Why You Should Make Organic Meat Part of Your Diet

There’s an ever-growing trend nowadays to eat more organic food, believing that it’s better for our health. When it comes to organic foods, fruits and vegetables get most of the attention, but organic meat is an equally important part of ensuring that your diet contains as much organic food as possible. Of course, the cost of organic meat is considerably higher than the alternatives, sometimes double the price, which makes many of us hesitant to eat organic meat, but there are a wide array of benefits to eating organic meat that make it well worth the added cost to our food budget.

The first benefit to organic meat is being able to know where your food comes from and what exactly goes into producing the meat that you eventually eat. The government has strict regulations on what kind of meat can be given the “organic” label, so when you buy organic meat you know for a fact that no antibiotics or growth hormone went into the animal that you’re eating. You also know that everything the animal ate was organic, and that no animal parts were included. Seeing meat labeled “organic” gives you insight into how this particular animal was raised and treated, whereas meat that isn’t organic comes with no such guarantee. With organic meat, you can feel secure in how the animal was treated, and more importantly, secure that there are no additives in your meat that could make you sick or have a negative impact on your long-term health.

The health risks that come with eating organic meat are much lower than with conventional sources of meat. Organic meat is less likely to be infected with mad cow disease, which is becoming a larger concern with the meat we consume and is sometimes the cause of a meat recall, although those recalls rarely include organic meat. There are also lower levels of cancer-causing hormones in organic meat, making them far better for your health.

In addition to there being less additives than conventional meat, organic meat also has great nutritional benefits. Organic meat is lower in saturated fat than the alternatives. It also contains more omega-3 fats, which are healthy fats, as well as more conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, which is known to reduce your risk of cancer.

The slight caveat with organic meat is that there’s no guarantee that the animals have been grass-fed, although many of them are, while there is little chance that meat that isn’t labeled organic has been fed with grass. Most of the non-organic meat on the market comes from animals that have been fed with cheap grains, which lowers the amount of healthy fats in the meat you consume. Finding meat that is both organic and either free-range or grass-fed will help ensure that you’re eating the most nutritious meat available. Usually, organic meats are much more expensive, but you can get them cheaply from a hunter if you ask them nicely. Typically when they go hunting the end up with much more meat than they can use.

If the animal rights and nutritional benefits of organic meat aren’t enough, consider the fact that buying organic meat usually means buying from local farms, which is beneficial for the local economy. Most organic meat doesn’t come from big companies or large-scale farming operations, so when you buy organic meat you’re supporting small businesses in your own corner of the world. Between that and the wide variety of health and nutritional benefits of eating organic meat, not to mention the ethical treatment of animals, it should be well worth the extra money to eat organic meat.

Should You Be Eating Organ Meat?

These days, most of us have little to no interest in eating organ meat; that is, the organs from an animal, such as the liver, kidney, or heart. In fact, for most of us it’s not even a consideration to be included in our diets, for a variety of reasons. Most of these foods seem more like a punishment than a delicacy, but food science is discovering that there is great nutritional value in organ meat, so much so that it could, and perhaps should, become a regular part of our diet, possibly a significant part of our diet. (If you want to know where I get my organ meat, drop me a line at the contact form)

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Believe it or not, organ meats are one of the most densely packed foods with regards to vitamins and minerals. They contain heavy doses of several important B vitamins, including B1, B2, and B12. Vitamins A, E, and K are also prevalent in organ meats, while some of the highest concentrations of naturally occurring vitamin D come from organ meats compared to other food sources.

Organ meats are also high in useful minerals like iron, magnesium, iodine, calcium, potassium, sodium, and zinc, among many others. It’s not just that organ meats contain all these different vitamins and minerals, but the fact that they are so dense in these nutrients makes them beneficial from a health standpoint. Few other foods can deliver such a variety of healthy nutrients that it doesn’t make sense to exclude organ meats from your diet completely.

Native Americans have always been unafraid to eat organ meat, as they believed in putting every part of the animal to good use after killing it, and for centuries that helped them stay clear of many of the diseases that they could no longer avoid after coming into contact with the first European settles. They believed that eating a certain organ would improve the function in that organ in their own body; for example, eating brains would improve memory and cognitive function. That’s not exactly accurate, but each type of organ meat can be beneficial in its own way.

For instance, the heart is the best food source of CoQ10, which is important for energy production and mitochondrial health. Those that suffer from chronic health conditions often have a CoQ10 deficiency, which can be improved by eating animal heart. Liver may be the most nutrient dense food that exists, so much so that eating it once every two weeks can do amazing things for one’s health. Kidneys are also rich in nutrients, especially amino acids. Animal brains contain a healthy dose of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, much like fish. Brain has the added benefit of containing anti-oxidants, and much like the Native Americans believed, it helps to protect neurological tissue, enhancing neurological function. Bones and tendons are helpful in creating healthy blood cells and maintaining a strong immune system.

Of course, the huge caveat with organ meat is that they should come from grass-fed and organically raised animals. Animals that are treated poorly, fed low-grade grain to fatten them up, and live unhealthy lives before being slaughtered for meat will not produce healthy organs. However, if you have assurance that organs came from animals that were raised properly and in good health, then organ meat can be a beneficial part of your diet, even if it’s only on the menu a few times per month.

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