There are a lot of topics that I’m pretty clueless about. If you were to ask me about the latest fashion trends, house music, or what my astrological sign meant, you may as well be speaking a foreign language to me. However, there are a few things that I’d like to consider myself pretty good at. I can build wooden objects, change the muffler bearings on your car, lift heavy objects, and cook a damn good steak.
When you go to the grocery store, I’m hoping that most of you read the labels. That being said, there are a lot of tricky marketing terms that are used by “Health Food” stores to mislead consumers. I’ve got a problem with that. This is probably going to be a much longer post from me than most of you are used to. I’m typically a man of few words, but this topic gets the creative juices flowing.
Below is a list of common terms that are used to describe and market meats. There is a huge difference between grassfed beef and grain fed beef. There’s a pretty lengthy explanation, but the simple fact is make sure you know what you’re eating, eats. Grains, soy, and artificial ingredients are bad for us and bad for the animals you eat.
Where do I shop for meat? Sprouts. They have the best quality, wild caught and grass fed meat selection out there. I shop at Trader Joe’s pretty regularly too, for veggies and convenience, so I don’t want to say too many bad things about them but…. They are probably the worst offender when it comes to falsely advertising their meat quality.
Read the labels and educate yourself on what you are actually eating. As you dial your diet in, the small things begin to matter even more. There are a lot of new crossfitters at CF818 and if you’re a paleo challenge veteran you can always learn more too. Come to the Paleo Meetings the first Monday every month at 7:45 P.M. As usual, when in doubt always follow the advice of the manliest man I know. Ron Swanson. Insert funny link.
Grain-fed -- The animal was fed grain at some point, probably in the last few months of life. This could be in a large CAFO or on a small family farm. If an animal has EVER consumed corn, soy, brewers grain, or other grain-based feeds, the meat can't be labeled grassfed.
Grassfed -- A USDA term that means the ruminant animal (beef, sheep, bison, or goat) has been fed nothing but grass from weaning to harvest. The term doesn't guarantee, however, that the animal wasn't given antibiotics or hormones at some point, and it also doesn't necessarily mean the animal was raised without some confinement. Meat labeled grassfed may be imported from other countries. This term has legal standing, and to use it as a marketing claim or on a label, the producer has to be sure the animals were raised in accordance with the rule. One note: Poultry and pork are omnivores and typically require more than grass feeding to be healthy. At this point, there isn't any accepted uniform terminology for poultry and pork raised on pasture. However, Animal Welfare Approved offers certification to small family farms who meet their standards for humane production practices, including pasture.
AGA-Certified Grassfed -- A term that takes the USDA standards to a higher level. AGA certification is a third party audit system with strict standards to insure the animal has eaten nothing but grass from weaning to harvest, has not been confined, and has never been given antibiotics or hormones. AGA-certified grassfed also means that the meat is produced in the United States from beef cattle and other ruminants born and raised in this country.
Grass Finished -- This term has no legal meaning and is a self-made marketing claim. If an animal is grassfed, it is, by definition, grass finished, so there's no need to claim "grassfed and grass finished." The term by itself on a label can mean anything, so it's up to the consumer to ask questions of the producer or seller. The worst case scenario is the cow is fed grain it’s whole life, and then has a couple days of grass before its slaughtered.
Pasture Finished—means a producer can feed his animals a “grain-based diet” as long as animals have access to pasture. The problem is that merely opening a gate from the feedlot into an adjacent “small” pasture qualifies as Pasture Finished. Unfortunately, cattle are similar to humans and prefer sweet foods like grain and corn to grass. They will, therefore, spend the majority of their time at the feed trough and a minority of time eating grass…if there is grass to eat.
Natural -- This USDA term applies to the finished product and means that it contains no artificial ingredients or added color and is only minimally processed. Minimal processing means that the product was processed in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the product. The label must include a statement explaining the meaning of the term natural (such as "no artificial ingredients; minimally processed"). The term has nothing to do with how the animal was raised or fed.
AMRAP 4 minutes:
200m Plate Carry Run (45/25)
Max Rep Thrusters (115/75)
Rest 1 minute between rounds
Posted by Tyler.