A Guide to Choosing Healthy Meats

 

  • Choose meat that has been raised locally and sustainably, without the use of hormones or antibiotics, and from animals eating their native, species-appropriate diet. (GMO feed free)

 

  • If you cannot find grass-finished meat, grass-fed/grain-finished meat can be substituted, but is not optimal.

 

  • Beef, bison/buffalo and lamb should be grass-fed and grass-finished, not grain-fed (or “corn-fed”). Feed wild game like deer or game birds if you have access to them- there is a wide sources for these types of naturally fed meat to be found in the Northeast. (they may be seasonal)

 

  • Choose pastured or foraged pork and poultry. These animals are natural omnivores and should not subsist on vegetarian, genetically modified (GMO) grain/corn and soy-based diets They should be given free access to the outdoors, sunshine and foraging for insects and grass.

 

  • “Vegetarian fed” typically means that the animal was given soy/corn/grain- almost all of which is GMO and is not a natural diet for the animals.

 

  •  “Natural” is an unregulated and popular marketing term in the food industry. Do not rely on this label to guide you to healthful pet food.

 

  • “Organic” meats may not have received GMO feed, but the organic label does not guarantee that the animal was grass-fed/pastured or otherwise raised in a sustainable manner. However, organic meats are better than conventional meats.

 

  • Feed the fat! Fat of properly raised animals contains more essential fatty acids than their industrial counterparts.

 

  • Organ meats from healthy animals are extremely nutrient-dense and have always been a treasured part of traditional canine and feline diets. Grass-fed beef liver is especially healthful. If your pet does not care for the taste of liver, try grating frozen liver into ground grass-fed ground beef, your pet won’t taste it but they will reap the benefits.

 

  • While all meats should be prepared properly with care, to avoid cooking, over cooking or charring for example, new research indicates that pork requires some specific preparation. Fresh pork (like fresh ground pork ) should be marinated overnight in an acidic solution, like apple cider vinegar, before mixing with the other ingredients and feeding to your pet. 

 

  • Processed meats, like most commercially made RAW  products, dehydrated meals or plastic container meals should be avoided.  Always check the ingredients and the quality of the meat.