Today I want to talk about what it means when we say we are what we eat, and we also are what our animal eats.
I was recently asked whether it is better to eat beef or chicken. Its not an easy answer. The answer is far more complicated than you might believe.
TO EAT BEEF OR CHICKEN? WHAT ARE THE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES?
While some people have cut out meat all together, most people cut out only red meat and are eating poultry and fish as their alternative. And although you might think eating chicken is a healthier or earth-friendlier option compared to beef, it’s a much more complicated story.
There is both healthy and unhealthy red meat, poultry, and fish. Food Quality Matters.
Let’s start with what you DON’T want to eat for your health. Factory farmed beef, chicken, chicken eggs, pork, fish contain harmful bacteria, pesticide residue, antibiotics and artificial hormones, all of which can be harmful to your health. Factory farmed meat is also impacting our human health through air, water, and soil pollution. All of this impacts climate change.
Closely-confined animals in factory farms are exposed to high levels of toxins from decomposing manure, pesticides, unhealthy additives and fed foods they would not normally eat.
Factory farmed animals and fish are fed things that are not part of their species-specific diet. Often they are fed GMO grains, which means there is toxin breed right into their feed.
The truth is the farming of seafood has many of the same problems that the factory farming of land animals does. Just like chicken, beef, pork, and eggs from factory farms have disastrous impacts on the soil, water, and air, industrial fish farms flush their problems into a shared, delicate resource: the ocean.
Factory farmed beef is no better and no worse for you than factory farmed poultry and fish.
WHAT IS THE FOOD QUALITY MATTERS SOLUTION?
“Pasture-raised animals produce meat, dairy and eggs that are better for consumers’ health than conventionally-raised, grain-fed animals. In addition to being lower in calories and total fat, meat from pasture-raised animals have higher levels of vitamins, and a healthier balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats than conventional meat and dairy products. Studies have shown that milk from pasture-fed cows has as much as five times the CLA (a “good” type of fatty acid) than milk from grain-fed cows. And meat from pasture-fed cows has from 200 to 500 percent more CLA as a proportion of total fatty acids than meat from cows that eat a primarily grain-based diet. Free-range chickens have 21% less total fat, 30% less saturated fat and 28% fewer calories than their factory-farmed counterparts. Eggs from poultry raised on pasture have 10% less fat, 40% more vitamin A and 400% more omega-3’s.”
You can buy organic meat from Whole Foods, Sprouts, other healthy grocers, and your local farmer’s market. If you shop at the farmer’s market, get to know your rancher and how he treats the animal and his methods for raising them.
Organic Beef is grass fed and grass finished. The cow gets to eat his species-specific meat for his entire life.
Organic Chicken- you want either
Certified organic is the best you can buy from the supermarket. While it can be pricey, it means that there’s no antibiotics, chemical additives, or pesticides. It also means that the bird was fed without animal by-products, and the animal was given some daily exercise.
**Certified humane and handled **means your chicken’s been raised according to standards that require ample space, shelter and gentle handling to limit stress, and it prohibits the use of antibiotics and additives.
The best option is to get to know a local beef and chicken producer from whom you can source fresh, pasture-raised meats. You can find these producers through your local farmers market, health food store, food cooperative or CSA—or visit LocalHarvest.com for lists of small-scale, local and organic farms.
We also purchase our fish from a fish monger that we have gotten to know at our local farmers market. She advises on which wild fishes are best, and which factory raised fish is raised in netted pools right in the ocean without the antibiotics and hormones.
How can you afford pastured meat?
If you are buying direct from the rancher, quality meat is generally less expensive than from your local grocery store. Fewer people and transportation methods have been used between the animal and your dinner plate.
Plan to eat meat as the condiment to your meal. 75% of what you eat should be the rainbow of organic plant food.
It is healthier to eat quality protein and to eat it in smaller portions for your long-term health.
WHY EAT QUALITY MEAT?
Food quality matters. How the animal is treated impacts you. You don’t need the animals stress hormones; you have plenty of your own. You do not need antibiotics, pesticides, additives and hormones as harmful additions to your protein source. You do need the health omega-3 oils that you get from pastured and quality meats.
I am a health coach. I encourage healthy habits for your future health.
I have 2 classes that I now run to help you understand the importance of quality food.
The first one has now proof of concept. I have given it 4 times. I help you discover how to ditch the standard American diet of fast and processed foods, how to break the addiction to these foods, and how eating real food and cooking feeds your body health. Most people who take this course also lose weight, but the purpose of the class is for you to eat real food and your body takes care of the rest. This class will run again starting at the end of July.
My second course is now running for the first time and will run again in September. And its called- Food Quality Matters, How to get the biggest bang for your organic bucks.
People object to eating organic for the following 3 reasons
They feel there is no benefit to buying organic food
They say they can’t afford organic food
They say they don’t have time to cook
This class helps you to discover all the reasons why food quality matters, where to buy it for the best price, how to choose the most succulent and yummiest fruit and veggie, how to store it so that it lasts, how to repurpose it when it starts to fade, how to wash it, how to cook it for the most nutrition, how many toxins are sprayed on the conventional counterpart. what all the gifts of the plant are for your body.
I also do one on one coaching if you are ready to adopt healthier lifestyle habits to upgrade your health now and for your future.
Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Its never too late to adopt healthy habits.