As part of our commitment here at Moms to eat GMO free, we’ve been looking into the quality of our food even beyond what’s on the label.
One example of this has been our research into what most health food stores call Natural Beef. We don’t eat a lot of beef and for the last few years when we do, it’s been grass fed. Grass fed beef usually has less than 10% of its fat as saturated, and it has an ideal Omega 6:3 ratio, which is good us. The first time we tried it I wasn’t sure how it would taste, but our whole family loves it.
But, I’ve been curious about the other beef they sell, Vintage Natural Beef. I started by asking the meat manager of our health food store if the VNB is GMO free. He actually got angry and stated “It’s natural and vegetarian fed, just like the sign says”. Then I emailed the company directly and never got a reply, which really got me wondering,.
So, I went to the store manager and asked, he didn’t know either and directed me to the store’s district manager, who also didn’t know! I have to admit that this alone surprised me, as our local health food chain is adamant about only carrying quality and healthy products. A few years back they announced their pledge to eliminate the sale of eggs laid by chickens confined in battery cages and stopped carrying the brands that didn’t comply.
The district manager initially repeated the VNB sales info: “Vintage beef is raised solely on a 100% vegetarian diet; cattle are never fed animal by-products of any kind. The Vintage beef program has taken this premise to a stringent level and also regularly test the feed for pesticides with a zero tolerance policy. The Feed is a diet consisting of corn and whole grains. They’re also raised without antibiotics”.
There are some things that VNB does that is better then your ordinary supermarket meat. First off, they’re not fed animal by-products (aka unappealing scraps of meat from other cows, sheep, etc). Animal by-product feeding has been blamed for the creation of Mad Cow disease. It’s also not good that they’re not using antibiotics and testing for pesticides, although unless cows are sprayed like fruits and vegetables, I’m not sure why they’d have high pesticide levels.
The problem with Natural beefs is two-fold. First off Cows are herbivores and are supposed to eat grass. When they eat grain it makes them sick and then they’ll need antibiotics (and who wants to eat a sick cow- and you could be if you eat grain fed beef.) Secondly, and this was my next question, “Are the grains they’re being fed GMOs (genetically modified). Again the regional store manager didn’t know the answer, so he asked his meat purveyor. It took a week for him to get an answer.
When he finally replied it was to tell me, “Our Natural beef program is NOT GMO free.” And he was told, “it would be too expensive” as they’d have to feed the beef organic grain… (How about grass!).
I’ve been eating healthy for many years and I am amazed at how much more I have to learn, mostly to keep up with corporate propaganda. I have to say I’m very impressed that our store was honest about this but I am also concerned that they’ve been selling GMO meat and calling it Natural. Since they weren’t even aware of this hopefully they’ll work on getting a more Natural, natural beef provider.
If you want to make sure the beef you’re eating is really natural, go for grass and/or organically fed beef. It’s delicious and GMO free!