10 Questions & Answers on Organic, Grass-Fed, Pasture-Raised Meat

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You have lots of questions. Over the next several weeks I will be doing my absolute best to answer them. These questions were asked via the Epic August Giveaway. That giveaway has nearly 500 comments that contain tips, questions and solutions to turning the health of society 180 degrees.

At some point, hopefully by early 2013, I will have a PDF with answers to every single question (it may be free to email subscribers). It looks like there are just over 200 in all. It won’t be just my brain thinking of answers. It will be several brains working together. I’m super excited but this will take time as I am working on sooooooo much right now.

Nonetheless, answering some questions via blog posts is a great place to start. I hope that my answers help and that you can help further by leaving a comment as well as sharing this on the social media platform of your choice.

The following 10 questions and answers are all about eating quality meat. You know, the grass-fed stuff and what not. I reference EatWild.com a few times for good reason. Check it out!

Here we go!

Q: Can I still make a go of this if I can’t get organic/grass fed?

Yes. While I will be attempting to go all of 2013 without taking a single bite of CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation), I’ve been eating Paleo for 2 years and 8 months (as of December 5). I was fine eating grocery store bought meat in the beginning. It is still better for YOU than most of the food-like products that are available to you at a standard grocery store. Just go for the leaner cuts of meat and add quality fats like coconut oil, butter, avocado, real olive oil, etc.

And, don’t be afraid to eat more plant foods while you are unable to source high quality animal products. White potatoes are very nourishing and extremely inexpensive.

Before you are certain that you are unable to source grass-fed meat for a reasonable price, check out EatWild.com.

Q: I know I should buy local, grass-fed meat, but I am seriously scared of poisoning my family – the local meat people I’ve met have to label their meat “dog food”! Aack! How do I know what’s safe?

Are you welcome to visit their farm? Ask them every question that you can possibly think of. Why do they label their meat dog food? I have no idea but you should be able to find out.

The pet food category on the US Wellness Meats website lists food like lamb heart, lamb kidney, lamb marrow bone and beef heart. I’d utilize all of these foods without hesitation even though it’s under the pet food category.

You probably have nothing to worry about but I’d certainly ask them lots of questions and go from there.

Q: Real food on a budget – seriously there are additives even when I’m just trying to buy plain meat at Sam’s. How can I feed my family enough food if even “meat” isn’t meat?!?!

Is there a Costco in your area? As far as food quality goes, Costco seems to know what’s up more so than Sam’s Club. Don’t buy meat that has an ingredient label unless it’s something YOU trust. For me, this would be 100% grass-fed Organic Applegate Farms hot dogs. They are pre-cooked and need an ingredient label. The ingredients? Beef, various spices (they list them out) and sea salt. I’ve talked to them on the phone too.

A lot of grocery stores are beginning to carry grass-fed ground beef so be on the lookout on a regular basis. Do you have a health food store around you? Farmers market? Farmers? You must. Checkout EatWild.com.

Q: Where is the cheapest place to buy grassed beef and pasture raised meats?

Your local farmers market or, better yet, straight from your farmer. If you can buy in bulk then do so. I’ve bought a whole cow for under $3 per pound before. Granted that is not all meat, but it comes out to less than $5 per pound for the meat, then the bones and what not are free! And this includes all cuts of meat!

Buying online, from health food stores or standard grocers will more than likely be more expensive than buying from a farmer or farmers market. Checkout EatWild.com for where YOU can buy good quality meat.

Q: I am seriously grossed out by animal fat and raw chicken – any tips/tricks for getting over that?

This is all in your mind. I’ve never had this problem but my sister does. She buys Applegate Farms 100% grass-fed hot dogs. You may be able to find these at a grocery store in your area. Most health food stores will carry them. They are more expensive than, say, grass-fed ground beef but it’s the price you have to pay for being grossed out. It takes time to get over this but you will soon down the road.

And I’d imagine that you are NOT grossed out by butter and eggs, right? If you tolerate both well then eat more of those. Eat more seafood and fish too. I’m a big fan of Wild Planet’s canned albacore tuna. So much so that I ordered 18 cans last week!

Q: Are you looked down on for not affording to buy all grass-fed/organic meats and produce? What if I eat conventional meat?

Some folks will not like your buying decision but these are few and far between. If you truly can’t afford it then don’t worry about it. However, most that claim this are literally living a lie. Do you have a television? Cable TV? A bunch of clothes that you don’t wear?

Here in the United States of America as well as many other developed countries, our priorities are way out of whack. For most, it’s not that they can’t afford good quality food, it’s that watching TV is more important to them.

Is it time that you rearrange your priorities?

Q: What are the best options for protein powder, if you decide to use it in your training? I’m kind of confused between a very high quality whey or 100% egg protein.

While in Austin, Texas I discovered a grass-fed whey protein powder that is reasonably priced. For 30 servings at 135 calories per serving including 27 grams of protein, it will  cost you $35 plus shipping. It’s called Pure Whey by Stronger Faster Healthier.

I ordered the natural one a couple of days ago. I love making smoothies and sometimes want to add some whey. In the past I recommended Now Foods Whey since it was reasonable and basically only whey. But it’s not grass-fed. The Now Foods Whey is less expensive but I’m more than willing to pay a little more for a much better product. Quality food is my #1 priority (well, after relationships with those I love).

I’ve never tried egg protein powder and probably never will. I’d go with Pure Whey.

Q: What protein sources are acceptable for regular consumption by a person who cannot stomach eating a lot of meat, fish or eggs?

Well, if you can eat some red meat, fish or eggs then eat as much as you can. You don’t need a ton of protein. White potatoes are a complete source of protein and so are avocados. They don’t have much, but again, you don’t need much. Just 3 large eggs have 18 grams of protein.

Or, as discussed above, supplementing with a grass-fed whey protein powder may help. Toadally Primal Smoothies has a couple dozen recipes that include whey and more are coming.

Q: I understand grassfed beef. What kind of chicken, pork, and turkey should I buy?

I personally don’t eat much chicken, pork and turkey. For the meat that I consume, at least 90% of it is from fish, seafood, grass-fed beef and eggs.

Organic is an improvement from non organic but do your absolute best to source it from a local farmer. Or, checkout US Wellness Meats. When you buy from a local farmer, you are able to find out everything you want to know about that food. Find out exactly how they raise their animals if you want. If they are hesitant to tell you then don’t buy from them.

Ignore labels on poultry and pork unless it’s organic which is still far from ideal.

Q: What MUST be free-range/organic, and what can take a pass?

Nothing must be either. Organic is better than non organic but it’s always best to buy from your local farmer or from a health food store like Whole Foods. When you buy from a farmer, there won’t be any labels. Instead, you will have the opportunity to find out exactly how the food you buy was raised or grown. Don’t be afraid to ask them anything that comes to mind. If they are hesitant to tell you then find another farmer.

How did I do?

Would you answer any of the above questions differently? If yes, how so? What questions are floating around in your mind after reading the questions and answers above?

Leave a comment below. Quality discussion helps us all discover the truth sooner rather than later.

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Comments

  1. Penny says

    Why is organic chicken less then ideal? In terms of organic meat that we can afford, we currently only have access to ground beef and whole chickens. I’m always trying to learn more, so I’m looking forward to your answer!

    • says

      “Ideal” would be pastured raised. Organic, unfortunately, does not mean that the chickens are pasture raised. So they may spend the far majority of their time indoors with lots of other chickens. But it’s still a much better choice than conventional as far as I know.

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