Other studies have also found that processed meats increase your risk of:
- Colon cancer by 50 percent
- Bladder cancer by 59 percent
- Stomach cancer by 38 percent
- Pancreatic cancer by 67 percent
And that’s not all. Hot dogs, bacon, salami and other processed meats may also increase your risk of diabetes by 50 percent, and lower your lung function and increase your risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Why is Grass-Fed Beef Your Best Choice?
A safer option, as many consumers are now beginning to appreciate, is to choose locally grown and raised foods over those that have been mass produced, despite label claims of being “natural” or “organic.”
When selecting beef, grass-fed beef that has NOT been “finished off on corn” is definitely your healthiest option as it is:
- A natural source of healthy omega-3 fats – Omega-3s in cattle that feed on grass is 7 percent of the total fat content, compared to just 1 percent in grain-only fed beef. It also has the optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats (3:1)
- High in CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid); a fat that reduces your risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes, and a number of immune disorders
- High in beta carotene
- Loaded with over 400 percent more of vitamins A and E
- Virtually devoid of risk of Mad Cow Disease
You know, the rationale behind my nutritional guidelines really boil down to plain old common sense. My recommendations stem largely from what scientific research has determined are the types of foods that humans are naturally designed to eat. Health problems invariably surface the further you stray from eating such foods. Another way to say this would be that your body’s biochemical make-up is adversely affected if you eat things that aren’t right for you.
One result of this is that your body’s composition will inevitably change.
Why would things be any different for a cow?
When you think of a cow in its natural environment, doing what it naturally does, you likely will picture it grazing. Is it grazing on stalks of corn? Of course not! It’s grazing on green grass. (Animals given a choice will also avoid genetically modified grains, which really should tell us something…)
When cows eat grains, their body composition changes in detrimental ways, just like your body and health changes for the worse when you eat lots of junk- and fast food. Most importantly for you, these changes include an alteration in the balance of fatty acids in their bodies, which leads to an imbalance in YOUR intake of omega-3 and omega-6s as well.
Does the E. Coli Risk Decrease With Grass-Fed Beef?
Yes, it does.
Grass-finished beef has a minimal risk compared to grain-fed beef due to the difference in epigastric pH in the two diets.
Grain diets create a much higher level of acidity in the animal’s stomach, which is exactly what the E.coli bacteria need to survive and thrive.
Additionally, grass-finished animals live in clean grass pastures—as opposed to dirty, crowded pens—where higher levels of sanitation greatly reduce the risk of contamination as well.
How to Make Healthier Meat Choices
If you want to eat beef in a truly healthful way (and yes, meat can be, and is, healthy), while at the same time avoiding getting fooled by glued piece-meats passed off as prime steak, follow these guidelines:
- The beef should be organic and grass-fed
- It should ideally come from a local farmer (try finding a farmer’s market or community-supported agriculture program in your area to do this) who can verify that the products are raised on pasture without antibiotics and pesticides, and who can tell you which cuts you’re actually getting
- The animals should be allowed to live in their natural habitats, eating their natural diets
- The farmer should be aware of the relationships between animals, plants, insects, soil, water and habitat — and how to use these relationships to create synergistic, self-supporting ecosystems
As you may know, I recommend eating as much food raw as possible, including meat. However, it absolutely MUST be grass-fed!
You’re literally risking your life if you eat conventionally-raised CAFO meat raw due to the high rate of pathogenic contamination. That goes for both prime cuts and the glued variety.