Meat provides necessary sulfur
Excluding animal protein from your diet puts you at risk for heart disease- Researchers in France concluded that low intake of sulfur amino acids by vegetarians and vegans raises homocysteine levels (a known cause of atherosclerosis leading to heart attack and stroke) and increases their risk of cardiovascular diseases.
– Sulfur is derived mainly from dietary proteins. E.g. fish, beef, poultry, eggs
– Sulfur has a vital role in the structure /biological activity of the body's proteins (including enzymes).
A sulfur deficiency affects:
✔Bones, joints, connective tissues, metabolic processes, and more:
✔The body's electron transport system - as part of iron/sulfur proteins in mitochondria (cellular energy factories)
✔Conversion of Vitamin B1 (thiamine) and B7 (biotin) - essential for metabolizing carbohydrates into energy
✔INSULIN function - the two amino acid chains in an INSULIN cannot function properly;
✔Synthesizing important metabolic intermediates – E.g. glutathione (body's “in-house”antioxidant protecting cells from ROS damage produced during energy production)
The following topics should help you make good meat choices - but in short, you want meat that is from birds/animals, that are:
– Humanely raised and organically farmed that have roamed free
– Feeding on their natural food source - without any use of antibiotics and other typically used growth-promoting drugs
– Non-carrion-eating birds, or animals that chewed the cud and have cloven hooves
And . . .
– Not “glued”together with “Meat Glue”
– Not laden with chemical preservatives /flavorings (E.g. MSG)
Today, unless the meat you buy was from an animal purposely raised on organically produced food and without growth hormones or antibiotics, then the meat is likely to have several significant problems:
Animals / Birds fed genetically modified (GM) food – today most animals/birds are fed on GM foods. (90+% of the corn and ~85% of the soy produced in the U.S. is genetically modified. GM foods present an ominous health problem in much of our food supply, since research is revealing that GM food consumption is wreaking havoc with our reproductive and immune systems.
For more information, see:
Cows given GM growth hormones – shown to be carcinogenic
Animals/Birds given antibiotics both to promote growth and prevent infection
Choose meat from birds/animals raised on organically grown grass
Meat from organically fed animals/birds does not necessarily mean that they were raised on grass – which is a common misunderstanding; however, at least these animals were not exposed to antibiotics, growth hormones, and pesticide-tainted grains.
Cows'stomachs are designed to eat grass:
Where to Find Meat from Animals fed Organic grass ? – it may be possible to find locally, and it can also be obtained on the internet. The cost for this quality beef is about double that of CAFO sources, which are feeding animals government-subsidized corn (i.e. you're really paying more for the meat in indirect ways –not only through your taxes, but via other hidden costs. E.g. Ecological damage from using fossil-fuel based fertilizers, and also their damaging run-off from grain fields pollutes rivers and seas E.g. Down the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico, where it is destroying algae - a main source of food for smaller fish, which are themselves the food source for bigger fish).
– This link can help you find organic grass-fed meat in your local area:
– Maybe share the beef from a grass fed cow with others – To get an idea of what you're dealing with -One quarter of a cow weighs ~ 150 pounds and fills about two freezer shelves.
Grass-fed beef has a different flavor and is usually a little tougher than corn-fed beef - needs to be tenderized prior to cooking. It also has less marbling fat.
“These are the animals which you may eat among all the beasts that are on the earth... whatever divides the hoof having cloven hooves and chewing the cud.”
Eat meat from animals that:
(1)Have split hoofs
(2)Ate grass (i.e. they chewed the cud with their 4-chambered stomachs).
For proof that God knew what he was doing when he told the Israelites to limit their meat to the above two sources:
Avoid Meat that has been “Glued”together
“Meat glue”is used to join small chunks of meat, mainly to pass it off as prime cuts
No I'm not kidding! – think Chicken Mc Nuggets, bacon-wrapped tenderloins, and those hunks of ham, turkey, beef etc. at the deli counter;
Meat glue is an enzyme called transglutaminase designed for use in “restructuring”meat and poultry - meat glues are produced by one of two methods:
– Via bacterial cultivation -the Japanese company Ajinomoto uses a strain of soil bacteria, called Streptoverticillium mobaraense;
– From the blood plasma of pigs and cows (specifically the coagulant that makes blood clot).
