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Pasture Centered beef and other supermarket imponderables

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  • Pasture Centered beef and other supermarket imponderables

    This is the thread in which I share the odd things I find in supermarkets, with the occasional Is It Primal?! subtext.

    I went to Whole Foods for the first time today. Yeah, no TJ's with a couple hundred miles, and I was itchin to find some stuff. I do, by the way, have good luck finding odd primal stuff on the food racks at Marshalls and TJMaxx (got a huge bag of Himalayan pink salt there for $5), but the selection is limited and overrun by agave. But back to Whole Foods:

    What is coconut sugar? I looked at the nutrition facts, and it looks the same as regular sugar. 15 cal per serving, all sugar cals. Maybe it is less bleached/processed/stuffed full of carcinogens than regular white sugar. But why pay a lot more for something which is simply not-bad? Who thought extracting sugar out of coconuts was worthwhile anyways? And when every other coconut product is white, why is this one brown?

    In the butter section, sitting next the Earth Balance Buttery Spread, was "Coconut spread." I did not inspect the package, but I am assuming that it's placement says that it is intended as a butter alternative. I know Whole Foods caters to vegans and etc., but is this stuff supposed to go on toast? Really?

    The meat section, I made a nice find of beef chuck steaks at 3.99/lb, rated as 4 on the humane scale (I guess this is good?) and marked as "Pasture Centered." I could be wrong, but I don't think this means that my steer lived in the center of his pasture. Is this another word for grain-finished? Or occasional supplemental grain? When I got home I got thinking, if "Pasture Centered" means any good at all, I could buy these steaks and buy a meat grinder, and save between $3-$6/lb on the grass-fed ground beef I've been buying (er, not buying enough of, because of price). I have no idea how much a meat grinder costs or how to work one, so this idea might get chucked.


    Other supermarket imponderables:

    I was at my mostly-worthless Winn-Dixie and grabbed a package of Baby Bella shrooms. Had to look close though, because nearly the entire label was covered with "Contains 100% Daily Vitamin D!" Really? I eat mushrooms a couple times a week to get Michael Pollan's "moon calories" (or so I think with a smile every time I cook them, but hey, he could be right). How can moon calories contain such a large dose of Vitamin D? I can understand getting Vitamin D from animals, since animals can produce it. But what's fungi doing with hormones? Is there something kinky going on underground?

    Also at my worthless Winn-Dixie was a little tub of chicken livers. $1.59/lb. for Sanderson Farm chicken livers. Cafo, but the Nutrition Facts still listed a pretty high amount of Vit. A, so it got me thinking whether CAFO is sorta okay when it comes to chicken, nutritionally speaking. Conventional chicken has no hormones or steroids by law, so it beats conventional beef there. But given that my ability to acquire grass-fed livers (at 4x the price) is spotty, how worried should I be about eating this liver, other than the ethics?

    In the same vein, my still largely worthless Winn Dixie had calf liver in the freezer. I remember reading in Omnivore's Dilemna that calves meant to be hamburger are still largely born and raised as nature intended before they get stuffed into the feed lot. But I am not sure if a calf meant for a short life would follow the same (but shorter) trajectory or just skip most of the feedlot experience. Or is "calf liver" just another term for "veal liver" and suffer the same problems as CAFO veal (and its ethics)?


    Assorted imponderables:

    What's the point to organic, pastured milk if they're just going to ultra-pasteurize it?

    After they ultra-pasteurize it, why bother with the expense of keeping it chilled?

    "4-grain eggs" are actually four grains and soy. For once soy is not counted as a grain, as it is in nearly everything with the label "multi-grain".

    Does feeding soy to hens effect their hen-laying?

    Why is it nearly impossible to find plain rooiboos tea in America? It's not escargot.

    Why is the "imported cheese" section filled with the crappiest, hardest, and most bitter European cheeses? Is it because they just send us all the leftovers they don't want? Since they also send us their blandest beer is it simply a case of passive-aggression?


    These are the sorts of things I think about while shopping. It is generally frustrating, since it seems that the more I know the more the world looks confusing.

  • #2
    Most health food stores have mostly the same junk foods as other stores. But there are those hidden gems you can't find elsewhere. By the way, once I got some mary's or somebody's chicken livers at whole foods and I have to admit they were the freshest (never frozen!) tastiest chicken livers I've ever had. I eat CAFO beef and pork often because my ethnic market has real butchers and real organ meat, not just $20/lb rib-eyes flown in from Argentina like my local whole foods.

