Food integrity & Recipes

Unscrambling egg labels

Unscrambling egg labels

Today the term free-range and organic has become an empty term, you can label eggs as free-range if chickens have 2sq feet of space or more per chicken:
 

You might aso be wondering why you never see pasture-fed chicken eggs at supermarkets, that's because you cannot industrially farm pasture-fed chickens in large quantities.

As well as a bigger space, pasture-fed chickens also need natural grasses and a foraging diet:

While they are a little more expensive to look after and feed, pasture-fed eggs provide you with more nutritional benefits than free-range and caged eggs:


At Paleo Robbie we sell two types of eggs, they are:

Pasture-fed (105b) - you can find pasture-fed duck and chicken eggs at our grocery.

Our chickens and ducks roam around free each day and their diet includes foliage, ants, insects and worms.

They are pasture-fed and go beyond all the requirements shown in the images above. 

Our chicken sanctuary contains a huge termite hill which gives chickens access to food 24/7. 

Free-range (99b) - our free-range chickens are sourced from Koi Korat and they also wonder around in open fields all day, while they do pick a few worms and eat larvae their diet isn't as rich as their pasture-fed brothers.

Due to their upbringing, we don't force our chickens to lay extra eggs. We have a limited quantity per week and you may see our eggs listed as out of stock as from time-to-time.

Not only our eggs better and tastier for you, our chickens also get to be happy and healthy chickens. 

Corn Fed Vs. Grass Fed beef

 

If you regularly read our emails or Facebook posts, you'll notice that we'll almost always refer to our beef as grass-fed or pasture-fed, but what does it really mean?

There are typically two types of beef you can find in supermarkets. They are:

Grain/corn fed - Conventionally raised cows that live in 'feedlots' for intensive animal farming. They live on confined spaces and don't get to move around. They are often given drugs and hormones to grow faster, as well as antibiotics to survive the unsanitary living conditions. Their diet consists primarily of grains or corn. We do not sell corn/grain-fed meat at Paleo Robbie.

Grass-fed
- Live and feed on pasture (big open spaces with lots of grass), are not fed industrial feed, grains or corn and are not injected with steroids to increase their weight. Grass-fed cows live longer as their growth is not accelerated using hormones or steroids. We only sell grass-fed beef at the Paleo Grocery.

Is Grass-fed beef really better? 


Taste is subjective but we believe that grass-fed meat tastes more beefy and is juicer and leaner. From a health perspective, grass-fed beef is superior as each cut contains more omega 3, B6, B12, CLA and beta-carotene. 

To tell the difference between pasture-fed and corn-fed cuts of beef, pasture-fed tends to have less marbling (fat) throughout each cut, with the fat being a light yellow color opposed to a distinct white with corn-fed:

Unlike popular belief grass-fed does not have to be more expensive than grain-fed. New Zealand has a lot of clean pasture farmland and is perfect to raise healthy cows. 

Some supermarkets sell beef as grass-fed, because all beef eats grass at the start, but in reality are feedlot cows. 

We source all our grass-fed meat directly from New Zealand where all cows are grass-fed by default.

They have strict rules for antibiotics and growth hormones and provide the cleanest healthiest beef you'll find. We source our beef from Silver Fern farms to provide you a direct pasture to plate experience. (click here to learn more about Silver Fern Farms). 

The next time you visit our online grocery, competitor or a local restaurant, try a cut of grass-fed beef and see if you can taste and spot the difference.

You can find dozens of cuts of grass-fed beef from New Zealand at our online grocery:

 

5 Thai Foods That You Think Are Healthy, But They’re Not

Whether you're a working professional, digital nomad, a caring parent or a health conscious individual who's trying to live a healthy and well-balanced life in Bangkok, with food options on every corner, you'd think finding great tasting, healthy food would be easy... right?

However,  if you look a little closer at what's actually on your plate, you may be in for quite a shock.  Recent studies reveal that while not a big problem yet, obesity is on the rise in Thailand:

     

(source)

There's a number of reasons for increasing obesity rates, but the main culprit is always going to be diet.

 

If you're an avid eater of Thai food, here's 5 Thai dishes/ingredients you'll find in food which you probably thought were healthy, but are actually bad really bad for your body.

 

1. Fruit shakes

Fruit shakes are bad, how's that possible?

Well, the fruit or vegetable part of the shake is relatively fine, it's everything else they put inside that's the problem.

 

Most fruit shake vendors will add a ladle or seven of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which is what you'll find in carbonated sodas. HFCS is commonly used because it's cheaper to buy, but unfortunately also much worse for the body.

Ever feel tired or sleepy after drinking a fruit shake? That's the effect HFCS has on your body.

