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Conventional meats

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  • Conventional meats

    So I am very, very new to primal living.

    What I am not doing is eating organic meats. And I do not see myself eating organic meats exclusively at any point, unless I win the lottery.

    So how bad I am doing eating regular ground beef, regular chicken, regular bacon (even hickory smoked sometimes), regular produce, etc?

  • #2
    Getting off the grains, vegetable oils, and processed foods is the single greatest improvement you could make to your diet -- the rest is gravy.

    The biggest issue with conventional livestock is the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. If that's something you worry about you can choose leaner cuts and supplement with fish oil. Otherwise, carry on knowing that you're at least 90% of the way there.


    • #3
      I'm in the same boat as you. I'm rarely able to eat organic meats - but sometimes. I do manage to get some organic produce (not all of it is organic) and some free range eggs occasionally. I have to keep my WOE within my budget so I do my best. I don't want to let budget woes stop me from eating according to PB, so I do my best. I figure eating conventional meat is (probably) much better for me than eating organic grains any day.


      • #4
        This is something I am really struggling with... I want to buy grass-fed and organic, but I simply don't have the budget for it. I want this not only for my health, but to support it...I feel really pissed about buying conventional and supporting bad farming. I try to buy some stuff organic, but simply can't afford it all... so I do the best I can. Ugh.


        • #5
          For produce, at least, you can keep a list of the Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen. That way you can buy those things organic that are most likely to be contaminated and save your money on the "clean fifteen" that seem to be okay conventionally grown. Here's a link:

          Not to be a party-pooper (I was not always able to afford organic--in fact, I was not always able to afford food), but for those of us who are financially able, it isn't just about what is safe for us to eat, it is about the workers in the fields/orchards and about the run-off, too. That said, for those who can't afford it, this is a great way to parse out your limited income.

          I would also suggest you try and buy organic dairy if you are eating dairy.

          But, as a previous poster said, you have made the first step and that is a BIG one. Anything you can do to improve your diet over the Standard American Diet is going to help you in the long run.

          Good luck!

          Everything I eat has been proved by some doctor or other to be a deadly poison, and everything I don't eat has been proved to be indispensable for life. But I go marching on. ~George Bernard Shaw

          Starting Weight (1/3/2011): 189
          Current Weight: 173

          Goal: To be in the best shape ever by age 50! (5/11/2012)


          • #6
            so I do the best I can. Ugh.
            Don't sweat it too much. Maybe buying conventional but local (where you can see how the animals were raised) would be a good compromise...


            • #7
              I feel so lucky to live in the city. I have access (by traveling) to 100% grassfed beef, lamb, bison, and pasture chicken/turkey and eggs. I just have to hop on the train and get them. They are more expensive, but it is worth it. I trimmed some unimportant stuff from my budget to be able afford them. What is more important? Buying books/games/unnecessary items (like paying $5 for dry swiffer sweeper cloths) or eating grassfed/organic meats? That was the decision I had to make.

              I can understand how many can not afford 100% grassfed meats and organic produce/fruits. I can't myself. There are days when I do not eat grassfed/organic meats, but my supermarkets sells grainfed beef/chicken but with no added hormones or antibiotics. I just take extra fish oil. Sometimes I buy CAFO pork, and just trimmed off the fat or get the very lean cuts and add pasture butter/ghee or whatever.

              Either way, one will do 100% better than most people. Which one is eating better? One who chowing down fast food junk or the one who is eating beef (even though it has hormones/antibiotics *this is debatable) with a Big Ass Salad dressed in Extra Virgin Olive Oil? One is at least eating WHOLE FOODS while the other is eating pure junk. That is what matters.

