Your food’s food, and barley

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I have a colleague whom I teach with that raises cows and pigs. I asked him questions because he is a direct meat source, and a local farmer I would love to support. He teaches kids how to build robots AND he farms. That’s a win win to me. Everyday he leaves school on time to make especially sure the babies are well fed their natural diet of cow and pig milk, because you know sometimes farmers have to bottle feed the babies. He has enough land for the animals to frolic freely and happily for their whole lives. He doesn’t inject them with junk or stack them on top of each other. He doesn’t hold them hostage to “finish them” before he processes them. Aside from the food I’m sure they forage for on his land he also feeds them barley. I know that I cannot have barley for 30 days, but can my food have consumed barley? This is probably a really stupid question considering that I can do way worse for meats, but I thought I would make sure.

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What your meat was fed is actually a major concern. High quality protein was covered pretty extensively in It starts with Food Chapter 13, and here is a direct quote, 

“Here’s what matters: the way the animal was raised and the food it was fed.”

Excerpt From
It Starts With Food
Melissa Hartwig & Dallas Hartwig
This material may be protected by copyright.

I’m trying to cover my bases on “the food it was fed.”

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It is important what your food has been fed and how it has been treated, but Whole30 doesn't actually prohibit you from eating grain-fed foods. We encourage you to get the highest quality proteins you can, based on your budget and what is available to you. For some people, it is not possible to get grass fed or pastured meat sources, and that is okay, they can still do a whole30 with the meat that they have access to. That is probably what Laura meant by it not being a concern.

It sounds like you have found a really good source. The fact that they have been fed barley is fine. 

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