How to Source Beef

Vegetables are at the base of the Primal Blueprint food pyramid and meat comes in second, along with fish, fowl, and eggs. As a complete protein, meat from animals that are raised similarly to how they live in the wild is going to be healthy meat to consume and give us an array of nutrients that animals from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) are deficient in. Just like humans, if animals are not given a diet that works along with their ancestral roots, they are going to be sick and filled with systemic inflammation.

Cows are ruminants that should be eating things like grass, clovers, and shrubs. Cows in most CAFOs (the beef found in supermarkets) are fed grains, corn, soy-based products, garbage, plastic, stale junk food, candy, and bits of dead CAFO sick animals. As you know, you are what you eat, but also, “You are what what you eat eats too,” as Michael Pollan puts it in In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. CAFO cows are also given antibiotics (so that they don’t die before slaughter due to their horrendous living environment) and growth hormones (to increase their weight).

So what are the other options?

With the understanding that it is always better to buy local, pastured and 100 percent grass-fed (also called grass-fed and grass-finished, as opposed to grass-fed and grain-finished) is the way to go. Next would be making sure it is USDA-certified organic. The extra cost is worth bypassing CAFO meat, and if you have to eat the latter avoid consuming any fat on it as this is where some of the meat toxins are stored, not in the liver. 

As a side note regarding the liver, which I really enjoy eating and is full of nutrients (organ meats should never be thrown away!), the liver is not a filter that holds on to the toxins. In a May 2019 newsletter, nutrition expert Chris Masterjohn, Ph.D., explains that “The liver does not filter toxins. Instead, the liver modifies them to make them less toxic, and to make them easier to excrete. This leads to their elimination in the feces and urine, not their retention in the liver.” This is what makes the liver a great nutritious meat to consume rather than being something to avoid!

Even with pastured and 100 percent grass-fed meat, certified organic or not, always ask exactly how the animals have been treated. To find local farms, two sites can be helpful: EatWild.com and LocalHarvest.com.

I also enjoy buying meat online at ButcherBox.com and US Wellness Meats, and there are more sites to check out such as Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative and Thrive Market.

As we vote with our dollars, buying better quality meat is definitively at the top of the list for improving our own health, improving the health and wellbeing of the animals we consume, and helping to promote sustainable practices that will better our environment.

References

Asprey, Dave. The Bulletproof Diet : Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, and Upgrade Your Life. New York, Rodale Books, 2014, p. 174.

Gustin, Anthony, and Chris Irvin. Keto Answers : Simplifying Everything You Need to Know about the World’s Most Confusing Diet. Middletown, De, Four Pillar Health, 2019, pp. 145–50.

Pollan, Michael. In Defense of Food : An Eater’s Manifesto. The Penguin Press, 2008, p. 167.

Sisson, Mark. The Primal Blueprint : 21-Day Total Body Transformation. Oxnard, Ca, Primal Blueprint Publishing, 2016, pp. 106–7.

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