Burger King announced some very interesting news. As the world’s third largest burger chain, they have pledged that all of their eggs and pork will come from cage-free chickens and pigs by 2017.
This move comes as a rise in consumer demand for humanely produced food has increased. Many animal welfare activist have been pushing to see livestock out of cages. Burger King is the first to make the official move while many other companies are responding as well.
Traditionally, conventional eggs come from hens that are confined to “battery cages.” These are cages that give the hen about as much space as a sheet of notebook paper. Most pork comes from sows who are confined in narrow crates during their four-month pregnancies.
These conditions are pretty rough and have many activists upset. The cage-free hens will be housed in barns with room to move and they’ll have perches and nesting boxes. The cage-free sows will be indoors but no longer in crates while pregnant. These methods raise production costs according to egg and pork producers. (more…)
March marks the start of nutrition labels for raw meat and poultry. The new USDA rule states that nutrition information must be made available for most ground meat and ground poultry and for popular cuts of the two.
Previously, the USDA only required nutrition labels on meat that had added ingredients like stuffing or a marinade sauce. Now, all ground meat and poultry must carry a label. Along with ground meat 40 popular cuts will also be required to post a label either on the product or on a nearby chart. Some of those cuts include beef porterhouse steaks, chicken breasts, and pork chops.
The labels will provide the calorie and fat content of the meat. If the product shows a percentage of lean meat, it must also include the percentage of fat.
The labels do not have to include amount of trans fat though. This is not a requirement as the USDA estimated that nearly 80 percent of all nutrition labels list trans fat voluntarily.
There is an exception to the new labeling rule. Small meat grinding businesses are exempt. As long as the business provides lean and fat content information and makes no other nutrition claims on the package, they do not have to provide the other content in a label.
Oktoberfest, a two-week festival held each year in Munich, Germany, was originally created to celebrate Bavarian culture. Today, people honor Oktoberfest all over the world with festivals and celebrations that feature German food, beer, music, rides, and games.
While Oktoberfest is well underway in Germany, you can fashion your own Bavarian celebration wherever you are. The food served at Oktoberfest celebrations tends to be rich and starchy (think: pork chops, potato salad, pretzels and beer.) Luckily, dieters overseas can lighten their favorite German fare to fit their healthy lifestyle – and even save room for a brew or two.
Instead of roasted pork or pork hocks, try Pork with Apple Sauerkraut.
Pork hocks, though often inexpensive, often require long cooking times in order for the tough meat to be made palatable. Instead of roasting or braising meat in added fat, pick a simple pork tenderloin that is quick and lean.
Restaurant menus are getting better and better all the time. More and more establishments are including ingredients and nutrition information for their consumers. One chain that has appealed to the health conscience and the fast food addicts alike is Chipotle. Chipotle has always offered fresh, high quality ingredients and allowed the customer to make their meal tailored to their desires. They have also been very forthcoming in their products, helping the health-conscience make informed decisions. However, a recent food faux pas has required the CEO to make some necessary menu changes.
Chipotle’s pinto beans have always been prepared with a small amount of bacon. This is not advertised clearly on any menu. However the staff has always been instructed to inform customers of this fact if they aren’t ordering any type of meat, just to insure the assumed vegetarian isn’t consuming meat. The web site always advises vegetarians and vegans to choose the black beans over pinto as they are vegan. Recently a flaw in this plan was exposed.
There’s probably not one person alive who hasn’t been camping. Sleeping under the trees, cooking over a fire, enjoying the fresh air of the great outdoors – what’s not to love? Camping is a great family and budget friendly activity; it’s an inexpensive way to spend quality time together. Pack up the car, grab your sleeping bag and you are on your way. But what will you eat? If you are out for more than a few hours, you’ll soon discover that being outdoors works up a tremendous appetite. Many of the traditional camping foods are not so healthy, especially perennial favorites like grilled hot dogs, canned meat spreads and gooey s’mores. Is there a way to enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors without resorting to those admittedly easy to pack but maybe not so good for your diet foods?
Just as in your daily life, one of the main secrets to planning healthy camping meals is the need to take the time to plan and prepare your meals. It’s much easier to grab a pack of hot dogs and some buns and leave town, but a little bit of advance planning will help you avoid resorting to bags of chips and cold fried chicken.
Memorial Day is one holiday almost everyone looks forward to. What’s not to love? The last Monday of every May, we honor our fallen U.S. soldiers and their families on a weekend when the weather starts to heat up in most parts on the country. Barbecues, camping trips and outdoor parties are how most people celebrate Memorial Day, the sunshine, and show their patriotism.
Memorial Day is tons of fun, but barbecues are notorious for being full of calorie and fat packed foods, so plan ahead. If you are taking advantage of the long weekend and going camping, indulging in 3 days worth of this indulgent food can really do some damage. If you are hosting, you have full control of the menu, but if you are a guest, bring your own “safe” dish that you know is healthy, and you already know the calories and fat per serving.
Whether you’re planning to usher in summer at the beach or with a backyard cookout, there are a lot of tempting, warmer-weather treats that might appeal to you no matter how much you want to stick to a healthy diet. Fend off cravings by making slimmer versions of your favorite meals and treats.
Home cooks often stick to chicken breasts when they are looking for a quick, healthy meal option, but pork today compares favorably for fat, calories and cholesterol. In fact, many cuts of pork are just as lean – if not leaner – than chicken. Pork tenderloin, like skinless chicken breast, meets the government guidelines for “extra lean.” According to The Pork Checkoff, six pork cuts meet the USDA guidelines for “lean,” with less than 10 grams fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving.
If you’re looking for a perfect partner for pork chops, whole grain barley makes a great teammate for any cut of “the other white meat.” Barley is low in fat, high in fiber and extremely versatile for any meal. A cereal grain with a rich, nutty flavor, it has an appealing chewy, consistency that tastes like a blend of rice and pasta.
The McRib sandwich from McDonald’s is a strange product of the food science world: fake “ribs” molded out of mystery pork and drowning in sauce. First McDonald’s created the “Boneless Pig Farmers Association of America” spoof. Now, the fast food chain is running a campaign to get customers to submit a video with a “legendary” creation story of the McRib sandwich. The winner will receive $10,000 dollars and a trip to Germany. The fact that McDonald’s is making fun of the nebulous origins of its food is borderline offensive to anyone who would like there to be some transparency in our food chain.
Well, OK, McDonald’s, we’ll tell you where the McRib comes from: an enormous factory farm. A giant shed with a floor covered in feces, where tens of thousands of pigs will be born without ever having enough space to turn around in and most will never see daylight. Let’s remember that, unlike a chicken, a pig has fairly advanced mental capacities, much like your pet dog. Because these pigs live in such tight quarters, they tend to develop bizarre behaviors due to stress. The animals, taken away from their mothers shortly after birth, nibble on each other’s tails because they are not allowed to wean. The pig having its tail nibbled is too apathetic to fight or object, but the chewed tails are likely to be infected. The solution? All the pigs get their tails cut off at birth. I’ll spare you a description of a slaughter. A typical slaughterhouse kills up to 1,100 pigs per hour, according to PETA.