One of the more challenging aspects of eating a Real Food/Paleo/Primal diet isn’t necessarily cutting out unhealthy foods. It’s actually trying to find places to eat with high quality ingredients. Add being on a budget or short on time and it can become downright impossible. Lately it seems restaurants are jumping on the health food wagon to meet consumers demand for higher quality meals. While this may seem like we’re moving in a positive direction, the reality is that we’re being greenwashed.
Recently I passed a billboard for Moe’s Southwest Grill promoting their “all-natural, cage-free, skinless white breast meat chicken with no hormones added.” More specifically it said something like afraid of hormones in your chicken? Wait, what? This is where things start to get shady. The USDA has strict guidelines about the use of hormones in poultry:
Hormones are not allowed in raising hogs or poultry. Therefore, the claim “no hormones added” cannot be used on the labels of pork or poultry unless it is followed by a statement that says “Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones.”
If every chicken you buy in the grocery store or eat in a restaurant is already hormone free then why is Moe’s making claims that their chicken is hormone free? Because it benefits their bottom line, the almighty dollar. It gets consumers like you and I who care about how our meat is raised in the door.
Let’s move on to what “cage-free” looks like. It’s not pretty. This is the USDA’s definition:
This label indicates that the flock was able to freely roam a building, room, or enclosed area with unlimited access to food and fresh water during their production cycle
First, was I willing to consider Moe’s as the winner over Chipotle as best primal fast food? YES! Especially after Primal Toad’s post! In fact, because of that post, I was preparing to go to Moe’s for lunch, that is, until I checked out the allergy info on their website (I suggest you ALWAYS check allergy info on any restaurant you can, even if you don’t have an allergy- it will provide you with a lot more info than the nutrition list. Also, any ingredient lists are a MUST check!) and saw that there was soy and milk in the grass-fed beef. I thought maybe this was a marinade issue, so I called my local Moe’s to find out if I could get the grass-fed beef without soy/milk. I was told that it was soy protein and whey IN the meat- added DURING PROCESSING. What the heck?? For the life of me, I can not figure out WHY you would take lovely, healthy grass-fed meat and do THAT to it.
In this ad it occurred by playing on the heartstrings of newly married women. The media got hold of it and it was spun every possible way advertisers and companies could figure out how to spin it.
I can’t help those who want to stay blissfully ignorant, but I can help make a difference for those who want to be educated. Don’t be a victim of false advertising. Question everything.