Today I am going to cover meat, poultry, fish and shell-fish.
In my family we hunt. It is what we do, I grew up doing it. My Dad is an avid hunter/fisherman. He taught me how to as well as my Mom. We enjoy going out, and I am not going to make excuses for that. As a result of hunting as well as growing up on the farm I know where my food comes from, which is very important.
Many people eat much more protein at any meal than they really need. A serving should only be 3-4 ounces, that is about the size of a deck of cards. Most people eat three to four times this amount. It doesn't help that if you go out for a steak they only offer you a 8 or 12 ounce, so that is what you get, and without thinking about it you have eaten the whole thing. It is not my intention to say what you should be eating or not eating. I am just giving my opinion of what I am doing. My point is that it is important to watch portion sizes. When we do have a steak and on the rare occasion that I have one I almost always cut it in thirds, save the other two-thirds for fajitas the next night or a stir fry.
Beef: we eat mostly hamburger (the boys really aren't into steaks yet) this I call and order (from the slaughterhouse) the leanest that he can get it. You can also do this at your local butcher shop or even your grocery store. The nice part about the slaughterhouse is that I know where it is coming from and it is cheaper than going to the store. I usually buy about 100 pounds at a time, this helps cut down on the cost.
Vension or Deer: all of this has come from animals have harvested ourselves. We cut and wrap the steaks ourselves and for the hamburger are fortunate that we have a friend who helps us with the hamburger. Wild game can be much healthier for you as it is lower in fat and in cholesterol. It is an acquired taste though and not everyone likes it.
Pork: I buy this from the store. It all depends on what I am making, though if it is chops I look for ones that are lean, though you want a bit of fat on them or they will become tough. I don't buy ham anymore it has too much sodium in it, though I do splurge and buy bacon from time to time.
Duck: Again this is something that we harvested (I should say Dad did), we have the meat ground and made into duck-dogs. They are unique and nothing like a hot dog. They have no added fat, and duck is super low in cholesterol. Duck is an aquired taste though, not everyone likes it.
Chicken: I buy all of my chicken from the grocery store. Usually whole fryers though from time to time I will buy the boneless skinless breasts. I have tried organic chickens several times and I have to say I really prefer the regular ones that come from the store. I know bad. It is just my preference. To me the organic ones have a different smell and taste to them that I don't care for.
Fish/shellfish: We have a fish/seafood market in a town near where we live, so I buy a lot of fish there. Sometimes if I am in a rush I do purchase it from the store. I usually buy what ever looks good at the time. I do buy wild caught rather than farmed fish. This sometimes costs a bit more, but it is just what I prefer. When they have a good sale I will buy enough for a couple dinners then freeze the rest for later use.
We do fish in my family as well, but most of the fish that we catch we either pressure can or smoke. When we are canning (especially tuna) we go the coast and purchase off one of the boats. I am still getting up the courage to go out on the boats myself. They go out 50-70 miles sometimes, and that is a long way out. If you buy direct from the fisherman you know it is fresh. When we go over several boats will be selling different fish, so you have your choice as to what you are looking for..
One point that has been highly stressed to me about clean eating is knowing the source of you food. Knowing where it comes from. They even get into how it is handled and how animals are treated. This is all important and I am not an expert on it. I am still learning day by day. Though it does have a good point in know where food comes from. Do you? Do your kids? I have met children before that thought all things came from the grocery store and they didn't have a clue as to where they were from. Education takes time, and if we all do it a little at a time big changes can happen.
Next week............Vol 3