Hormone free, antibiotic free, free range, grass fed, organic. We see these labels a lot and often times if we don't understand what they mean it can seem pointless to spend the extra money.
I was on a little vacation recently at Millcroft Spa in Caledon when I found a farm shop that sells grass-fed, antibiotic free, and hormone free meats! Of course I had to stop in and see what they had.
First I want to talk about why it was so important to me to choose high quality meats even early on in my health journey, and after my training as a holistic nutritionist, why I see it as a key part in many women's healing.
Many of us struggle with food intolerances, hormonal imbalances, and other gut issues that we find are helped by a gluten free, or entirely grain free, and dairy free diet. Many women find they heal much better on a diet consisting of lean meats, fruit and vegetables. When we are trying to heal, or prevent disease we have to be aware that we are eating what the animals we are consuming eat. If these animals are raised conventionally (not labelled hormone/antibiotic free, organic or grass fed) they are given hormones and antibiotics to grow faster and gain weight, as well as prevent sickness from being raised in a very poor environment.
These excess hormones and antibiotics are then an extra burden on our system, especially our liver, that is left to process them. Antibiotics also disrupt our gut health causing many other issues that we are likely trying to fix or prevent.
Organic farming provides much better living conditions for the animals. A lot of conventional farming advertises "grain fed or corn fed" and to those who are uneducated about farming and animals, this can seem like a good thing. However, cows eat grass, not grains or corn. Most of the corn being used for feed is genetically modified, foreign to our system and an extra burden once again, for our bodies to try and process and eliminate.
The difference between grass fed meat and grain fed cows is drastic when we look at nutrient content of the meat. Grass fed beef contains anywhere from 2-5x more omega 3 (an essential fatty acid needed for hormonal balance and brain health). Grass f