Because of this notable decline in our food supply, and in honor of National Nutrition Month let's go over the 5 Best Ways to Fight Our Failing Food Supply:
#2: Be Choosy with Your Meat
When it comes to the process of how animals are raised, breed, slaughtered, and prepared for consumption, the best documentary that I have seen and strongly recommend is “Food Inc.”. The documentary is not for the faint of heart nor stomach. However, it will open your eyes to where our food sources (especially our meat sources) are coming from. I am a big proponent of understanding the origin of our food. The more information we have about our food sources, the more we understand their influence on our health.
Grass Fed, No Hormone Added, Antibiotic Free, Free Range - What do they all mean?
And it's not just farm-raised land animals either - farm raised fish, like salmon, are sustained on a grain-based diet. (Gross fact: When salmon eat grain, their flesh is lighter in color. To get the pretty pink of wild caught salmon, farmed salmon are typically fed dye pellets. Wonder what's in those...)
No Hormones Added – Of course all living animals have natural hormones as part of their healthy lifestyle. However, conventionally raised animals are given growth hormone and testosterone injections to increase muscle mass and decrease timeline for the animals to reach maturity. Well it does not take a brain surgeon to realize that those injected hormones end up in our diet when we consume those meat sources. Is it any wonder why there are a plethora of drugs out there to treat hormone derived health challenges nowadays? Birth control, synthroid, premarin, testosterone, and insulin are just a few examples. If you are on one of the above medications, you should to speak to a health professional that can address this issue as a possible cause. Changing your diet appropriately could eliminate the need for medication.
Antibiotic Free – Food Inc. does an excellent job portraying the poor living conditions of these conventionally raised and mass produced animals. These animals are packed like sardines into closed living quarters and diseases, especially infections, run rampant. What is the solution? Add antibiotics prophylactically in order to keep infections at bay. Where do you think those antibiotics end up? That’s right, on your plate once again. Any idea why we are seeing a large population of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the last few decades? Hmmm…
Free Range – This is exactly what it states. Rather than animals being raised in cages, they have the ability to move around in their environment. Animals need exercise, just like humans. An animal with the access to exercise will be healthier for himself and for your consumption. I love Whole Foods' Animal Welfare Rating System as a resource (Check it out here). Free Range meat (like grass fed) is typically more nutritious, more filling, contains less toxins, and is tastier!
As always, reading (and understanding) the label is your best bet to improving the quality of what goes in your grocery cart. Small changes can make a world of difference in your health!
Our food supply just isn't what it used to be. Knowing this and taking steps to fight its failures is the best way to meet your nutritional needs. This is Tip #2 of 5. Check back soon for the next installment!