If you consume animal products, it is important to select meats that come from high-quality sources. The tips below will help you make the best choices when buying beef, poultry, and fish.
You are what you eat
You are what you eat and the nutrition of the food you eat is just a symptom of the soil or animal it came from. If you eat animal products such as meat, poultry, or dairy, the lifestyle these animals had when they were alive will impact your health in either a positive or negative way.
An animal’s diet and living situation can have a profound influence on the nutrient content of its products. You will be healthier if the animal products you eat come from animals that were:
- raised in clean and stress-free environments
- free of growth hormones and antibiotics
- bred consuming plants grown in healthy organic soil
Food shopping for beef, poultry, and fish can be overwhelming due to the vast amount of choices offered to consumers. I am sure you have seen the following terms stamped onto packages:
- Certified organic
…but what do these words mean? To help you make the healthiest choices when buying meat, poultry and fish, I have put together a few simple guidelines that you should follow.
1. Purchase ORGANIC, GRASS-FED and FREE-RANGE products whenever possible
Organic, free-range meats are more nutritious than commercially farmed products and are free of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics, all of which are toxic to humans.
- When reading labels, select meats that are “certified organic, grass-fed and free-range.”
- When possible, avoid grain-fed products.
2. If you are unable to purchase organic meats, the next best choice is GRASS FED, FREE-RANGE meat
Cows, sheep, and buffalo are designed to walk about and eat grass. When these animals’ diets are mostly made up of grains, they have a higher chance of becoming sick and the quality of the fats and protein in their meat declines.
- Reduce (or better yet, eliminate) your consumption of grain-fed, factory-farmed meat containing hormones and/or antibiotics.
- Factory-farmed animals are more susceptible to stress, abuse, pollution, antibiotic drugs and unnatural diets, all of which are not ideal for us.
Grass-fed animals vs. grain-fed animals
- Grass-fed meat gives you more bang for your buck on all fronts, with its significantly higher levels of omega-3s, antioxidants, minerals, and other important nutrients. In my article, “Why Grass-Fed Beef Is Better Than Grain-Fed Beef”, I explain why.
Farm-raised animals vs. factory-farmed animals
- Choose farm-raised animal products whenever possible. A farm-raised animal product where the animal was free-range is a healthier option over a factory-farmed animal. I explain why in “Why Farm-Raised Animal Products Are Superior To Factory-Farmed Products.”
3. Always choose wild-caught fish over farm-raised fish, especially when it comes to salmon.
- Selecting wild-caught fish over farmed-raised fish is a must, especially when it comes to salmon. When millions of fish are raised in close confinement, fed an unvaried artificial diet, and constantly exposed to their own wastes, exposure to harmful chemicals is inevitable. The quality of their meat is compromised.
- This makes the consumption of farm-raised fish unhealthy for humans. It also disrupts the delicate balance of the ecosystem. In my article, “Why You Should Always Buy Wild-Caught Salmon” I give more detail as to why you should always avoid farm-raised salmon and buy wild-caught salmon instead.