Grade Your Meat This Way

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Is your meat prime? Depends on how you define it. Here's how you should be grading your meat -

A – Certified Organic

Grass fed or wild. Animals that have eaten their natural diet and not penned in overcrowded filthy pens. In addition, this certification means that these animals have not been fed unnatural grain diets, or fed grain that is not certified organic, or given growth hormones or antibiotics.

B – Locally Raised

Farm raised, but not certified organic means that they are raised in a clean healthy environment, but the farmer may have opted to feed them grain that is not certified. Uncertified grain usually comes from GMO crops. Many farmers opt for commercial grain simply because organic grain is so much more expensive.

C - Commercial All Natural -

This means really not much more than they have not been given growth hormones. These animals are raised in pens. The meat is usually injected with water to make it look fuller and keep it juicier. At least the all natural label limits what they can put into the meat a little. The brand I have been buying used to say no hormones or antibiotics, but it doesn't say that anymore. I went to the Gerber Poultry website to check it out, and I still feel comfortable with this brand. I also buy the Jewel brand all natural sometimes when it is on sale.

I will say that there is a big flavor difference between the all natural and the regular store brands. The better flavor and cutting our risk of disease is worth paying a little more in my book.

D- Regular Commercial -

Regular commercial meats have been fed the least expensive diet possible, and given antibiotics to ward off the spread of disease in the filthy overcrowded pens. The meat is injected with water, flavor enhancers, color, and lord knows what else.

F - Commercially prepared meats -

Have you ever busted open a tube of cheap ground beef and seen that weird red color it is? Sorry, but I won't knowingly eat that!

Commercially prepared products use the least expensive meat available. Then it it loaded with fats, sugar, sodium, flavor enhancers, dyes, and preservatives to make it taste like the real thing yet last on the shelf for a long time.

How do you make the best choices for your family when you're on a tight budget?

The grocery store by my house grounds the beef on site, so I feel a little better when I buy 90 or 95% lean ground beef there. Its not the best, but I can't afford grass fed organic ground beef.

Chicken, at a minimum I buy the all natural. I do not touch the big 2 brands, and I don't buy the store budget chicken.

I'm sorry to say that I am not much of a fish eater. When I do make fish, I opt for wild over farmed raised. I still use Chicken of the Sea Tuna for tuna salad. If I ate this more often I think I would want to opt for something better, but I don't eat it very often.

I would like to buy locally raised. When my budget improves, and I can afford to buy a freezer, I will look into this.

You do the best you can. At least you can make informed choices.

Your body does need some animal protein. Animal meat contains many nutrients that you just can't get any other way. However, the huge steaks and hamburgers are not good for you. Its kind of like alcohol. A little is good – more than that is bad.

Remember that a serving of meat should only be about 6 oz. The rest of your meal should be made up of plant foods that will help your body fight off the bad effects.

The most important thing you can do for your body is to make sure you are getting your 5-9 servings of vegetables and fruits a day. Then you don't have to worry as much about the rest of what you eat.

Also read - Is the color of your meat safe to eat?