To Eat or Not To Eat

The warm-weather seasons are one of the most favorite times of the year for enjoying the outdoors, especially those fun backyard barbecues. One can pretty much be guaranteed to catch a whiff of that delightful aroma of burning charcoal combined with a mixture of fresh flaming meats mainly on those traditional barbecuing holidays, such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.
As with most any holiday, purchasing large quantities of meat are usually sought out with the best bargains in mind, depending on the budget of the shopper. However, most of us who are not health-conscious about what we stick in our bodies are likely to walk away from the store with the cheapest bargains, feeling satisfied at being able to carry home a few more extra dollars in our pockets than expected. We save money in the long run, but are we really saving money? Or are we really sacrificing our health for the sake of a principle?

Conventional foods seem to be the cheapest to buy, but alternatively come with a hefty cost in the long run.
Bovine Somatotropin, also referred to as BST or BGH, is a peptide hormone that is naturally produced in cows. Molecular cloning of this growth hormone created the synthetic version named “Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin”, or rBGH, which is widely used by the agricultural industry to increase livestock productivity. By injecting dairy animals with rBGH, this increased the level of production of the IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1 hormone, also naturally produced by cows and humans) that is neither destroyed by pasteurization or homogenization. Physicians became increasingly concerned with the risks associated with the human consumption of this synthetic hormone as a possible link to developing breast cancer in males as well as females, especially pre-menopausal women. Other risk factors may include a higher risk for infertility, heart and kidney abnormalities, gastric ulcers, arthritis, heat intolerance, prostate and colon cancer, and an increased susceptibility to infections.

Organic foods are normally priced substantially higher than conventional foods, however, the health benefits associated with its consumption versus consuming conventional foods outweighs it monetary forfeiture in the long run. Natural fertilizers, such as compost and manure, are used to treat the soil for cultivating plants and vegetables. Pesticides made from natural resources are used as opposed to using synthetic insecticides, and environmentally-generated plant-killing compounds are applied in the place of using synthetic herbicides to control weeds. The harvesting of these naturally-grown plants and vegetables are also used as feed for the livestock, which in turn suggests these animals are assured to have a proper balanced diet. In ensuring these animals have a properly well-balanced diet will also insure no synthetic growth hormones and other potentially harmful chemicals will be passed through human consumption. The results are: a greater human consumption of antioxidants naturally found in foods, reduced pesticide exposure, and reduced exposure to potentially life-threatening synthetic chemicals.

With the cost of health care these days, who could not afford to maintain a healthy diet that may assure them a longer life in the long run? Taking shortcuts when it comes to one’s health may not be such a profitable idea afterall…

Β©2013 Learus Ohnine


16 thoughts on “To Eat or Not To Eat

  1. As a long time raiser of “grass fed beef” as well as a family nurse practitioner interested in nutrition, I have researched the science of raising meat that is high in Omega 3 and 6 in naturally raised animals. Though I am now retired and no longer produce meat on my farm for sale to others, I do keep several cows to provide meat for my friends and family.

    The many recalls of hamburger are caused by E colhi H157 which is a breed of microbe artificially produced in the gut of cattle by feeding them a high carbohydrate diet which cattle are not genetically capable of utilizing. It causes the rumen of the animal to become acidic, thus killing off the beneficial bacteria, and allowing only the harmful ones to survive. So if this meat is not properly cooked, or raw meat somehow contaminates dishes or even a tiny amount of these bacteria can cause grave illness or even death.

    It is important that hamburger be cooked until the juices run CLEAR in order to kill this bacteria.

    When I first started offering grass fed beef to the public, “grass fed” was looked down upon, however in the past few years since I have not had any meat for sale I still get calls every week for people wanting to buy meat.

    Cooking lower fat meat and grass fed beef requires some tenderness in cooking to retain the tenderness of the meat. Low and slow temperatures are needed, but the taste of the meat is absolutely wonderful when the animals have been naturally raised and processed in a USDA slaughter house that does not frighten and upset the animal, thus making the adrenaline flow and “taint” the meat flavor.

    Grass fed can be organic or not, depending on how the farm is labeled. I never did go to the expense to get a n organic certification, but essentially my meat was organic. My animals were fed only grass and hay and natural minerals and salt.

    I chose the Scottish Highland breed for their hardiness and disease resistence as well as the prime quality of the meat.

    If you have never eaten grass fed beef. Give it a try, the slightly higher cost is well worth it in quality…and higher omega 3s and 6s.


  2. A little late to the scene in warning about BGH. Most milk in America is produced without it nowadays. Walmart was the first store to stop carrying BGH milk (due to consumer concern), and other stores followed. Almost all stores now sell milk that is rBGH free (referring to generic store-brand milk). Just look at the label and you will see that most are rBGH free.


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