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.

Why You Should Heart It

heartitTeens are paving the way in Social Media: They flocked to Instagram and we followed. Then they went to Snapchat and that became the big thing. Now you have yet another picture-driven social media platform to catch up on, We♥It. (think Pinterest).

Even though I absolutely L*O*V*E Pinterest (see Commandment #2) , I’ve been playing around with We♥It for a couple of days. Since the best way to show differences is by contrast, I used this list of most-searched terms in 2013 and executed the same searches on both platforms using my iPad mini. The series of images below compares search results from the main screen only: Pinterest on the left, We♥It on the right. Notice any trends that favor We♥It? No words, 2) More images, 3) Collections (“boards” people have made with this tag), 4) Hearters (other people who have liked the tag).

The We♥It site is just more fun, more hip. Right on the main page it says: Believe, Feel, Love, Be, Create, Inspire. Doesn’t that just make you feel amazing? I must admit at times I’ve felt as though I’ve reached the end of Pinterest; but, on We♥It’s site, I feel like there is endless scrolling (maybe because I’m newer to this app.. Time to update my Commandments!). What’s even better is that it shows you top tags and you can see what’s trending yesterday or last week!

Happy Hearting!

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