The “Glueing”process -meat glue is sprinkled on protein pieces, such as beef chunks to form cross-linked, insoluble protein polymers that bind the pieces together. The glue-covered meat is rolled up in plastic film and then refrigerated for a few hours. Some manufacturers are so proficient at this that even an expert butcher can't tell the difference between a piece of prime beef and the glued-together scraps;
Which meat products may be “glued”? - Pork / ham, Lamb, Fish products (E.g. fish fingers), chicken, Imitation crab meat, and of course processed meats;
Ajinomoto, a leader in the MSG and aspartame markets is not surprisingly also one of the leaders in “Meat glue”– their website also advertises transglutaminase for improving the general texture of other foods, such as cheese and fat-free yogurt (makes yogurt creamier); makes noodles firmer;
At best unethical - manufacturers are misleading consumers, since they are not required to let you know that that the prime cut you thought you were buying is “Glued-together”bits and pieces, that would otherwise have been sold for much less. Some manufacturers using transglutaminase do label their meat as "composite meat product."
Potentially harmful – the bacterial contamination risk of glued-meat steak is hundreds of times higher than a solid piece of steak, especially, if you cook your steak rare; (according to report aired on “Today Tonight”in Australia);
Minimize Processed Meats
What are processed meats? – those meats preserved by smoking, curing, salting, or by the addition of chemical preservatives; includes bacon, ham, pastrami, salami, pepperoni, hot dogs, and also sausages and hamburgers (if they have been preserved with salt or chemical additives);
Processed meats typically contain meat-glue, undesireable chemical preservatives, and also have a high sugar-content
– Cancer connection to processed meats is well documented – and also to other health problems
✔ Bowel cancer - World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) concluded (after review of >7000 clinical studies), that processed meats are associated with cancer of the bowel.
"There is strong evidence that ... processed meats are causes of bowel cancer, and that there is no amount of processed meat that can be confidently shown not to increase risk ... Try to avoid processed meats such as bacon, ham, salami, corned beef and some sausages."
✔ Colon cancer by 50%
✔ Bladder cancer by 59%
✔ Stomach cancer by 38%
✔ Pancreatic cancer by 67%
✔ Diabetes by 50%
However, there is no substantial evidence that the nitrites or nitrates in cured meat are harmful when eaten in moderate amounts – today meat is usually cured with sodium nitrite (or sometimes potassium nitrate, of which these nitrates convert to nitrites in a long-term cure) and also sodium chloride, sugar and other flavors
– Purpose of Curing meat
✔Preserve the meat – by preventinggrowth of certain bacteria (E.g. botulinum) that cause meat to spoil; it achieves this either via a direct inhibitory effect or because drying out the meatremoves moisture required by bacteria to thrive.
✔Impart a certain flavor
✔Convey the familiar light pink color
– Cured meats include: sausage, deli meats, jerky, bacon and ham, pepperoni, hot dogs, lunch meats and meats used in canned foods, on pizzas and in packaged products.
– Nitrites can convert to potentially carcinogenic nitrosamines (which have produced cancer in lab animals and when eaten in excess have been linked to some human cancers and COPD) - Nitrosaminesare formed when:
✔Nitrites combine with by-products of protein (amines in the stomach) –however, a 154# person would have to eat >18 pounds of cured meat to hit toxicity level. It is estimated that 10% of human exposure to nitrites in the GI tract comes from cured meats and 90% comes from vegetables and other sources (E.g. from fertilizers) and indeed nitrite toxicity has been present in infants fed vegetables with a high nitrate level.
✔Nitrates in cured bacon are heated to temps in the600°F (315°C) range E.g. when bacon is crisped (however, most meats are cooked at lower temps.) - Today's typicalshort-term cures (a few hours), do not need to use nitrates. The USDA now requires bacon processors to add antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, which help promote the formation of harmless nitric oxide instead of potentially harmful nitrosamines. Bacon manufacturers are under a USDA surveillance program whereby bacon is sampled, cooked, and tested for nitrosamines. Levels above a certain maximum amount are not permitted.
✔To be safe when consuming cured meats - you can take a 500mg vitamin C dose to curtail formation of nitrosamines
Smoked Meats –smoking meat is a method used probably since soon after man's discovery of fire to either preserve meat or to impart the much desired flavor of the smoke from certain woods or charcoal; if meat is salt-cured, the additional smoking process is otherwise unnecessary.
