Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pasture Fed Meat

Posted by PicasaI am reading two books right now, The Paleo Diet Solution by Robb Wolf and The Paleo Diet for Athletes by Loren Cordain, PhD (author of The Paleo Diet).

These two books hold much interest for me, not that I necessarily want to go on a paleo diet, but because I want to learn as much as possible about the effects of different foods on my body.

I am thinking of incorporating some of the philosophy and thought I would be ready by now, but things just are not moving along as quickly as I had anticipated, mainly because I have too much going on and haven't finished reading them yet!

I did find the information regarding free range or pasture fed meats quite interesting so decided to look into it further. I have always enjoyed meats from Prather Ranch, they are at the Campbell Farmers market and San Francisco Ferry Plaza market.

I know pasture fed is better, although more expensive. I don't mind, I figure I should treat my body like the prized possession it is, and be kind, only giving it the good things. I mean, I pump premium gas into my car, why should I pump regular food into my body? It's worth a hell of a lot more than my BMW and costs more to repair!

I poked around the Internet and found an article on Trusted.MD, the author is Vreni Gurd, and he has several interesting articles on the subject. I have an excerpt of it here, I think it does a good job of explaining why we should all eat pasture raised meats instead of feed lot.

It may be a no brainer that organic is better than conventional when it comes to meat, poultry, eggs and dairy, but why is pasture-fed important? 
Conventional meat and poultry are fed conventional food, that usually being grain (such as GMO soy), as carbohydrates are just as effective at fattening animals as humans. The pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers in the grain are then stored as toxins in the fat of the animals.

Because conventionally raised animals and poultry are often kept in very confined quarters day and night, and are not given space to roam, they do not get the exercise needed to keep them healthy.  Between the poor quality food, the lack of exercise and the close quarters between animals, sickness is very common and spreads like wildfire through the barns.

Consequently, antibiotics and other drugs are used on an ongoing basis in an attempt to keep the animals healthy. In the United States, recombinant bovine somatrotropin (rbst) under the drug name "Prosilac" is used in dairy cattle in order to increase milk production.  This drug often results in very large, infected udders and consequently pus gets into the milk.  Prosilac is banned in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the EU and in Japan.

In meat cattle, five growth promoting hormones are used in Canada and the US, three of which occur naturally (estradiol, testosterone and progesterone) and two of which are synthetic (zeranol and trenbolone acetate).  These hormones were banned in the Europe in 1989.  For a fun look at the world of factory farming, see the short videos, The Meatrix, and The Meatrix Revolting.

Certified organic meat, poultry, dairy and eggs have been fed certified organic food, and are not medicated.  This immediately eliminates the risk of consuming the consolidated toxins found in the fat of the animals, and ingesting the residues of the antibiotics and steroid hormones that become a part of conventional meats, poultry, dairy and eggs. But "certified organic" does not mean that the animals were allowed to exercise, nor does it tell you what the animals were fed.

Ask any five-year old what a cow is supposed to eat, and they will reply "grass", not grain. Ruminants get digestive distress on grain as their digestive systems are not meant to handle it, and they don't get the nutrition they need from grain. Look for "free-range" poultry, eggs, meat or dairy, or "pasture-fed" meats. Pasture-fed poultry and ruminants are healthier, happier, and have far more omega 3 and less omega 6 in their  meat, dairy and eggs, which improves our omega 3/6 balance as well.

So, look for certified organic, free-range meat, poultry, dairy and eggs, and you will know the animals were more humanely treated, and the food products are more healthy

Full article: Conventional vs. organic vs. free-range meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy | Trusted.MD Network
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