    I'm not sure Step 4 really means much in regards to cattle since most are grazed on public lands for their whole lives until the final few weeks.
    Animal Welfare | Whole Foods Market

    Here's an opinion about Whole Foods.
    Phil Maffetone, www.philmaffetone.com - Whole Foods
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by SarahW View Post
      I was at my mostly-worthless Winn-Dixie and grabbed a package of Baby Bella shrooms. Had to look close though, because nearly the entire label was covered with "Contains 100% Daily Vitamin D!" Really? I eat mushrooms a couple times a week to get Michael Pollan's "moon calories" (or so I think with a smile every time I cook them, but hey, he could be right). How can moon calories contain such a large dose of Vitamin D? I can understand getting Vitamin D from animals, since animals can produce it. But what's fungi doing with hormones? Is there something kinky going on underground?
      Fungi, plants, and animals all produce hormones, hormones are a way for cells to communicate. Just look to see if the vitamin D is added in, which they have started to do. Mushrooms do contain vitamin D and humans can benefit from eating them. Also, only the mycelia of button mushrooms, shiitake, oyster mushrooms, and portobella stay in the substrate, the fruiting body you eat pushes out of the substrate to spread the spores and is typically exposed to sunlight (in the wild) where it can produce vitamin D. On that note, I wouldn't expect to get a whole lot of vitamin D from truffles.
      Primal Journal

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      • #4
        "Pasture Centered" beef is from a cow that meditated and centered its chi properly. Sheesh! Don't you know anything about Primal?

        I get my plain rooibos at The Tea Spot.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
          Most health food stores have mostly the same junk foods as other stores. But there are those hidden gems you can't find elsewhere. By the way, once I got some mary's or somebody's chicken livers at whole foods and I have to admit they were the freshest (never frozen!) tastiest chicken livers I've ever had. I eat CAFO beef and pork often because my ethnic market has real butchers and real organ meat, not just $20/lb rib-eyes flown in from Argentina like my local whole foods.
          Agreed. After I started buying from Whole Foods, I could not go back to the Asian supermarket nearby for my liver needs, even though it's 60% of the price..
          My chocolatey Primal journey

          Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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          • #6
            [QUOTE=Paleobird;948353]"Pasture Centered" beef is from a cow that meditated and centered its chi properly. Sheesh! Don't you know anything about Primal?

            HAH HAH HAH.....that just made my morning.

            My first thought when I saw "pasture centred" is it's one of those sexy new marketing terms that make people believe they are buying what they are NOT.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
              I'm not sure Step 4 really means much in regards to cattle since most are grazed on public lands for their whole lives until the final few weeks.
              Animal Welfare | Whole Foods Market
              I've been pondering this, and found this farm that raises Step 4 Pasture Centered beef: Pacific Pastures 100% Grass Fed Natural Beef from Northern California | Humane Animal Care

              The cows look happy and eating grass.

              I did also find the "rules" of this whole system here: http://www.globalanimalpartnership.o...eef-Cattle.pdf

              According to the rules the cattle can never be given antibiotics or hormones, and when it comes to food Step 4 means "7.1.1 (Step 4)
              Cattle must spend at least 3/4 of their lives on range or pasture when seasonal conditions permit.
              Removing an animal from range or pasture for more than 4 months in any one year or for more than
              1/4 of the animal’s life is prohibited."

              Other permitted food is hay, haylage, and silage.

              I think I feel okay about eating this. It's better than CAFO, and the price at WF isn't too far off of Publix prices (which is the only regular supermarket I buy meat at - they've never sold pink slime).

              Not sure about the meat grinder yet.

              Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
              Here's an opinion about Whole Foods.
              Phil Maffetone, www.philmaffetone.com - Whole Foods
              Very funny. Yeah, the bags of potato chips seems to be everywhere in in WF, while the rather small selection of eggs are stuffed in an endcap. I don't mind the beer selection, though.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                "Pasture Centered" beef is from a cow that meditated and centered its chi properly. Sheesh! Don't you know anything about Primal?
                So...the beef has super-powers? Cool!

                Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                I get my plain rooibos at The Tea Spot.com
                I'll have to check that out. I have found some boxes of it, but it just involves a solid ten minutes of looking at every frikkin single box of tea in the store.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Quies View Post
                  Fungi, plants, and animals all produce hormones, hormones are a way for cells to communicate. Just look to see if the vitamin D is added in, which they have started to do. Mushrooms do contain vitamin D and humans can benefit from eating them. Also, only the mycelia of button mushrooms, shiitake, oyster mushrooms, and portobella stay in the substrate, the fruiting body you eat pushes out of the substrate to spread the spores and is typically exposed to sunlight (in the wild) where it can produce vitamin D. On that note, I wouldn't expect to get a whole lot of vitamin D from truffles.
                  So, the 100% Vitamin D! referred to D2? Given that the article calls it a micronutrient of "minor importance," I call the mushroom label a bunch of BS. I still want to eat moon calories, though. But I don't think I'll see that on a label any time soon.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Other supermarket imponderables:

                    I found a new type of sugar - Splenda is making a new thing made with "Monk Fruit". Actually, make that "Made with Monk Fruit". First ingredient is sugar alcohol, second is Splenda. I was about to ask "what will they think of next?" but I think this is it.

                    I don't know what Monk Fruit is, but it doesn't sound very ascetic.

                    Also, at WH - I found a bottle of soy isoflavones in the supplements section. Is this for people deliberately trying to screw up their hormones, or for use by "all-natural" transvestites?

                    What's with all the nut butters made with soy? Soy ain't a grain, and it ain't a nut either!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: pasteurization of organic milk. Most states require it. sigh.

                      But at least with organic, there are no pesticides nor BGH. BGH makes the cows produce more milk, which leads to infected udders which leads to treatment with antibiotics and minute amounts of pus in the milk. Yes. Pus.

                      So, even though I live in a state where raw milk is illegal, I'll take organic half and half or cream over pus milk everytime. shudder
                      "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                      B*tch-lite

                      Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                        Re: pasteurization of organic milk. Most states require it. sigh.

                        But at least with organic, there are no pesticides nor BGH. BGH makes the cows produce more milk, which leads to infected udders which leads to treatment with antibiotics and minute amounts of pus in the milk. Yes. Pus.

                        So, even though I live in a state where raw milk is illegal, I'll take organic half and half or cream over pus milk everytime. shudder
                        Yes, but it's the ultra-pasteurization that I don't get. What's the point of grass-fed if you're just going to burn it? And after you burn it, why not tetra-pack that and save on the cost (and environmental impact) of refrigerated shipping?

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                        • #13
                          Other imponderables;

                          At WF tonight I saw a tub of Kerrygold on sale. Excited? No, it was low fat. Shouldn't the Irish have something against making baby Jesus cry?

                          Also found out that now they have taken our beloved coconut and made fake cheese out of it. Like shredded mozzarella "cheese" and cheddar "cheese." But it's okay, it's gourmet. I mean, I get it that some people are actually allergic to dairy and would like an alternative, and at least it's not soy, but - I bet 95% of sales go to vegans.

                          Guy at the checkout register kept on commenting about all the different kinds of meat I was buying, ribs, roasts, steaks, sausage, bacon, chicken, you know, basic staples like that. What can I say, I always find the butcher and cheesemonger at WF to be really nice. Maybe it's because they are underworked, or because they are happy to see a customer salivating over the display cases instead of asking for cuts with a pained, guilty expression on their face?

                          I did find pastured grass fed hot dogs today, they're veal. The package made sure to inform me that the baby cows happily frolicked in green fields of grass with their mommies - yeah, until you killed them and chopped them up and made them into hot dogs! I mean, it's nice to know and all, but I'm not that sentimental about my food. And yes, I did buy them. 5-yo is taking a plain hot dog with him to school now for his afternoon snack. I guess that's the cool thing to do.

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                          • #14
                            Pasture-centered explained: Animal Welfare | Whole Foods Market

                            It's a term used to designate a level of animal welfare an animal receives as it's raised. It's not the highest level, but it's far from the worst. It's the fourth highest out of six possible levels of animal welfare. Whole Foods to the rescue again!
                            "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SarahW View Post
                              Also found out that now they have taken our beloved coconut and made fake cheese out of it. Like shredded mozzarella "cheese" and cheddar "cheese." But it's okay, it's gourmet. I mean, I get it that some people are actually allergic to dairy and would like an alternative, and at least it's not soy, but - I bet 95% of sales go to vegans.
                              They've been making "cheese" out of soy for YEARS. At least now vegans have a source that isn't rife with phytoestrogens, anti-nutrients, and pro-inflammatory fats.

                              I agree it's still pretty absurd, but as far as vegans are concerned, it's an improvement. A VAST one. Anything that allows vegans to take one step away from their marriage to soy is a great improvement in mine mind.

                              But I won't be eating it anytime soon.
                              "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

                              Comment

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