– Frequent consumption ofsmoked meats or fish is correlated with intestinal cancer (especially colectoral and stomach cancers) –associated with:
✔Carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) - produced from the incomplete combustion of the fuel being burnt.
Gomaa et al (1993). "Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in smoked food products and commercial liquid smoke flavourings." Food Addit Contam. 10(5): 503-21.
– Author's conclusion is that moderate consumption of smoked foods is probably OK – provided it isn't laden with other preservatives
Cut off the covering fat of meat and Do not eat blood
Covering fat and blood store and carry toxins – this takes “Blood (Black) pudding”off the menu! Covering fat is composed of more harmful types of saturated fats than marbling fat, which is good for you in moderate quantities.
Eat meat in Moderation
"Be not ... among those who gorge themselves with meat”
– Proverbs 23:20
Too much protein overburdens the digestive system and produces excessive amounts of acid – this can increase oxidative stress and deplete alkalizing minerals in the body needed for various functions, including bone strength.
Excessive meat consumption can increase body's homocysteine levels, which can induce oxidative stress and a low-level chronic inflammatory response in the absence of antioxidants - the amino acid homocysteine is formed from the metabolism of the essential amino acid, methionine, found in meats and dairy products. The homocysteine produced can undergo:
(1)Remethylation – utilizes active folate (MTHR), B12 and the enzyme MTHFR to convert homocysteine back to methionine.(Also this conversion occurs in kidney and liver via betaine homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT) which transfers a methyl group to homocysteine via the demethylation of trimethylglycine (TMG /aka betaine, which serves as a methyl donor) to dimethylglycine (DMG) )
(2) Transsulfuration - utilizes the active form of vitamin B6 (pyridoxal-5'-phosphate) and the enzyme cystathionine-synthase (CBS). Once formed from cystathionine, cysteine can then be used by the body to make protein and glutathione (GSH), a powerful antioxidant.
If either of these pathways are impaired (E.g. due to a deficiency of B6, B12, folate, betaine), then plasma fasting homocysteine concentrations are increased, significantly so in the remethylation pathway.
To understand the significance of ongoing oxidative stress causing a low-level chronic inflammatory response:
Marinades that lower cancer-causing compounds in meat prior to cooking
Cooking food increases its levels of potentially tumor causing compounds called heterocyclic amines (HA's) - Frying and grilling meat is particularly dangerous, because the intense heat turns sugars and amino acids into HAs.
Marinating steak in
beer or wine before cooking dramatically reduces levels of HAs -
Marinating steak in red wine or beer
for 6 hours before frying can cut levels of two types of HA by up to
90%. Beer is reduces a third type of HA significantly in just 4 hours.
– A marinade sauce made of olive oil, lemon juice and garlic can also lower HA levels in grilled chicken up to 90%.
The “Big 3”–Chicken, Pork and Beef
Buy birds which ran outside on pasture and ate organic feed -meat from such chickens is firmer and leaner compared to that from commercialized, cooped up, non-organic grain-fed chickens. Chickens obtain worms and bugs from the ground, which enhance the omega-3 content of their meat (and eggs).
A so called “Free-range chicken”didn't necessarily range outside – it had access to the outside, but did not necessarily go outside, especially when its feed is inside.
Pastured / Organic grain-fed chickens Contain Significant Omega-3 Fat - having an Omega-6 : Omega-3 ratio of 2 or 3 : 1,compared to 20 to 1 in commercial grain-fed chicken.
Fat Content of Chicken is Higher than you May Think – a chicken thigh or leg with skin has 56% of its calories from fat, and has 47% even without the skin –so skin doesn't actually make that much difference!Compare this to a T-bone steak having 42% of its calories from fat.
– Only chicken breasts with skin removed are low in fat
Chicken Contains just as much Cholesterol as beef or pork
Pork, Bacon, Ham
If you choose to eat pork, bacon or ham:
– Ensure the pig's diet was not infected with worms – remember the days when many people kept a pig –they first boiled the scraps to make pig-swill.
– Cook pig meat thoroughly - Crisp the bacon, cook chops/pork roast/ribs until browned and the juices are no longer running.This is not a meat to eat rare, even in the U.S.
Choose beef from cattle fed organic grass - The 4-chambered stomach of a cow was designed to eat grass. Beef from grass-fed cattle is:
– Naturally leaner than grain-fed Cattle - due to the lack of dietary hormones and carbohydrates.