 

  • Paleo tip: The next time you order your fruit shake, ask the vendor not to add any sugar syrup or evaporated milk. It may not taste as sweet, but it'll be a lot more healthier. Also please note that fruit shakes contain a lot of sugar naturally. Just because it's natural doesn't mean the sugar is suddenly OK. Try to keep your shakes to a bare minimum.

 

2. Stir-fried morning glory

What? Morning glory is bad for you too? Yes.. but only when it's fried and drenched in white sugar, re-used vegetable oil and excessive amount of sodium.

 

Morning glory itself is very rich in nutriments such as fibre and great for pregnant women as its contains tons of iron. However, as any expat who's been living in Thailand for any length of time already knows, Thais love to put sugar in everything!

As well as the few heaped tablespoons of white sugar,  morning glory is typically fried with low quality vegetable oil and dowsed with iodine salt. The oil they used is actually extremely unhealthy (discussed later), and frying vegetables kills some of their nutritional content.

 

  • Paleo Tip: Ask the vendor to leave out the sugar and to use as little oil as possible in your next serving. If you can handle it, try eating it raw, just be sure to wash the vegetable thoroughly with clean water first.

 

3. Most curry dishes contain MSG

Do you love your Penang and massaman curries?

 

If your local Thai curries have a savoury/umami taste you just can't put your finger on, it's probably the Monosodium glutamate (better known as MSG). MSG is added flavouring which is used in most dishes as it's much cheaper to use than actual herbs and spices.

While MSG doesn't affect everyone, typical side-effects people have after eating an MSG infested meal is:

  • Headaches
  • upset stomach
  • Skin reaction, hives
  • Feeling weak and sleepy

 

Many expats bloggers have complained about MSG in food.

  • Paleo Tip: You can ask the vendor or restaurant not to add any MSG to your meals by saying:

"Mai sai poong choo rot"

Which translates to "don't add any MSG". Be warned though, just because you asked and they nodded their heads doesn't mean they won't add it anyway.

 

4 . Foods cooked using excessive amounts of oil

When you typically cook food using oil, you'll throw the oil away after usage, because not only is it gross to re-use it, but there are health risks associated with it. Most Thai dishes are cooked in GMO soybean oil (very cheap to buy) which is considered one of the most harmful ingredients you'll find in all processed foods.

 

Some vendors will even reuse oil several times over which can increase your chances of getting cancer (cancer is the leading cause of death in Thailand too).

 

However, it could be worse, in China they use gutter oil:

 

 

 

  • Paleo Tip: Avoid deep fried foods all together.

 

5. White rice

White rice will can be found at every Thai restaurant, will usually be the cheapest item on the menu and cover at least 50% of your plate, usually more.

 rice-601254_640

Eating excessive amounts of white rice has been linked to type 2 diabetes in Asia and is generally regarded by most as 'filler food'.

 

Filler food: low cost food of which the main purpose is to fill you up. Filler foods such as rice and bread contain low nutritional value. Rice is great for getting 'full' but doesn't give your body the vitamins and minerals it craves.

  •  Paleo tip: Start becoming conscious of what's on your plate and the benefits it provides your body. While a bowl of nice or noodles may fill you up, it doesn't provide your body with the nutriments it needs to perform at its best.

So you're telling all Thai food is bad?

No, most Thai food is healthy and good for you.

 

The issue with the food you eat in Thai/western restaurants and street stalls is the quality of produce and cooking procedures.  This is why most of the food available to you is unhealthy and makes you feel sluggish and feeling bad.

 

Street food - if you're paying 40 baht for a plate of green curry or stir fried rice, for that price you cannot expect restaurants to use high quality ingredients or coconut oil for frying. Nor can they use organic spices and herbs and is why they resort to 12 Baht seasoning packets of MSG.

 

Restaurants - targeting expats and middle-class Thais could easily choose to use higher quality produce, better oils and throw away the MSG packets for real ingredients, but they won't.

They're already charging you x4-6 the cost of the meal ingredients itself, and they have no incentive to make your food healthier, because it only cuts into their profits or they just don't know any better.

 

At Paleo Robbie our mission is to fill the gap in the market for people who want to eat great tasting, healthy and nutritiously dense food without spending a fortune.

 

A single meal from our Meal Plan can weigh as much as 1KG with sides and contains no MSG or harmful toxins, while our online Grocery is stocked with wild-caught salmon and pastured meats, organic produce and ingredients that are full of minerals, vitamins and healthy fats that will help your immune system.

 

Summary

Finding great tasting healthy food in Bangkok is a lot harder than you think if you really take a close look at what's being served.

