoid these types of seafood options or eat them sparingly. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a good resource called Seafood Watch where you can check the quality of your seafood.