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Shall WE Talk MEAT?

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Old 08-06-2011, 12:00 AM   #1
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Wink Shall WE Talk MEAT?

I'm currently in a situation where I may be...I say may be...making some big changes in my life and diet. And no, I am not giving up beer

I have been doing some soul searching and...ok that's a lie I have no problem in that area, very strong in my Christian beliefs. That being said, the issue I am raising here sometimes causes heated debates on the eating of animals.

That is not really my concern. I very strongly believe that God gave us animals for our eating pleasure and nourishment.

And I will say I am against animal cruelty in any situation.

I also understand we do not live, as nations, on farms and raise our own animals anymore. We have changed over the years and whether we are right or wrong it is what it is.

Angie, my wife, has always been way more health conscience than myself as many of you know. Recently she has been on an organic and semi-vegetarian kick. She has a "coach" an awesome gal by the way, that she trained with when they learned to teach yoga. She has her own website and has been working with Angie and some of the ladies at our church on healthier eating. She does not attend our church and I am not sure of her religious beliefs but I do know she does eat limited meat.

Anyway, because of all the information Angie has been getting...especially on Genetically Modified Organisms...my eating world may be turning upside down

The past few weeks I have eaten more veggies than ever before, not a problem I love them. However, I have eaten several I had never tasted, like the rutabaga we had tonight. As we move slowly towards what Angie is calling a possible 80% vegetable and 20% meat diet...at worst....she is learning more about the meat.

Now I am 57 years old, most days I drink a couple of beers more than I should , smoked for a huge part of my life....although this month is my 14th anniversary of being a non-smoker ...I have worked and breathed "construction" my entire life, cheese and chips are my go to food groups ...

in other words....I'm a goner!

But as some of you know I have a beautiful GRANDdaughter that I just love to brag about

So I am more than willing to try some new things in my life if it helps to set a better health example for her and the fact that my trophy wife wants me to do this with her, making it easier for both of us to cook meals without having to adapt for the other. I also want to do it for her because, as always, she never nags at me to change with her...she just goes out and sets the example.

Luckily for my GRANDdaughter her parents and her Godparents...my daughter and sil....have a better hold on healthy food than I do....Angie has taught them well

I am pretty sure I could never give up meat, but you just never know. I do however have a question that I am not sure I will ever get the answer to and that is this.....

What would be better....eating more organic vegetables and meat right off the grocery shelf....I am a big Costco meat buyer ...or...would it be better to eat less organic vegetables and a little more meat...BUT....from animals that were raised and fed in humane conditions?

I'm thinking the eating of meat will never go away but what if, as consumers, we tried to veggie up a bit more and then bought from those more in-tune with the ways God probably wants us to feed meat to our families.

YOUR THOUGHTS?

Here is a link, for those interested, explaining a little on how we raise our meat, poultry and fish products......

http://breakingnews.ewg.org/meateatersguide/
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Old 08-06-2011, 12:20 PM   #2
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That is not really my concern. I very strongly believe that God gave us animals for our eating pleasure and nourishment.
Fun fact. Did you know that until after the flood, people didn't eat meat? God allowed Noah and his family to eat meat along with vegetation after the flood? Gen 9:3,4.

If you can afford organic meats, go for it cause they don't use chemicals and hormones to force the animals to grow and mature faster. I'm not sure if there is a connection, but my sister and I didn't eat much beef, while my other sis ate almost all beef. She matured before us, and we were older than her! My mom insisted it was cause she ate all the beef and meat that she did, but I don't know about that....

I do know that organic or not, red meat is VERY hard for the human body to digest! It can stay in your system for 3 or 4 days and longer in your digestive tract! My hubby and I treat ourselves to red meat maybe once a month but not more than that.

We stick to chicken, some pork and lots of fish. I'd go organic with the chicken cause there is more care with preparing it over the mass factory stuff. I've pulled feathers and veins from some chicken, and gotten so grossed out, that I didn't eat meat for days afterward.

You can't really suffer from eating less meat cause your still eating it, and lots of veggies and fruit is good for your health, so I think the 80% veggies 20% meat is a good plan. Even doing that, invest in some organic meats, over factory stuff.
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Old 08-06-2011, 12:27 PM   #3
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If ANgie hasn't already found it I highly recommend Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It really changed the choices I make about food. I give up a lot more of my summer to preserve local produce for the winter months and buy as close to home as I can. That said if I were starting from scratch today I would eat more local which means no or very little soy (we can only grow edamame here) and locally raised and slaughtered chicken. We have been vegetarian for years though and so I am just making the adjustments we can. Lots more of our protein comes from eggs now from farms where the chickens are running around the yard when I pull in.
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:36 PM   #4
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I'd say do a little research on what foods (veggies) are best to eat organic. For some, it makes little difference, except in the price, to buy organic. I think it's an even better idea to support local small farmers at farmers markets, since it supports not only organic foods, but alternate sources of food -- big farms can lead to big outbreaks of contaminated foods. Plus, it's healthier imho physically and as a society for us to do it.

