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5 Food Labels Meat Eaters Need To Understand

November 26, 2015 3 min read

If you are a health conscious, environmentally concerned individual, the grocery store can be a confusing place. You've got your produce all sorted out but if you've ever found yourself standing in the meat aisle, reading the labels and scratching your head, you're not alone. What does free-range mean? Organic? It is time to add some clarity to this conversation! “I think there’s more confusion because of the explosion of manufacturer-created logos and marketing terms that don’t have true regulatory oversight,” says Ashley Koff, RD, who runs the Better Nutrition Simplified Program. “People are confused what to look for.” So, here are the deets on your meat labels and a fancy infographic for quick reference. You're welcome! INPOST 1. Natural: Natural meat contains no artificial ingredients or added color. It is also minimally processed. All fresh meats are considered natural. 2. Organic: Organic meat and poultry should be at the top of your shopping list. The animals are raised free of hormones and antibiotics and must be fed only organically grown food. The animals are also required to have access to the outdoors. “’Organic’ is a great certification, and it’s great for the environment,” says Dawn Undurraga, RD, a nutritionist for the Environmental Working Group. But while organic is great, organic AND another label, like grass-fed, is even better. 3. Grass-Fed: Grass-fed animals eat natural grasses and foods they can forage and not grain, soy, or corn. The USDA regulations state that the animal must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season but that doesn't mean they are spending their entire lives out in the field. “People think, ‘Oh, they’re out in the pasture eating grass, roaming around,’” says Undurraga. That isn't necessarily the case and they may spend a significant amount of time indoors. The best way to know for sure is to shop as local as you can. Doing so allows you to ask questions and even visit the farm. meat-labels-1125-well-and-good-h724 [bctt tweet="5 Food Labels Meat Eaters Need To Understand"] 4. Hormone-Free: The USDA does not allow hormones to be used in the raising of chicken, turkeys, or hogs so don't get too excited if you see a 'hormone-free' label on these products. When it comes to cattle and sheep, some farmers do you use hormones. So when it comes to these products, looking for these labels is a good call. But keep this in mind, there is no specific certification for this label so you are basically taking them at their word. 5. Raised without antibiotics: Antibiotics are given to animals to make them grow larger. There is concern that the reside from these antibiotics is entering humans.  “The antibiotic claims are very confusing,” says Undurraga. “Producers can develop their own standard for what they consider to be raised without antibiotics, and within the industry there are even arguments about whether certain types of medicines are considered antibiotics.” So, here's what you need to know, you should never see a label that says, “antibiotic-free” (along with “no antibiotic residues,” “drug free,” “chemical free,” and “no antibiotic growth promotants”)  because the USDA has banned these claims. While it does allow "raised without antibiotics," there is no standard for what that means. What is a carnivore to do? Well, as mentioned before, going local is a good option since you can really investigate what is going on. Beyond that, look for the USDA logo. It may not give you everything you are looking for but at least you know the meat has met government standards. Does this clear things up for your or are you still confused enough to consider going vegetarian? Source: Glamour [caption id="attachment_120846" align="alignleft" width="100"]@BodyRockTV @BodyRockTV[/caption] [caption id="attachment_120845" align="alignleft" width="100"]@BodyRockOfficial @BodyRockOfficial[/caption]

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