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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,
Like all of you, I want to be as sure as I can that the quality of food I give my little girl, Lex, is as good as I can get.

I sent an e-mail message to a local grocery store chain in my area (that is very well respected for carrying quality foods), and asked them if they could tell me where they obtain their chicken, turkey, beef, etc. from.

Here's their reply:

"Or Beef and Pork and Poultry are sourced from the United States solely. Our Beef and Pork are grown all over the country in areas with suitable conditions and are processed in the midwest and California. Our poultry is also grown in many different parts of the country. Our Foster Farms Chicken as well as our Coastal Range Organics Chicken is grown in California locally Only. Our everyday Chicken (our value line) is processed in the mid west and packed in
California."

Can someone offer some advice on what additional information I might want to ask them about theirs meats before I buy them and feed my little girl (their response was a little ambiguous for my taste...no pun intended
)??? For example, I might want to ask if their livestock is fed anything icky like steroids or stuff like that, wouldn't I???


I have the good forture of having a family member, my Step-Son, who is a pretty "big-wheel" with this company, so anything they tell me I would be able to CONFIRM (do I sound skeptical that they might "blow smoke" at me???
)

Comments? Suggestions?

Thank you,
Craig
 

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Sounds like you just want to know if the meats are "certified organic." That would be the way to know how the animals were fed, etc. If the product is organic it will say so--and it will cost twice as much or more--but that quality is important to many folks.

If it doesn't say it is certified organic, then the grocery supplier won't be able to tell you anything about the meat, other than it is USDA certified as wholsome.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Tracy.

I think I've heard that phrase, "Certified Organic".

Can you tell me what you understand that to mean?

Craig
 

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Some definitions found by Googling:

To be labeled organic, all fresh or processed foods sold in the United States, including imports, must be produced according to the national organic standards and certified by an inspection agency accredited by the USDA. Before their crops can be certified, all organic farmers must use only approved materials. They must develop an organic farm management plan, keep detailed records, and be inspected annually by an accredited certification agency. All companies that manufacture organic food products must follow similar strict requirements.

Wiki article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_certification

In layman's terms, organic certification means that the farmer has met the standards of the certifying organization (there are several) that he produces food without the use of chemicals, steroids, genetically modified production methods, etc. It's "all-natural."

But...here's the rub. Organic foods aren't necessarily more nutritious than conventionally farmed foods. They may give you peace of mind--and with meat products, organically farmed meat is probably raised and killed in more humane ways than factory farmed food animals. But it comes at a price.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you.

While some might argue that "organic" food is or is not more nutritious, it would be safe to say that (at least in the long term) it's probably "safer" (which, to my way of thinking, would certainly be more nutritious!)...don't you think? After all, who knows what kind of steroids, etc., etc. farmers might feed livestock to expedite their growth, and what the longterm effects of that might be on me or my dog!

Craig
 

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You could try goggling as well to learn more about certified organic vs the USDA standards. Sometimes a little research will yield more concise information, and you can in turn share that with the members here as well.

And try doing searches on the forum as well; many questions have been asked and repeated and you can glean a lot of useful information in these older threads.

Good luck.
 

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If you're looking at "certified organic" foods, ask who their certifying agency is.

Certification by the USDA means NOTHING to me. Certification by someone like Oregon Tilth (who has been around a long time and has a lot of integrity -- i.e. they can't be lobbied
) means A LOT to me. Every package that has an "organic" label on it should say who it's certified by as well. If it doesn't, well, assume that the certification is worthless.

And I disagree with Tracy (gasp!). I do think that truly organic foods are "more" nutritious. NOT ingesting toxins (pesticides, herbicides, pesticides) to me is more nutritious. For example, when I buy meat that's certified organic, not only is the meat not injected with weird synthetic things, but the feed they've been given is certified organic as well. If someone does any sort of research on some of the very bizarre things that *some* ranchers will feed their animals (especially in times like this, when grains are outrageously high), that someone might be shocked. All that goes into our meat, into our dogs, and into our families.

It's more expensive, yes. More nutritious? Do you mean, does it have more grams of protein per serving? Maybe not. But it may have more Omega 3s. And it certainly doesn't have all the toxins.

