Why Sustainable Farming Practices Produce Healthier Food
Wild caught salmon.
These options are popping up in grocery stores around the country. Whether in Trader Joes or Kroger, they present options that are perceived as healthier from those shopping. It makes sense–a practice that goes back to a ecological balance within farming, and natural products as well.
Many documentaries have fueled this movement. Food Inc covers the practice of factory farming and its practices. These practices harm what we eat–the chickens cooped up in cages, given steroids to be bigger and produce more meat. Or cows suffer the same fate.
More than that, they are given a steady meal of corn to help them grow. This corn is not designed to fill their body’s nutritional needs.
Grass fed and free range chicken has numerous health benefits for the consumer. Because grass fed and free range chicken comes from animals that have been fed a natural diet, whether that is in nutritionally valuable chicken feed or grass for the cows, the grass fed beef and free range chicken comes with a higher nutritional content than grain fed.
The taste is stronger too. Grass fed beef has a higher percentage of juice than processed meat, making the free range pork tastier, more juicy, and for a better steak. There are many grass fed meat recipes online as well, for burgers and steaks and general crumbled beef that can be added to pasta and tacos.
Here are some statistics for the value of sustainable farming:
- Beef from grass fed cows has higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, as well as Vitamins A and E.
- Grass fed beef has up to seven times more beta carotene than grain fed.
- Pasture pigs have 300% more vitamin E and 74% more selenium in their milk, which promotes healthy litters.
Unfortunately, factory farming practices have moved to fish.
Wild salmon, as well as catfish, tilapia, and other kinds of fish, have become factory farmed. When it is farmed, the factory company gives these fish a grain fed diet, forcing them to endure small cages with little movement. This results in a lower nutritionally dense diet and thereby affects American consumers who eat this fish.
Fortunately, there are others that are becoming more able to fight this practice. They rely on Americans being informed, such as seeking out statistics about factory farming and the nutritional value of factory farms versus sustainable practices. To whit, here are two statistics about wild caught versus factory farmed salmon:
- According to the National Nutritional Database, wild salmon has 32% less calories than its farmed counterpart.
- Wild salmon average 13 grams of fat per half filet, compared to 27 grams for its farmed counterpart.
More and more companies along the coast are reacting to the trend of healthier and more informed shoppers by allowing shoppers to buy their food online and have it shipped, rather than it going through a supermarket.
You can buy wild-caught Alaskan salmon online. This is helpful, as Alaska has some of the largest wild sources of salmon. When you buy wild-caught Alaskan salmon online, it is believed to be fresh and caught recently from the coast. To buy wild-caught Alaskan salmon online, a quick search is all that is necessary.