Why eat organic beef? Is it really better? Why pay more for it? Is there really a difference? These are legitimate questions and a hot topic in today’s diet. Unfortunately, these days, you cannot go to just any local grocer and pick up a pound of healthy beef. Non-organic beef is filled with contaminates that are directly linked to cancer. Today, you must be your own health advocate. Educate yourself on this topic. Be sure to check out the video posted above.
How did beef become unhealthy? In today’s society, cattle farmers’ goals are to produce the most meat as fast as possible in order to turn a large profit. They now raise their animals in small spaces, with minimum sunlight and in most cases are found standing in there own waste. These conditions commonly add to the animals getting sick and developing diseases. Farmers give them antibiotics to fight the illnesses and hormones to help them grow faster and abnormally larger in preparation for slaughter. In many animal farms, it has been reported that farmers implant estrogenic pellets under the skin of cattle, which is absorbed into their bloodstreams. These hormones promote the desired weight gain and shorten the time the animals need to grow to ideal size. Once people consume this meat in their diet, this type of estrogenic hormone can lead to health problems and even cancer.
Recently, you may have heard of something called “pink slime” in the news. This is made by gathering the excess fat and trimmings from the animal and simmering it at a low heat to separate the fat from muscle. Then the meat is sent through a centrifuge to complete the process and then sprayed with ammonia to kill bacteria. After all that, it is flash frozen into bricks and sent off to grocers all across the United States to add to beef packaging. According to Gerald Zirnstein, a whistle blower and former employee of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 70% of the United States beef is contaminated with “pink slime”.
On an organic farm, animals can roam freely in fields and eat a vegetarian or grass-fed diet with plenty of room for exercise. When animals are fed this way, it lowers chances of E.Coli contamination. And since there are no nitrates or preservatives added to these animals’ diets, there are positive affects on humans.
There are additional health benefits to eating organic beef that include consuming less fat while consuming more antioxidants and vitamins. Organic meats also contain more conjugated linoleic acid, a fat that can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Shopping for organic beef will be a bit more expensive. Consumers will have to spend more to not have hormone-laden beef. Ask yourself if your health is worth spending a couple dollars more. When shopping for beef, look for the label that states “USDA Organic”. With the “USDA Organic” program, you can be assured this meat has followed the desired organic standards containing no nitrates, hormones, preservatives or other additives. To save money on your grocery bill, cut out the grocer and contact a local farmer and buy direct. Check sites like (http://www.grasslandbeef.com) for ordering grass fed beef directly.
Hopefully, this sheds some light on your options for consuming beef. Isn’t your health worth it?
Jon Janeway B.S Exercise Science NSCA-CPT
Owner of Welligee Personal Training & Lifestyle