Love Breakfast Sausage but Hate Jimmy Dean? Try This!

March 4, 2011   81 Comments

Snack Girl is a mostly vegetarian website because I have mixed feelings about eating meat and it is SO easy to create yummy snacks with fruits and vegetables.

Healthy Breakfast Sausage

The reason I have mixed feelings is that I love eating meat - pastrami, bacon, pulled-pork sandwiches, hot dogs, ham, corned beef, hamburgers.....what don't I like about eating meat?

Well, there is an environmental impact to being a meat eater that, frankly, makes my stomach turn. After reading Michael Pollan's brilliantly written and researched "The Omnivore's Dilemma" (see below), I couldn't stand the idea of buying meat from a "factory" farm.

I was living in San Francisco when I read it, and I was able to find chicken that had been "pastured" for $9 per pound. That's right, folks, I bought a $40 chicken!

(it was a special occasion)

Recently, Applegate Farms sent me some breakfast sausage to try and I have to tell you it was delicious.

Their mission is "to change the way America eats meat". Sound lofty? They want to do it by conducting farming practices with integrity - treating land and animals with respect.

This is not factory farming. My favorite part of their website is their Promise Tracker where you can see videos of the farmers who made your sausages talking about their practices.

Try that, Jimmy Dean.

So here is a comparison:

Applegate Farms Savory Turkey Breakfast Sausage ingredients:
Turkey, Water, Contains Less Than 2% Of The Following: Evaporated Cane Syrup, Salt, Spices.

Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage Link ingredients:
Boneless turkey, water, contains 2% or less of the following: sodium lactate, salt, dextrose, sugar, spices, sodium phosphate, sodium diacetate, BHT, citric acid, caramel color.

I just LOVE the smell of butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) in the morning.

The two sausage companies produce almost exactly the same product in terms of nutritional facts:

2 links = 90 calories, 6 g fat, 0 g carbohydrates, 8 g protein, 0 g fiber, 320 mg sodium, 2 Points+

Of course, Applegate Farms breakfast sausage is going to cost you. All that clean water, space, fresh air, and antibiotic free animal lifestyle costs more than a "factory" farm. These sausages retail for $5.99 versus Jimmy Dean's $3.00 per package.

Applegate Farms would like to give a Snack Girl reader coupons to purchase their breakfast sausage (or another Applegate product that you want to try). You would receive 3 coupons for 3 Applegate Farms products (maximum value $30).

Here is where you can find Applegate Farms products: Store Locator.

Comment below on your thoughts about the meat industry and you are entered!

This product was received for review consideration. No other compensation was provided.

What will I win?

Three coupons for a maximum value of $30 of Applegate Farms products.

How do I enter?
Comment below on your thoughts about the meat industry.

Additional Ways To Enter:

  1. Follow Snack-Girl on FaceBook. Comment on the FB page on your thoughts about the meat industry.
  2. Follow Snack-Girl on Twitter and Tweet this post (use the Tweet Button in the Share Box at the top of this post).
Snack-Girl can follow and count all the additional entries using magical website tools.

Am I eligible to enter?
This giveaway is offered to US residents only.

When do I find out if I am the winner?
The winner will be announced on March 11th, 2011. You will have 2 weeks to e-mail us back with your home address so we can mail the prize.

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

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In our home, I've greatly reduced our meat intake for the same reasons. We now enjoy vegetarian meals at least 4 days a week. My husband still complains a bit, but he understands why, and supports our effort. By reducing our meat consumption we can afford better (less factory farmed) meats. We are fortunate to live in an area where farm raised meats are readily available, not cheap by any means, but available. I'm sure my husband would love to try this sausage - I'll have to look for it at my local store. Nice post, as usual! I already follow you on FB.

I grew up on a family farm & because of it, I also have issues eating "factory" meat. I'd LOVE to try these Applegate Farms sausages! And keep up the awesome-ness Snack Girl!!

Applegate is my meat of choice when I can't get local humanely grown meat.

I highly recommend the book "The Dirty Life" by Kristin Kimball. She and her husband have a CSA farm in upstate New York. Unlike many CSA's, the Essex Farm provides meat and dairy as well as veggies. They took a disused farm with land laying fallow and now feed about 100 families a nearly complete diet year round. Her book really gave me something to think about about "sustainability".

