Last week in the Fix the topic was organic milk, and whether it’s better for you. This week we’re covering the ins and outs of organic meat, poultry and eggs.

For cancer patients, lean meat (in moderation), poultry and eggs, along with a balanced diet, are great sources of protein and may help with building strength.

But a trip to the grocery store to stock up on these can be overwhelming, with “organic” or “grass-fed” on many of the packages.

Are they the same thing? Is one healthier than the other?

Maria Petzel, senior clinical dietitian for the Pancreas Surgery Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center and Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Scientific and Medical Advisory Board member, outlined the USDA Organic standards and also explained what grass-fed means – it turns out there is a difference!

“USDA organic standards for meat ensure that the consumer is purchasing safe meat, poultry and eggs without contaminates,” she said. “These standards require that the animals are raised on certified organic land and that they have access to the outdoors. Also, it’s required that they are fed organic feed, and no antibiotics or growth hormones are allowed in their food.”

Farmers are already prohibited from using hormones for poultry and pig farming, Petzel added.

She also said, that just because an animal is fed organic feed, does not mean it is healthier. Grass-fed meat, poultry and eggs are not necessarily organic but are considered more natural and follow a traditional farming method.

“If you eat something that’s grass-fed, it’s generally leaner and has more omega-3 (healthy) fatty acids, though generally still less than the amounts found in fatty fish.”

There are many ways you can cook meat, poultry and eggs, of course, and it’s fun to get creative with recipes. Note that if you decide to grill meat, please follow Petzel’s suggestions on safe grilling.

Check out some meat, poultry and egg recipes below:

New American Beef Stew

Turkey Sweet Potato Hash

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Tex-Mex Pulled Chicken Sandwich

Asparagus Frittata

Herbed Spanish Omelet

Are you a pancreatic cancer patient or caregiver? You can access comprehensive disease information, including diet and nutrition tips, recipes and a booklet on the subject – all reviewed and approved by renowned leaders in the field, by contacting the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s one-on-one Patient Central support service by phone or email.

Come back to our blog each week for more Friday Fix: Your Weekly Nutrition Supplement.