Trying to figure out what to buy and why has become a full time occupation for me. I spend hours at the supermarkets and online reading labels, researching ingredients, and making the best decisions I can. Some of them are pricey and some are dicey, but they are the choices that my family lives and eats by, so I try to get it right.
That being said, I am most stumped by meat and poultry. So much misleading and conflicting information, coupled by the fact that all research leads me to conclude we should be eating less and less of both. What I have learned can be summed up as follows:
- Most supermarket meat is not from a farm, it is from a factory. The animals are treated badly; they live horrible lives in confinement and are killed in a cruel manner. And most importantly, the factory lifestyle generates unhealthy meat and poultry. The animals are chocked full of antibiotics and other medications, they are mixed and matched Frankenstein style, so it is impossible to trace where they came from, and they tend to be filthy.
- Unless grass fed and pasture raised, organic and/or free range meat does not provide much relief from the above. They are fed a slightly better diet (although organic cows still are fed corn and not grass, which is really unnatural), but generally live in the same crappy conditions and have very similar problems to non organic factory meat and poultry.
- Grass fed and pasture raised meat and poultry is the best way to go, but it is very expensive and difficult to come by. Often it needs to be shipped and therefore has some environmental limitations. But this is outweighed by the other environmental, humane, and gastronomic benefits it provides.
To manage this, I only cook meat twice a week. I try to only use grass fed, pasture raised, and organic products. And I try not to purchase any of this at the supermarkets. I have decided to try and track the products that I have tried, in an effort to keep my research straight. Here is my high level meat and poultry matrix that documents what I have found.
Do you have any additional information for me on this topic? Comment below and let me know - I will be updating this post and the matrix on a regular basis.