Free Range, Wild Caught, Raw and Grass Fed are becoming household words among “healthy” eating people. These “labels” indicate that the animal meat you are about to eat grazed freely in the sun being exposed to vitamin D and ate healthy things found in the wild like grass and other sources of vitamins and nutrients. So, wouldn’t it make sense that animals that are raised stress free and enjoying nature would be healthier?
Is there actually any nutritional benefit to these foods vs. cooped, farm raised animals fed a processed and refined diet…..YES!!!
Let me give you a great example. Why in the world would cow’s milk have vitamin D and calcium???? Well, if the cow is grazing on grass (greens are loaded with calcium) and basking in the sun (absorbing vitamin D), it would make sense that the milk would be high in those nutrients. But how many cow’s now a days are actually in the sun, eating grass? Not many. They are in coops, eating refined corn and wheat, and this leads to them producing milk that has no calcium or vitamin D. So we then need to add these vitamins to the milk. Hopefully that example allows you to see that it is important not only what you are eating, but how this meat is raised, and what it eats.
Another example is salmon. Wild caught salmon is very bright pink in color. Farm raised salmond it typically brown, so artificial coloring is added to it, to make it actually look like salmon. Not only that, but the pens the fish are raised in are loaded with toxic substances that the fish release due to being under stress and well…eliminating their own waste in the water. The very reason we eat fatty fish like salmon is for their very high omega 3 content, which is compromised in farm raised salmon.
My patients ask me all the time, do I think eating meat is healthy? It’s a loaded questions, but my answer is always….yes. I think if you choose for personal or philisophical reasons not to eat meat, than this is your choice and therefore the right choice for you, however you really need to get educated on nutrition to make sure you can make good choices to replace all of the bio-available nutrients, amino acids and proteins found in meat. The typical american diet is loaded in refined grains, high levels of dairy and lots of processed meat. We are not eating these foods in moderation but in abundance. Making vegetables, fruits and raw nuts and seeds the staple of your diet, then adding non-refined grains and proteins that are raised healthily and not processed, can make up a very healthy diet. That is what we call a “balanced” diet.
So one more step you can take to make your diet a little bit more healthy is to…..GO WILD!