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I am just transitioning to eating animal products so I am really new at buying dairy, meat, eggs, etc. I wanted to get some input on when it's necessary to get organic & when it's less important (limited budget and limited options at our store).<br><br>
So, I know most non-organic cow dairy in the US will probably not be grass-fed, hormone-free... is that true for cow dairy from other countries, as well? For ex., I know Kerry Gold keeps their cows pastured and doesn't add hormones, so I feel comfortable with it regardless of whether they have an "organic" label. Is this true for other dairy from Ireland or European countries? What about French or Italian cheeses?<br><br>
How about goat dairy? Do US providers generally use hormones and stuff? Are the goats generally kept in pens or pastured?<br><br>
Fish... I'm thinking you can't really mess with wild-caught fish so they should be the best option (the only option), is that correct? Anything else to look for with fish?<br><br>
Meat & eggs... I don't feel comfortable buying anything but organic, free-range chicken, beef, etc. Are there any options that wouldn't necessarily need those labels but are still likely to be OK? Like maybe buffalo??<br><br>
And, I'm trying to make sure I understand the labels correctly -- organic means they are hormone-free, fed organic feed, but not necessarily pastured, correct? And grass-fed means they are pastured but not necessarily organic? And, the TJ's near us has a lot of dairy that says "no rgbh" but that doesn't mean they are completely hormone/antibiotic free or pastured, right?<br><br>
Thanks for helping me to sort this all out! <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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<p>You are correct on the difference between organic/grass-fed and no RGBH. </p>
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<p>For pastured meats that aren't labeled such, lamb and buffalo are pastured, but not necessarily organic.   </p>
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<p>For dairy that is pastured, you either need to search some out, or buy from Ireland or NZ.  I get KerryGold butter and some NZ cheeses at TJs.  Again, not necessarily organic, but they are pastured.  And far cheaper than searching out local pastured dairy (which I can find but not afford).  If you're planning on drinking milk, I'd either look for a local cow share or stick with a <em>local</em> goat milk (after researching what they're feeding).  There are very few commercial dairies that aren't feeding grains and soy, even the organic ones feed it.  We have 2 raw dairies here and one feeds grains and the other doesn't.  Everybody else (organic and non) feed grains. </p>
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<p>For fish, yes you want wild-caught, but there's more to it than that.  I suggest looking at the Monterey Bay Aquarium's website for the list of sustainable seafood.  You can even d/l an app specific to your region for your smart phone. Sustainability in seafood is about far more than toxicity, also taking into consideration the population size, overfishing, etc. </p>
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<p>For eggs and poultry, I'd do my best to find pastured, and spend the money there.  Again, not necessarily organic, but talk to the farmer about what they eat.  Ideally they're getting none or almost no grains (which usually includes GMO soy if they're not organic).  I get my eggs at the farmer's market from a produce vendor that feeds his excess produce to his chickens.  Chickens are a lot harder to find without soy than anything else around here, and a single whole bird will cost me $20 or more.  But living conditions for commercial birds are worse than pretty much anything else. </p>
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<p>So that gives you poultry, red meat, dairy, eggs and fish that are sustainable and mostly reasonably priced.  I would avoid beef and pork that are commercially raised, organic or not.  Maybe an occasional splurge for pastured beef/pork if you can find it.  I know the price difference between organic and pastured ground meat is pretty minor, but other cuts the price difference starts being drastic. </p>
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<p>HTH</p>
 
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