Thank you for posting this!! I love Applegate farms..I get their regular sausages..the spinach/feta and Chicken/Apple are devine :-)

I'm eating much less meat than I used to as well, for various reasons. And you're right, you can get so creative with fruits and vegetables these days, you won't even miss the meat. Don't get me wrong though, I still love meat...and am lucky to have farmers in my area that I can purchase it from that are using best practices that put my mind at ease. Big fan of Applegate products -- almost all of their stuff is gluten-free, yay! Great giveaway. (I'm already a big fan on FB and Twitter)

I am a meat eater but prefer to find other options when they taste good. Would like to try Applegate!

I'm a former Jimmy Dean eater... I used to get those sausage biscuit sandwiches. Then I realized how bad for you they are! I love a little meat with my eggs in the morning, but have cut it out almost completely now, due to the fact that it just seems so sodium and chemical/preservative laden! I'd love to try some Applegate products!

First let me say that I love Applegate Farms! I have only tried 2 of their products (it is expensive!) but I really appreciate what this company is doing.

My husband is a meat-and-potatoes man, so I just can't avoid it. I do go meatless 2-3 times a week, by making some of his other favorite meals such as fettichini alfredo. Sometimes if I'm making goulash or pizza, I'll leave the meat out of my portion.

I do try to get organic brands of meat when I can such as Applegate, or I get my grass-fed beef from the local farmer's market. Not only is grass-fed beef healthier, but it tastes better and it looks beautiful! Buying from your farmer's market is probably the best thing you can do for meat all around (environmentally, health-wise, and it supports the local economy). I encourage everybody to shop their local farmer's market when they can :)

Would love to try something new. Sometimes the same stuff gets borring.

I read Michael Pollan's book and have not eaten a fast food chicken or meat item in many years. I do buy some meat but only organic grass fed from Whole Foods. I try to limit our intake of meat to about once per week. I have been using soy crumbles in my chili and tacos with no complaints from my husband or son. I will look for Applegate farms products at WholeFoods next time I am there.

After watching Food Inc., my husband and I agreed to try to buy as much meat from local farmers, and then if we need to buy at the grocery store, buy organic. I have only fed my daughter chicken, because I am scared to give her beef. I'd like to try applegate!

I also cut back on eating meat after watching Food, Inc. My favorite was about the pigness of the pig! I love all things pork but have been buying turkey sausages among other things to try and eat more healthy. i do worry about the turkeys though. I get the sizzlers for a buck when I can, but would love to try these. They sound tasty.

We have tried some Applegate products and love them as well. Generally we eat a small amount of meat, e.g., several times a week but not daily. I would love to make sure that the meat we do eat is always humanely raised and high quality. I really like Mark Bittman's approach of eating vegan or vegetarian all day and then having meat for dinner if he chooses (…). Thanks!

Thanks for posting about these products. I have not heard of them before today. I would love to try some of them and I'm glad to find out they sell this brand at my local grocery store!

I just tried Applegate (Sliced Roast Beef) for the first time the other day. It was delicious, but like everyone else says it's a bit pricey. As far as "factory" meat goes - ever since I watched "Food, Inc." I can't pick up a package of meat without glimpses flashing before me of those chicken and cow farms exposed in the movie. If you haven't seen it, it will change the way you think! I try to change what I buy when time and money allows me to do so, but it's definitely a challenge!

I prefer not to purchase meat at the grocery store. Every year we eat more wild game and farm animals from friends that we butcher ourselves than commercially available meat products. I would love to try Applegate Farms product, though!

I love meat, but am looking for healthier meat products and I'm looking more at where the meat is coming from and the treatment of the animal.

I too am willing to pay more for "organic", " free range" or whatever it's named.

It's all about being sensible and knowing what's good for your body.

I am a BIG supporter of Applegate Farms. I love that they take such a sustainable and ethical stance with their business and that they truly care for everything they do, which creates amazing products.

We really try to buy from companies we believe in and local places.

I would love to win this. Now that I am pregnant I am CRAVING breakfast meats but trying to avoid them because of all the nitrates. This would be great for me.

I very rarely eat meat anymore since I eat almost all of my meals in a dining hall, but when I do I try to consciously know where it has come from and that it is a local, sustainable source if possible!

These do sound great!

We also have reduced meat consumption in the past several months; I never buy beef anymore, and we usually get one free-range organic chicken a week from Trader Joe's that I use to make a roast, then some sort of leftovers and well as chicken stock. We occasionally eat fish and my kids gets sausage three or four times a week with breakfast - we usually get the Jones Farm brand. I would love to try Applegate, because I am all about good farming practices, especially after seeing the movie, "Earthlings" and all the horrible ways so many slaughter houses treat animals.

