When a friend of mine introduced me to Trader Joe’s soyrizo (yep, its exactly what it sounds like – a soy version of chorizo), it quickly became one of my favorite Meatless Monday ingredients, and has been ever since! There are many other brands of the soyrizo out there, so be sure to try several to find your top choice!
Here are two classics with a soyrizo twist – both are deliciously savory and will be a hit with even the most serious meat eaters!
More resources are available on the Products & Places page, but here’s a summary of what to look for (and where) when buying your humanely raised meats.
There may be others, but here’s a short list of local grocers that carry humanely raised products.
When shopping, look for these key words on your meats:
- Beef: Look for “pastured”, “pastured-raised”, “non-confined”, “no added hormones” and “no antibiotics” labels.
- Pork: Look for “pastured”, “pasture-raised”, “free-range”, “non-confined” or “raised in deep-bedded housing” labels.Under federal regulations hormones are not allowed in raising pigs.
- Chicken: Look for “pastured”, “pastured-raised”, “non-confined” and “no hormones” labels. Beware of the “cage-free” and “range-free” labels because they don’t tell the whole story about whether chickens were treated humanely. Under federal regulations hormones are not allowed in raising chickens.
- Eggs: Look for “pastured” or “pasture-raised” labels. Beware of the “cage-free” and “range-free” labels because they don’t tell the whole story about whether chickens were treated humanely.
- Dairy: Look for “pastured”, “pasture-raised”, “no hormones” and “no antibiotics” labels.
Over the last year I have been incredibly happy to see some of the grocery stores embracing the organic movement and starting to stock their shelves with sustainably-produced products. Today, I’ll focus on the two stores I frequent often, mostly because of convenience and price: Nob Hill and Safeway.
Safeway was initially ruled out as a source of humanely-raised products, but I did hear back from a representative about Open Nature, Safeway’s newest organic brand which just launched a month ago. They tout no antibiotics, no hormones, all-veg diet, etc, which is great for us humans, but doesn’t necessarily reflect humane treatment of the animals. I am waiting to hear back with a clarification.
I received a follow-up response from Safeway with this message:
“Thank you for contacting us regarding your inquiry on the treatment of the animals. The Open Nature animals have access to the outside when the weather permits. The animals consumes organic grains in the winters months. Grass (maybe organic grains – as a supplement) in the summer months. The animals all recieve humane treatment.”
Not sure what to think, I am for some reason skeptical, but I will check out my usual Safeway for the Open Nature products to see if the packaging provides more details.
They were very quick to respond, stating,
“We can assure you that we work very closely with our suppliers and only source humanely raised products and do not source from feedlots. At Trader Joe’s, we have been dealing with standards and practices in many different countries for over 49 years, and our buyers are diligent about making sure our suppliers and the products they provide are not below standards set by the USDA. In addition, our Quality Assurance Team and our buyers audit our vendors to monitor their facilities and practices.
Yay, I love shopping at Trader Joes and am very glad to hear that I can continue to do so!