I'd put my money into less meat that's fed and raised in humane conditions (which can coincide with farmers market products too). Just one gal's opinion. In these times many people don't get a lot of choice, it's governed by $, unfortunately.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:35 AM   #5
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I try to get meat from local farmers market's, because I know they're not mass-raised on some sort of scary factory farm.
Watch Food Inc...that movie scared me.
Plus buying local supports local farmers You don't always get the biggest selection of food, but the quality is better.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:59 AM   #6
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We are born with "meat-eating" teeth, so I believe we were intended to eat meat. My doctor is from another culture and is a vegetarian, but tells me how hard it is to get all the nutrients you need and you must supplement, esp "B" vitamins if you are a vegetarian.

I don't eat alot of meat, but we do buy" free range" organic, my only issue with that is PRICE! I buy organic veggies when available and I like to buy local veggies when available. I live in upstate NY so summers are loaded with tons of organic fair, esp the Ithaca Farmers market. I think small changes are great. Ithaca has some good brusky too. lol
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Old 08-07-2011, 01:05 PM   #7
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I second the person that said watch Food Inc. It seems like something you all would be interested in, and will help you decide what to do! Best wishes, it seems like you guys are on a path to a healthier and more earth conscious way of life, and that's awesome.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:53 AM   #8
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I recommend reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer or Skinny B!tch. It kind of opens your eyes up to what free range and organic meat/eggs/dairy means and how it is regulated (or not regulated). I figure, don't waste your money on it.
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:26 PM   #9
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Thank you all so much!

I will get back to all of you soon for your help....would have been here already but I want to share some of it with Angie and ...

my 4 month old GRANDdaughter just left after her first ever sleepover!!

I was busy...but in a good way....lol
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by dragonwoman64 View Post
I'd say do a little research on what foods (veggies) are best to eat organic. For some, it makes little difference, except in the price, to buy organic. I think it's an even better idea to support local small farmers at farmers markets, since it supports not only organic foods, but alternate sources of food -- big farms can lead to big outbreaks of contaminated foods. Plus, it's healthier imho physically and as a society for us to do it.

I'd put my money into less meat that's fed and raised in humane conditions (which can coincide with farmers market products too). Just one gal's opinion. In these times many people don't get a lot of choice, it's governed by $, unfortunately.
I second the suggestion to reseearch into which fruits & veg are best to eat organic. I know there is a top 10 or top 12 list, and apples and bell peppers are on it, but I don't think bananas or onions are. If I am going to buy organic, it will be something off of the suggested list, otherwise I kind of think it is a waste of money.

I'd also go for more meat-free meals. I try to make at least 2 dinners each week without meat (although sometimes one of those meals is an omelete, which is still an animal product) and no more than 2 meals each week with red meats. It is tough, since my husband loves his beef, but I have been getting him more accustomed to pork, chicken and fish.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:21 PM   #11
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http://www.rodale.com/20-best-organic-foods?page=0

Here's a good link re buying organic
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:10 PM   #12
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Thanks DRAGONWOMAN...good to see they have organic beer!

Here is a list that Angie makes me carry in my pocketwhen I shop for produce without her ~

The "Dirty Dozen"

Source: Environmental Working Group, www.ewg.org and Food News, www.foodnews.org

Whether you are on a budget and need to prioritize your organic purchases, or you would simply like to know which type of produce has the highest pesticide residues—and which do not—the following guide from the Environmental Working Group will help.

12 Most Contaminated

■Peaches
■Apples
■Sweet Bell Peppers
■Celery
■Nectarines
■Strawberries
■Cherries
■Pears
■Grapes (Imported)
■Spinach
■Lettuce
■Potatoes


12 Least Contaminated

■Onions
■Avocado
■Sweet Corn (Frozen)
■Pineapples
■Mango
■Asparagus
■Sweet Peas (Frozen)
■Kiwi Fruit
■Bananas
■Cabbage
■Broccoli
■Papaya
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:20 PM   #13
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I don't eat a lot of red meat mainly because:

- I'm offended by the complete lack of respect and care our feed animals go through and the abuse many of them sustain at the slaughter houses.

- I am against the overuse of antibiotics used in feedlots.

- I'm against the unnaturally high amounts of red meat our culture tends to eat.

That said, I will occasionally splurge and purchase ranch raised, grass fed, "unfinished", organic Angus beef at an organic place down the street from where I work. It is expensive, but I don't have it very often.