I love Applegate Farms and all they stand for. I've never seen their sausages - just their cold cuts at Trader Joe's (though my Harris Teeter has just started carrying them). We've been getting our dairy and meats from a farm not far from our home. Even though we live in an urban area, you don't have to go far for farmland. Thank goodness! Food Inc. really struck a chord with me.

I, too, have mixed feelings about meat. While we're generally a red meat-free household, we do still prepare chicken and turkey.

Eek! I really try to avoid thinking about it, for much the same reasons. I love meat; I hate what I'm hearing about how it gets from animal to me. Avoidance marks me as so mature, right?

I don't eat tons of meat to begin with, but I am growing increasingly uncomfortable with how we mass produce animal foods. I'm not (most likely) going to become a vegetarian, so exploring options like these seems to be my best option.

Thanks (I think) for raising the topic.

I haven't read this book, but my curiosity is definitely peaked. It's great to see a company taking this issue head-on.

My family eats mostly chicken & fish (fresh/frozen) and I rarely buy beef much anymore. We do enjoy turkey bacon for breakfast and sandwiches. I like the sound of Applegate Farms Turkey ingredients even with the increase in price. It sounds worth trying. Thanks for the good information!

I LOVE Applegate Farms! Their chicken breakfast sausage is also very tasty.

We still love meat in my house, but we look for better places to buy it for the same reasons everyone else does. Last month we went to a farm near my hubby's mom's house and bought steaks from them - grass fed beef, from people who loved the animal and took good care of him (her?). The cows we saw looked healthy and were roaming around - one had climbed a pile of hay and seemed to be surveying his realm while he chewed his cud.

I'm trying to eat meat more responsibly after seeing Kathy Freston on Oprah. This is hard to do in the South! So imagine how surprised I was to find that Applegate Farms products are available at my local Food Lion! I will definitely be checking their products out!

I find many of our food sources seriously disturbing. So much of the food on the market isn't even really food anymore just something to fill a void. I've pretty much cut meat out of my diet now and I'm trying to be much more vigilante in what I feed my children.

I do love meat, and am married to a stubborn carnivore, but I am trying to cut back on meat for breakfast and lunch, just having meat at dinner.

Would love to try that sausage...we do love our pork products on Sunday mornings.

I've never tried Applegate products but I'll probably seek them out now that I've read this post. Thank you for this information. It sounds as though Applegate is on the right track to be a leader in the meat industry.

good for Applegate being more conscious of the needs of animals and the planet we live on. we need more companies like them who care.

Read Omnivore's Dilemma, and agree, it was quite an eye opener. It changed my meat-buying habits for a time, but I find myself drifting back to my old buying habits, mostly because of convenience. After I post this comment, I'm going to check the store locator to see if these products are available in my area.

I'm torn. I try to buy organic whenever I can. But I know several farmers in Iowa that are struggling just to make ends meet, and then have traditional methods of raising cattle.

Our family is not a vegetarian/vegan, but we eat meat-free several times a week for a variety of reasons. My kids recently got hooked on Morningstar Farms breakfast sausage patties. My youngest especially loves them because she eschews when she deems "greasy" foods.

I try to buy natrual and organic products when I can when theyare on sale but I do it factory produced meat although if I saw what they did to the animals I woukdn't eatt it but even though it is an unpopular opinion I do eat factory produced meat. I would love to try Applegate farms meat

What about organic meat out of the case at Whole Foods?? OR are you specifically talking about "processed" meats?? I've definitely changed the way I buy meats and try to be an informed consumer, but I would probably agree that all meat is not created equal. However, is organic meat the same as factory farming or are they different?


I am always looking for ways to have healthier meat in my family's diet. We have never tried Applegate Farms but I have heard of it.

I am a member of a huge group of people who have children on the autism spectrum. Many of the children are on very specialized diets. One of the few processed foods I have seen mentioned in the diets is Applegate Farms. I can't wait to try it!

