Essentials, Health

Farming Methods Matter: Animals

This is a Happy Amish Raised Cow
This is a Happy Amish Raised Cow


There has been an increasing push against the consumption of animal products. Studies arise stating that animal products cause cancer, contribute to cardiovascular disease, etc. We are told they are bad for the environment and inhumane. The general consensus, then is to stop eating meat if you really care about yourself and humanity or at least consume much less meat.

I not going to get into a discussion of vegan vs vegetarian vs omnivore vs carnivore. Most people have their beliefs already ingrained and refuse to actually have a conversation, which is a shame because we could learn a lot with open non-judgmental communication.

What I am going to discuss is the difference in nutritional value between Modern CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) Factory farming versus the Free-range, Pastured, Woodlot Farming methods.

Regardless of your beliefs of whether meat is good or bad to consume, you have to at least recognize that the lifestyle lived greatly contributes to the nutritional profile. That profile has a direct impact upon how beneficial that food can be. Let’s get to the meat of the issue (see what I did there….).

Example 1: Forks Farm (Orangeville, PA)

The image below (will enlarge if you click on it) is a nutritional comparison of Pastured food from Forks Farm in Orangeville, PA (a farm I personally acquire food from) versus the grocery store factory farmed versions. The information speaks for itself. There is a  difference in nutritional density and the fatty acid profile is more health favorable in the pastured products.

nutritiontable-forksfarm jpg

Example 2: Mother Earth News Readership (country-wide)
Mother Earth News Eggs 2This is from Mother Earth News magazine (2007). They actually asked their readership that were raising free-range chickens to submit egg samples to be lab evaluated for nutritional content. The first image is a comparison between your standard factory farm egg purchased at the supermarket vs the average of the pastured eggs. The results speak for themselves. Free-range eggs are better. The second image is a break down of the different egg providers. While the results varied based upon region the results are the same.Mother Earth News Eggs Comparison

So why the difference? This is simple. The pastured, free-range meat/eggs are from a healthier animal/bird. They are consuming a diet that they were designed to eat. They are living a life conducive for health, being outside in nature consuming from nature’s bounty.

This is in direct contrast with factory farming (CAFO) where the animal may never touch the soil of the earth its entire adult life. They may never be exposed to the direct rays of the sun. They are so packed in together they can’t comfortably move around much less lie down. If they do lie down, it is often in their own feces/waste material. They are forced to consume an un-natural diet of grains at best and trash/waste material at worst and it is not because they are given a choice. This highly stressful lifestyle further complicates matters and increases the need for antibiotics and other disease management tools.

Would you want to live this life? CAFO Beef (Factory Farming)
Would you want to live this life? CAFO Beef (Factory Farming)

Which would you rather be? The cow standing in a group of hundreds or even thousands in your own waste, eating corn at best. Or you can spend your day wandering around outside eating grasses from nature’s salad bar, interacting with your neighbor cow because you want too, not because you are packed in so tightly you have no choice?

Pastured Free-Range vs Factory Farmed
Pastured Free-Range vs Factory Farmed

The chicken’s story is only a little bit different in that a free-range life includes a healthy diet of insects along with seeds and grasses, where as the factory chickens are either packed in small cages or on a concrete floored building often by the thousands. And your beak is trimmed so you can’t peck your annoying neighbor to death.

Factory farming (CAFO) is unhealthy, inhumane, unsustainable and should be destroyed. It would be destroyed if we stopped buying the poor substitutes. Sure it is cheaper, but is that what your health is worth to you? If the demand for CAFO foods decrease, then the “farmers,” a term used loosely in this context will either adapt or die. The same thing that should be taking place in the energy industries but is not.

What we see in the media is propaganda, a purposeful message to not consume meat. Just about every documentary shows the CAFO dark side but never discusses the other side of the coin; pastured, free-range and woodlot. We are told that the only viable option is to not consume meat so a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is the only solution. At best, this message is mis-leading. At worst it is a lie, purposely deceptive to promote an agenda and can negatively impact your health.

You can’t get health from unhealthy food. Factory farming contributes to an unhealthy consumer. Nutritional deficiencies and poor fatty acid profiles fail to meet your body’s daily nutritional needs forcing you to dig into your limited reserves. This can’t take place for any extended period of time. The end result is malnourishment. Malnourished organisms fall into Metabolic Chaos™(metabolic dysfunction and biochemical imbalances) manifesting in any number of signs and symptoms of disease.

I am not going to say that consuming pastured, free-range, woodlot meat is going to solve all your health challenges. Your diet, while it is a major pillar of health building, is just one of a handful I coach as part of the D.R.E.S.S. for Health Success® Lifestyle Grounding Program. To be specific; Diet, Rest, Exercise, Stress Reduction and Supplements. Within the diet you want to eat real whole food that is right for your Metabolic Type®, stay away from inflammatory causing foods (sensitivities) and optimize the HEAD Principle (Hydration, Elimination, Absorption and Digestion) to fully take advantage of what you put in your mouth.

So when you hear this meat propaganda, recognize it for what it is. See beyond the lies, the deception and motives. There is always another side to the story. Don’t take my word for it. Investigate on your own.

I would love to hear your feedback and what questions you may have as to how I can help you help yourself regain your health, vitality, function and zest for living.

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