Natural is Nicer for Health and Animals

Over the past twenty years, the meat industry has made substantial changes in how it houses, sustains and feeds livestock that is raised for meat. Most controversial changes includes the use of drugs and hormones on animals to increase production rates and sizes. So, what are the main differences between “regular” and natural meats?

Free-range Chicken - Natural meats

Free-range Chicken – Natural meats

Natural Meats

Natural meats are usually raised cage free and outdoors where they can see the sky and have room to roam. They are not given any type of growth hormones, unnecessary antibiotics, or fed chemically treated agriculture. Animals raised for natural meats are treated to meet conditions that cater to consumers that vote with their wallet for healthy products and improved treatment of farm animals.

Meat without the Natural Label

Large non-natural processing centers produce to meet the bottom dollar. This means that animals must be quickly raised and butchered in the cheapest, and most efficient manner to increase profits. For example, animals are given steroids so that they weigh more and grow at faster rates. Poultry are often raised and butchered in the same place that they are hatched, to cut down on space and transportation costs. Within overcrowded enclosed facilities, they are never exposed to nature or sunlight from egg to processing. Scientists are controversial with their speculations about whether the animal’s elevated stress hormones, and the traces of artificially injected hormones and drugs may translate negatively on humans after consumption.

Numerous documentaries have been released during more recent years to educate the public’s growing curiosity about the chemicals, additives and big farm practices that are used in the industry. More and more people are paying closer attention to where their food comes, what it contains, and the methods that land it on the grocery shelves. This increased awareness has skyrocketed the demand for more natural and organic products.

Farmers have taken notice, and thus going natural is not as against the profit grains of some large scale agriculture company’s, as it once was. Familiar brands, such as Harvest Land, specializes in only producing natural meats. You can browse online at harvestlandbrand.com to learn what varieties to look for at the supermarket. However, large companies that are fully committed to the natural plunge are also making it easier to buy grass fed and cage free meats. Always hunting down the labels of products can be cumbersome and time consuming for customers who would otherwise buy natural meats. Large companies that specialize in natural meats take the guess work out of shopping conscientiously.

image credit: Wikepedia.org

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Chicken Afritada with mushrooms

Chicken Afritada

Chicken afritada or Chicken stew in red sauce, this recipe came from Spanish cuisines brought by the Spaniards here in the Philippines during the Spanish regime and became  one of the traditional Filipino foods being  prepared during fiestas and special events. As time passes by different versions came out depending on the variety of ingredients found in the market or new ideas from new generations, thus became a fusion of the old and the new. One example is this Chicken Afritada recipe using mushrooms instead of the usual ingredient potato, though both can be added.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 kilo chicken chopped into serving sizes
  • 1/4 kilo or 250 gms chicken liver
  • 5 to 6 pcs. hotdogs (slice thinly as shown on the photo above) or as preferred
  • 1 pouch or can tomato sauce (250ml)
  • minced garlic
  • chopped 1 med. onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pc bayleaf (optional)
  • butter or cooking oil
  • 1 can button mushroom, cut into halves

Cooking preparation:

  1. In a pan, saute garlic and onion in oil or butter (or put a little oil first then add the butter to prevent burning the butter)
  2. Add the chicken meat, saute a bit until change color then add about 1 cup water to simmer the chicken until tender.
  3. Add the tomato sauce and continue simmering, lower the heat.
  4. Add hotdogs, mushrooms, bay leaf and liver, continue cooking until liver is done and sauce thickens.
  5. Season with salt and pepper
  6. Serve with steamed rice

With this very simple  recipe, you’ll never get lost and you are free to copy it just like having to print yard signs for your home business or activities. Chow!!!

 

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Mussels Sauteed in Butter

Though we’re far from the sea being in the city, we are not deprived of fresh seafood that we can buy from wet markets. Everyday fresh catch from the sea are delivered in these markets ready for the taking. And during peak season where these product from the sea are abundant, you don’t need to go to market as there are vendors with their carts going house to house to sell. Today we bought these fresh and beautiful mussels for our lunch, the meat are big even though the shells were just of regular sizes and sauteed them in butter which is verrrry easy. :)

Ginisang Tahong sa butter

Tahong - Mussel

Ingredients :

  • 1 kilo mussels
  • 1 med. onion chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • butter or margarine
  • pinch of salt for seasoning

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Preparation:

  1. Wash mussels thoroughly or let it sit in water for 20-30 minutes to remove any dirt or sand.
  2. In a pan, saute garlic until slightly brown and onion till translucent in butter.
  3. Add the mussels and stir a bit, lower the heat and cover the pan, don’t add any water as the mussels’ juices will come out, simmer until the mussels are done, season with salt if needed.
  4. Serve hot with steamed rice.
    Note: remove any mussels that didn’t open and throw away, it means it’s already dead and not fresh anymore.

We had a hearty lunch today because of this delicious recipe, now I’m inspired to finish my review for the excellent gibson 498t from guitar center.

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