Factory farming, a big mistake?
The quality of the meat is very much influenced by the fact of cows being corn fed or grass fed. But wait there is more to it than that ...
The production of beef and other animal protein consumes huge amounts of natural resources such as water, fossil fuels and topsoil, while polluting our water and air.
While housed in factory farms animals are fed mostly on genetically modified grain rather than natural grass. This is not only bad for the cows as they are unable to
process the enzymes in the grain but has major consequences for consumers and the environment as well. In terms of grass fed versus grain fed, grass fed would come out on top with the meat containing up to four times the amount of omega-3. As the numbers of meat consumption is ever increasing live stock production is likely to double in the next ten years to dramatic effects.
One kg of beef generates as much greenhouse gases as a car left on for three hours straight. As stated by Environmental Defence, if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off U.S. roads.
Livestock in the U.S. produce 2.7 trillion pounds of manure each year. That’s about
ten times more waste, than is produced by all the American people. With all this waste produced I wonder what the farmers do with it. In New Zealand we have already seen farmers resorting to dumping hazardous waste into rivers but now the sum is so high that some farmers resort to spraying the manure on nearby fields as fertilizer. Rather than support the soil this method damages the soil and can spread
diseases carried in the waste to humans.
It is easy to ignore responsibility
when one is only an intermediate link
in a chain of action.
There are secrets that the meat industry does not want its customers to know, secrets that are kept off the labels yet somehow found their way into the media.
Meat glue is a dangerous practise in which meat off cuts generally scraps of fillet mignon are glued together with Transglutaminase to produce a whole cut and will turn out looking like a prime filet. This practise is common in restaurants. However on the
trip from the slaughterhouse these meat scraps collect bacteria which are usually killed during the cooking process this makes it extremely dangerous if asked for rare as the inside usually free from bacteria when whole still harbours bacteria such as E.coli.
'Pink slime' made from trimmings the unwanted leftovers supposedly named 'lean finely textured meat' that has been washed down with ammonia to kill Pathogens such as E.coli is sold as a low cost additive to hamburgers and other meat products. The trimmings are liquefied and centrifuge-separated leaving a pink mash thereby getting
the name 'pink slime'. This product 'Pink slime' cannot legally be directly sold to consumers but it can however make up 15% of ground beef without additional labelling.
Furthermore 70% of meat is treated with carbon monoxide a colourless, odourless, and tasteless substance that can be toxic to humans which allows the meat to remain fresh looking even when it is no longer fresh.
Each individual who switches to a vegan diet spares an acre of trees per year if that is not a motivation to cut down on meat then this alternative might interest you.
The idea of no slaughter cultured meat appeals to animal rights activists and
environmentalists, as it equals no animal slaughter and low pollution but does it appeal to the taste buds. The idea is a near reality growing muscle under lab conditions by feeding pig stem cells with foetal serum and of course to grow the muscle strong and big daily exercise is given all under lab conditions.
Scientific studies have shown that long and healthy lives are lived by people in Mediterranean regions. There a relatively low rate of chronic diseases has also been spotted. These people follow a diet based on plant foods such as fruit and vegetables, pasta and beans. In addition most foods are minimally processed and fish and poultry are chosen in preference to red meat.
Not everything is as it seems and it pays to get to know what you are eating so you do not encounter any nasty surprises. If lab grown meat does not appeal to you how about insects as the replacement in your next meat recipes. They are both eco friendly and full of protein.
An alternative way to reduce hazardous meat intake is to buy organic meat from grass fed cows. It may cost more but it is of better quality and the price has the effect that you may not buy as much meat as you used to. So invest in organic meat and adapt your meat recipes to suit your diet.
Why question genetic modification?
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