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.
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. And you know what? They taste better too!
How Natural is “Naturally Raised” ?
What you need to know:
Is this a last minute directives published by political appointees just prior to becoming unemployed? We hope not.
The USDA has been working on this issue for some time. However, that does not turn this directive into something in the best interest of consumers.
People want to know they are eating food that is good for them. The terms “natural” and “naturally raised” are supposed to reassure us that a product is better, safer, and perhaps healthier. Marketers know that, and have been pushing to get approval for such claims for quite a while.
The problem is that it is impossible to define today what naturally raised means. Contrary to the image above, most animals grown for slaughter, live in cells, and eat corn instead of what their ruminant stomach was designed for (grass). However, they are now considered naturally grown by the USDA.
There’s a whole bunch of other unnatural things done to animals so we can enjoy our steak, ham, or lamb chop. Most of us are totally unaware of what goes on behind the scenes.
Without getting in between PETA and the cattlemen’s association here, one thing is certain – marketing hype sells.