Grain fed beef better than pastured chicken? Article concerns me...


Julie Quates

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Unless I somehow missed it, the article does not say "pastured" chicken - just "chicken." Chicken is generally inflammatory unless it is completely free-range, which is rare. Most free-range pastured chicken still eat some amount of feed. Tropical Traditions has invented a chicken feed made from coconut. They are the only ones I am aware of (online) that do not feed their chickens some sort of grain or soy supplemental feed.

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Many people depend too heavily on chicken for protein, but my concern is not the omega 6/3 ratio. My concern is that the world is full of variety and we should be eating widely from the buffet and not limiting ourselves to a few choices. In a world that includes beef, pork, lamb, bison, turkey, duck, rabbit, and a myriad variety of fish, shrimp, clams, squid, and octopus, no one should be eating chicken every day.

Our bodies actually need omega 6 fatty acids, so eating some is essential for life and health. You can't achieve a perfect 1 to 1 ratio with everything in your diet, you can only hope to achieve balance across everything you eat. If you are eating cold-water fish regularly, you should be achieving a good balance.

Pasture raised chickens are healthier than factory-farmed chickens. If you can afford better chicken, you get more from it. However, if you can't afford organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed, etc., you are still better off eating some kind of meat (including chicken) than you are by avoiding it.

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There are many proteins out there besides beef and chicken. It's better to eat a variety of proteins because each one has a unique set of nutrients. There is nothing wrong with high-quality red meat - even LEAN grain-fed red meat - if you don't eat it every single day forever. I tend to stick with grass fed beef, pastured chicken and forage pork for the most part, but I enjoy lamb and bison as well. Fish is not my thing, but there are several very good seafood choices, too.

I am of the opinion that many folks who do Whole30 are coming off a lifetime of too much Omega 6. Yes we need it, but most of us have gotten more than our fair share while eating a conventional diet, or even by eating "clean," whatever that means these days. :)

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As a family we eat more beef and fish than before. My kids have adapted to some new foods over the course of the year (one of my two New Year's resolutions was to improve the quality of food in our home). It's been so much FUN making changes throughout the year and trying new things. In addition to chicken, as a family we often eat steak, grass fed beef burgers or AF grass fed beef hot dogs, meatballs, cod, shrimp, scallops and even eggs for dinner one night a week. All good stuff and now we rely much less on chicken as a protein which is good since it's not cheap to get pastured chicken. For the price/lb I'd rather have flank steak or fish. I love pork, but my husband hates it so unfortunately we don't have that at home. I love sardines too, but no one else in the family will touch them! ;)

Good luck on your Whole30!

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