Are you willing to pay $4 for a dozen organic, cage-free eggs and pass over the $1 commercial farmed eggs? After learning about commercial farming methods, I certainly am willing to pay more. First of all, $4 for 12 eggs is pretty cheap eating in my book. But what is most alarming is how eggs can sell for so little and what we actually get for the $1 eggs. It is time to open our eyes fully to the reality of commercial farming today. We all have heard stories of the filth, contamination, and the animal cruelty taking place with raising animals for food. If that hasn’t been enough reason to buy food that was grown with care, perhaps the health ramifications may be.
Commercial farms today are considered to be monocultures, which means that they grow primarily one crop or animal in large quantities. In some cases, you may have a farm having 2400 sows or 300,000 chickens all in one place for example, and mostly never see the sun.
There are several issues with this:
– In this type of atmosphere, disease is rampant among the animals requiring the use of antibiotics. 28 million pounds of antibiotics are used on livestock each year (only 3 million pounds for human use). Humans consuming low doses of antibiotics from meat over time may have serious health issues in addition to resistance of the drug over time. In fact, antibiotic resistant germs are starting to appear. If infected, we may not be able to treat it with current drugs.
– One particular antibiotic used contains significant amounts of arsenic. It has been noted that low doses of arsenic can cause cancer, dementia, neurological problems, and other ailments in humans.
– Hormones are also used to make animals grow faster. Evidence shows that consuming meat with hormones may be causing early onset of puberty in girls, developmental problems, reproductive issues, and even leading to the development of breast, prostate and colon cancer.
– Cows are also fed grain/corn to fatten them up (instead of their natural food of grass) and in some cases, are fed dead cows which may introduce mad cow disease, E-coli, avian flu, etc. This is nature’s way of screaming at us to stop this madness. Grain fed animals gives consumers an unhealthy amount of omega6 which is highly linked to cancer.
– Renowned pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock explained, “Another good reason for getting your nutrition from plant sources is that animals tend to concentrate pesticides and other chemicals in their meat and milk. … Plant foods have much less contamination …”.
– Europe has banned ALL beef imports from the US due to our unhealthy practices.
Sustainable farming, on the other hand, uses the land as nature intended. These farmers offer meat, dairy, and produce that are organic, cage-free, hormone-free, anti-biotic-free, non-GMO, etc.
Here are some reasons why health advocates are encouraging consumers to support the sustainable farms:
– There is less cost due to the land being utilized more fully using nature’s natural recycling methods. In other words, the happy animals graze the land, eating the grass, plants, etc., the waste and composting fertilizes the land for growing food. Animals and plants are moved around the land to add needed nutrients to the ground.
– Healthy animals means no antibiotics and fewer bills for farmers
– Sustainable farmers believe that feeding the world is possible with medium size sustainable farms
– More people are employed with sustainable farming methods
Sustainable farming methods do not introduce the types of health issues associated with the use of unnatural feed (corn/grain/dead animals), hormones, antibiotics, unhealthy amounts of waste, and the chemicals/toxins used to treat it.
– Grass fed animals give a healthy omega3 balance to the meat-eating consumer.
If choosing organic meat and dairy is too expensive, then I invite you to cut down on the frequency of serving meat in your household and the portion size. Consider making your dinner plate loaded with veggies, squash, beans, rice, sweet potatoes and a much smaller portion going toward the organic meat, if at all. The health benefits are sure to be noticed.
Overly processed foods loaded with hormones, antibiotics, sugar, fat and chemicals, in my opinion, is not food at all. But it is indeed cheap. Steak in the grocery store would cost around $90/lb if it weren’t for government subsidies. It’s unfortunate that healthy produce isn’t subsidized this way to offer everyone healthy, inexpensive food. Make your voices heard to manufacturers and famers by making more conscious choices in the grocery store. Decide that your health is important.
Eating. A film by Mike Anderson 200?.
Fresh. A film by ana Sofia joanes. 2009.
Food Inc. A film by Robert Kenner, 2008.
Unknown author. “Artificial hormones” Sustainable table date unknown. 26 Jan. 2010 <http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/hormones/>
Unknown author. “Toxic Shock” GoVeg.com date unknown. 26 Jan. 2010 http://www.goveg.com/contamination.asp