 

While there are restaurants on every corner, there are no official guidelines a vendor must follow to setup a restaurant and start serving food. Often all they need is a trolley, a gas tank and a month's rent paid in advance.

 

If you found this article helpful or have a friend living in Thailand who may find this of use, please click any of the share icons below.

Happy eating!

8 Foods That Should Be In Every Bangkok Kitchen

At Paleo Robbie we are all about healthy living, and want all our followers to stick with their health and fitness goals all the way through 2016.

 

To help you on your pilgrimage, we've come up with a list of 8 essential foods everyone living in Bangkok must have in their kitchen.

 

How many of these are in your kitchen right now? Leave a comment in our Facebook post letting us know.

 

1. Coconut water

How many times a week do you run into your apartment after spending any amount of time outside in the heat, and the first thing you do is turn on your air-con unit and head to the fridge for a refreshing drink?

 

While a bottle of cold water is a superb choice, there's something better for Bangkok expats... organic coconut water.

 

    

Not having coconut water in your kitchen when living in Bangkok should be a sin.

 

Coconut water contains electrolytes, calcium, magnesium and salts which replenish your body's lost nutriments after spending hours sweating in the Bangkok heat. While chopping up a fresh coconut is the best, it's always useful to have a bottle of raw coconut water for a quick drink.

  • Paleo tip: Make sure you go for 100% organic coconut water and not coconut water with added sugar, water or preservatives. Just spend a few seconds reading the label to see if there are any other added ingredients.


2. Organic watermelons

Ever wondered why watermelons in Thailand taste so great? It's usually because they are injected with sugar, additives and other colourings.

Watermelons in Thailand are one of our favorite fruits to snack on, but you need to know where it came from and what's really inside.

 

 

Watermelons are a wonderful addition to Thai kitchen because they are, just like coconuts, full of electrolytes which will help you prevent dehydration in the Bangkok heat. They are also cheap, full of vitamin A, B6, C and packed with lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids.

  • Paleo tipAdams Organic is a great place to get yourself organic, non-injected watermelons you can trust.


3. Wild-caught salmon (or any wild-caught fish)

Not a month goes by without allegations of the Thai fishing trade and what really goes on at sea.

 

Most nutrient dense fish such as salmon and tuna cannot be sourced from the shores of Thailand and as a result is usually imported or farmed locally.

 

Which is better?

 

Without boring you with a few paragraphs on which is better and why, here's an awesome infographic showing you the difference between farm- and wild-caught salmon:

    

(source)

You should aim to eat at least 2 pieces of wild-caught fish per week, they are high in protein, and the good fats we don't get enough of like omega 3, which is good for your immune system and helps against heart disease.

 

4. Free-Range Pastured eggs

Free-range eggs cost more than their sad caged brothers, but what does free-range really mean and is it worth it?

 

There are 3 types of eggs you can typically buy in Bangkok, they are:

 

 

(Source)

All eggs sold at Paleo Robbie are pasture-raised and 100% of their diet comes from natural foraging. We do not feed our chickens corn and when we say they are organic, we really mean it.


Don't be mislead by the term 'free-range' as these chickens are anything by free.

 

  • Paleo tip: Even with all the sunlight we're exposed to, many expats in Bangkok have a vitamin D deficiency. Pasture-fed eggs are a good source of vitamin D and a great solution if you don't spend enough time in the baking heat.

 

PS: We are currently having a special offer all our -fed eggs until January 10th.  Click here to find out more.


5. Coconut cooking oil

Chances are you're using either coconut oil or olive oil for all your frying. If you're using canola, vegetable, or any other kind of oil, please stop for the sake of your own health... it's really not good for you.


Coconut Oil and Olive Oil both have the same amount of calories, although coconut oil does have more saturated fat... but don't freak out, saturated fat is not bad for you.

 

While we love olive oil, being in Thailand you should try to make use of the wonderful local coconuts. Coconut Oil might even be better for frying as it has a higher smoking point.

What is a smoking point?

In a nutshell, the smoking point is the level of heat needed for a blueish smoke to appear from the oil. At this point oxidation takes place and the oil is no longer good to cook with.

 

The smoking point shows the temperature limit at which the oil can be used. The smoking point for virgin olive oil is 160-190°C where coconut oil has a smoke point of 207°C.

 

Not a huge difference we know, but it can make a difference. Virgin coconut oil can also be used in coffee  and other drinks to improve cognitive function.


6. Avocados

Avocado is the all purpose fruit.

 

You can eat them straight out of the shell, spread it on food, blend it in a shake or turn into mash and enjoy it alongside some wild-caught salmon.

