What is the Whole30?
The Whole30 diet starts from the premise that certain foods that we eat all the time may be causing our health problems. We all know that too much fat or sugar will inevitably add on the pounds, but in the Whole30 diet grains, dairy and legumes are best when taken in limited quantities. In order to detox and cleanse your body, the Whole30 encourages people to give up all sugar, grain, dairy, and legume intake for thirty days.
That may sound easy at first, but understand that the Whole 30 means no bread, no milk, nor any type of beans. You´ll also have to get used to drinking black coffee or try sweetening it with coconut milk. According to the Whole 30 Program rules, you are allowed to eat “meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds.”
But wait, you can eat unprocessed foods, or foods with as few ingredients as possible. You’ll just have to forego the frozen hot dogs and processed lunch meats and opt instead for more natural sources of meat.
What Do Free Range and Pastured Meat Products Offer?
Though the Whole 30 doesn’t require you to opt for free range or grass fed meat products, we think that the little extra effort will pay off. If you’ve already decided to do a Whole 30 and are giving up your daily cinnamon roll, your favorite yogurt and granola snack, and your grandma’s homemade bean soup, then making the effort to find sources of free range and pastured meat products shouldn’t be all that hard.
Free range meat products mean that the animals you´re eating weren’t confined to cages or feeding pens all their lives. They were able to roam free the majority of the time to find their own food sources rather than depend on the processed feed and grains are fed to them by commercial meat farmers.
A cow or steer raised on pasture, however, is not only happier, but also producing a higher quality beef. If that cow is grown on a healthy, diversified pasture with quality soil, the abundance of nutrients found in the grasses is being passed into the meat of the animal. For that reason, grass fed beef is almost always higher in essential vitamins and nutrients such as:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin E
- Other B vitamins
Even chickens can be grown on pasture. Their natural instinct to claw at and dig up the soil to find sources of quality protein in all sorts of ground bugs allows free range chickens to produce eggs with much more nutrients than the commercially grown egg. Break open an egg from your grocery store and a free range egg and compare the color of the yolk. The deep orange color of the free range egg compared to the pale yellow of the commercial egg speaks volumes to what type of nutrients you’re actually getting in what you eat.
Joel Salatin of Polyface farms is one of the national leaders when it comes to pastured and free range meat products. According to Salatin, his chickens are “moved daily to a fresh pasture paddock (where they) receive fresh air, exercise, and sunshine. Integrating the cows to mow ahead of the shelters shortens the grass and encourages ingestion of tender, fresh sprouts. At Polyface, we want every animal to eat as much salad (green material) as its full genetic potential will allow.”
Why Combine the Whole 30 with Pastured and Free Range Meat Products? If you’ve taken on the challenge to detox your body during the 30 days of the Whole 30, then making the decision to only eat pastured and free range meat products will only help in purifying your body. The US national meat industry is so tainted with GMO-laced feed, hormone injections, antimicrobial residues and the like that opting for more eating meat from animals that have lived free from that toxic environment will do wonders for your health.
With thousands of farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture groups popping up in every corner of the country, it shouldn’t be hard to find a local farmer who is producing quality pastured and free range meat products.
What about you? Do you eat free range and grass fed meat products when you can? Post in the comments and let us know.