There has been a deception of words and actions behind the words manufacturers and companies use to label many of their products, such as grass-fed, organic, and free-range. You probably see these words on many different products, including meat, eggs, dairy products, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
Keep in mind that we are what we eat. The following is a breakdown of these healthy words that make you confident as you shop for whatever type of eating pattern you believe.
Are you truly getting what the label says, such as organic, natural, free-range, grass-fed, grass-finished?
What are the falsehoods behind these healthy words?
One example is meat. A dye is put into many types of beef because consumers would not buy beef if it were gray which is the natural color of meat. Meat is not naturally red. The myth is, the pinker the meat, the better, the healthier the meat. Placing gray beef on the shelf without the red dye would not sell to consumers. Consumers are used to seeing this red or pink color in beef.
If this dye is missing, the product looks strange and disagreeable. Some butchers who want to sell more healthy meats put just enough dye in their meats to make the beef attractive to you. It is nothing new for food producers to hide product ingredients with a blanket of misleading words.
Free-range eggs are another incredibly misleading word tacked to egg product labels. It is helpful to know what free-range really means and how those egg products ended up on the store shelf.
Most consumers are not aware that chicken farmers keep poultry indoors until the end of February. Thus, you are really not buying free-range eggs or free-range chicken because the farmers keep their chicken stock within the confines of a crowded barn, pen, or hen house. Chickens are not free-range because it would be difficult for them to find food on their own and especially in the winter months.
Eggs branded free-range are not really what the label depicts. Eggs labeled organic were found to be only 2 percent genuinely organic.
It is common to find packages of beef that claim the cattle was Grass-Fed. You may think that this is the only thing the cattle ate during their lifetime. The animal is actually sent to the butchery where they remain for several days before slaughtering happens. During this time, the animal is fed grains to help fatten them. These grains are found to cause health problems in humans and their pets. Researchers find that grains increase risks for autoimmune diseases and other illnesses in humans and their pets. Grass-Fed cattle does not mean that the cattle were raised free to roam in pastures.
Producers are not required to provide a full Grass-Fed diet to their cattle as stated on many labels. Grass-Fed on labels can mean that the animal started out on a grass diet but later was fed supplemental grain feed and finished out their life on this grain-based diet.
Meat labels that say Grass-Finished Beef means that the cattle’s diet consisted of foliage and grass for the duration of their lives. Keep in mind that the words Grass-Finished can also say on the label Grass-Fed and beef labels. The words Grass-Fed on labels cannot say Grass-Finished. Cattle fed a total and true grass diet all their life means that the cattle was:
- Truly Grass-Fed cattle,
- Are 100 percent pasture-raised, free to roam cattle
- No feedlots
- Grazing spaces are football-sized and not confined and over-stuffed cattle pens where hormones and antibiotics routinely are given.
There are significant health benefits to buying beef that labels 100 percent Grass-Fed, Grass-Finished, Organic, and Free-Range beef. The benefits are as follows.
- 20 percent lower calories
- Higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids
- Higher is Conjugated Linoleic Acid, an essential cancer fighter, and halts excess body fat.
- Higher levels of vitamins A and E
Understanding the Meaning of Organic
Q. Do you buy organic because your understanding is that organic is the healthiest food option?
Q. Is your goal to eat healthier foods by buying products labeled organic, such as meats, fresh produce, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and leaner cuts of meat?
Consider the Benefits of Paying a Bit More Money for Organic Food Products
Researchers claim that food products from meats to fruit labeled organic is truly safer. Organic foods prove more nutritious because no pesticides and additives are added in the fields. They never harm the environment. Organic meats mean no antibiotics or steroids were administered to the animals. More consumers are slowly finding that organic means better health benefits.
Because of increased health benefits in organic food products, producers see a gradual and continual increase in more farmers jumping on the organic production bandwagon.
However, nutritional experts say that there is not enough evidence to tell consumers that buying organic is healthier, so it seems as though a bit of common sense is necessary. In that case, the following issues used in traditional growers and animal producers are as follows.
- Animals like chickens and beef are raised in crammed pens and barns on traditional farms.
- Producers traditionally use hormones on animals to make them grow fatter and more massive.
- Pesticides are used on crops.
Q. Have you ever noticed all of the articles on the health of America and the obesity problems?
Q. Have you ever noticed the size of our children? Children are growing much taller and fatter and have health issues at younger ages.
Q. Are steroids given to the animal industry to blame for the obesity epidemic across America? This is serious enough to consider when buying meat products.
Producers use antibiotics on animals set for consumer use. These antibiotics hinder the use of necessary antibiotic use in humans.
Pesticides used on crops can transfer to humans causing hidden health issues.
Organic farmers claiming no pesticides used on their crops may have fields next to farmers who do use pesticides on their crops. If the organic farmer’s land sits near a traditional farm using pesticides, it undoubtedly cross-contaminates the organic field. Food products such as fruits sold out of season are not healthy to eat. Lectins develop within the fruit and are unhealthy for you. That fruit does not know that it is ripe and ready to eat. You can tell the difference when you bite into fruit in season and the same fruit out of season.
In Conclusion, We Are What We Eat
Q. Are you healthy, or are you plagued by illnesses and disease processes?
A. Lectins are harmful to humans and are found in our meats, dairy, and produce. Our meat industry feeds toxic substances to animals such as hormones, antibiotics, and lectins to get animals fatter before slaughter. Produce farmers want to grow crops fast and grow plants bigger. Farmers use pesticides on their crops. Humans undoubtedly ingest these substances in food sources.
- Buying Grass-Fed and Grass-Finished meats are healthier.
- Buying organic fruits and produce in season assures you that you are not ingesting any pesticides.
- Wild game or fish labels wild-caught assures you are feeding your body the most healthy food options.
Read up on organics beyond what is said here and assess reputable websites.
Be aware of the deception of words and actions hidden behind the words on food labels and know what products you buy.
About the Author
Alex is a former member of the military who firmly believes in a more sustainable world and leads a lifestyle similar to that of the few native tribes that still remain in the world. He is a strong supporter of physical activity, wild game eating, and foraged food as habits to lead a healthier life. He likes to share his knowledge with the world through his website outdoorsbeing.com.