Benefit of Grass Fed, Organic Meat? Part 1

Benefit of Grass Fed, Organic Meat? Part 1

A topic that always comes up in my house is grass fed, organic meat vs. conventional meat. I can say honestly that I used to not pay attention to the difference. It wasn’t until I started on my elimination diet and started reading more and more about grass fed meat that I really started to understand why there was such a big difference. Of course it’s much easier to buy the 5 for $19.99 at Giant Eagle than pay $15 for 4 chicken breasts, but is it really cheaper in the long run?

Disclaimer: this post is very heavy with information that I’ve pulled from other sources. I’ve done this because there is SO MUCH GMO, grass-fed, organic, etc. articles out on the internet that can explain it better than I can. Please use this as a jumping off point to do your own research on the topic. There is so much that the public does not know! Also, this post ended up being ridiculously long, so I’ve split it into 2 posts.

Grass-Fed, Organic, Natural – Isn’t It One In The Same?

First, let’s start by making sure we’re all on the same page with the terms grass-fed, organic, the ever popular ‘natural’ and conventional aka factory farmed.

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Today as you walk through the grocery store you see the word ‘natural’ thrown around like it’s nothing. Companies are using words that promote their products as ‘healthier’ as top marketing campaigns. Products that claim to be ‘all natural’ with ingredient lists to completely disagree or are touted as being ‘healthy’, but include well known carcinogens in the ingredients. There is a great debate going on in the USA today whether or not companies should label products which contain GMOS. Here are 9 things you can do about it!

One quick word of warning while you are shopping for grass-fed meat: grass-fed means that the animals only eat grass for their entire lives (you may also see it described as “grass-fed and grass-finished”). Some producers will “grain-finish” their meat in order to increase the size of the cattle and be somewhat cagey about this fact. Also note that organic beef or lamb is not the same as grass-fed (although grass-fed is organic, it’s not necessarily true the other way around). Some producers supplement with grain so the animals are “mostly grass-fed”, which is an improvement over conventional meat but hard to quantify just how much of an improvement. So, whether buying from a local farmer or your butcher, if you aren’t familiar with the producer, ask whether or not the meat is grass-finished. The Paleo Mom

So does buying all organic meat fix the problem?

Well…. not quite.

Organic:

Organic means that food producers must adhere to strict standards including not using antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, irradiation or bioengineering; they must adhere to certain soil and water conservation methods; and to rules about the humane treatment of animals. (Source: Thunder Basin Beef)

 

Certified Organic:

Certified organic producers are audited and inspected annually and are subject to surprise inspections to ensure compliance with the strict guidelines. “Organic” and “Natural” don’t mean the same thing. Only products that are certified organic can use the USDA National Organic Program seal. (Source: Thunder Basin Beef)

 

The Organic Difference:

An organic label does not guarantee that animals spent most of their time on pasture. It simply means the animals had access to pasture, weren’t given antibiotics, hormonal implants or injections, and their feed whether grass, hay or grain was organically certified. Some producers feed their animals significant amounts of grain, a proven way to speed their growth and increase milk production. The more grain in a cow’s diet, however, the lower the healthy nutrients such as omega-3s, CLA, vitamin E and betacarotene in their products. (Source: Thunder Basin Beef)

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Are you more confused than ever now? Or is it more clear?

So now that we’ve got the lingo down, next Wednesday I will have a follow up post explaining the benefits of grass fed, organic meat.

Until then, I urge you to do your own research into where your food is coming from! I bet it will surprise you . . .

Wishing You A Pain Free Day!

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Want to learn more????? 

If you’re in the Pittsburgh Area you should sign up to attend a Health & Wellness 101 class series that I will be teaching with 2 other health coaches starting in January!!

GMOs are going to be the very first topic we cover!

Learn more about the class here!
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