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Frequently Asked Questions
QUESTION: Is there dairy or casein in any of your products?
ANSWER: No. There is no dairy or casein in any product produced or distributed by McLean Meats.
QUESTION: Is there soy in any of your products?
ANSWER: Only one McLean Meats product contains soy. Our Garlic & Herb Turkey roast has trace amounts of soy oil in the outside herb rub and we are currently working to remove this ingredient from the recipe.
QUESTION: Are there nitrites or nitrates in any of your products?
ANSWER: No. We do not sell or distribute any products that contain chemical nitrites or nitrates, but select products contain celery juice extract, which is a naturally occurring nitrite. These products have 'celery extract' clearly marked on the label under ingredients. Our future goal is to have all products made without adding celery extract.
QUESTION: What is ‘gelatin’?
ANSWER: Gelatin is a colorless or slightly yellow, protein formed by boiling skin, bones, and connective tissue of animals. It is a common binding ingredient that is used by the food and drug industries. Pure gelatin is pure protein, but gelatin that is sold in the market place today is loaded with chemicals. We do NOT use gelatin in our products.
QUESTION: What is ‘Certified Organic’?
ANSWER: Companies that can make the claim to be ‘Certified’ organic have received accreditation from a recognized certifying body. Both farms and food processors must be audited to ensure that organic standards are met throughout each stage of production. At minimum organic food suppliers must:
· Never use synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or GMOs (genetically modified organisms) when growing their produce, grains and/or animal grain feed;
· Never feed animal by-products to their livestock;
· Never fully cage their livestock and deny them access to fresh air, or opportunities to socialize with other animals;
· Never use chemical preservatives such as nitrites, or synthetic additives like colourings and waxes.
QUESTION: Why are most of your products natural and not ‘organic’?
ANSWER: Although it is our intention to promote organic products we have found it hard to continuously source the supply from Canadian and USA farmers. The Canadian food labeling laws require us to only use certified organic meat where we have the ORGANIC claim on the packaging. Due to fluctuations in supply we do not have the capability to change labels accordingly. This is a work in progress. We are actively seeking products and farms.
QUESTION: Can organic cows get MAD COW disease?
ANSWER: Organic cows cannot contract MAD COW disease. Alternatively, conventionally raised cows are at risk of contracting the disease if their feed contains ground-up parts of infected animals (this could be rendered parts or blood from other cows or pigs). Most countries now ban the use of feeding rendered animal bi-products to other animals (Canada is one of the many countries now that bans this). The ORGANIC food industry ensures that cows are only fed a 100% vegetarian diet of grass and grain that is certified organic.
QUESTION: Who regulates the meat industry in Canada?
ANSWER: The meat processing industry in Canada is regulated at both a provincial and a federal level. All manufacturers of meat products must adhere to strict guidelines of Provincial & Federal legislation under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Fisheries.
To learn more about meat processing guidelines, visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website with the Government of Canada at www.inspection.gc.ca or visit the Food & Consumer Products Manufacturers (FCPMC) website at www.fcpmc.com.
QUESTION: Who regulates the use of drugs in agriculture?
ANSWER: Health Canada. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index-eng.php (but if you want to send a message to government don't call Health Canada, please send a letter to your local MP they will be able to advocate on your behalf).
QUESTION: Why do farmers give antibiotics to animals?
ANSWER: Farmers rely on the safety and health of the animal in order to make money. When one bird gets sick the rest of the flock is at risk of getting sick too. It is more economical for a farmer to administer an antibiotic to the whole flock when a few birds show signs of getting sick, rather than segregation of the sick birds. NOTE: If birds were given more room to roam and a more stress-free environment, the risk of contracting disease goes down. Some Canadian farms are making the switch to no antibiotics at least only giving it to the sick birds, not the whole flock. The province of British Columbia and province of Quebec both have poultry associations that are actively looking at changing their farming practices towards antibiotic free.