5 Food Labels All Meat-Eaters Should Understand

2015-11-23-1448317858-3378799-healthymeatlabeling.jpg

 

By Well+GOOD

 

If you’re a health-minded carnivore, you’ve probably found yourself standing in a grocery aisle, holding two options in your hands and puzzling over the labels.

 
 

What, exactly, does free-range mean again? You pause for a moment, and turn to the other package before wondering, And is organic better?

 
 

Welcome to the confusing world of meat terminology, where it sometimes seems like a nutrition degree is necessary for decoding what you put in your fridge and your plate.

 
 

“I think there’s more confusion because of the explosion of manufacturer-created logos and marketing terms that don’t have true regulatory oversight,” says Ashley Koff, RD, who runs the Better Nutrition Simplified Program. “People are confused what to look for for.”

 
 

RELATED: How to be a better reader of food labels

 
 

With that in mind, here’s the 411 on the five terms that will help you be a smarter meat eater:

 
 

1. Natural

 

“Natural” is a clear and meaningful meat term, insofar as the USDA has a set definition for it, explains Dawn Undurraga, RD, a nutritionist for the Environmental Working Group (which publishes a comprehensive Meat Eater’s Guide). To qualify, meat must contain no artificial ingredients or added color (gross to think about, we know), and be only minimally processed. All fresh meat, therefore, is considered natural–but it doesn’t mean a whole lot beyond that.

 
 

2. Organic

 

“Organic” is another label with a clear, USDA definition–and one the experts say you definitely want to prioritize in your shopping trip. Organic meat and poultry can’t be treated with hormones or antibiotics, and it must consume only organically grown feed. Plus, the animals are required to have access to the outdoors. “‘Organic’ is a great certification, and it’s great for the environment,” says Undurraga. But looking for a combo of labels is better. In other words, organic may be awesome, she says, but organic and grass-fed (more details on that below) is potentially even better.

 
 

See 3 more food labels all meat-eaters should understand.

 
 

More Reading from Well+GOOD:

 

7 totally different ways to eat Paleo

 

Why “100% preservative-free” on your beauty label could be a red flag

 

Why more vegans are putting meat back on their plates

 

(Photo: Pixel Stories/Stocksy)

 
 

Also on HuffPost:

 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s