 

There are a few varieties of avocados you can get from Thailand. There's local Thai avocados, Burmese avocados and imported Avanza Avocados which we use in our Meal Plan.

 

 

Avocados contain more potassium than bananas are loaded with vitamin B5, B6, C, E K and folate. Avocados are also great if you're on a low carb diet as they are a great source of healthy fats.

  • Paleo tip: the seed of an avocado contains 70% of all the antioxidants found inside. Instead of throwing them away, cut them into small pieces and add them to your next homemade fruit shake.


7. Grass-fed beef

We have some more bad news for you, it's not only watermelons that are injected with sugar, beef is too!

 

Glucose (simple sugar) is often added to different cuts of beef to make them taste sweeter.  The only problem is that if they are directly injecting sugar into the meat, who knows what else they adding!

When choosing between grain and or grass-fed beef, here's the difference between the two:

(Source)

All our grass-fed beef is free of any injections and is 100% pure beef!

 

8. Leafy Greens (kale and spinach)

 

Buying kale or spinach back home may cost you an arm and a leg depending on where you shop, but in Thailand you can high-quality greens for a fraction of the price.

 

You can use both to make healthy salads, green smoothies or eat them raw.

 

Kale has a little more protein and calcium, while spinach is packed full of iron and magnesium:

kale-spinach-A
(source)

Both are great sources of food and packed full of goodness. Are they in your fridge?


Summary

We easily could have added another 10, 20 or even an 100 food items to this list as Thailand is a country with lots of amazing produce, but for a balanced diet we feel the 8 power foods above are a must in every Bangkok kitchen.

 

If you plan on getting yourself into shape this year, here’s 8 items you must place on your grocery list.

Which must have health foods do you have in your kitchen? Leave a comment on our Facebook post letting us know.

 

5 Thai Foods You Have To Stop Eating On A Daily Basis

Thailand is one of the best places in the world to eat cheap and delicious food. But if you’re eating any of the 5 items listed in this article on a daily basis, you're seriously compromising your health and well-being.

Here are 5 foods that most expats living in Thailand eat everyday but don't know the health risk they are running.

 

1. Fried foods

Paleo Robbie cooks all Meal Plan dishes in organic coconut oil, tallow or clarified grass-fed butter, nothing else.  

After we finish cooking all the meals the chefs at Paleo Robbie throw away the butter and oil, because not only does reusing oil increase your chances of getting cancer, but also because all the nutrients are lost and what you're left with you simply don’t want to use anymore.
 


(Source)

5 Super Foods In Thailand You Aren’t Eating But Should

 

A few weeks ago we listed 5 potentially harmful foods that could seriously damage your health if you ate them on a daily basis.

 

In this article we’re doing the exact opposite and reveal 5 Thai super foods you can find almost anywhere in Thailand that you never eat, but should.

 

1. Seaweed

Seaweed has been dubbed a ‘superfood‘ by many and as of late become very popular in western countries.
 
seaweed
 
( Source)
 
Seaweed is packed with vitamin B12, fiber and iodine.
 

Studies reveal that around 40% of the world’s population are at risk of iodine deficiency, which can lead to future health problems in young children ( dried seaweed from the 7-Eleven doesn’t count).

5 Sugary Drinks in Thailand to Avoid (And What to Replace Them With)

 

Thailand loves sugar and it is in just about everything… including your favourite drinks!

 

And they don’t just put in a little to add to the taste, often you can find as much as 20-70g of sugar or high fructose corn syrup (HFSC) per serving as you’re about to find out.

 

In this article we list sugary Thai drinks you should avoid and what to replace them with instead (don’t worry, our alternatives taste just as good or even better).

1. Fruit shakes

Your average fruit shake from a street vendor contains approximately 40-70g of sugar.

How To Avoid Getting Bitten By Mosquitos In Thailand

 

Reading Time: 4 minutes.

While rainy season is officially over, getting dengue fever in Thailand is still a potential risk. This year alone more than 42,000 people have been infected by the virus and has resulted in more than 35 deaths in Thailand alone.

 

The dengue fever virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and can lead to vomiting, high fever, headaches, fatigue, and several other nasty symptoms which can last for several weeks and sometimes even lead to death.

 

In today’s article, you will learn:

  1. Why Thailand mosquitoes are attracted to certain people
  2. Why pregnant women are at greater risk to mosquito bites
  3. Which parts of the body they bite the most and why
  4. Why you should never use DEET spray
  5. How to make a homemade mosquito trap in under 1 minute.

1. Why Thailand mosquitoes love to bite you

If you’ve spent any amount of time in a tropical country you’ll know that mosquitoes like certain people more than others.