It's worth looking into anyhow. IMO. But watch those "organic" stickers. Some aren't really worth the sticky paper they're printed on. Michael Pollan discusses this in his book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma."

Go to your favorite grocery store and look at the various agencies that that certify the foods you're most likely to buy. Then go home and research them. They vary from state to state (and more have popped up since I moved from CA, so I can't even advise you which are better than others.)

You'll figure it out!
 

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Quote: And I disagree with Tracy (gasp!). I do think that truly organic foods are "more" nutritious. NOT ingesting toxins (pesticides, herbicides, pesticides) to me is more nutritious.
Twenty lashes is the penalty for disagreeing!


Not *necessarily* more nutritious---which I think does have a lot to do with who's doing the certifying, and to some extent, what the item is. I saw "certified organic" lollipops the other day. C'mon. Made from "organic" corn syrup? So sometimes organic labeling is nothing but a marketing gimmick.

But sure, an organic tomato (especially a local one) is going to be more nutritious and more tasty than the others--even if it doesn't get the "offical seal."

There are lots of small local producers that don't want to jump through the hoops to obtain organic certification--even if they follow organic practices. I buy honey from such a place, as well as farmer's market produce that carries no certificates.
 

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I wouldn't say it is more nutritious. Healthier? Yes.

An apple is an apple, be it organic or not. It does not have a higher sugar content. But being free of chemicals makes it a much healthier and natural alternative for the body to process.

There is a lot of he-say, she-say, they-say on such topics. I would suggest looking into the USDA standards vs certified organic foods to be as aware as possible on the differences and grades.

Still, even if it is a separate organization certifying organically grown produce, it is still not 100%. There is air pollution, leaching, etc that knows no boundaries. Even certified grass-fed, naturally raised cows & chickens have dioxins in them.

But that is a whole other topic of discussion.

EDIT: I agree with Tracy that there are quite a few local farmers who practice organic farming but do not have the certification. Just gotta go to local open markets, and ask around.
 

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Quote:
Not *necessarily* more nutritious---which I think does have a lot to do with who's doing the certifying, and to some extent, what the item is. I saw "certified organic" lollipops the other day. C'mon. Made from "organic" corn syrup? So sometimes organic labeling is nothing but a marketing gimmick.
These are the morons that will certify anything.
"Certified" organic isn't truly Certified organic anymore. That's why knowing who the certifying agency is so important. The authentic certifiers wouldn't ever certify garbage like this.
If it looks like junk food, tastes like junk food, then it IS junk food.

And yeah, getting certification IS expensive. If you trust your local farmer/grocer, that's worth it's weight in gold.
 

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Well do as I do, and don't buy organic meats for your dog..I do what is cheap:) Having 5 dogs, and trying to feed them all healthy does not add up to paying the prices of organic. I grow a veggie garden, eat as healthy as I can also, but the prices of meat right now is way too high...If I fed organic to my dogs, and not my DH (as I'm not big on meat) shame on me...I'm sure my dogs would rather a roof over their heads, and a nice cozy bed to sleep in than us being broke from paying the prices of organic meats..LOL

If I had one or two dogs to feed, I may feel different, but with 5 dogs, fostering, 2 horses and a cat...NOPE not going to happen...

Kudos to you and others that do it though:)
 

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I also do not buy organic meat--for myself or the dogs. I sometimes buy organic produce if it looks better/fresher than the regular. I buy local produce when I can. (I'm going to a farm to pick peaches this Saturday!)

I cannot argue with those who claim the benefits of organic. I see their point. But it isn't a priority for me, personally.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah, in my case, I'm hoping my Step-Son will introduce me to his store butchers so maybe I can make arrangements with them to buy some otherwise discarded goodies for my girl.

I talked to my Step-Son a few months ago (before the thought of feeding "raw" even occurred to me) about the actual, outdated meats that we (consumers) buy. He told me they sell the outdated stuff to the local pig farmers.

I didn't ask him about carcasses, because at the time, I didn't know about the whole "raw" feeding idea. Hmmm...now I'll ask him about those.

If he gives me any "words of wisdom" from inside the grocery business, I'll be sure to pass it on.



Craig
 
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