Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Free range is better for you

I totally support the ideas and concepts of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Amongst other things they recommend eating free range meats. The animals should be exposed to sunlight, to make vitamin D, and eat natural foods eg grass for cows/sheep and bugs, seeds, vege's for chickens and other birds.

The reason for this these animals then concentrate up nutrients into there meat and organs, especially the fat soluble vitamins (A, carotenes, D, E and K + omega 3 fats) which we struggle to get enough of in our diet.

This makes all the meats more nutritious. A study has just been published that confirms this. Turkeys were feed a processed food diet (pellet feed) or this plus olive leaves or vitamin E supplements.

Upon harvesting the breasts were stored for 12 days and analyzed how much oxidation had occurred. Unsurprisingly the turnkey meat from turkeys on the higher antioxidant foods reduced the oxidation in there oxidation in storage. The higher the level of anti-oxidant in the diet the lower the level of oxidation.

Unfortunately this study was probably done to try and extend the shelf life of turkey breasts. However it shows that if you eat meat from chickens that are kept in coops that are moved around on grass - so they can eat green stuff which had vitamin E in it this will be much better for you.

Me and my brother once shot a wild turkey (they are a pest around here) in dressing it to eat we were amazed that the fat was fluorescent yellow. So much so it took me a few seconds to figure out what it was. None of this white stuff you see on chickens in the supermarket..... clearly the turkeys had fat soluble nutrients stored in its body fat. Another reason to eat food that can graze like they were created to.

Photo credit: Tom Curtis
Ref: Evropi Botsoglou, Alexandros Govaris, Efterpi Christaki and Nikolas Botsoglou Effect of dietary olive leaves and/or α-tocopheryl acetate supplementation on microbial growth and lipid oxidation of turkey breast fillets during refrigerated storage. Food Chemistry Volume 121, Issue 1, 1 July 2010, Pages 17-22 doi:10.1016/

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