Well since I have become more food conscientious I have changed my meat purchases to organic or I use meat products that do not have antibotics or hormones. I never thought about these things before. I think the overall meat industry should be concerned about the method of feeding cows, chickens and pigs. I think we as a society are owed the best and healthiest products that can be provided. It should not be about profit gain but product quality. I think the meat industry should absolutely become more government regulated and not profit driven

I have been so appauled lately by what I have been learning not only about the meat market but the food industry as well. (Referring to yesterdays post on WonderBread). I LOVE meat to but have been cutting down consumption of it because of all the antibiotics and non grass that they pump into our meat! It is rather disturbing. I would LOVE to try this company products and there is no better way to try them than free! :)

I highly recommend the book "Slaugherhouse" by Gail Eisnitz. It is an eye opening expose of the U.S. meat industry. It definately changed my opinion of eating meat. I have tried Applegate Farms products in the past and loved them.... would love to have a chance to win some coupons!

I am a most of the time vegan, with the exception of the occasional egg or cheese. I have not eaten meat for some time,but the family still does. For me, it is an ethical choice. It might sound "new ageish", but I think the pain, fear, and suffering they feel comes through in the taste. Animals who are raised and slaughtered humanely are way better, according to the family. these would be great!

I love meat! But I have cut back on it for dietary reasons only. Would love to try the sausage. I'm not fond of Jimmy Dean's frozen sausage.

Also, Meet your meat, and farm to fridge videos will definitely change the way you view meat.

I have no problem with the meat industry - to each his own I say. I don't eat Jimmy Dean but would love to try these products. Thanks for the chance!

I usually purchase all my meats at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods or Costco (organic). Dealing with the "mass market" meat industry is just a headache I could do without. Haven't tried Applegate, but I've heard very positive things about them.

Oh, this is good!! I haven't seen Applegate breakfast sausage yet! We buy the salami on occasion for little guys loves it. And we're a big fan of their hotdogs!

I have similar thoughts on meat. I've seen Food, Inc. a couple times & have Omnivore's Dilemma. It's disgusting! I don't see our family going vegetarian but we do eat more & more veggie dinners these days. Trying to cut our meat consumption & buy better quality stuff. Last fall I split a 1/4 grass fed beef & plan to do it again.

Thanks for your blog!!! :)

I have mixed feelings. I've seen the food inc and ugh can't think of the other one. We don't have a Trader Joe's near us, but about 3 or so times a year we drive the 3 hours to one in another state and load up.

We have reduced our meat intake - and try to buy meat from our local vendors at the farmers' markets.

I also have issues with factory farming and usually get my meats at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and Sprouts. I don't eat much meat because I don't really like it, but find my energy flagging if I don't incorporate some lean poultry into my diet to eat more protein. proportionately

I would like to try these. We eat a lot of turkey sausage in our house and I'd love to try a new kind.

i think the government has a lot to blame for the meat industry but as long as there are still some good companies around, then i think its okay to have meat in moderation

i'm following you on twitter and i just tweeted about this :)

That sausage looks delicious. As a poor college student I can't afford quality meat very often, but I don't want to support factory farms so I end up eating mostly vegetarian.

To be honest i never really thought about the meat industry. in my case, it's like ignorance is bliss...what i don't know won't make me wanna cry. that's not necessarily a GOOD thing, but i guess it just never occurred to me until now to think about the meat industry.

i do like how your blog keep opening my eyes to new information and finding ways to eat healthier though! I love meat, so I would love to give Applegate Farm products a try. I'm already purchasing cage free organic eggs (because i have read/heard about the hormones and how chicken are cooped up), since i'm just paying for myself (no family to feed yet) i can definitely afford to splurge a bit and eat healthier. :D

This sausage is great. I love it.

I have tried the lunchmeat and have liked it, would LOVE to try the sausage!

This post is timely considering that our household is making an effort to eat less meat and to buy from farmers markets as often as possible. The meat industry is atrocious and the way the animals are treated is disgusting. I really appreciate when companies make an effort to produce better food for us. Thanks for the contest!

It's so irritating to read labels and not know exactly what the ingredients really are! I'm going to find a store in my area that sells the Applegate Farms products and give them a try.

Our meat industry is in a sad state of affairs. "This American Life" did an episode called "Pandora's Box" in their first season. The film crew became visibly and vocally upset of what is now considered pig farming. It will make you think twice about bacon.

I too have mixed feelings about eating meat. I love it, but don't love all the horror stories associated with raising animals for food. We are fortunate to have vendors at the Farmers Market here in Portland that sell meat. Makes me feel a bit better to know the source.

I cook mostly vegetarian and "let" my husband cook meat once a week. We'd love to try the Applegate Farm products.