Cooking with the real thing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coconut oil is fantastic, and olive oil richly deserves all its good press. But they’re not the only Paleo fat choices around! In fact, some of the best Paleo-friendly fats might be right under your nose: animal fats.

Animal fat, of course, has a terrible reputation, but like all the rest of the low-fat myth, it’s completely undeserved. Fat, including saturated fat, from healthy pastured animals does not cause heart disease, cancer, high cholesterol, obesity or anything else. Chalk up one more point for traditional wisdom: the fats our grandparents and great-grandparents cooked with are good for us after all.

Why choose animal fat?

When you have jars of olive or coconut oil available in every store, why would you want to go for something “weird” like tallow or lard?

  • It’s usually cheaper. Many farmers will literally give it away, because nobody wants it. With the rest of the world still terrified that looking sideways at a spoon of lard will give them heart disease, mass quantities of animal fat are yours for the taking.

  • It’s delicious. Soybean and canola oil aren’t just unhealthy; they’re also a crime against taste buds everywhere. The right fat will do wonders for your cooking, and make even ordinary dishes taste like amazing indulgences. There’s a reason why duck fat French fries are so legendary.

  • It has health benefits. For example, here’s one paper where beef tallow increased the power of conjugated linoleic acid in fighting mammary tumors. This study is extremely interesting. A 10% beef tallow diet was carcinogenic, but when 1% conjugated linoleic acidwas added, the diet became anti-carcinogenic. This may suggest that pasture-raised tallow (which naturally contains conjugated linoleic acid) is significantly more healthful than factory-farmed tallow.

In this study, beef tallow helped subjects absorb Vitamin A better than sunflower oil. In this study, feeding either lard or tallow to alcoholic rats reduced liver damage dramatically compared to corn oil.

It’s hard to find studies in human subjects, or studies where animal fats were given without massive doses of soy or corn oil alongside, but the data we do have is encouraging.

Lard

Lard is the fat from a pig; both the raw and the rendered fat are called lard.

Raw fat: will be white to pale pink. It may have scraps of meat, connective tissue, or skin clinging to it (hey, you’re buying a part of something that was once alive; it’s not going to look 100% perfect all the time).

Rendered fat: should be pure white to very pale warm cream color. It’s solid at room temperature, but soft – around the consistency of butter.

How to cook it: lard is irresistible melted on top of a baked sweet potato (as a replacement for butter), or use it to cook any pork dish for extra flavor.

Fat composition:

Saturated

39%

Monounsaturated

45%

Polyunsaturated

11%
 

Suet or Tallow

Suet or tallow is the fat from a cow. Suet is the raw fat; tallow is the rendered fat.

Raw fat: will be white to pale yellow, crumbly, and very light for its size. It may have scraps of meat, connective tissue, or skin clinging to it.

Rendered fat: should be white to cream-colored. Because it’s highly saturated, it’s hard and brittle at room temperature. You can’t scoop it, and to cut it you’ll need a sharp knife. If this is a pain in the neck, you can pour your rendered tallow into an ice cube mold while it’s still hot and liquid; it will solidify in the cubes and you can pop them out to cook with one at a time.

How to cook it: tallow is one of the most stable cooking fats this side of coconut oil. Because it has a relatively high amount of saturated and a relatively low amount of polyunsaturated fat, it’s ideal for high-heat cooking. It has a very mild beef flavor, and it’s tasty with almost any kind of vegetables or eggs.

Fat composition:

Saturated

50%

Monounsaturated

42%

Polyunsaturated

4%
 

Duck fat

Both the raw and the rendered fat are simply called “duck fat,” although rendered is much more common to find in stores.

Raw fat: typically comes attached to a duck. Should be white to pale yellow or pink. Feels soft and slightly greasy.

Rendered fat: solid but soft at room temperature, around the consistency of butter. Should be a creamy white.

How to cook it: Duck fat is the Cadillac of animal fats – it’s so decadent you almost want to eat it straight from the spoon. Try roasting parsnips or other starchy root vegetables in it for a delicious treat. Alternately, try a confit.

Fat composition:

Saturated

33%

Monounsaturated

49%

Polyunsaturated

13%

Summing it Up

Animal fat is healthy, delicious, and economical. It just doesn’t make sense to butcher a cow, throw out huge chunks of perfectly good fat, and then buy more cooking fat to brown your meat with! And animal fat is also delicious in a way “vegetable oil” just can’t match – try it once, and you’ll never go back to tasteless junk fat again.

Look in the fats section of our online grocery store for lard from free-range pigs and tallow(un-rendered) from pasture-fed cows.

Article originally from paleoleap.com by Sebastian Noel