Carnivores Eat Organic, Why Shouldn’t We?

We are excited to bring you a series of articles throughout the year that will feature information on holistic health, provide you with a 360 degree education on what it means to live clean, how you can change your diet, lifestyle, mind, body and spirit, to not only lower your risk of disease, but to also prevent and encourage long term wellness.  We recently added AmiCietta D. Clarke to our team as a Holistic Health Coach.  We are excited to present you with her first article, “Carnivores Eat Organic, Why Shouldn’t We?”  The goal of any data we provide you is to give you information and options. The rest is up to you!

Carnivores eat organic.  Think about it.  Animals which graze freely in the wild, consume grass and contain no antibiotics or synthetic hormones.  Why should we be any different?  For those of us who eat meat, organic is the way to go.  It might cost a little bit more, but buying organic food is definitely not a fad.  It’s not the “in” thing to do.  It’s a necessity if you can afford it.  In our capitalist economy, it’s all about making more money and this translates to various sectors, including the food industry.  Conventionally raised chickens, cows and pigs are raised in very close quarters where they eat, drink and excrete all in the same place.  This makes them prone to disease and when one of them gets sick, they quickly infect the rest.  Antibiotics are mixed into animal feed to prevent the spread of disease and therefore maximize the amount of meat that farmers can sell – even animals that are not sick receive antibiotics.  Conventional farmers also use hormones to make animals grow faster and bigger therefore maximizing their profit as well.

There are many problems with eating conventional meats.  Three times more antibiotics sold in the United States are used on animals than on humans.  As we consume the antibiotics in meat, we are unwittingly building up a resistance to them so that when we have to take antibiotics when we are sick, doctors are noticing that we are becoming resistant to them.  This puts us at risk for infections getting even worse.

The other major problem with conventional meats is the synthetic hormones that they contain.  Estrogenic pellets are placed under the skin of cows and the hormone is released slowly into their bloodstream.  Scientific studies have been done that show that increased exposure to estrogen increases your chances of developing breast cancer.  It is thought that the longer the exposure to high levels of estrogen, the greater the breast cancer risk.  Dr. Andrew Weil, a well-known integrative medical doctor who promotes healthy eating and prevention, suggests that we should avoid the daily intake of conventionally raised meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products if we want to lower our breast cancer risk.  He says that “They may contain hormone residue that influences estrogen metabolism.”[1]  As mentioned earlier, increased estrogen levels contribute to breast cancer.  The Breast Cancer Fund, an organization that focuses on breast cancer prevention, also suggests that women eat hormone free dairy and meat to eliminate the traces of hormones in those products that can contribute to breast cancer.[2]

The risk of developing heart disease and other types of cancer also increases with an increased consumption of too much meat, beef in particular.  Try to reduce your consumption of animal protein, even if it’s only for one day a week. Aim to go meatless on Mondays and join the Meatless Monday campaign (www.meatlessmonday.com).  Going meatless on any other day of the week is great as well.  When you do eat animal protein, try to eat organic.  Make sure to look for the USDA organic sticker on chicken, meat, pork, veal, buffalo, etc.  Fish is a different story and not subject to the same regulations.

Now, one question that I always get is:  “What’s the difference between organic and natural?”  Producers who want their meats certified as “organic” by the USDA have to adhere to stringent standards whereas the producers of “natural” meats do not.  Organic farmers cannot feed parts of any other animal to their cattle or chicken and they are not allowed to use hormones or antibiotics to make their animals grow faster.  They are bound by strict regulations that require them to expose their animals to sunlight, fresh air and access to free movement.  They must also use 100% organic grain as feed –  grain grown without the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides.  The major difference between “organic” and “natural” is that producers who want their meats certified as organic have to have their practices verified by inspectors certified by the state or federal government.  There are some farmers who produce “natural” meats, who adopt many of the practices that organic farmers have to adhere to, but they are not regulated and you have to take the farmers’ word that they are following those practices.  When you buy meats that are certified by the USDA (make sure to look for the sticker!) you know that all of the practices that I mentioned above have been followed and that you have the best quality meat.

So if you’re a carnivore, remember to eat organic if you can afford it and if you can’t, try to limit the amount of animal protein that you do consume.

By AmiCietta D. Clarke, Clean Body Living, LLC. You can learn more about AmiCietta at www.cleanbodyliving.com.

[1] Dr. Andrew Weil.  “Breast Cancer – Four Foods to Avoid.”  Drweil.com.

[2] The Breast Cancer Fund.  “Eat and Live Better.”  Breastcancerfund.org.