A plant based diet can be the best diet for some people. But, not all people want to go this route despite health concerns with animal products. My best advice is to incorporate as many plant based foods into your diet as you can and keep animal products to more of a minimum.
Both the quality of fish and dairy can be affected in transport to the stores. All kinds of bacteria can develop in raw food if it is not properly transported and stored. Bad quality food products, of course, may compromise our health.
As a consumer, choosing the best quality of the goods is the most important thing to take into consideration. Food inspectors greatly reduce the risk, but food such as fish and meat can easily develop bacteria in the process of selling and displaying.
There are many cases when the good foods we think are safe can lead to serious illness. This makes even more important that you know what to look for in animal products and how to evaluate which products are the healthiest and safest.
And labels like grass-fed, free range, natural, wild-caught, and pasture-raised can be deceiving. For example, “free range” chickens may not have much access to the outdoors and “natural” meat products may still be from animals fed antibiotics critical to human health.
While we can assume that only the best quality products are for sale in the grocery store, there is always the chance that someone, somewhere, cut corners. Be an informed, educated consumer to keep your family safe.
Here is a cheat sheet on the most reliable labels to the least reliable for fish, meat, dairy, and eggs:
|MOST RELIABLE||American Grassfed Association |
Animal Welfare Approved
Global Animal Partnership
Food Alliance Certified-Grassfed
Marine Stewardship Council (for seafood)
|LESS RELIABLE||Grass-fed |
American Humane Certified
USDA Process Verified
No Beta Agonists
Not treated with rBGH/rBST
Farmed Responsibly ASC Certified
|BE EXTRA CAUTIOUS||Free-range |
Omega-3 Fortified Eggs and Milk
No Nitrates or Nitrites Added
No Hormones Added
Animal Welfare Review
To read about each label in more detail visit DECODING MEAT AND DAIRY PRODUCT LABELS on the Environmental Working Group’s website.
Also, make sure to remember when you shop for animal products:
-The redder the meat, the fresher the product
-For fish, clear eyes is a sign of freshness