Your Definitive Clean Eating Guide to the Healthiest Meats: Pasture-Raised, Organic, etc

by Gregory
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Eat the Meat!

Simply put, we are equipped to eat meat.  Looking at fossil records, scientists have determined that our Paleolithic ancestors consumed 50-70% of their calories from it. Evolutionarily speaking, we have been doing so for millennia as we foraged for plant-based food and hunted for animals.  Later through the Agriculture Revolution and the domestication of livestock we began to ingest grains and dairy in large quantities.

The issue is that a few thousand years ago is a drop in the bucket compared to the million of years we have consumed animals, seeds, nuts, vegetables, & fruits.  As such, we have slowly adapted to consuming grains & dairy, but our body is not wired to handle it with ease.  But meat, we are meant to eat it.

(Read “Our Definitive Guide to Eggs, Fish, Fruit & Spices.)

As with most of our other foods, meat has been corrupted by commercial livestock.  As previously discussed, the majority of livestock eaten in America, cramped in crowded and unsanitary conditions, has been:

  • Injected with antibiotics and growth hormones to obviate disease and promote growth.  (The EU banned livestock antibiotics years ago.  America…not so much.)
  • Fed GMO feed.

The issue with the latter is that cows, lambs, & goats for example eat grass and are not meant to consume corn and soyChickens & pigs are ominivores and not meant to be vegetarian. (Don’t fall for “vegetarian chickens” when buying eggs.)

Let’s tackle the health issues of GMO later, but in general, agricultural feed is not nearly as nutrient-dense as the foods these animals normally eat in the pasture.  As a result, their muscles are not as nutrient-dense so the chicken, beef, etc. on our plate isn’t packing the punch it should.  Either way, after the slaughterhouse, our conventional meat is sprayed with pesticides and laden with fillers & dyes.

Now that we have covered the polluted state of our meat supply let’s cover the healthiest meats.  I will rank the meats from best to least quality.


  1. 100% Grass-fed/pasture-raised beef is ideal.
  2. Certified Organic (cows ate off pasture and non-GMO grain.
  3. Conventional meat.  Ask for the leanest cuts.


  1. 100% Pastured is ideal but exceedingly rare to find.
  2. Certified Organic.
  3. Conventional.  Anything labeled no hormone/antibiotic is better than conventional, but hard to prove its veracity.


  1. 100% Pastured is ideal but rare to find.
  2. Certified Organic. Like cow, they feed off pasture and non-GMO feed.
  3. Conventional.  Ask for leanest cuts.


  1. 100% Grass-fed/pasture-raised is ideal.
  2. Certified Organic.  Mixture pasture and non-GMO grain.
  3. Conventional.


  1. 100% Grass-fed/pasture-raised is ideal.
  2. Certified Organic.  Mixture of pasture and non-GMO grain.
  3. Conventional.


Notice a trend here?  As a whole, the ranking from most nutrient-dense to least is:

  1. Wild-hunted game
  2. 100% Grass-fed and/or pasture-raised.
  3. USDA certified organic
  4. ConventionalSheep, Lambs, Market, Farm, Animal

Venture out to the local farmer’s market and inquire as to a local farm which provide pasture-fed meat.  Though perhaps more pricey than conventional, your meat will be so much better and you are helping a local livestock provider thrive in this world of AgriBusiness “supercamps” that stretch for miles on end.

Meat has the complete package of amino acids and is the ideal protein source, no disrespect to the vegetarians.  It is also a terrific source of saturated fats and is quite satiating.  (Anyone can eat an entire box of cereal or chips; try finishing a large T-bone.).  To fully optimize all parts of the animal eat the organs and use the bone to make broth.

As with produce and fish, eating conventional meat, though polluted, is infinitely better than consuming the typical Standard America Diet of high-calorie, low-nutrition processed foods, Frankenfoods, sugary snacks and inflammatory
vegetable oil garbage.   Remember the FDA My Plate.  Consume lots of vegetable, a sensible portion of meat, fruit, and whole grains.

Subscribe to our Naturopathic Earth podcast here.

A. Gregory Luna (call me Gregory!)

(We would appreciate your comments.)

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Katelynn April 12, 2017 - 12:17 PM

I would say that the order to buy organic is meat, milk, produce. Also thanks for supporting local providers of pastured-raised meat.

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