Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Is Organic Meat Healthier than Conventional Meat?

Pam Popper, ND and Founder of the Wellness Forum recently answered this question beautifully in her recent newsletter.  I just had to share it here because this is the issue I get challenged on often from Weston A Price foundation followers.  If you are currently consuming Grass Fed Beef, Organic Chicken and Raw Milk because you think it is health promoting, please read this!

Question: "A friend told me that the reason why people are experiencing health problems as a result of eating animal foods is because of the way we are raising the animals now. On conventional farms, the feed is terrible and the animals are injected with steroids, antibiotics and hormones. Is it true that if you eat organic meat you will not have increased risk of cancer and other conditions?"

Answer: Conventional factory farming is terrible. The way the animals are treated is abominable; they are fed the wrong foods; and animals are injected with steroids, hormones and antibiotics. Even the government acknowledges that the leading cause of antibiotic-resistant infections is the antibiotics people consume in animal foods. Animals raised to be sold as organic food are fed properly, and they are not injected with these substances (antibiotics are only used when an animal is sick).

However, this does not mean that if you choose organic animal foods you can eat them without consequence. The amino acid chains that comprise the proteins in animal foods do not change in response to the way that the animals are fed or the substances that are administered to them. Organic animal protein is just as cancer promoting as conventionally raised animal protein when you consume too much of it (The Wellness Forum's diet allows for 2-3 servings of organic animal food per week for those who are not sick or obese; dairy, of course is eliminated).

The fat in organic animal foods is just as artery-clogging as the fat in conventionally raised animals. While the composition of fat may be somewhat different, studies show that all types of fat contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, including fat from organic animal food, and that a high-fat diet is cancer-promoting.

Dr. Campbell's research in China reinforces the importance of keeping animal food consumption very low. Remember that at the time his team was gathering data, there were no factory farms in China. His subjects lived mostly in rural areas where farms were small, and steroids, antibiotics and hormones were not used. The quality of the animal foods was not a factor in his findings.

Also, at that time, Chinese people were not eating an American-style diet dominated by animal foods, and even at small intake levels there were differences in health outcomes attributed to the differing amounts of animal food consumed.

In conclusion, I do not support our current methods of farming, and acknowledge that conventional factory farms produce food that is not healthful for Americans. But if Americans consume only organic animal foods and continue to eat them in the quantities that are common in the American diet, they will still develop common degenerative diseases like coronary artery disease and cancer.

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