The Hidden SECRET of Store-Bought Meat

Where did Spring go? As farmers, we are always on the look out for warmer temperatures so that we can start our seedlings as early as possible, since our growing season is just so short. I bet your dreaming about a vacation in some crazy hot island. I'm dreaming about lush grass to put my animals on...

I've mentioned before about the environmental cost of industrially raised meats, where thousands of animals are in one place and there's just nowhere to put all the manure... causing the ''Dead Zone'' in the Gulf of Mexico as an example of how bad it can get.

You might already know that processed meats are loaded with chemical preservatives, just to make sure you're not gone die from an acute infection from E.Coli. What they don't tell you is that these chemicals are just as harmful in the long run.

Then how do you know what's in the meat you buy at the store? Where is it from? There's nothing on the package telling you how it was raised (they like to add some meaningless buzz words like ''air chilled'' or ''fresh grain fed''), which basically means it was industrially raised in confinement, indoors, without ever seeing the sun light (for pigs, chickens and turkeys). Cows are not much better off, you cannot know if they were raised in feedlots with hormones or in a ranch on grass, or if your burger comes from an old dairy cow. The way these animals are treated in CAFO (concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) is just not fair to them. Animals do have feelings and these were never really given the opportunity to interact with humans, to be sacred for the nourishment they provide us. I personally like to thank my animals for the bounty they offer us, as well as the opportunity they give us to live from the land.

On a nutritional basis, industrially raised animals are fed conventionally produced grains (even though cows are supposed to eat mostly forage - grass or hay - they're fed a highly concentrated ration of corn and other grains to get them fattened up quicker). These grains are mostly GMO (soybean, corn and canola being the majority of GMO crops grown in North America - Yes in Canada too!) which are sprayed with the Herbicide Roundup, whose ingredient is Glyphosate. This molecule accumulates in the animal's body, and in turn ends up in your own body after you consume the meat from these animals. So it's not just antibiotics you should be concerned about (even though it's a huge problem feeding chickens antibiotics to get them to grow faster), it's also the glyphosate that will cause leaky guts, kill your gut bacteria and create other digestive issues.

Fortunately there is an alternative! Know your farmer! We make sure that our animals are treated humanely, we don't use any antibiotics or hormones, and buy exclusively GMO free feed. We are very much conscious of the gift that they give us through nutrition. And to name only one, the Vitamin D that they produce from the sun is then stored in their fat, and is available to your body when you consume it.

So please take a few minutes next time you decide what you'll put in your body. You are worthy of feeding it the nutrients it needs, and avoid the poisons that are lurking. I very much hope that this information will avoid some very unnecessary pain and suffering, from the animals but also humans. The extra dollars spent on the grass-fed, free-range and pastured meat is very much worth the avoidance of suffering from chronic diseases and digestive issues. 



Estelle Levangie