Sunday, December 21, 2008

Meat safety

There is a lot of speculation, questions, and misinformation when it comes to legal meats. Here are the SCD rules to live by.

Grocery store meats are often legal. You do have to read labels, but yes, feedlot beef with no additives, chicken, turkey, lamb, and pork are often legal. Chicken is often not legal, so you must read the labels. Anything injected with natural flavorings or broth is not legal. Anything injected with only salt and water is legal.

Just because it is legal does not mean it is OK for YOU to eat. You will not react well to every meat. If you have an allergy to a particular meat, stay away from it. If you know you have an intolerance to a particular meat, then don't eat it. Intolerances often go away with time spent on the SCD, but it's best to err on the side of caution.

Organic meats are not necessarily better. Feedlot beef and conventionally raised chickens are often fed corn and soy. The real kicker? So are many of the ones labeled "organic" -- which means there is very little difference between them and their feedlot-raised brethren. Some extremely sensitive individuals will not be able to eat any meat that was fed corn or soy. As far as beef goes, look for grass fed, grass FINISHED beef. Some meat that is labeled grass fed has actually been finished with corn -- which is no good if you are sensitive. There is a similar issue with eggs laid by hens fed corn and soy. Often, "pasture raised" animals will not be fed corn and soy -- but you need to check with the supplier to be absolutely sure.

Drain fats well in the beginning. Many people have difficulty digesting fats when they first start the diet. Cutting down on the fat can often alleviate this difficulty. Also, the fat contains the most toxins, so it's a good idea to either choose very lean cuts or drain it if you're eating feedlot beef.

And while we're talking about meat, there are a couple of resources that can help you find clean meats. Whole Foods has a bunch of great regulations in place, and their butchers are ready and willing to answer any questions you might have. There are also many Weston A. Price groups who can help you obtain clean, safe meats near you.

But don't forget that your local grocery store may have enough options for you. My local Costco carries Tyson chicken breasts that are injected with only salt and water, for example. Many of our stores also carry Foster Farms chicken, which also only have salt and water added.


Anonymous said...

Do you happen to know if Costco's roasted chicken that they sell to go is SCD legal? My husband just started the diet 2 days ago and we are scrambling to figure everything out. Would love to have a roast chicken that was cooked and ready to go and legal.

The SCD girl said...

In the case of a roast chicken, it was probably injected with broth, which is full of illegals. It's also likely to be covered in a blended seasoning that probably contains starch and gluten, and possibly sugar and corn starch as well.

Of course, you can try to contact Costco about what's in it, but they may not respond. You would have to ask if the chicken had any additives other than salt and water prior to cooking, and then you'd have to ask for a complete ingredient list as to what was added for the roasting process. It's extremely unlikely it would be legal.

The most basic rule for beginners is "Make it yourself!" Unfortunately, many people interpret this to mean, "Cook at every meal!" which is not correct, either.

Be sure you are cooking enough food for more than one meal, when you do cook. You will go crazy if you don't. If you're making chicken, load up two Pyrex dishes with legal chicken in the oven. Line them with parchment or aluminum foil for easy cleanup.

I purchase the pre-formed ground sirloin patties at Costco. I line two cookie sheets with foil with six patties on each sheet and I cook them in the oven all together that way.

Each meat goes in a large baggie in the fridge, ready to go for the next three to four days.

Chicken is a prime example of a generally unsafe food. Many types are injected with broth. It's not safe to get chicken in a restaurant without asking about it. Beef/steak usually has no additives so if you must eat out, it's a safer choice. If it's a hamburger patty, make sure you ask if it is 100 percent beef -- and ask someone who works in the kitchen, not the server. Specify that you want no seasonings other than salt and pepper.

Be sure to check out the Pecanbread Yahoo! group. There's lots of help to be found there.

Good luck!

PL said...

Just as a reference for those that may have the same question. I decided to call Tyson regarding their boneless chicken breasts with rib meat that contain 8% broth and natural flavorings (the big frozen bag from BJ's). They confirmed that there are no starches, sugars, or gums in those.