Friday, December 23, 2011

Grass Fed Friday

Eating healthy is a very important topic in everyone’s life.  With heart disease at an all time high it might be time to take a look at our diets rather than our genetics.  I’ve picked a subject that I feel is very crucial to this – meat.

I’m going to attempt to not gross you out as much as possible, but it’s kind of a gross subject.  First of all, I eat meat. I have no problem with vegetarians and vegans, if that’s your conviction.  I support responsibly killing animals, but I don’t find a problem with killing animals so that I can grow big and strong.  Do I think that big business is to blame for this? No.  You are.  Population grew. Demand grew.  How can we make twice the amount of meat in half the amount of time for half the price? Corn and Soy.  Both of these two ingredients were fed to cattle to fatten them up in half the amount of time.  Antibiotics and drugs (including growth hormone) were also pumped in them to make sure the process went smoother.  Steers that were killed at ages 4-5 are now killed at 16 months.  Grain fed cows are fatter and fat tastes good, right?  On top of all this, businesses plop them in feedlots where they sit in their own piss, poo, farts, and disease.  They have no room to graze and live.  That’s why they need antibiotics.  Oh and just in case you didn’t know – Corn – isn’t a vegetable.  It’s a grain.  And you know what else? You ever notice when you eat corn and then poo? Whole kernels- I’m talking undigested, whole kernels show up.  We don’t digest corn properly, and neither do cows.  Last thing, giving cows an “organically grain fed diet” gives cows indigestible, unnatural feed “organically”. Giving cows a corn based diet gives the big companies exactly what they want and what you don’t need – weight gain, and fat accumulation.  

Cows eat grass.  Cows eat flowers. Cows eat shrubs. Cows eat vegetation, naturally.  They walk around pastures and use their muscles.  They rest in the shade of trees. They’re happy.  Happy cows that eat a natural diet don’t have as much fat stored.  They produce more omega-3 fats (those are good), vitamin E, and CLA.  They contain less omega 6’s than grain fed cows and don’t contain the half the amount of saturated fat or cholesterol.  Red Meat can actually be good for you, but like anything don’t over do it.  If they situation arises, chose lean cuts of grain fed beef like filets.  From personal experience, because grass fed beef is leaner be careful not to overcook it.  Yes, it’s more expensive – but with all the money you’re saving by not buying bottled water anymore you’ll be set.  Lastly, the same rule applies for dairy products too.

I’ll hit on it briefly but the same situation applies for chickens and eggs.  Chickens don’t just eat grass.  They like bugs, worms, grains, fruits, and compost piles.  They need to be outdoors too.  The conditions that “normal” chickens live in are more disgusting than the cows.  Some literally can’t even walk.  There is no sun, no exercise, and certainly no cleanliness.  So What did companies start to do? They started throwing out words like “cage free” and “free range”.  When you see these labels take them literally.  Cage free means the chickens don’t live in a cage, nothing more.  Free range means chickens have the availability to go out doors if they want to.  The feed stations are indoors though and they aren’t allowed to go out doors until much later on in their short life.  The doors to go outside are usually small and often unused.  They key word to look for when buying chickens and eggs is “pasture”.  This is the only true version of chickens living in their natural environment.  Natural means healthier chickens with better sources of omega 3’s and vitamins.  They also contain less cholesterol. Oh, and Just in case you didn’t know – egg yolks are supposed to be orange, not yellow. 

These two subjects have tons of more information on the benefits of each.  Google is a good starting point.