Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Healthy Change #8: Natural vs. Organic Meat

A couple of days earlier I touched on the difference between "Organic" and "Natural".  I also mentioned that I purchase a combination of both.  Meat is one of those items that I tend to purchase "Natural."  For one, I haven't come across true "Organic" meat in my shopping expeditions.  Second, the dangers of meat that I most want to avoid seem to be addressed in some of the "Natural" brands.

I'm attaching a link to an article entitled, "Why Eat Organic Meat?"  When I purchase meat, I want to avoid antibiotics, added growth hormones and artificial ingredients as well as I want my meat to have had a vegetarian diet and be minimally processed.  If I am purchasing a pork product, then I also look for products that do not contain nitrates.  From what I can tell in this article, by not purchasing certified organic, I assume a greater risk of getting meat with BSE or mad-cow disease.  I also am buying meat that is processed with a lot less regulation. So, there are trade-offs.

I thought I'd give you a couple of brands that I stick to.  If you have a few or know of an issue with the brands I mention, please leave a comment.

I like to keep ground beef on hand in the freezer for soups, sauces, casseroles, and of course, hamburgers.  I purchase Laura's Lean Beef as well as Harris Teeter's Natural brand. Neither are certified organic.  I usually end up paying around $4.99/lb.  Occasionally, I can find it on sale for $3.99.

I've switched to Hormel Natural Choice for sandwich meat and bacon.  I can find the sandwich meat pretty much everywhere.  I purchase the bacon at Super Target which has the best price at $3.49 versus $5.25 at Harris Teeter.  We swear we can taste the difference in the bacon!

John Morrell's Bistro Naturals is a really good brand of hot dogs.  The hot dogs are also gluten free and contain no MSG.  The cost $4.25 at Harris Teeter.  I used to be able to purchase Bistro Naturals link sausage, but Harris Teeter (the only store I've found to carry the sausage) discontinued it due to lack of sales.  Now, the only place I can find a natural sausage link is Trader Joe's.

I'd like to state that I'm not compensated by any of these brands.  I mention them simply because I've done the research, used the product and my family likes the taste.  But....if a company ever wants to send me their product to review...I'll definitely do that.  Just be prepared for an honest one!

There's just one more day to enter my give-away so be sure to take a minute and do so!

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