Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Where's the Beef?

(Or maybe more accurately, where's the beef from?)

For the vast majority of my life I have trusted our government to protect its citizens whether from war, crime, disease, or shady food industry practices. In the case of the USDA and FDA, I believed that inspectors and top officials had the citizens' health and safety as their primary concern and would do everything in their power to protect the consumer. However, since beginning the quest for real food, my eyes have been opened to the power of money and special interests even in regard to our nation's health. Watch Food, Inc. (or do a little digging) and you'll see for yourself that throughout the past several presidential administrations (and on both sides of the political aisle) the top officials within the USDA and FDA have either been previously employed by or been on the legal team for one of the major food corporations. Therefore, I believe that their loyalties are not to the American consumer.

When the food chain becomes so long that we do not know where or who our food comes from and the producer does not know (or care) who consumes their food, we have a major breakdown in food handling and safety. Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past few years, you understand the dangers of tainted meat (and now even eggs). A few days ago , I saw this article about yet another discovery of E. coli contaminated ground beef. So, do we play Russian Roulette with our meat, or avoid beef altogether? Or, maybe there is another option.

Since my conversion, I buy grass fed beef from a local source. I have met the man who owns the cows and who also consumes this meat. He cares about the quality of his food because his family's survival depends on it.

What's so bad about grain fed beef?

Cows were not designed to eat grain. Our industrialized food culture has trained cows to eat grain in order to fatten them up more quickly and ensure greater profits. There are also a number of health and safety benefits to eating grass fed beef over grain fed feed lot beef. This article does a great job of explaining those benefits.

For a while I thought grass fed beef wasn't an option for us because we don't have a deep freeze and cannot house a side of beef in our fridge's freezer. This particular farm sells beef by the cut, and it isn't much more than what I was previously paying for beef at grocery store (about $1/lb.). For me the quality (and safety) of the meat I feed my family is worth the additional $1/lb!

Shared on Fight Back Friday

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