Alternative to organic meats?
Hi, My baby recently started to eat solid foods. This has me thinking more about healthy foods, and the effects that additives and contaminants such as growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, heavy metals, etc can have on a growing baby. As it is we rarely eat processed food and cook most of our meals from scratch. I don't want to go vegetarian with a young baby, but i'm concerned about the cumulation of bad things in animal flesh. Organic meats are so expensive! Are there alternatives? Is halal or kosher meats supposed to be better? Are some seafood choices better than others?
Organic (or grassfed or naturally raised) meats aren't that much more expensive--you have to--to an extent--buy different cuts, for example, and/or buy in larger portions, and/or cook in smaller ones.
For example, Marin Sun Farms (which is relatively expensive) sells boneless chuck for $4.24/lb in 10 lb cuts. Safeway's selling chuck for $3.69/lb. Ironically, the increases in fuel and grain prices have made sustainably raised beef much more affordable on a relative basis.
Cutting back on portion size will help, too--serve 4oz portions (1/4 lb) instead of 6-8 oz, and some meals serve organic eggs (relatively cheap)
Congratulations :) I applaud your effort to do your best to stay away from additives and contaminants. While you don't have to "go vegetarian," there should be no reason keeping you from using alternative protein sources (tofu, tempeh for example). If you don't already consume organic milk, consider this my plug for doing so! Good luck :)
"Is halal or kosher meats supposed to be better?"
Nope. Nothing to do with organics.
Actually, it's pretty common the assumption that ritually clean means somehow clean, or even "cleaner" in the mundane secular way of things.
Nothing further from the truth.
All ritual purity means in this case is, a) the animal was slaughtered following ritually prescribed ways, and b) after slaughter, it passed a ritually prescribed inspection. Period.
For more info:
For our babies, we bought hormone free, antibiotic free meats from Whole Foods but the only organic we bought was the wonderful and delicious Wise whole chicken (Kosher, too!).
I stayed away from hotdogs and sausage. Babyhood was the only time I was able to get my cherubs to eat tofu.