Natural Foods Education  Jennette Turner

Healthy Food and Nutrition Publications


Red Meat - Rich in Minerals and Essential Fatty Acids

Copyright © 2005 By Jennette Turner

With the recent popularity of low-carb diets, and the tremendous evidence against the once-popular theory that saturated fats cause heart disease, meat consumption (especially for red meats) is on the rise. For many co-op members this trend is a welcome one, but comes with concerns about quality: for health, environmental and ethical reasons. Shopping at the Wedge offers assurance of top quality meats, and consumers’ enthusiasm for these products has increased meat department sales as much as 25% per year!

The Wedge has the first and only certified organic meat department in the country, and manager John Jaksa is personally committed to ensuring that all meats sold at the Wedge are from healthy, well treated, free-roam animals, and environmentally sustainable farms. Wedge meats are also free of sub-therapeutic anti-biotics, hormones, steroids and other drugs. John and his staff visit the farms that supply the Wedge with meats, guaranteeing quality and building a relationship between consumers and producers.

There are three kinds of beef sold at the Wedge: Certified Organic (which means that the land, feed and processing plants are all certified organic), Certified Angus Natural, (which means that the meat comes from Angus cattle – a specific breed), and grass-fed (which means that the cattle are totally pasture raised, and not grain-fed corn or soy). The Wedge also carries several other kinds of red meats: lamb, bison, pork, and rabbit.

Red meats are rich in minerals, especially iron, zinc and magnesium, and are a great source of Vitamin B12. The fat from the meat of grazing animals contains both omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids, in small but balanced amounts. And it contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is an anti-carcinogenic fatty acid. Two good reasons to go for grass-fed meats, such as the beef from Thousand Hills, the bison from Eichten’s and the lamb from Hill and Vale -all local producers, and all available at the Wedge.

Though it doesn’t have the same stellar fatty acid profile as red meat from grass-fed animals, poultry is still a great source of protein. Don’t forget to eat the dark meat, too – it has more minerals and other nutrients than the white. Why not try duck? It’s all dark meat. The Wedge carries locally farm-raised duck from Whole Farm Co-op. The Wedge also carries local chicken, turkey and poussin from Kadejan farms, Chicken from Larry Schultz’s farm, and pheasant from Maiden Rock farm. Variety is important – have something new!

One easy and delicious way to enjoy a variety of nutritious meats is to use the fine sausages and bratwurst homemade by hand at the Wedge from freshly ground meat and all natural ingredients. The flavors are wonderful: Thai chicken sausage, pork Chorizo, spicy garlic and shallot bison sausage, and many more. They can be grilled (‘tis the season!), pan-fried, or added to soups, beans, pasta dishes, and casseroles.

There’s never been a better time to include meats as part of a balanced diet, especially when doing so will delight your taste buds and support hard-working local farmers. Healthy for our bodies, the environment and our local communities, naturally raised meats deserve the comeback they’re making.

Sesame Beef Stir-Fry

1 lb. beef stir-fry meat* OR flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain and on the diagonal
1/2 yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 carrot, sliced lengthwise and then diagonally
2 large handfuls of snow peas or snap peas, ends trimmed
1 T. raw sesame oil
2 T. sesame seeds
1/4 c. raw sesame oil
2 T. brown rice vinegar
3 T. tamari or shoyu
1 T. maple syrup
2 cloves garlic, minced

1. Stir dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
2. Warm 1T. sesame oil in a large skillet or wok. Add the onions and carrots and sauté 3-4 minutes, until they begin to sweat.
3. Add the beef and peas. Pour sauce over the stir-fry and cook for around 2-3 more minutes – until the beef is done to medium rare.
4. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serve over brown rice or noodles.

*packaged beef stir-fry meat is available in the refrigerated meat section next to the meat counter.

Quick and Easy Sausage and Pasta Dinner

1 8-10 oz. package of pasta – any bite-size kind, such as macaroni or spirals
2-3 turkey Sweet Italian or Hot Italian sausages, sliced into rounds
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 zucchini, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 handfuls of button mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano

1. Cook pasta as per directions on package. Drain and set aside.
2. While pasta is cooking, warm olive oil in a large skillet and add onions, celery, zucchini, mushrooms and sausage. Sauté around 5 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
3. Add the tomatoes, garlic and herbs and continue cooking around 5 more minutes.
4. Stir the pasta into the cooking sausage and vegetables. Salt to taste.

Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Southwestern Chicken Burgers

1 1/2 lb. ground chicken
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 slice bread, crumbled or chopped small
1/2 onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, minced
3T. ketchup
1tsp. cumin
1tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt
OPTION: 1/4 c. chopped green or black olives

5. Mix everything together very well in a large bowl. (Use your hands.)
6. Form the mix into patties and grill or pan fry.

Serve with your favorite salsa on top!

Jennette turner is a Natural Foods Educator in Minneapolis. She Teaches public and private classes, and offers individual nutrition consultations. Jennette launced Dinner with Jennette (, to make it easier for people to incorporate natural foods into their diets. she can be reached at / 612-374-6039

Programs like Jennette's are part of our Lunch and Learn series, which focus on empowering our team members to make positive changes in their lives. While it is part of our total benefits package, it is also in line with one of our core values: recognizing that people are our most important assets.
Kenny Larson
Vice President of Marketing Slumberland, Inc.
Copyright © 2000-2014 Jennette Turner, All Rights Reserved. | Minneapolis, St. Paul, Twin Cities, Minnesota.