Authors note: This article is intended for those who currently consume commercially raised meat (that includes chicken, fish, lamb, pork, beef ) and processed meat products.
Picture this: you are standing at the shelf of your local supermarket looking at the chickens and thinking which one shall I buy?. Does it really make a difference? You could buy two of those normal chickens for the same price as that free range organic one? In the following article I wish to outline some reasons as to why I recommend paying extra for a higher quality and ethical product.
Commercial Meat a health hazard
Not all meat you buy is the same. Commercial meat production has sadly through greed and corruption turned a healthy product into a health hazard. Not to mention an animal welfare disgrace. This is far from an exaggeration. Commercial animals are kept in confined, cramped pens, given growth hormones to speed their delivery to the abattoir, antibiotics to stop the spread of disease from their conditions, and even fed products like genetically modified soy (mostly grown in Brazil at the expense of the Amazon rainforest) that given to humans in light of current research is very dangerous to health!
Each year, in the U.S. alone farmers dump over 9 million pounds of antibiotics into the food and water supply of farm animals. This however is not intended to primarily fight or prevent disease but to fatten up livestock, which is sadly a side effect of the antibiotics (1). Grains (often contaminated with fungus or fungicides) are also used to fatten up livestock at the expense of the traditional and healthy grass feed.
Processed meats and cancer
A recent report from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute on the dangers of eating processed meats (including bacon, sausage, hot dogs, salami, ham, and smoked or cured meat) concluded that by adding 1 ounce of processed meat to your daily diet elevates your stomach cancer risks by as much as 38 %. The review looked at 40 years worth of studies on the relationship between these meats and stomach cancer (cited in www.mercola.com)
What about those dangerous saturated fats you ask?
Here are some interesting facts:
– Between 1910 and 1970: animal fat consumption decreased from 83% to 62%
– Butter consumption decreased from 18 pounds to 4 pounds per year
– Margarine, shortening and refined oils consumption increased 400%
– Today, CHD (Coronary Heart Disease) causes at least 40% of all U.S. deaths (2)
– The fatty acids found in arterial clogs are mostly unsaturated (74%) of which 41% are polyunsaturated (3)
Could nature has designed a product like breast milk with so many saturated fats like butyric, caproic, caprylic, capric, lauric, myristic, palmitic and stearic acids? Breast milk is the source of nourishment to ensure the growth, development and survival of children. Do you see the discrepancy in that? Unfortunately all the studies that point to saturated fat as the culprit put deadly man-made trans fatty acids in the mix.
To learn more on the truth of saturated fats and the real killer trans fatty acids I recommend you read my previous article Fat facts: good guys or bad guys. (2)
I hope this article has given you a strong enough reason to believe that paying extra as often as possible for a healthy, ethical, free range, hormone free and unprocessed meat product is really worth it.
Finally check out this short cartoon parody based on the Matrix Movies to see the truth behind commercial meat production: www.meatrix.com.
Your unique³ Coach
1 Wolcott, W. The metabolic typing diet, 2000, Broadway books.
2 Burton , C., Fat Facts Good Guys or Bad Guys?
3 Lancet, 1994, 344:1195