free range, range fed, grass fed, organic?

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Do I need to eat like this in order to be successful? If so, how do I find the best prices. I have a family of 6, am I going to go broke with this diet?

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  • questionablemethods
    questionablemethods Posts: 2,174 Member
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    Well, I think there are definitely reasons to strive for those types of foods (health, environmental, and ethical reasons). However, I wouldn't necessarily throw the baby out with the bathwater if you can't afford to buy everything organic/pastured/grass-fed, etc. To paraphrase Robb Wolf, "Not being able to buy those foods all the time doesn't mean that you should give up and just eat bagels."

    I would think about areas where grass-fed/organic might be the most important and places where it is less critical. First, with meat, I think there are big reasons to strive for grass-fed beef, for example. The fat profile is far more beneficial than that of grain-fed beef and the animals have been treated far better. By far your best bet there would be to buy a half a cow or something like that through a local farm. For this you would need a chest freezer, but I think you can often find deals on those on Craigslist. If you can't do that, you can look to buying more manageable portions in bulk. I buy about 30lbs of meat from a local rancher at a time. The prices aren't as cheap as buying 1/2 a cow, but they aren't as expensive as buying it 1lb at a time in the grocery store. That all fits in my freezer (I don't have a chest freezer).

    If you do need to opt for grain-fed meat, the general recommendation I have heard is that you want to opt for lean cuts (since all the bad stuff gets stored in the fat and that is where the omega-6 fats are, which you want to try to minimize) or trim as much fat as you can. And then you'll want to supplement with fat some other way (like coconut oil).

    In terms of produce, farmer's markets are often a good deal. I try to be picky about certain foods and not so much with others. You should Google the "dirty dozen" of produce, which is a list of which types of veggies and fruit tend to have the most pesticides used on them. That way, you can decide if you want to opt for, say, organic strawberries, but not worry about getting organic broccoli or whatever.
  • _Amy_Budd
    _Amy_Budd Posts: 378 Member
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    All great advice from kaitlinnj! Same deal goes for chicken - if you're getting dark meat, like thighs or drumsticks, you'll want to look for free range, but if you don't have that available and can only get something like Perdue, then opt for white meat.
  • Grokette
    Grokette Posts: 3,330 Member
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    I agree with Kailinj..........

    Do the best you can.

    An addition to what Robb Wolf says..........if you do buy conventional meat, buy lean and add fat like butter, olive oil, coconut oil, bacon fat, etc............

    Just no Canola Oil or other vegetable oils.
  • Mighty125
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    thanks for the great advice! It really helps a lot. I need to organize myself before I go food shopping. Thanks everyone!:happy:
  • KavemanKarg
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    No, you do not need to buy these products to be successful.

    And nobody has actually ever shown one grass fed organic beef is better for us than grain fed organic beef.

    However, grass fed cows are generally healthier cows. I would, if possible, prefer to eat the healthier animal.

    Funny how the entire farming nation acknowledges if you want to fatten a cow, you put them on course, whole grain. But if you want to slim down a human, we put them on course, whole grain...
  • questionablemethods
    questionablemethods Posts: 2,174 Member
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    And nobody has actually ever shown one grass fed organic beef is better for us than grain fed organic beef.
    I'm not challenging you on this, I just wonder if it is because no study has ever been done to test this? Or have they done the studies and found no difference?
  • _Amy_Budd
    _Amy_Budd Posts: 378 Member
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    Funny how the entire farming nation acknowledges if you want to fatten a cow, you put them on course, whole grain. But if you want to slim down a human, we put them on course, whole grain...

    Right??? Hel-LO!! It's amazing - when you really think about conventional nutritional wisdom, much of it just goes against common sense. We've just been so brainwashed by that food pyramid!
  • yummummum
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    I really worry about the main stream meat at the grocery store. I watched Food Inc. and that pretty much clinched it for me.

    I am fortunate to work near a whole foods. I do not have any "extra" money. So I am still not able to buy everything grass fed and free range. But they have pretty good sales each week on various organic or pledged not to treat with antibiotics meat and chicken. I have found if I buy only what is on sale then it is actually pretty close to the same as the local grocery store chain.

    There are a lot of farms near us too that I would LOVE to get my meat from but money is tight (understatement) so I do the best I can. That said, I spend A LOT on food and I think it is totally worth it.

