Thursday, January 5, 2017

Eat Clean in 2017

With the New Year upon us, many people I know make "New Year’s Resolutions". We promise ourselves we will eat healthier, start to work out and we focus on positive life changes. Then it seems after a few weeks or months, we fall right back into the pattern of old habits. I am for making a life change, and maybe not a "crash diet, life altering change", but a daily goal to change one pattern of old habits a day, or a week and then maybe two, at a rate that is achievable and I won't fail. Before you know it, you are making a habit of a positive change to where it becomes a lifestyle.

At New Years, it seems a lot of people talk about eating healthy. The buzz word right now is "Eating Clean". We at John Henry's have eaten this way for years. We understand the health benefit of "Eating Clean" and hear our customers share their stories and experiences with us about how eating clean has changed their health and life. Commercial farmers have jumped on the band wagon and will throw a few catch phrases now on the packaging to get consumers to buy their product presenting it as clean, but not fully clean. That is why it is so important to know your food source. Knowledge is power. If you understand something clearly, you can make a wise defined choice.  I saw this great article from Dr. Axe and wanted to share it with you as it helps to define the importance of “Grass Fed and Grass Finished". Below is an excerpt from it:

Maybe up until now you haven't thought too much about what the animals you eat today were fed yesterday. That's pretty common for most folks. You may have heard the terms "grass-fed" or "open range" and "grain-fed" not knowing the real difference between these terms. Once you understand the vital differences between grass-fed beef and grain-fed beef, you'll look at that burger a bit differently. Today, most of the beef you find on the grocery store shelves has been fed a grain diet. In general, these cows are fed corn and soy, but often there's more on their menu than strictly grains.

It's been reported that some grain-fed cows are actually fed many foods other than grains to keep down costs and promote weight gain. From gummy worms to milk chocolate bars to stale candy still in the wrappers, these poor cattle are fed whatever is the cheapest source that will fatten them up the most, and apparently, it has been going on for decades.

(2)On Oct. 15, 2007, the USDA established a standard definition for the "grass-fed" claim that requires continuous access to pasture and prevents animals from being fed grain or grain-based products.

(3) Let's look at exactly how grass-fed beef nutrition can really benefit your health and is an overall better choice for yourself, your loved ones and your environment.

Grass-fed beef comes from cattle that consume only grass and other foraged foods during the course of their lives. What a cow eats directly affects the types and levels of nutrients and fats you get from eating meat from that cow. Meat from 100 percent grass-fed cows is loaded with even more nutrition than what you get from a grain-fed cow. All that grazing of grass and roughage rather than being on a diet of processed foods really goes a long way.

For example, one lean grass-fed strip steak (214 grams) contains about: (14)

250 calories

49.4 grams protein

5.8 grams fat

14.3 milligrams niacin (72 percent DV)

1.4 milligrams vitamin B6 (70 percent DV)

45.1 micrograms selenium (64 percent DV)

7.7 milligrams zinc (52 percent DV)

454 milligrams phosphorus (45 percent DV)

2.7 micrograms vitamin B12 (45 percent DV)

4 milligrams iron (22 percent DV)

732 milligrams potassium (21 percent DV)

1.5 milligrams pantothenic acid (15 percent DV)

49.2 milligrams magnesium (12 percent DV)

0.1 milligram thiamin (7 percent DV)

27.8 micrograms folate (7 percent DV)

0.1 milligram copper (7 percent DV)

You don't want to settle for "natural" or "pasture-raised." Ideally you want the label to tell you that the beef is 100 percent grass-fed, which means that it was both grass-fed AND grass-finished. If a beef product does not indicate that it's 100 percent grass-fed or both grass-fed and grass-finished, then it could likely be grain-finished. Make sure the label also indicates that the beef is free of hormones and antibiotics. Click HERE to read the full article.

At John Henry's we Grass Feed AND Grass Finish our cows. We raise our own feed, so we are sure no pesticides, hormones or GMO's are ever in their food source. We DO NOT plump them up with grains right before we deliver to your door.  We understand the cost is a little higher to Grass Feed and Grass FINISH our cows, but the health benefit and quality of the meat is more than worth it. Our cows are in the pasture when it is available. With winter upon us, we also offer them dry hay, fomented wet hay and silage. 

Silage is when the entire green corn stalk is chopped about 6-8 inches above the ground. Usually the plant is 12-14 feet tall at that time. We grind the entire stalk and it makes it nice and juicy. Then we pack it tight and cover it and let it ferment for about 3 months. This is what provides protein for them in the winter. Cows are still nursing in the winter and require this protein. They are never locked in the barn or fed any grain. When we prepare the meat for you, we never add pink slime or any other coloring or preservative to make the meat look red. Nor do we add water to our grinds for texture or weight.  When we do our grinds, we do one animal at a time. Where as commercially processed grinds there are 1,000 animals from all over the world ground together in one package.  So when our meat is consumed by us and our John Henry's family, we know we are truly "Eating Clean". Knowing your food source is hugely important in understanding what you are truly eating. 

So maybe you eat one "Clean" meal a day, until that is a positive routine in your life. Then you will find adding a second meal- breakfast maybe with some handmade John Henry's sausage, or our amazing bacon, or farm fresh free range eggs. (Our chickens are also raised with the same principles. Free Range, no locking them up and  plumping them up prior to your door, fed all natural corn, alfalfa, oyster shells and bugs for the egg laying chickens, corn, oats, peas and bugs for the fryers and roasters.) By eating clean and implementing this positive routine into your life gradually, it  will help you be successful to follow through and make this a lifestyle change that will change your health and your life.- You can do it! Happy New Year!

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