by Lisa Wilson CHC
The Big Question—Should I Eat Meat, or Not?
Ambiguous, Yes. But true! The question of whether or not meat and animal products are right for you is an individual answer. When I am working with an individual, I look at many factors such as nutritional type, genetic heritage, blood type, ethical position, culture, religion, and simply how food makes you feel.
When I am working with someone who is healing, say from cancer or diabetes, animal products are simply off the table, at least for a good long time.
It really comes down to bio-individuality. This takes into consideration the fact that everybody is different.
There’s one bottom line when it comes to animal products: There is an enormous difference between animals that have been factory farmed versus animals that have been treated ethically and humanely on small family owned farms.
Through the years, I have made it my job to visit factory farms, healthy farms and interview everyone from the farmer, to the truck drivers to the butcher. The filth and confined quarters that I have seen on these factory farms is the perfect environment for parasites and viruses to thrive. We have to know what is going into our bodies and trust me, you don't want to eat this stuff!
So if you’re going to eat animal products, here’s what you can do to make sure you’re getting the highest quality products. This will ensure that you are doing your best for your body, the planet, and the animals you’re eating.
1). Know Your Farmer
I’m on a first name basis with my farmer; I can drop in any time. My farmer turned his own failing health around, when he started organic farming and made the decision to stop using pesticides. He’s never looked back. Years later his health and his family farm are thriving! Hooray!
2). Ask The Question: Are the Cows Grass Fed?
A happy cow is a healthy cow! Cows that can get outside to chomp on some greens are eating the diet designed for good cow digestion. There are many benefits to eating organic, grass fed cows:
*lower in fat and calories than grain fed cows
*higher in Omega 3's
*3-5 times higher in CLA, (conjugated linoleic acid)
*no growth hormones added
*free of antibiotics
FYI: Just because meat is labeled “organic” does not mean it was grass fed or was raised humanely. Animals that are labeled organic, routinely come from farms with poor living conditions and are often fed a diet of "organic" corn and grains. This is an inappropriate diet for cows to consume. This is why it’s important to talk to your butcher and really learn where your meat is coming from.
3). Ask the Question: Are the Chickens “Pastured”?
Buyers Beware: Free range does not mean happily free to roam outside daily. Chickens and eggs are routinely labeled as free range but this usually means they are free to roam around a packed barn.
Yep! I've been there too! Imagine a hot barn in July, the size of 4 football fields with birds smashed together like a mosh pit as far as the eye can see. Sick birds. What I can't articulate in this blog, is the stench. Just ask someone that has ever been in the vicinity of a factory farm... Usually they reek for miles! My only thought as I stood in the July heat gazing upon these sick and unhappy birds was, "So this is Thanksgiving?"
4). The Most Important Rule: Eat Real Food
I’ve personally visited these awful factory farms where the majority of our meat is coming from. My family won't eat meat from a restaurant or from a place that we don’t know where the meat has come from. I wish I could take you to these factories (I mean farms). You wouldn’t be able to participate in this cruelty, or in dinner either. Eating healthy foods is all about knowledge. When you know better, you do better!
5). Vote with Your Dollar
Growing up in rural Minnesota, I routinely saw our dear friends, the local farmers, being squeezed out of their livelihood by the food industry. They began driving bottled water trucks, put up used car lots where the cows once grazed and generations of farming vanished before our eyes.
6)Support Your Local Farmers: Your local farmers are the ones most likely to have the best products. Still, ask them about their animals!
FARMERS ARE MY ROCK STARS!
These six steps are things you can do today to start making great changes!You might be wondering...... WHERE DO I GET THE GOOD STUFF FROM?
If you live in the DC Metro area, here are just two of my favorites:
1.) Weston Price Foundation—Hillary firstname.lastname@example.org
2.) The Organic Butcher of McLean (VA) - Stop by and tell Don that Lisa Wilson sent you!
Live somewhere else in the country?
Be sure to visit the Weston A. Price foundation and find a local chapter near you:
*If you are an organic or biodynamic farmer who meets our top-notch guidelines, please leave a comment so we can connect with you and add to our list of Rock Stars (I mean farmers).
Hungry for more information?
I recommend the following books:
The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollen
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollen
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
The Makers Diet by Jordan Rubin
Family movie night?
Try: Food, Inc. - You will never look at food the same way again!
Youtube videos for more information:
Joel Salatin, a rock star farmer- www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxTfQpv8xGA&feature=related
The 4 year old hamburger - www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IGtDPG4UfI
Bionic Burger - www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYyDXH1amic
The Meatrix - www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEkc70ztOrc
My health how-to videos can be found at http://www.monkeysee.com/.
The Raw Food Institute YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/RawFoodInstitute
I hope you now look at animal products through a new set of glasses!
Welcome to the community of CONSCIOUS CONSUMERS!
Lisa Wilson is a certified Health, Nutrition and Wellness Counselor and a Certified Fitness Trainer. She is a national speaker, and founder of The Raw Food Institute, a detoxification center that uses advanced techniques with food as medicine to take health to the highest levels.