We all know that it is important to choose the quality of what we eat in order to look for maximizing our health.
Sometimes, in spite of wanting the best, we feel confused with so many labels that pasture-raised meat receives, freedom, eco, wild, suckling...
And most likely you are wondering how to get a healthy shopping cart and save money?
In this post I solve all your doubts to choose the best meat.
Is it better to be vegan to be healthy?
The answer that honors our human nature is very clear, NO. Our natural diet, the one that our human species has always followed, has never been vegan.
Those people who choose to be vegan or vegetarian do so out of personal convictionbut they are not optimizing their health.
One anecdote is that since Netflix released the documentary by The Game Changers in 2019 has only further increased doubts about sustainability of the planet with meat consumption.
The documentary aims to convince that the vegan diet is the best for sports performance and overall health. It uses implausible examples such as that of bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger who claimed to have switched to veganism but these seem implausible since the athlete has publicly shown his love for meat.
Without going into more detail about the unrealistic analysis in the film, you can go into more detail on this subject. here , the answer is not to eliminate meat but to look for quality meat..
Semi-free-range animals offer a more nutritionally dense meat, free of toxins, with more vitamins and minerals; and better omega6 / omega3 ratios.
By choosing quality we are betting on our health and that of the planet.
Meat is not an environmental problem
With the intention of to minimize meat production costs, we have transformed herds almost into an industrial process..
Animals locked in cages with minimal movement and cheap feed to fatten them up.
The objective is focused only on the economic variable: that the animals grow in the shortest possible time in order to kill them.
Any other interests such as animal welfare, the health of the people who will eat that meat or the environment are completely disregarded.
This type of meat production is very different from that of animals that grow in a limited freedom in the field, eat their usual diet and follow their natural life cycle.
Despite the bad reputation of cows as major polluters and partly responsible for environmental problems, they are part of an ecosystem that is perfectly balanced when it functions naturally.
Animals that move slow down desertification, oxygenate the soil, clean it of weeds and spread seeds with their feces that also serve as fertilizer... tasks that ruminants do normally.
Animals raised in this way do not need feed that has to be produced by humans.
The same is true for human food:
No man-made food is better than food obtained directly from nature.
Types of veal
It is the most common in our country. The characteristics of this type of breeding are:
- The animals are fed with cereals.
- Cows have an assigned space on the farm and no freedom of movement.
- Cattle may be given antibiotics and hormones to accelerate rapid growth.
The regenerative livestock farming is the one provided by grass-fed meat being the best option for our health.
- This meat is of the highest quality we can consume.
- The animals are practically free-ranging and grow up behaving like real animals. Moving, eating their original diet: grass, forage, hay.
- Cattle are not fattened with feed, antibiotics or hormones.
And although now it may seem the most normal thing in the world because it is the most common, free animals do not feed on animal feed.
Organic livestock farming
- In addition to consuming grass, forage and hay, they have consumed organic feed.
- Normally these cereals are given to animals in their last phase of breeding.
- When we consume this meat we also have the guarantee that the animals have not been injected with hormones or antibiotics.
Which meat is better: organic or pasture-raised?
|Animal in freedom||YES||Not mandatory|
|Original diet||YES||Organic grasses and forages/feeds|
|Forage/feed quality||There is no certification they are not supposed to be transgenic||Eco-certification|
|Hormones/antibiotics||There is no certification they are not supposed to be used on a piecework basis.||Certification of non-use of hormones and antibiotics|
Pasture-raised meat is initially better than organic meat. if the animals are fed with organic products and have not been systematically administered antibiotics.
Generally, organic and pasture are terms that generate a lot of doubts because both forms ensure animal welfare but in different ways.
Pastured beef animals have followed their original diet and have moved. This allows their fat to be richer in omega3. The organic meat has also taken cereals that are certified organic.
Both options are undoubtedly better than meat obtained from intensive livestock farming using questionable breeding methods.
Y the best option would be grassfed meat that is certified organic..
As we can see in this image extracted from the studyThe fact that animals are raised in the most natural way possible and with the minimum of human intervention results in the highest quality meat and ensures sustainability.
Raising animals in semi-freedom where there is a diversity of livestock and plants is the least human-intervened option and the best bet for the health of people and the planet.
Types of poultry meats
Factory farming is the most common form of animal husbandry although it is the worst option for the animal, for us and for the environment.
The natural growth cycle of a chicken or turkey takes approximately 140-150 days.
When the brood is caged, this fattening cycle is reduced to 41-70 days.
They eat grain, but must graze every day.
We know that the cereal with which they have been fed is organic.
With this certificate we have the certainty that:
- cereals, fodder, grain meals for animals is free of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides,
- animals have not been treated with preventive medicine as a matter of course
- its pastures are ecological,
- the slaughterhouse and cutting plant are also accredited as organic.