Have slowly becoming more attuned over the past five years to an increasing arrya of social responsibility opportunities. A firm recycler, non-bottled water user now. I'd like to say I'd go vegetarian but I, too, love meat too much to give it up. So am also happy to find good tasting products rasied in a way that meets my ever-sharening definition of being a good world citizen.

I love Applegate farms..I get their regular sausages..the spinach/feta(my fav) and Chicken/Apple. I am definately going to try the breakfast sausage.

I cut out all red meat and pork about 10 years ago and haven't looked back since. The thought of eating a hamburger makes me want to be ill! My poor husband does though eat a big piece of red meat any occasion he gets. When we watched "Food Matters" I started looking for humanely raised chickens and turkeys and found this great farm in Georgia called Springer Mountain which are certified by American Humane. They sell their chicken at Publix in Georgia but not sure where else. Hopefully it can be found all over, though!

We would love to try some more of Applegates products. I buy their chicken nuggets for my kids occasionally when they ask for some but I have yet to try their other products. It is sometimes hard to balance the our budget with the cost of these items especially if they don't pass the kid test. :)

For my politics class, we were on the subject of food policy, so we watched the film _Food, Inc._ It was a look inside America's food industry, and it literally shocked me how poorly we treat the animals we eat. Michael Pollan makes an appearance in this film as well, which was also surprising. I'm planning to read Eric Schlosser's book _Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal_.

We definitely have meatless Mondays and often other meatless days.

I enjoyed eating meat, but I dislike how the nutritional quality of our meat is so poor now. Yes, I know free range poultry and etc. can remedy it, but it's just not an affordable option for most people. It's easier and cheaper to eat tofu.

I love meat but I find that the flavor of the meat has changed over the years and not for the better. I would love to try applegate products.

I refrain from meat products in the major supermarkets and usually purchase grass fed from Whole Foods, which is expensive but worth it, as I don't eat meat that often. Am curious about this Applegate sausage.

I am an avid meat eater. I once tried ground turkey, turkey bacon and turkey sausage from other companies and they just didn't taste very good. I have been cautious to try any more turkey products because of my experience. Applegate products sounds interesting and I wouldn't mind giving them a try! :)

If more people took the time to learn how most of the conventional meat and poultry in this country is raised and slaughtered, then I think people would think twice about the meat they by and eat. If you're not willing to see and comfortable with how your dinner was killed, then maybe you should rethink what you're eating for dinner!

Organic, free-range, grass-fed, etc. may cost more, but you're paying for something that wasn't raised using toxic chemicals, artificial hormones, and the animals were raised more humanely than most. Plus, it usually tastes better and is healthier for you. That's worth a higher price for me every time. When I do eat meat, I treat it like a special occasion and as such I spend the extra money to make sure it's worth it. Know where your food is coming from!!

Sounds yummy! I think over overall food industry is pretty stinky (pun, intended!) and I am fortunate to have the financial flexibility to make different buying decisions. My husband and I have been eating Morningstar Sausage Patties for a few years now and he is brunt out. So, I am also looking for ways to lively breakfast and these may be the answer!!

I think Applegate is an awesome company in the midst of all the hormone, antibiotic & pesticide-infested meat industry. I'm not a vegetarian, but eat less meat because of all that crap. But Applegate-- Love them :)

Anytime I buy meat I make sure it's at least hormone-free and antibiotic-free and fed a vegetarian diet, but preferably also organic and free-range or grass-fed.

It is sad that most of the worlds antibiodics are consumedby animals, i try to buy the best meats available. Ill have to check these out.


Searched for and couldn't find Applegate products at the stores listed for my area on the Applegate website. Nothing at Giant or Wegman's - so annoying. Then found Applegate hot dogs and sausages at a local health food store when searching for Truewhip, my new healthy Cool Whip replacement. A large, filling Applegate Sweet Italian Chicken & Turkey Sausage is only 3 pt+!! I just made a sausage & pepper & mushroom wrap on a 3 pts+ healthy whole wheat tortilla - so-o-o good! The Uncured Turkey Hot Dogs are only 1 pt+ - if they are as good as the sausages, I will be very pleased. My occasional treat of Papaya King hot dogs from NYC are 5 pts+, so a 1 pt replacement would be great. Haven't tasted them yet, but I'm hoping - definitely sold on the dinner sausages.

That's a ridiculous price for chicken. I get it $4 a lb, and sometimes $3.75. Its not organic, but it is pastured. I miss raising my own chickens.

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