Conventional or factory-farmed meat and poultry are fed conventional food, usually grain (such as GMO corn), as starchy carbohydrates are just as effective at fattening animals up as they are 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.
Antibiotic-use in factory-farmed animals is the largest reason we have such a serious problem with antibiotic resistance in our hospitals.
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. For a fun look at the world of factory farming, see the short videos, The Meatrix, and The Meatrix Revolting.
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.
Feeding cows grain and expecting them to remain healthy is like expecting humans to stay healthy on a diet of exclusively candy. And if we eat sick animals, we cannot expect to stay healthy either, just as one would not expect a house made of rotten wood to be strong. Our food provides the raw material for our cells, and we can only be as healthy as the raw materials we choose to eat.
I have encountered the odd person in my practice that is sensitive to grain to the point that they react to grain-fed meat as if they were eating the grain itself. The gut is so unhappy that the stabilizer muscles of the spine shut down resulting in a distended belly and low-back/pelvic pain. (A severe food sensitivity or allergy can be the root cause of low back or pelvic pain via a viscerosomatic reflex. In these cases stabilization exercises don’t work well until the offending foods are removed from the diet.)
So, look for “free-range”, “grass-fed”, or “pastured” poultry, eggs, meat or dairy. Pastured 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.
Furthermore, by choosing pastured meat, dairy, poultry and eggs we are supporting happy, healthy animals and sustainable agriculture instead of the inhumane, environmentally-damaging, harmful bacteria and antibiotic-resistance incubators that factory farms are.
Pastured meat, poultry, eggs and dairy may cost more, but we have a choice to pay now for good quality food, or pay later for medications. Personally, I’d rather pay for the food! And you know what? Free-range food taste better too!
Abbott, Jennifer, and Achbar, Mark; The Corporation, DVD 2004.
Chek, Paul; How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! Chek Institute, San Diego, CA, 2004.
Chek, Paul; You Are What You Eat CD Series Chek Institute, San Diego, CA, 2002.
Chek, Paul; Under the Veil of Deception, A “Down to Earth” Look at Organics San Diego, CA, 2002.
Weston A. Price Foundation Comments on the Report of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, Sept. 27, 2004
Copyright Vreni Gurd 2006/2012