– A Significant Source of Omega-3 – has a beneficial Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio of ~4:1.
– A good source of conjugated Linoleic acid (CLA) - a fat that reduces the risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes and a number of immune disorders.
Concentrated Animal Farming Operations (CAFOs)
Most U.S. Beef cattle and pigs are raised in Feed Lots
called Concentrated Animal Farming Operations (CAFOs)
a food they are not naturally equipped to process
80% of U.S. beef cows are raised in feed lots, where they have no choice but to eat a grain-based diet (typically wheat, maize (corn), rice, barley, and also soybean and cane sugar)
Since their 4-chambered stomachs were designed to process grass not grain, the cows are frequently sick and bloated, and usually develop liver disease, which would eventually kill them if they were not fattened in accelerated time.
which Cause us Problems
CAFO cows are given antibiotics to promote growth in livestock (adding 4-5% to bodyweight). Not just for the obvious reason of preventing disease from their being in a manure-laden environment. Antibiotics used on livestock amount to 70% of the total antibiotics produced in the U.S. each year and 8 times more than the amount used for human medicine. Union of Concerned Scientists, 2001. Many of the same antibiotics (6 of the 17 classes of antibiotics) used to promote growth in animals are also used to treat diseases in humans. The New York Times, 1999. In 1998, the E.U. banned the use of antibiotics important in human medicine from use as growth promoters in livestock production.
In consuming the beef we also consume these antibiotics with several detrimental effects on health:
– Antibiotic resistant bacteria inevitably develop in the cattle which can easily be transmitted to humans - through consumption of meat or through human contact with living animals. A Harvard University study showed that antibiotic-resistant genes found in bacteria infecting humans were identical to some of the same bacteria infecting animals [O'Brien et.al., 1982]. Some strains of salmonella are now resistant to commonly used antibiotics.
– Antibiotic efficiency is reduced – in fighting infections
– Reduced levels of favorable intestinal bacteria – with a consequential increased susceptibility to intestinal infections.
How do antiobiotics increase the rate and efficiency of weight gain in healthy livestock ? - The presence of antibiotics likely changes the composition of the gut flora to favour growth. Debate continues as to how that gut flora are changed; change may simply be a reduction in numbers and/or a change in species composition. For example, a low, continuous dose of antibiotic may:
– Eliminate bacteria that “steal”essential nutrients required by the animal for growth
– Reduce competition allowing beneficial bacteria that produce essential nutrients required by the animal for growth to multiply
– Control growth of bacteria that cause low-grade infections or produce toxins- both of which result in thick intestines that do not absorb nutrients well.
– Some antibiotics may also enhance feed consumption and growth by stimulating metabolic processes within the animal
into CAFO cows or added to their feed
–to speed up their weight gain
HGPs are carcinogenic
– Although the U.S. have approved the use of HGPs, many other countries have banned them - The E.U. has banned importation of American and Canadian beef raised with growth hormones because studies indicate that they are carcinogenic. Hormones used in beef cattle include the male hormone testosterone (and its synthetic equivalent trenbolone acetate), and the female hormone progesterone (and 3 of its synthetic derivatives).
– Progesterone-Imitator Presence linked to Cancer - Synthetic progesterone imitates other hormones in the body and is linked to diseases such as cancer. An Ohio State University study found that when breast cancer cells were exposed to Zeranol, another progesterone-imitator, it increased cancer growth.
Hormones are not only present in the beef, but also end up in farm run-off and can flow into nearby rivers and streams - ending up in underground aquifers and so in our drinking water.An EPA fresh-water study in Deluth, MN found that fish exposed to trenbolone in water produced a general pattern where female fish were slightly masculinized and male fish slightly feminized.This raises concerns that these hormones might be a factor in the rising incidence of premature development in girls
Lemonick, MD, “Teens before Their Time”,TIME Magazine, Oct.30, 2000 and lower sperm counts in men Cone M, “Changes in Fish Tied to Feedlots.”, LA Times, Dec 11, 2003.
CAFO Produced Beef is High in Omega-6 and Low in Omega-3
The cows'grain diet yields a high proportion of Omega-6 fat, as opposed to providing us a natural source of Omega-3 from a grass diet - Thus, eating grain fed beef contributes to an imbalance of the important Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio.