Human beings are omnivores, so it is not in our nature to lean toward vegetarianism, as, throughout the history, it has been difficult to get all of our nutrients thus. However, vegetarianism is an easy option today, as there are numerous grocery stores around us.
Nevertheless, the meat we can buy in the local butcher department is far from the animal proteins that our ancestors consumed, and this difference significantly affects our health.
For a long period of time, the humans were nomadic hunters/gatherers, and learned how to cultivate land and domesticate livestock only about 8000 years ago.
That was the advent of modern society as we know it today. We could have organic products and natural, grass and grain-fed livestock readily at hand, instead of hunting the food.
Yet, the issue is that nowadays, local farms produce the food in a profoundly unnatural setting and it is not intended for the local market, but it is shipped across nations and overseas to finally get to the plates on the table. Therefore, most of us do not even know the origin of the food we are consuming and the method of its production.
In the U.S., the meat industry started developing after the end of World War II, together with the flourishing of the economy and the growth of population. Previously, farmers employed in raising free-range animals with a natural diet went by the wayside in favor of more efficient factory-style farms.
Therefore, in the name of efficiency, factory-farmed cattle spend their days in feed lots and were given unnatural hormones in order to speed up their growing process. In the best situation, animals were fed corn and soy.
Furthermore, these mass-produced farm animals are often forced into carnivorous behavior, being fed diseased animals and even plastic wrappers, candy, manure, sawdust, and more. It is in fact legal to feed the livestock euthanized dogs and cats, horses, and road kill in the U.S.
Consequently, the livestock which consumes sick food would also become sick. As a result of this, they are given antibiotics.
Besides being aesthetically unappealing, our health is undoubtedly harmed by this unnatural and immoral way of producing meat.
The meat from the wild hunted game and naturally grazed animals is healthy, lean and chock full of nutrition. In contrary, animals raised in factory farms do not have the conditions to use their natural food sources, do their meat no longer contains the vital omegas and other EFA’s.
Moreover, the importance of essential fatty acids (EFA’s) in our diets cannot be neglected. These should not be eliminated from our diets for so long, given their importance to our health. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, EFA deficiencies are responsible for at least 100,000 deaths per year, and probably more. Undoubtedly, there is a strong reason why the deficiency of essential fatty acids has been blown open as a ‘hidden’ epidemic.
This problem concerns our cattle, as well as pork, chicken, lamb, and any other meat that is raised commercially. Moreover, apart from specifically ‘wild’ or ‘grass-fed,’ all the other products, including fish, dairy products, eggs and milk, do not bear the nutrition they are supposed to provide.
Therefore, you need to invest efforts and try to use nutrient-dense meat with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, without antibiotics or hormones. The following tips can be of great help in discovering the health options for you and your family:
- Try to buy your dairy, eggs, and beef from local farmers and farmers’ markets.
- If you can find it locally, you can purchase it online, but always buy grass-fed beef and pasture-raised poultry and pork.
- If you can find it, buy grass-fed natural bison, as it is lower in fat, cholesterol, and calories than beef.
Furthermore, you should also carefully choose your Salmon.
Even though they can look the same, not all salmon types provide the same flavor and health benefits. Line-caught wild salmon is both reasonably sustainable and rich in nutrition, including essential omega-3′s. However, a recent exposé by the New York Times found that most salmon labeled as ‘wild’ was actually farm-raised.
Namely, salmon flesh is naturally gray, so its pink color comes as a result of krill. Farmed salmon is fed chemically synthesized astaxanthin, the carotenoid in krill that provides that color.
Consequently, don’t buy the seafood on the menu or in the stores if you’re in a land-locked state, as there’s hardly a chance for it to be wild.
To sum up, we cannot and should not return to our ancient lifestyle and supply your food by hunting or searching the nature, but we must start taking more care about the way we produce our meat. Especially in America, the consumption of meat is far from the necessary and healthy level, and the meat is in fact nutritionally barren.
In order to preserve our welfare and lead a healthier life, we need to reduce our intake of meat, and source it from farmers with integrity when we do partake.