I have many people ask me about reading poultry labels, and a blog post about it has been on my to-do list for months. Thankfully, Marks Daily Apple recently posted this, and I can just pass the info along to you guys! Just click on the link above and be informed! Educate your children as soon as they’re old enough to shop.
Additional notes from Organic Eater: “no water added” is sometimes on labels and that was not covered in the link above. You DO want to buy “no water added” chicken so that you are paying for the weight of the MEAT and not the weight of the water inside the meat. Processing chicken can involve a water solution in the meat before freezing it, so when you pay by the pound, you are paying for the weight of the water that was added. I do not know if that water is necessarily toxic, but I surely wouldn’t want to pay for water in the meat. This is helpful when comparing prices, because you may not be paying much more per MEAT pound when you compare the two. Just something to be aware of.
If pastured meats are absolutely not in your budget, or your only option is grocery store meats (CAFO, factory meats), eat the leanest and lightest (no dark meats) cuts you can find, ie chicken breasts. The toxins in CAFO factory meats can end up in the fat of the animal, so eating leaner cuts may be a way of cutting down on toxins. And consider that pork and chicken are NEVER allowed (per USDA standards) hormones the way beef is allowed hormones, so that fact may be helpful in determining the best of the worst choices. IF your budget has room for all pastured meats, then by all means, eat that yummy fat and dark meat! Does that make you squeemish because you’ve heard for years that saturated fat is unhealthy? See this page with a link to how healthy saturated fats really are or see this post from the Wellness Mama, with expert Chris Masterjohn. Lastly, if eating out, your best option is probably going to be a vegetable plate since finding pastured meats in restaurants is rare. Although, then there’s that whole issue of rancid processed oils that the vegetables are cooked in, and that’s no good either, so maybe it’s a toss up….
Here is the page for Beef Labeling Resources
Encouraging Health, …and smart shopping
Dana, Organic Eater