Although I am not necessarily encouraging anyone to eat meat (it is a personal choice), if you do eat meat, please read this. Like most of the goods in this country, our meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products are now being mass produced. Today, most commercially available meats are factory farmed because it’s fast, convenient and more profitable. And if you are a meat eater, eating organic animal products is always better than eating regular, mass produced, factory-farmed feedlot animals. Unfortunately, even organic products can be from animals that are raised in confinement and fed grains. On the plus side, at least the feed doesn’t contain cost saving restaurant waste, animal byproducts, municipal garbage, bubble gum and poultry manure as it does in regular feedlots.
Switching from natural diet of grasses to grains:
Originally all cattle were grass-fed, which is what they were meant to eat–grasses and shrubs. Grazing animals such as cows, sheep, goats and bison possess a rumen, or a second stomach, which is like a fermentation tank. In this rumen, normal bacteria convert grasses, shrubs and plants into protein and fats. When you feed these “ruminants” grains, all sorts of problems occur. In particular, it makes their digestive tracts acidic and they develop “sub acute acidosis.” This results in the animals experiencing diarrhea and excessive salivation. The animals may also kick at their bellies, eat dirt and go off their feed. We also know that this acidic environment encourages the development of E. coli bacteria. This is why feedlot animals need to be given constant antibiotics and is one of the reasons why humans experience problematic bacteria resistant to antibiotics.
Switching ruminants from their natural diet of grasses to grains also lowers their nutritional value (see benefits of Grass-Fed Meats).When you choose grass-fed beef, lamb, bison or poultry, you’re eating nutritious and healthy meats, as nature intended.
A good resource is http://www.eatwild.com/. Remember if it doesn’t say grass-fed, you can assume it’s grain-fed.
The benefits of eating grass fed meat:
- Better for your health.
- No antibiotics, animal by-products, hormones or other drugs.
- Less fat (6-8 times less) and therefore fewer calories. Grass-fed beef often has the same amount of fat as skinless chicken breast.
- Less pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acids.
- More anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids (2-5 times more than grain-fed cattle), because grass is high in Omega-3.
- More conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), another good fatty acid that reduces the risk of cancer, diabetes and obesity. The human body can’t produce CLA, but it can be obtained through foods such as whole milk, butter and beef. Studies show grass-fed cows have 500% more CLA in their milk than those that are fed silage.
- More vitamin E.
- Better for the environment. Less ground, air and water pollution.
- Better for the animals. More humane treatment of the animals.
When you choose products from pastured animals, you are eating the food that nature intended. You are also supporting small farmers, safeguarding the environment, promoting animal welfare, and eating food that is nutritious, wholesome and delicious.
Check out this animation movie about the meat you eat to our website link or www.themeatrix.com