1 Choose higher quality meat
Many traditional holiday meals center on meat as the starring dish. Turkey and prime rib, for example, often top the menu for big family get-togethers. If meat is the centerpiece of your meal, make it healthier by serving the highest quality.
So, how can you tell if you’re buying high-quality meat? Look for the USDA organic seal. Meat quality is largely determined by how the animal was raised and what it ate throughout its lifetime. To earn the USDA organic certification, animals must be fed 100-percent organic feed and forage, living conditions must allow for them to exhibit their natural behaviors (e.g. having access to pasture for grazing) and they cannot be given any hormones or antibiotics. Organic meat standards include a minimum 120-day per year grazing requirement to ensure that animals are eating what nature intended. Just like humans, animals on organic diets eat healthier food, and that’s important because you eat what they eat!
In fact, grass-fed beef contains higher levels of key nutrients essential to human health, including beta-carotene, vitamin E, B vitamins, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Being a fatty acid, CLA supports cardiovascular health and a healthy body weight. What a gift to give your friends and family! The bow is optional.
2 Serve up organic produce
You can’t have the perfect holiday meal without glorious sides. And what do most of those oh-so-famous side dishes contain? Vegetables! An easy way to clean up your holiday meal is to switch to organic produce.
Why go organic? Organic produce is grown without toxic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers–chemicals that are far from festive. In fact, pesticides can cause damage to the brain and nervous system, eyes, skin, and lungs. Eliminating pesticide consumption— by avoiding conventional produce— supports the health of the entire body from head to toe. Choosing organic also means you don’t have to worry about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their potential health risks. To be certified by the USDA, fruits and vegetables may not contain GMOs.
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