Oh hello! I think it's awesome you want to read more about where our food comes from and what makes it worth knowing about. For the next 2-3 minutes I'll ramble on about the food you're eating.
Don't worry, there are a lot of pictures, so it reads faster than you think.
About 7 years ago I started to worry about the safety of food in Thailand. Every other week I was reading articles like this one, and this one, or well this one and this one, or this.... well you get it.
Approximately 40-85% of the vegetables contained pesticide residue well over the maximum safety limits. I'm not a fussy eater, but 85% sounded like a lot. What really gave me a heart attack was the fact they didn't exceed the maximum limit by a mere 5 or 10%.
No, some even exceeded the maximum residue by a whopping 1700%. Woopsie. Organic and Q-safety labels were not exempt, so there was no way around it. And no you cannot wash off your pesticides with soap. Come on now.
The worrying state of vegetables spurred me to become more familiar with how food is made and where it comes from. This seemed obvious to me at first, but I quickly found out not everything was as it seemed.
Thought that Italian olive oil is olive oil? Nope.
Did you know China exports more fish than it imports after processing?
They add polyphosphates and water to your fish. Yummy. I always liked paying for water and weird chemicals I couldn't pronounce. I wouldn't mind if China did that and was transparent about it, but the problem is that much of your frozen fish comes from China, even if it says Alaskan Cod.
Instead of surrendering and chomping away on Snicker bars and B&J Ice cream, because even vegetables and fish are bad now, I became determined to find food that wasn't messed around with. Now the good news is that many places still produce honest food.
You just have to look for it. Which is exactly what I've been doing at PaleoRobbie for the last 6 years. Aside from finding good food we even started double checking by sending our best selling products to the lab for tests and publish these publicly. (Link Coming)
Our Food Philosophy
So in a nutshell here's what we sell at PaleoRobbie and what I personally eat with my family:
When beef cattle eats grain or corn like in the US, they become sick and obese. They are then given antibiotics to keep them from kicking the bucket. An obese cow has a different lipid profile, which is a fancy word for fat composition, which is a fancy word for obese cows are less healthy to eat.
They contain less omega 3 fatty acids and less CLA, but more omega 6 and have a higher inflammatory response than leaner grass-fed cattle. That's just a bonus on top of the fact you're now not eating antibiotic residues.
Which is a bonus on top of the fact that grass-fed cattle does not contribute to global warming. In fact grass-fed cattle can even be beneficial. If you want to read about that click here.
So we source our beef from New Zealand and Australia where they eat purely grass outside year round.
They do not go inside and they do not receive antibiotics by default. They are only given antibiotics when they actually get sick, which is rare and well below 1%. Even when they do receive antibiotics they won't be sold for at least 6 weeks.
We even tested our beef for it's lipid profile in case you're interested.
When you try to farm a fish like salmon for example, you'll quickly realize it's not a great deal as a farmer.
Salmon are meat eaters and fish is expensive. In order for you to farm a salmon you'll have to feed it a lot of fish, which would make your salmon incredibly expensive.
Yet farmed salmon is getting relatively cheaper all the time. Because farmed fish are given absolute trash for food.
In Norway along with grains, and other things they shouldn't eat, salmon are fed with fatty fish from the worlds most polluted sea, the Baltic sea, that's not fit for human consumption. Resulting in incredibly high dioxin levels for the Salmon. Dioxin isn't a good thing if you were wondering.
Secondly if you put fish in a high concentration they'll attract sea lice, which kills them. So you actually see farms unleashing pesticides through fire hoses on the salmon populations.
Getting hungry yet? Good I'll continue.
They also get sick and when they are in high concentrations that can spread easily, so preventative antibiotics are added to the feed pallets.
Oh and if you think salmon is nice and pink, it isn't. It's actually gray. The pink color in salmon comes from wild salmon eating krill and crustaceans, but farmed salmon doesn't eat this. So salmon farmers simply add a dye to their already delicious food pallets mix to color them pink.
I think you get the gist now. Farmed salmon is the opposite of healthy to eat.
Wild fish is however incredibly healthy and probably the only food all nutritionists worldwide will agree on being healthy for you. You should absolutely eat wild fish if you want to get the best out of life.
So the best fish is wild-caught where it eats a natural diet. And fish that's not processed with polyphosphates or other chemicals to increase the water weight. We also test our fish for this phosphates, which you can find here.
Lastly some fish is high in mercury. We have tested our fish for mercury and removed the ones that were high. All our fish is medium to very low in mercury. You can find out more here.
Pick up any food product in a supermarket that has a label and you'll find a long list of odd things.
Many of these odd things aren't good for your health. They are good for making your product last longer on the shelf, lowering the cost, increasing the flavor or texture and so on. So it makes sense they are in the food, but it doesn't make sense for you to eat them from a health perspective.
Even packaged meat often has sugar added to it. Really? Yes really. This is actually becoming very common nowadays.
Some foods are worse than others of course, but in all honesty 90% of the packaged food is simply put junk food.
The nutritional value of these products is low and contains ingredients that we don't do well on. At PaleoRobbie nothing has E number XYZ or canola oil, or hydrogenated palm oil, or hydrolyzed periodixium.
Okay I made that last one up, but what I'm trying to say is we sell real food.
Things like a zucchini, that is simply a zucchini 100% and not zucchini 58%, water 36%, maltodextrose 2%, maltodextrin 1%, E303, E505, E509, E515, E612, flavoring, coloring E712. So if we sell you a zucchini it's boringly so just a zucchini and a steak is just a steak.
Farming without pesticides can be tricky. Especially in hot climates like Thailand where bugs thrive. It is doable however. We went on to find farms that don't use any pesticides around Bangkok. And there are actually more than you think.
This was a pleasant surprise to us. We now work with farms like Organic King Fresh Farms that are able to provide us most of the vegetables we need for our meals. Whatever we can't source here is imported from Australia or New Zealand.
We never use any vegetables that are imported from China. Currently 20-40% of all vegetables on the markets are from China. Unfortunately Chinese soil is one of the most polluted soils in the world with heavy cadmium, mercury, lead, arsenic levels, so we avoid it altogether.
I hope that sums up our food philosophy and you learned a thing or two about the murky food industry.
Alright alright. That was longer than 2-3 minutes and there was only 1 photo. Sorry, I guess I got a little carried away. But at least you made it to the end!;) If you have questions about our food or food in general please email me at [email protected]