Meat - Choices for Health
Meat provides necessary sulfur
Was the animal fed inorganic foods ?
Choose meat from birds/animals raised on organically grown grass
Which types of animals/birds provide good meat?
Meat that has been “Glued” together
off the covering fat of meat and Do not eat blood
meat in moderation
Marinades that lower cancer-causing compounds in meat prior to cooking
“Big 3” – Chicken, Pork and Beef
Concentrated Animal Farming Operations (CAFOs)
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.
Ingenbleek Y, Mc Culley KS, Vegetarianism produces subclinical
malnutrition, hyperhomocysteinemia and atherogenesis. Nutrition 2011 Aug 26
[Epub ahead of print]
Sulfur is derived mainly
from dietary proteins.
E.g. fish, beef,
Sulfur has a vital role in
the structure /biological activity of the body’s proteins (including enzymes).
A sulfur deficiency
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
function - the two amino acid chains in
an INSULIN molecule are connected
via sulfur bridges, without which
INSULIN cannot function
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 -
any use of antibiotics and other typically used growth-promoting drugs
birds, or animals that chewed the cud and have cloven hooves
And . . .
together with “Meat Glue”
Not laden with
chemical preservatives /flavorings
Was the animal fed inorganic foods or treated with
hormones or routine antibiotics?
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.
Genetically Modified Foods
Cows given GM growth
shown to be carcinogenic
CAFOs / HORMONE
Animals/Birds given antibiotics both to
promote growth and prevent infection
ANTIBIOTICS are Given to CAFO Cattle, pigs
and poultry which Cause us Problems
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,
these animals were not exposed to antibiotics, growth hormones, and
are designed to eat grass:
CAFO cows are fed GRAIN
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
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.
Which types of animals provide good meat ?
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
Have split hoofs
(i.e. they chewed the cud with their 4-chambered
For proof that God
knew what he was doing when he told the Israelites to limit their meat to the
above two sources:
Bible Health References
Evidence of Toxicity in “Unclean” Creatures)
(pork) or rabbit
(None of these birds are scavengers)
Ptarmigan (I’ve never heard of it either!)
Most song birds
Avoid Meat that has been “Glued” together
“Meat glue” is used to join small chunks of meat, mainly to pass it off as prime
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
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
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”
transglutaminase for improving the general texture of other foods, such as
cheese and fat-free yogurt
(makes yogurt creamier); makes noodles firmer;
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
undesireable chemical preservatives, and also have a high sugar-content
Cancer connection to
processed meats is well documented –
and also to other health problems
- 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."
WCRF/AICR Expert Report -- Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the
Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective
obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
However, there is no substantial
evidence that the nitrites or nitrates in cured meat are harmful when eaten in
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
Preserve the meat –
growth 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
meat removes 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) -
Nitrosamines are 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.
in cured bacon are heated to temps in the
600° F (315° C) range
E.g. when bacon is crisped
(however, most meats are cooked at lower temps.) - Today’s typical
short-term cures (a few hours), do not need to use nitrates.
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.
Nitrite in Meat – Univ. of Minnesota rev. 1992
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.
consumption of smoked 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.
Fritz and Soós (1980).
"Smoked food and cancer." Bibl Nutr Dieta. (29):57-64.
Amount of carcinogens in smoked foods
varies greatly -
depending on kind of
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 –
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”
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
stress and a low-level chronic inflammatory response in the absence of
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:
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) )
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
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
To understand the significance of ongoing
oxidative stress causing a low-level chronic
Chronic Low-level Inflammation – “A
common factor in most health problems”
Marinades that lower cancer-causing compounds in
meat prior to cooking
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.
Red wine marinade has a similar effect on HA levels in fried chicken.
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
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
having an Omega-6
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 –
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.
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 ratio of
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)
CAFO cows are fed GRAIN,
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.
ANTIBIOTICS are Given to CAFO Cattle, pigs and
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.
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:
bacteria inevitably develop in the cattle which can easily be transmitted to
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
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:
that “steal” essential nutrients required by the animal for growth
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
of which result in thick intestines that do not absorb nutrients well.
may also enhance feed consumption and growth by stimulating metabolic processes
within the animal
GROWTH PROMOTANTS (HGPs) are injected /implanted
into CAFO cows or added to
– to speed up their weight gain
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).
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 -
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
“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
fat, as opposed to providing us a natural source of
from a grass diet -
Thus, eating grain fed beef contributes to an imbalance of the important