Did you know, that in 1 McDonald's hamburger patty, you could be eating the meat from as many as 100 cows, if not more?

See all that black stuff in the picture below:


That's not dirt. That's feces. Nothing grows in feedlots; no grass, no flowers. Nothing. Some of them, in the US, are so bad, cows develop rot in their hooves from standing almost knee deep in feces. Because nothing grows in the feedlots, the feed the cows are given (which is mostly corn, which cows cannot properly digest, which leads to painful bloating, infections, and discomfort) are laced not only with antibiotics but also nutrients that cows would normally find if they were allowed to graze properly. I remember the story of one feedlot, before vitamin A was introduced into the feed, where many of the cows were going blind. Like, a significant number of them were going blind. No one could figure it out until they noticed a bunch of cows who weren't blind. They watched what they did. They managed to find a few shoots of grass just beyond their fenceline and grab them with their tongues and pull them out to eat. Just the little bits of grass they could get had enough vitamin A to keep them from going blind.

The reason that there are antibiotics in the feed is because:

- There are ALWAYS sick animals in the feed pens. ALWAYS.
- It's too expensive and too hard to remove those sick animals, quarantine them, and treat them so they just heavily dose ALL the animals with unneccessary antibiotics. Many doctors believe that the massive amounts of antibiotics we unwittingly ingest via our food sources is helping create such "super bugs" as MRSA, etc.

Do we need meat? Certainly. We are omnivores, but we don't need and weren't designed by whatever power you wish to believe in to eat meat every single day. Especially red meat. Plus, the meat in the supermarket, apart from being laced with everything you don't want, may also contain things such as salt (frozen chicken breasts, for example, often contain some form of sodium which, when you cook the chicken breasts, leaks out and thus you end up with smaller breasts than you'd like *I typed that with a straight face*), and in some cases even SUGAR, which has been injected into the meat to make it taste sweeter, because "manufactured meat" is (to me) almost totally tasteless.

Don't be overly fooled by organic meat in the supermarket either. Marketplace, a show on CBC, which does consumer investigations, found that almost all their organic chicken they bought from various super markets contained antibiotic-resistant forms of bacteria; up to 11 different strains.

If you can get it right from the farm, that's the best way to get it. Be cautious though: Free run doesn't usually mean what we think it means. In Canada, "free run" chickens must have:

- a window in their barn (they don't need to have ACCESS to the window)
- Enough room to spread their wings without touching another chicken.
- have access to nesting boxes.

That's it.

Free range chickens are allowed to have access to outdoors (though in Canada can only go outside for so long during the year b/c it gets cold earlier than say in Texas). They peck at their food from the ground (rather than battery chickens which are in cages and have food in troughs infront of them) and can nest where they wish. The higher cost of free range eggs though comes from the fact that a) eggs are sometimes laid all over the place rather than just in nesting boxes in a barn or in cages and thus labor costs are higher b) they may be laid in some rather unsanitary conditions, and c) Spoilage factors are higher than in battery or free run chickens.

Organic beef will be grass fed, NOT finished (the only way to "finish" a cow is with corn and that doesn't make it organic since corn isn't something a cow can easily digest - at least that's the understanding from the woman my parents get their beef from). They are free range and have access to a variety of grasses, flowers, etc upon which to feed.

I would say, in response to your question: If possible, eat the meat you can find through farmers, not stores, unless you can find stores operated by independent ranches that offer truly organic, free range meat. Stuff you find in Costco isn't truly organic apart from the fact that the "organic" meat may be missing the antibiotics traditional feedlot meat animals receive. Apart from that, not much else is different from my understanding. Same deplorable living conditions and same disgusting "harvesting" practices.

Right now, I currently only eat frozen chicken breasts (because the fresh kind are just too expensive) and locally canned salmon. If I want red meat, I will treat myself to the grass fed free range stuff at the store up the street. Beyond that, I try not to touch store bought meat and haven't for probably a year now.

Hope this helps.

This is a great website for grass fed meat and offers locations on where you can buy from pasture-based farms.

http://www.eatwild.com/index.html

http://www.eatwild.com/products/index.html

This is also a really interesting page on what actually consitutes as "feed" for our meat animals. The shocker for me: Pot scrubbers inserted into the cow's stomachs as "roughage" rather than bringing in hay.

http://www.eatwild.com/animals.html

Cheers!
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:44 PM   #14
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Eat local meat when possible and don't neglect pork and poultry. I honestly believe that vegetation is overrated and gluten is harmful to some degree for most people. Bottom line, eat, drink, and be merry
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:28 PM   #15
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Thank you ladies for your input and information!
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