Meat Quality & Health

This is a super random post about meat and health – charge it to me almost recovering from a sinus infection/cold… things still aren’t quite working the way they should.

7_0I am super picky about where I buy meats: chicken, fish, beef, pork, etc. While some people think Whole Foods is a rip-off, I absolutely do not want to buy my meat from any other place. Trust me, I’ve tried being more “cost conscience” by shopping at “normal” grocery stores like Kroger, Publix, Target and Wal-Mart. In the end, I always regret my decision which manifests at the exact moment I’m ready to cook – too much fat or a bad cut of meat always disguised by clever packaging. I do not like fat on my meat, any meat! And frozen meats/meals? Forget it! If I’m cooking, 95% of the time there will be no processed foods, especially meat!

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified processed meat as a carcinogen, something that causes cancer.

Processed meat includes hot dogs (never), ham (only from the Honey Baked store at Thanksgiving & Christmas), bacon (sometimes), sausage (very very rarely, it’s never been my preference), and some deli meats (never). It refers to meat that has been treated in some way to preserve or flavor it. Processes include salting, curing, fermenting, and smoking. Red meat includes beef (filets only! clean cuts with trimmed/no fat), pork (probably too much, love pulled pork!), lamb (gag), and goat (double gag). (American Cancer Society). You can also check this BBC news article for more information on this. It’s a proven fact.

foodBeing sick always makes you re-evaluate your health. Let’s be honest: being sick sucks and all you think about is how you’re going to change your life (style) once you get well so you don’t get sick again. It’s an inconvenience and often can be painful. When you’re sick you have plenty of time to explore this concept in your mind and on the Internet. #guilty Out of sickenss comes the realization that we need to take better care of ourselves and it starts with food which can be medicine or poison. While I was sick I actually bought a book, It Starts with Food. Yes, this actually happened! There’s also a super amazing podcast by The Minimalists, Health (link) that I listen to it frequently. Yes, I know you can’t control all variables; but, we have to start somewhere! And sometimes over and over again.

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When I purchase meats at Whole Foods I can see exactly what I am buying. I see the cut and I know the quality. Sure, it costs a bit more (Whole Foods is often known as Whole Paycheck); but, every time I make a purchase I have zero regrets and I get to enjoy and quality healthy meal. You know what they say about health: pay now or pay later! I’d rather not take that risk. Here is Whole Food’s policy on meat quality standards:

  • Animals must not receive antibiotics, ever.
  • No animal by-products are allowed in feed, including feather meal or rendered fat.
  • Animals raised for meat must not receive added hormones. (Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones when raising pigs, poultry, bison, goats, or rabbits.
  • For ruminants, time in a feedlot cannot be more than one-third of the animal’s life.
  • No crates, cages or tethers are permitted.  This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Gestation crates and farrowing stalls for sows
    • Individual hutches or tethers for veal calves
  • Cattle, pigs, chickens and turkeys sold in our fresh meat counter must be certified to the Global Animal Partnership 5-Step® Animal Welfare Rating.

Samsung Smart Fridge

Everything is ‘smart’ these days except for maybe, people… How about ordering groceries right from your refrigerator? Samsung has a solution for that! The tech company is partnering with MasterCard and Fresh Direct (an online grocery delivery service) to offer touch screen ordering right on your ice box. A MasterCard not required (you can use Visa, AMEX, etc.). The new refrigerator will hit the market this Spring!


We’ve developed the entire app—the ordering, the cart process, the integration with the merchants. And yes, the payments,” DeVita says. (USAToday)

BTW: #IoT stands for Internet of Things. You can learn more about that here but suffice it to say that it’s a term used for everyday objects that have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data. (Techopedia) Another IoT example I recently told you about is a Oral B’s Smart Toothbrush. Click HERE if you missed that! See… everything is becoming SMART!

Check out this video to see the new smart fridge in action!

Cooking with Apple Watch

s38rg-sblv-sel-201509_GEO_USI love my Apple Watch. One unexpected place I’ve been using it a lot is in the kitchen. Ever throw something in the oven, set the timer, then wonder to the other side of the house? Sure, the timer does goes off but my stove is a basic model and the timer is not very loud. Often times I miss it going off.

This is where my Apple Watch helps. I turn on the oven then throw whatever I’m cooking in (yes, even while it’s pre-heating). As I’m walking away I raise my wrist and say, “Hey Siri.” Siri automatically wakes up and then I say, “Set alarm for 6 pm or Set alarm for 20 minutes“. The alarm magically gets set and 30 minutes later, my wrist beeps and/or gently vibrates depending on my settings. That’s my reminder to go and check on my dish! I can dismiss the timer or snooze. There is no way I will not hear / feel this handy dandy reminder (really, you can use this feature for any type of alarm. I’ve just found it particularly useful for cooking – and waking up in the morning)

So I decided to check out what other apps or features are useful in the kitchen and I found one particularly helpful – Epicurious Cooking Instructions With New Smart Timer App.  “You select a food you want to cook on your iPhone—maybe roast beets or a pan-seared steak—the screen tells you to set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or get that cast iron pan on the stove, and then your phone beams a step-by-step timer to your wrist. It’ll count down the time, vibrate at any important moment (like when you should flip that steak), and then right before the steak is done, provide a few words and a thumbnail image that shows how you can tell the dish is done—something along the lines of, “The steak is browned but soft when poked in the middle.” (FastCodeDesign)

#HappyCooking and check out the short video demo below.