One of the hardest aspects of Paleo has nothing to do with what you give up. As much as possible, Paleo asks us to eat unprocessed food and natural produce. I could write an entire post about the crazy stuff they do to our meat before it gets on our shelves.
A friend of mine who is well versed in nutrition once told me, “If you can only afford to buy one thing organic, buy organic meat.” He explained that fruits and vegetables may have been sprayed with certain chemicals, but our meat has been exposed to much more. When alive, the animal’s food was covered in chemicals and it was shot up with even more chemicals. After death, as the meat was being processed, it was again covered in other chemicals. A person is then getting three times the exposure they would get from a plant.
The reason a lot of these chemicals get put in our meat is because of the way we raise them when alive. You’ve seen the sad stories of calves having their horns burned off before they have a chance to grow in and chickens cooped up so tightly they can’t even walk around. Those are the perfect conditions for disease to spread and the very reason why animals are given certain chemicals and antibiotics.
Since I’m going Paleo for these first two months of 2014, I decided to take the opportunity to purchase some organic, pasture raised animal products. Using eatwild.com, I came across Honored Prairie Farms. The local farm I bought products from is located in Indiana, but they have periodic drop-off locations around the Chicagoland area.
I’m no cooking pro and I’m not a big fan of bones in meat, so I went with ground meats. in my opinion, they are the easiest to work with. My purchase included 10 pounds of ground turkey, one pound of ground sirloin and two dozen eggs. The total cost was $90.90.
That’s a big price, especially when you compare it to how much all that would cost at Wal-Mart. To me, this is about health. I can either pay for it now, or later. Eating healthy doesn’t guarantee I will avoid all the big diseases out there, but it does dramatically reduce my chances. When I was in college, one of my coworkers worked with the American Cancer Society. She told me 2/3 of all cancer cases in the United States are preventable. The China Study (of which I am on page 89 out of 350) has cited at least one study where it was found that only 2-3% of all cancer cases are related to genetic inevitability.
Do you know how much it costs to have cancer, or heart disease or any of the other complications related to poor eating habits? I don’t even want to think about the dollar amount, let alone the emotional toll. All this is to say that, to me, $90.90 doesn’t seem like a lot in comparison.
I don’t expect to need more meat for another month, unless I have a bunch of people come over. The staple of any Paleo meal is vegetables. For whatever reason, I’ve had a harder time tracking down farmer’s markets for fresh fruits and vegetables. By “harder time” I mean that I want to buy everything online and haven’t found a good web source. I’d rather spend 15 minutes picking out what I want online than spending a whole day at a farmer’s market. I haven’t given up yet, though. The real question is whether I can financially afford to buy both organic meat and vegetables.
Overall, I’ve had a great experience with my first purchase from a local farm. Have you ever bought or thought of buying organic meats? Do you know a good online resource for buying organic fruits and vegetables? What do you think of the price I paid for these animal products?