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Red Meat


Proper portions and sourcing can put steak back on your plate.

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Red Meat


Proper portions and sourcing can put steak back on your plate.

only the best for you and your family

Red meat seems to be public enemy #1 these days with vegetarian / veganism becoming the hot trend. And many experts advise not simply reducing red meat consumption but eliminating it altogether. Blamed for everything from cancer to environmental degradation, red meat in general and processed meats in specific are on the hot seat. If you love chicken, fish and vegetable protein maybe this is where you and red meat part ways.

If however, you just love a good steak or burger - fear not. With high quality sourcing and proper preparation red meat can still grace your plate.

Best bet

Bison - the same thundering protein that kept our Native American brothers healthy for centuries. At most stores, substitute it for beef anytime.

Wild Game - venison, elk, etc. If it's wild and you or a neighbor hunts reach out and load up the freezer. 

Grass Fed Beef - cows are rumens, animals that have always eaten grass and only grass. This produces superior / healthy fats and no toxins. Grass fed is the only beef you should eat, period.

Pastured Lamb - savory and delicious but must be pastured, ie grass fed as nature dictates.  All of the above GF beef rules apply.

Pastured Pork - raised on grass, acorns, grains with sunshine, fresh air and freedom to roam. Know your farmer.

Traditional bacon, sausages - use sparingly, as a flavoring or accent - 1/3 strip of bacon with eggs to add flavor. Must be from traditionally pastured animals.  

 

maybe

Grain finished Beef - The idea here is to take grass fed beef, feed them grain for a just 2-3 weeks then slaughter them. 

It's a slippery slope though, one ripe for abuse by sellers. Unless you know and trust the rancher just stick with exclusively grass fed animals.  

 

just say no

Cheap Meat - sadly this is 99% of meat in America today. Fed GMO grains, growth hormones, antibiotics. Raised in "less than optimal conditions" to put it mildly. Full of unnatural fats and unhealthy chemicals. Insist on higher quality meats for you and your family. 

Cheap Bacon, Sausage, etc - high fat cheap meat - the worst of both worlds. Where do harmful chemicals that CAFO animals ingest get concentrated? In their fats. Run away.

Deli and Processed meats - these "meats" are not worth the high price that you and your family will pay in dollars or in terms of health.

Restaurant Red Meat - skip it, unless they tout it in huge bold letters that its grass fed, antibiotic and hormone free from xyz local ranch etc. Restaurants are not the place to get red meat. 

 

Red Meat, part of a mixed protein line up
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red Meat


Drop Red Meat? No Need, Just Do It Right

red Meat


Drop Red Meat? No Need, Just Do It Right

Sourcing is Key

Yes, getting quality protein from a mix of sources is important but the real issue with meat is not so much the protein, it's the fat. Fat can be heaven or hell, it all depends on sourcing.

Fat Is Where It's At

Look at the fat in grass fed beef, bison, lamb or any wild game like venison. It's loaded with CLA, ALA and GLA fats - all very healthy. It also contains lots of omega 3 fats. Those are the healthy / anti inflammatory fats we really need these days. They balance the overabundance of omega 6 fats that we Americans are swimming in and help us move back toward an ideal 1 to 1 balance. 

These fats are also very clean. No antibiotics, no buildup of toxic chemicals from being fed a completely unnatural diet of grains sprayed with pesticides, fungicides and chemical fertilizers to say nothing of possible GMO carry over issues. 

Clean fats are what Paleolithic hunters risk their lives for chasing down large animals that could and did kill the hunters. Why? To get these highly nutritious fats which made up more than half Paleo man's daily calories. 

Clean Protein on a Budget

If you have a basement, get a freezer. They are relatively low in price at aprox $300 and cheap to operate at just $35 per year in electricity. Once full of quality protein you bought in bulk direct from the producer saving yourself real cash - freezers more than pay for themselves. In addition to filling it with wild caught seafood and pastured poultry - top it off with clean read meat.

By going in together with other families you can buy a half or whole animal can really cut costs. If you hunt game bag some or befriend a hunter. When it comes to processing wild game like venison or elk, ask the butcher for lots of ground meat, ie hamburger but request that the heart, liver and lots of back fat be added. This will serve as really good nutrition hidden away in easy to use "wild hamburger".

Buy food directly from the farmer and you will save money too while improving the farmer's bottom line as well. Only Food Inc loses in this glorious new post industrial food economy where consumers shake the hand that feeds them. 

Preparation

Cook good meat slow, wet and at low heat. Keep it rare and rarely flame BBQ it, never expose it to flames, a source AGEs which are linked to increased cancer risks.

Crock pots are king, think pot roast with lots of veggies on low simmer all day smelling up the house all nice in the winter time.

 

 

How Much is Enough?

Here's an illuminating little formula.... take your weight, divide by 2 to get your daily protein need in grams. So if you are 160, 80 grams is your need. Now if half that is clean animal protein - wild caught fish, pastured poultry, grass fed red meats, etc - the other half can / should come from vegetable protein like lentils, beans and nuts.

That's a well rounded healthy mix of protein sources and it means you not are eating much red meat plus it insures that what red meat you do eat is sustainable and very environmentally friendly. 

Stampede

Early settlers described the wide open plains of the USA and the vast herds of buffalo they encountered followed closely by the Native Americans who relied on them for food not to mention clothing and shelter. Wagon trains often took 3-4 days to pass through a herd, that's how large they were.

These bison and the people who hunted them were super healthy and the environment greatly benefited as well. The grass was intensely grazed, fertilized and then left to regrow for the next herd coming along. 

Illness, antibiotics, toxin laden grains and the methane they produce in a cow's gut, the massive feedlots and sewage lagoons - all the trappings of today's unhealthy meat production were notably absent.

The bison enjoyed sunshine, fresh air, low stress and all the tall grass they could eat. It worked, a meat based ecosystem that sustainably supported our Native American brothers for centuries. And that's true for all grazing animals - grass fed is best. 

CAFO - No Good for You or the Planet

Feedlot cattle, factory hogs and cheap chicken - it's an ugly picture that we won't get into here. Traditional grass fed cattle and pastured animals - that's actually good for our soil, water and air.

Being Healthy, Kind and Eco is Easy

We can be kind to the animals we raise to eat. Visit a small local farm and you'll see happy animals living out their lives in humane conditions just as nature intended. 

Isn't it nice when all the arrows point the same direction. You get to eat better and feel good about your choices too.