Danny and I are both pretty particular about the meat we eat. After being a vegetarian for more than 10 years, I decided to listen to my own body and eat meat again. However, I vowed to eat meat that was created from animals raised consciously, preferably from animals I know. After cooking in some restaurants where meat was chosen by the cheapest price and not for its grass-fed origins or high quality, Danny now wants to eat meat that tastes as good as it can. Right now, most of our meat comes from the pig raised by our landlord on his farm, which Danny butchered himself. Our freezer is full of different cuts of pork and most of the fat we use for cooking comes from the lard Danny rendered himself.
But when we have a kid who likes sandwiches, and we are on the road often, we like having packaged luncheon meats, prosciutto, and hot dogs on hand that we know we can trust and we like to eat. This is why we’d like to introduce Applegate as our latest sponsor.
We’ve had Applegate in our home for years. Their grass-fed, organic beef hot dogs are the only ones we buy for our daughter. Their bacon graces our table when we have run out of our own smoked belly. And their Italian cured meats, such as prosciutto and coppa, are always available at our grocery store. We’re so lucky that such good meat is widely available.
Many of Applegate’s products, including their sausages and deli meats, are organic. Most of their products are free from any genetically modified ingredients, and they have vowed to find non-GMO sources for the few remaining ingredients they use that are genetically modified by the end of 2013. And Applegate is gluten-free. We trust them. I have always felt healthy after eating Applegate foods.
This is why we’d like to recommend Applegate to you.
And we’d like to let Chris Ely, co-founder of Applegate, tell you more about his company and the work they do.
What compels Applegate to make the food it does, the way it does?
Were committed to Changing the Meat We Eat by raising animals humanely, without any antibiotics, growth hormones or any other drugs. Its important to us to provide the best treatment and environment for animals because that ultimately impacts the farmers, the planet and the people who eat our products. We have always strived to produce healthier meat products — from how the animal is raised to how the meat is prepared. Doing things right from the start allows us to avoid artificial flavors, preservatives or fillers and rely on the natural flavors of the meat, along with fresh herbs and spices. Furthermore, this means that our products tend to be lower in fat, salt and sugar than their conventional counterparts.
Why did Applegate work to make sure these foods are gluten-free?
Meat is naturally gluten free And since all of our deli products have never contained any binders or fillers, we are able to avoid adding the gluten that can be found in other brands. Given that most of our meats are already free of allergens, becoming a go-to source for gluten free foods was a natural progression for us. For instance, we made sure that gluten free alternatives were developed alongside our other breaded items, such as our chicken nuggets, so people have a choice. We make sure all of our plants that produce gluten free products have a program in place to prevent cross contamination.
Can you tell us about your sources for ingredients?
We work with a network of more than 1,000 family farms across America to source our meat. We have a team of staff that works with the farms to ensure all the animals are being raised to our standards. For our gluten free sourcing, we work closely with companies that specialize in ingredients that are gluten free.
Besides being gluten-free, your food is GMO free and organic. Why is that?
Were proud to make GMO-free products because the organic agriculture system provides many benefits to animals and the environment. Our Organic line is completely GMO-free, and most of the items in our Natural line are free of GMO ingredients. We recently committed to removing all the GMO ingredients from the remaining 3 products by early next year.
For more information on Applegates position on GMOs, check out our FAQ page here.
Can you tell us some stories about what your customers say about your food?
We get hundreds of wonderful notes from customers and fans each month. Here is a particularly heart-warming one from a mother looking for gluten free foods (edited slightly for privacy).
I wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you for what you do! Your products have made a huge difference in both mine and my sons life.
My son was diagnosed at birth with Down s syndrome. After years of seeing different doctors and almost losing him to illness several times, he was finally diagnosed as gluten intolerant.
It has been difficult, following a gluten-free diet to get enough calories into him so he could build his resistance to infection, but then I recently discovered your products! You have been a literal godsend, providing a variety in diet Id never been able to give him before. He loves all of your gluten-free products and they make it so much easier for me to prepare his meals!
Thank you so much for all that you do!
Hearing stories like this, and knowing we provide a much-needed meal solution for families across the country makes us proud of what we do each day.
Applegate is giving away an ultimate lunch kit away to three readers of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. Each kit includes beef and pork bologna (we love this one), turkey breast, slow-cooked ham, genoa salami, provolone cheese, cheddar cheese, and Sunday bacon. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment here about why you are interested in Applegate products. Three winners will be chosen at random on Friday, November 22nd.