What are we defining as meat quality?
There are a lot of cuts of meat. But when it comes to quality, it’s important to look at the taste and how it’s actually impacting your body.
What’s actually in your meat?
THIS is the major focus of today’s post because it’s something I don’t think gets talked about enough. We don’t often consider the life meat had before it lands on our plate which means we don’t often think about the things we’re eating without our knowledge. One of the things Cody shares in today’s episode is how often animals are loaded up on GMO grains. And for many who add pasture-raised as a label, they aren’t given access to fresh pasture in a way that encourages them to eat it. So they have a nice title but without the follow-through.
How do I know I’m getting the best quality?
The biggest thing is knowing the farm your meat is coming from. Farmers’ markets are a great option for getting to know your local farmer. Personally, we buy a majority of our meat from Grass Roots Coop and have for a while now. It’s why I partnered with them today to bring more education to the WSS community.
When we buy meat from our traditional grocery stores, we have very limited access to how it was processed. Being able to track meat to a farmer means we have first-hand knowledge of exactly what we’re potentially exposing ourselves to. And if you’re like myself and so many others I know who have come to find the hormonal health or other health issues arise, changing your diet to complement your health goals can make a major difference.
Better quality meat means getting higher nutrients which can impact your overall health on numerous levels. Pasture-raised, forested and grass-fed & finished beef have higher healthy omegas that are needed for brain health. They are also less like to be packed with inflammatory ingredients which can wreak havoc on our gut health (1).
How do I shop for better quality on a budget?
I get it. It’s a conversation I have with friends and family all the time. I don’t think any of us walk around thinking: yes, I would LOVE to not take care of my body. But how do I do it in an affordable way? So here are my suggestions if you’re ready to make major changes but need to do it with a budget in mind:
– find a local farmer: yes, this takes some digging. However, it’s probably the most cost effective way to do it if you aren’t in a financial position to buy in bulk.
– rotate in solid plant based proteins and make meat more of an investment item
– buy-in with a friend. If you’re looking to buy online and opt for the convenience, consider split a subscription or order with a friend to maximize on savings.
Why does it matter? How is bad meat impacting my health?
In prep for today’s blog post, I went back through some of the books that have educated me over the years as I’ve dived into healing my own body. *See the list at the bottom of the post if you want to dive in as well* The traditional American diet is packed with loads of inflammatory foods. It’s what makes them something we crave more and more of. Kelly Leveque, Max Lugavere and so many other thought leaders in the wellness space have educated on the fact that our food is designed to make us crave more. Whether it’s the sugar hidden in our meals or the higher carb concentration we’ve grown to reach for, we become addicted to the blood sugar spikes and carb cravings.
But it’s also what’s slowly killing us. Think of it like a small virus. You are exposed in a small amount to things that maybe aren’t perfect or best for your body but it’s fine. You have one bite or one small meal. And then that goes into years of it. We’re no longer recovering from one moment of less than stellar quality. We’re exposing ourselves daily.
When our bodies go from the oops I have a cut and it’s inflamed kind of inflammation to holy crap my entire body is inflamed, the issues kick in. Everything from heart disease to cancer to loads of autoimmune diseases have been linked to inflammation (1).
Meat is one of the places we often forget to clean up in our diets because we think: oh I’ll just change the sauce. Or oh I’ll just bake that instead of frying it. But we’re still not removing our exposure to the inflammatory things our meat has eaten before it gets to our plates. Additionally, there are certain nutrients that our bodies don’t produce naturally. Omega 3 & 6 fats are essential for brain health but something we primarily get through food (2). Upping our quality of meat means that we are taking a stance at protecting our minds & bodies long term. We are choosing to invest in ourselves.