If you are a meat eater and you are looking after your health you probably think you’re doing okay with your grilled chicken breast and steak but if the quality isn’t there you aren’t doing yourself many favors.
You are eating “clean” and somehow your toxicity is still high, you’re still feeling sluggish or worse you’re having full-on health issues. Some of these symptoms can be attributed to meats that are fed weird diets, given antibiotics, or are given hormones to make them larger & grow faster. If you think about all that stuff going into your body, that you didn’t ask for, it's pretty repulsing and can actually cause a whole heck of a lot of issues.
In previous years, there was an issue with inappropriately using antibiotics in animals for growth promotion. Luckily for us, in 2017 this practice is no longer allowed according to the Center for Disease Control (1). However, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) points out that the beef and pork industries remain high users of these drugs (2). Even though there is no hard evidence to support that antibiotics in animals has caused resistance in humans (...yet) there is still cause for concern, especially if you’re trying to lead a healthy lifestyle.
This can all sound very daunting to try and now worry about where your meat comes from but it doesn’t have to be! There’s already people out there thinking of you and have created brands like my favorite and most trusted brand, Niman Ranch! They work with small, independent U.S. family farmers and ranchers who, “all share a commitment to raising livestock under strict protocols and the belief that humane and sustainable methods produce the best possible flavor.” (3) ...PREACH!
The 3 main things to look for when buying meat:
1. Grass-fed Beef & Pasture Raised Chickens/Pork
Beef, lambs and goat are naturally meant to be eating grass/hay. When they are fed concentrated feeds, low-quality grains or something crazy like an animal by-product (think blood and bones all mushed up with the feed – disgusting!). It’s pretty self-explanatory why you’d want your beef to be eating its natural diet. However, chickens and pigs can’t live off only grass so their diets need to be supplemented with grains (3) so they cannot be labeled as “grass-fed” but pasture raised means they aren’t cooped up in tiny stalls which is where all the disease (& then antibiotics to treat) comes from. Remember – what your animal eats you eat!
2. No Antibiotics
Although, there is no hard evidence that this is causing antibiotic resistance humans (yet) I don't think I'll be taking my chances waiting for there to be evidence. In my own personal opinion, I don't see how it makes sense to me but you do you! Either way we don’t want to be consuming more drugs than we actually need because well… it just doesn’t make sense but the same goes for livestock, which is why the 2017 law is so great but like it was mentioned earlier, doesn’t cover all the animals that are processed for meat so it’s best to just stay away.
3. No Hormones
There is such an issue right now with people's own hormones being disrupted and it’s causing them so many symptoms like; brittle bones, digestion issues, low sperm counts (yes, men can also have a hormone imbalance), overdevelopment of breast tissue in men! People are wondering why some men have “turned a little feminine lately” hormone induced beef may be your answer… only kidding. All jokes aside, the list keeps going of what hormone imbalances are doing to men and women’s bodies. If that’s not worth paying an extra buck for your beef I don’t know what is!
Quality meat can make a large impact on your gut health as well. Making sure to make your meats the 'side' portion rather than the main honcho on your dinner plate will make a big impact and cause less stress on your gut. If you want to learn more about food do's and don'ts for your gut health check out this post HERE.
I hope this post left you wanting to run to the store to go buy some good quality meats – if it did Niman Ranch can be found at your local grocery store and if you’re here on Grand Cayman with me :) you can find some pretty tasty sausages by them at Kirk Market!
If you catch their Niman Ranch brand logo on any of your meats, you know you’re in good hands! Thank goodness for people who make things easy, hey!
Even better if you’re in the states and have access to “Blue Apron” delivery they have the purest of pure meats that have been handled and managed by Bill Niman, founder of Niman Ranch, himself. Although he cut ties with the Niman Ranch brand he states that it wouldn’t stop him from eating their meat and that they’re still a tried and trusted source! Thank goodness. Happy meat buying!
*No animals were hurt in the making of this blog*
Want to learn more about their standards? Check out https://www.nimanranch.com/
Want to learn more interesting facts like these about the food you’re eating and get some delicious Niman Ranch meal ideas? Follow @thenotsosugarcoated on Instagram!
If you want to learn more about how your food, mood and gut health are connected make sure you check out this blog post, it includes some more food do's and don'ts. Check it out HERE.
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Hey! My names Ashleen.