Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I'm not sure if you may already be aware of this, but I wouldn't be surprised if you are not.  Not many are--and the food industry and meat producers are trying to keep it this it--see how much information you can find on this topic...not much I bet.

If you are trying to watch your sodium intake--especially for health reasons such as heart disease, make sure you take a good look at the packaging when you are buying meat--especially boneless chicken breasts and pork.  You will want to be on the lookout for anything labelled  "seasoned".

Seasoned meat has been brined and/or injected with a brining solution that contains high levels (like 440 mg per serving!) of salt and sodium phosphate.  They can be injected with up to 15% of their weight in brine, and that costs you extra money at the checkout too...

It was almost a year ago when the grocery store that I shop at started labelling the "in store" meat with a new label that included an ingredient listing and a nutritional listing--I asked the butcher if they were no longer carrying regular chicken breasts, but only seasoned.  She informed me that they were the same chicken breast that they always carried, but that some "rules" had changed and they now had to label them.

I was furious!  How could it be that the product I had purchased every week--thinking it was a healthy choice for my family was so far from it--containing a substance I was taking great lengths to cut down in our diet.  How is it that we (collectively speaking)  allow the food industry and meat producers to continue messing with our food in this way?

They effectively are taking away our right to choose healthy food.  I mean, if I purchase sausage, I know that it is going to have sodium and nitrites--I MAKE THE CHOICE.  If I purchase chicken breasts--I expect it to be 100% chicken, not chicken and brine--that is NOT MY CHOICE, that is a choice the meat producers have made for me, without my consent and until recently without my knowledge.

This is a great opportunity to spend your money where it counts...buying local meat, from local suppliers--talking to the farmers and producers.  It's time to walk the walk...

So when you do find some "unseasoned" chicken breasts, here is a great and easy recipe to use them in:

Dijon Chicken Breasts

4 chicken breasts
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1tbsp dijon mustard (grainy or not--you decide)
1/2 cup bread crumbs (dried or fresh--either work great)
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
2tbsp butter melted.

Combine mayo, pepper and mustard, spread over chicken in a low baking dish.  Combine melted butter, bread crumbs and Parmesan--add more butter if necessary, you want the bread crumb mixture to just barely hold together when squeezed between your fingers.
Top chicken with bread crumb mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

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