              Just eliminating sugar/grains/processed foods is putting you on the right track. On the other hand, one needs to try their hardest to get 100% grassfed/organic meats, pasture eggs, and organic produce (at least the ones the matters) and fruits. No doubt, they are FAR MORE better than CAFO meats and conventional vegetables/fruits. But do what you can, and just know that you are eating 100% better than the one who is going to McDonald for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

              As far as toxins are concern, according to this extensive souse, very little (if not at all) residues of hormones and antibiotics are present in CAFO meats:


              So if you are convinced, then it is safe and good (not optimum) to rely on lean/fatty CAFO meats and just take fish oil to supplement the imbalance omega 6:3 ratios (beef, lamb, goat, and bison have very little omega 6 to begin with, so don't worry about those). But if you can afford the better meats, then buy them (nutritional/environment wise, they are much better--->
              Last edited by Zed; 02-19-2011, 04:56 PM.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Soil To Sustenance View Post
                Don't sweat it too much. Maybe buying conventional but local (where you can see how the animals were raised) would be a good compromise...
                I do try to buy local whenever possible! In fact, one of our grocery stores just got in a new local source of beef! Also, I always buy organic cream for my coffee and if I eat cheese it's organic and from raw milk. I have also started buying organic eggs. There are somethings I just won't buy conventional... it's the meat I am having trouble with. So, I take my fishoil and try to buy the best meat I can.

                I hope that anyone who can afford it is supporting the farmers who pasture their cattle.


                • #9
                  Heatherok you'll be fine using conventional. As mentioned local is a good option too not always the best priced though. Local where I am usually equals greater expense.


                  • #10
                    This thread has been reassuring for me as well.

                    I've been trying to eat primal(ish) for about 2 weeks now - and sourcing my food would be a challenge. I've just picking up whatever the local grocery store has that counts as "real" food and doesn't cost an arm and leg.


                    • #11
                      Start simple and easy. Do you live near a Costco? I get organic eggs and organic ground beef there, and it's maybe only 25% more expensive than their conventional counterparts. (Organic chicken is a different story, though.)

                      I started this way, and it has worked well. I was also able to locate a nearby butcher shop. It's a little more expensive, but not too much.

                      Start small - baby steps! Also, like someone mentioned above, cutting out the the grains and legumes (and I would add, PUFAs and processed fats from boxed food) is the most crucial step.

                      One more tip: Trader Joe's has an excellent uncured bacon that runs $3.99 for 3/4's of a pound. And the kicker? It tastes far better than the fancy uncured stuff I bought at Whole Foods.

                      Best of luck!


                      • #12
                        I can get 3 pounds of hickory smoked bacon for $6 on sale at my nearby grocery. It makes paying $4 for less than a full pound distasteful.


                        • #13
                          Many small farms/local places do not have official organic certification but grow organically anyway. My local dairy farm sells pastured eggs and grass-fed meat for cheaper than the organic stuff at Whole Foods. The only catch is they may sell meat in bulk, so you pay a bit more up front. Look around for local farmers you can trust.
                          "One can only be a perfect physician for oneself alone. " ~ Luigi Cornaro


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by heatherok View Post
                            I can get 3 pounds of hickory smoked bacon for $6 on sale at my nearby grocery. It makes paying $4 for less than a full pound distasteful.
                            You definitely don't live in NYC, land of 2.50/pound conventional apples. I do most of my vegetable shopping in Chinatown (only 1.25 hours away from my apartment) for affordable conventional vegetables and can only buy grass fed meat occasionally.

                            For me, I decided my priority was to work at a non-profit with poor patients, and I've got to accept the low salary and low food budget that comes with it. Maybe once I pay off the student loans (just 12 more years to go!), I'll be able to afford organic. Of course I may be dead from the pesticides by then! In the meantime, I'm still far better off compared to my patients, most of whom use food stamps or get (packaged) food from food pantries. I could definitely eliminate the luxuries in life, like travel, but it's one of my great pleasures in life, and I do it on an insane budget (which is how I ended up with ringworm after 3 weeks studying Spanish in Peru, staying in a room with 17 other people).

                            All this is to say, don't let perfect by the enemy of good. Do what you can, and when more resources become available, you can direct them towards your food budget.
                            Il faut vivre et non pas seulement exister.