    You are what you eat!
  • monkeydharma
    monkeydharma Posts: 599 Member
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    And nobody has actually ever shown one grass fed organic beef is better for us than grain fed organic beef.
    Actually, while the primary difference between grass- and grain-fed animals is taste and healthiness of the animals, there IS a nutritional benefit: the fat of grain-fed animals is extremely high in omega 6 oils, and one of the prime focuses of eating primal/paleo is getting the omega3/omega6 ratio down from the modern 1:1000 to more like 1:100 (or ideally, 1:1). This is why we eat pasture butter - MUCH higher in omega3s than regular butter.

    Fortunately, this omega3/6 issue occurs in the fat but not the meat, so the basic rule is:

    if it's grass-fed, eat all the fat you want; if it's grain-fed, eat it as lean as possible, and cook it in an omega3-rich oil.

    I save the rendered fat from my grass-fed beef and pork (remember mom's old grease-drippings canister?) and then use it to saute vegetables. I seldom use butter any more (generally with eggs) and olive oil with salads and the occasional fry-up that wouldn't taste right with animal fat or coconut oil.
  • tjnahm
    tjnahm Posts: 73 Member
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    And nobody has actually ever shown one grass fed organic beef is better for us than grain fed organic beef.
    Actually, while the primary difference between grass- and grain-fed animals is taste and healthiness of the animals, there IS a nutritional benefit: the fat of grain-fed animals is extremely high in omega 6 oils, and one of the prime focuses of eating primal/paleo is getting the omega3/omega6 ratio down from the modern 1:1000 to more like 1:100 (or ideally, 1:1). This is why we eat pasture butter - MUCH higher in omega3s than regular butter.

    Fortunately, this omega3/6 issue occurs in the fat but not the meat, so the basic rule is:

    if it's grass-fed, eat all the fat you want; if it's grain-fed, eat it as lean as possible, and cook it in an omega3-rich oil.

    I save the rendered fat from my grass-fed beef and pork (remember mom's old grease-drippings canister?) and then use it to saute vegetables. I seldom use butter any more (generally with eggs) and olive oil with salads and the occasional fry-up that wouldn't taste right with animal fat or coconut oil.

    I agree with this completely.

    While we TRY to eat grass finished when we can, simple budgetary constraints do not allow us to be able to do it all that often. When we eat normal bacon, normal butter, normal beef, we supplement a bit heavier with Omega 3 Fish Oil pills. If I can't drop the amount of N6s, I will simply raise the amount of N3s in my system.

    :)
  • Grokette
    Grokette Posts: 3,330 Member
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    No, you do not need to buy these products to be successful.

    And nobody has actually ever shown one grass fed organic beef is better for us than grain fed organic beef.

    However, grass fed cows are generally healthier cows. I would, if possible, prefer to eat the healthier animal.

    Funny how the entire farming nation acknowledges if you want to fatten a cow, you put them on course, whole grain. But if you want to slim down a human, we put them on course, whole grain...

    I can say from my own experiences, the grain fed meat puts a HALT to my weight loss and brings back the achy muscles and joints so the grain fed process I do believe is transferred to us humans when we eat it.

    Also, grain fed animals are very susceptible to disease and illness so hence the reason they are pumped full of steroids, antibiotics and other hormones because they are not eating what nature intended for them. I have major hormonal issues if I eat meat that is grain fed.

    Plus the taste.................grass fed meat is so much better tasting to me.
  • Zeromilediet
    Zeromilediet Posts: 787 Member
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    And nobody has actually ever shown one grass fed organic beef is better for us than grain fed organic beef.
    Actually, while the primary difference between grass- and grain-fed animals is taste and healthiness of the animals, there IS a nutritional benefit: the fat of grain-fed animals is extremely high in omega 6 oils, and one of the prime focuses of eating primal/paleo is getting the omega3/omega6 ratio down from the modern 1:1000 to more like 1:100 (or ideally, 1:1). This is why we eat pasture butter - MUCH higher in omega3s than regular butter.

    Fortunately, this omega3/6 issue occurs in the fat but not the meat, so the basic rule is:

    if it's grass-fed, eat all the fat you want; if it's grain-fed, eat it as lean as possible, and cook it in an omega3-rich oil.

    I save the rendered fat from my grass-fed beef and pork (remember mom's old grease-drippings canister?) and then use it to saute vegetables. I seldom use butter any more (generally with eggs) and olive oil with salads and the occasional fry-up that wouldn't taste right with animal fat or coconut oil.


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