For most of human history people ate food that was grown or raised in the way nature intended; off the surrounding land. Goats, sheep, bison and cattle spent their entire lives grazing on native plants and grasses. These animals grew to maturity slowly over time at their natural rate. These herds, known as ruminants, are designed to eat the native grasses, plants and shrubs that grow locally.
The people who raised the herds also knew that they needed to nurture the soil, care for the water and plants in the pastures to ensure they maintained a living balance of the high-quality grasses and legumes essential for healthy animal growth. Free to roam these lush, green pastures, the animals were healthy and their resulting meat was lean, nutritious and rich in flavor. Quite different than what we have today.
Fats. A bad rap? You decide!
Fats have gotten a really bad reputation. But, somewhat rightfully so.
After WWII, big business found its way into our country’s family owned and operated farms. Unfortunately, many of the good practices farmer’s had been following began shifting as a result. By the 1960s small farms were replaced by larger farms and commercial feedlots thanks to new strategies for confining cattle and feeding them high-starch grain diets. The largest of these commercial operations learned to efficiently crank out in excess of 100,000 head of cattle a year. Vast surpluses of corn, milo, wheat and soybean meal—produced in mass quantities thanks to petroleum-based fertilizers and subsidized by the government—further fueled the expansion of the cattle-feeding industry.
The fact is, whether it’s a plant or an animal eating the plant, or an animal eating another animal (which is us) the nutrition [or lack thereof] determines what each gets along the food chain. Sadly what’s happened to supermarket meats, and even organically raised meats, is the animals have an unbalanced unnatural diet, most never even get to eat a blade of grass during their lifetime. If the nutrition isn’t present from their food source, or in ours, we’re not going to be getting it either! This has caused meats to contain far more of the properties that are very unhealthy for us.
Now animals, many of which have never seen a blade of grass after weaning, are fattened on unnatural diets, with added hormones and antibiotics and churned out for slaughter in little more than a year. This efficient industrial process guarantees that there will always be plenty of meat at your local supermarket—and that it will consistently be inexpensive.
But we are paying in other ways; heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, diabetes, and cancer.
What’s Missing from the Cattle’s Diet and Our Own? Continue reading “The Skinny About Supermarket Meat and Your Health” »
Native Plant Landscaper, Gardener, Labyrinth Design, Feng Shui Practitioner, Aromatherapy / Essential Oils, Big Fan of Nature and Living Simply.
"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly."
~ R. Buckminster Fuller