Which eggs to buy?
To decide which eggs to buy, it is best not to try to decipher the quality of the egg by the marketing of the packaging, but to look at the code that has been officially given to them. Following a criterion similar to that of meat, these numbers are presented as a series printed on the egg shell and certify the way the hens are raised. The codes are as follows:
|First issue||Type of hens||Recommended?|
|1||Free range hens||✅|
|2||Hens on the ground||❌|
The best option is code 1 and 0 eggs.
Types of pork meats
The animals are housed in farms with temporary or daily stabling.
The animals go out in the field for a certain period of time or are always outside.
This type of breeding is not common in Spain. According to what farmers have told us, it is not easy to obtain the right feed for pigs with this certificate.
The pig 100% acorn has been fattened during the last months during the mountaineering, acorn-fed.
The Iberian pork is the wildest breed and the one that needs the most movement.
The soft pork, duroc... can also be bred in semi-freedom even if they do not feed on acorns.
And it is normal to see crosses such as: 50% Iberian - 50% Duroc.
After all, they are meat too!
Or so it should be because in the market most options are pretty bad.
To choose a good sausage it is important to pay attention to:
The breeding method followed
To ensure quality meat, preferably from extensive livestock farming, where the animals have been in a natural environment, have moved and have been raised practically in freedom.
Although it is normal to see a fairly long list of ingredients, the sausage should be alone:
We want to avoid:
And the use of these ingredients has become so standardized that is common to see them even in the most reputable sausages. valued as 5 jacks, black labels and similar.
Tips for healthy and inexpensive shopping
We already know that the ideal is to buy grass and organic. This way we make sure we are putting our money in the best option.
But if you can't afford to make your entire shopping cart that way, you can save with these tips:
👉🏻Choose foods with references such as pastoral, freedom, eco, wild, suckling.
With these terms we know that these animals have not been raised in an intensive way and that animal welfare has been taken into account.
👉🏻Consume more economical parts.
They are usually cuts that arouse little interest, but they are super nutritious: liver, kidneys, heart, tongue, ear, marrow...
👉🏻Sacrifices leaner meat.
If you have to choose and dedicate the budget to pastured meat only to a part of your shopping basket, prioritize pork, beef... which are fattier carners and this is where part of the toxins we want to avoid accumulate.
Meats such as turkey or chicken naturally contain less fat, so even though they are not raised in the ideal way, they accumulate less toxins derived from not having lived in semi-freedom.
👉🏻Less quantity, but more quality.
If the basket of pastured and eco products you can't afford every week, there are options beyond meat:
👉🏻Eat real food.
When you stop eating processed food you also save a portion that you can use to improve the quality of the meat you buy.
If you still find it hard to tell the difference between real food and everything else, I advise you to learn with my ebook.
Where to buy:
It is no news that those involved in agriculture and livestock farming lose their profits to the pressure of intermediaries.
We all need to have a decent job and at the same time we all need to have a decent job. we are interested in making food production a profitable profession.
One way to support farmers who ensure animal welfare and therefore provide us with quality meat is to support them in their efforts to improve the quality of their products.outright purchases from producers.
This is the list of the ones we have personally tested, and we hope to expand the list to give more options:
His animals live on the Hazas farm, located in the Pedroche Valley. The animals are raised entirely on an extensive basis. depending on the season you can buy: top quality acorn-fed Iberian pork, 100% recommended.
We have eaten this past January, in the middle of the slaughtering season and we found it delicious.
The cuts we enjoyed the most were secreto, pluma, their 100% hamburgers, meat with salt and piminta and nothing else... I just can't choose only one product. It was a real delight. Didac told me with each dish "Anabel, this is very good" putting a lot of emphasis on the very good.
- The order arrives refrigerated.
- In vacuum-packed packages.
- The label specifies the cut and date of packaging and the best-before date.
- Only natural ingredients are used
If you try it I am sure you will remember me. If you stop by my instagram stories you will be able to see if we have put together a set at a special price for my followers.
Family business based in La Pobla de Segur, Catalonia.
They are the fourth generation of a family of cattle breeders and they continue to produce sausages following traditional recipes, in addition to raising calves and cows in an environmentally friendly way.
This is key to obtain a quality product.
Their cows live practically in freedom. In summer they graze in the mountains at an altitude of 1,600m, and from their instagram you can see how they lower the cattle to flee from the snow, in the direction of the workshop they have in La Pobla de Segur.
When you receive the order at home cold you will see that they have taken care of the packaging in detail. Everything we have tasted has been exquisite, there is no doubt that they control the whole process with great care. From the breeding, to the feeding and the treatment of the final product.
The prices are very competitive and you do not pay shipping and handling on orders over 80€.. It is good that the store also offers other products in addition to vealThis makes it easier to reach that amount.