A couple of pieces of information have been made public lately regarding meat and public safety. I recently discussed how those of us who consume meat need to choose well and keep portions to 3 oz. or the size of a deck of cards. I discussed finding organic or hormone and anti-biotic free sources, as well. I also encouraged those of you eating meat to make red meat - beef and pork an occasional rather than a regular source of protein. Here are some additional pieces of information meat-eaters need to consider:
Eating a daily 3 oz. sized serving of red meat (beef or pork) has now been determined as a risk factor for Type II diabetes. This finding is by the Harvard School of Public Health. Eating a non-processed 3 oz. serving such as a steak or hamburger patty raises risk by 19%. However, a daily processed version such as a hot dog, bacon, sausages, or bologna raises the risk factor by 51%. I highly recommend reading my March 9th blog and starting to make a switch to getting protein from alternate sources more often!
Lots of hype recently regarding "pink slime" was seen on every news report across the country. Is it true that the majority of Americans did not know ammonia was being used in meat packing plants? It has been going on for decades and it is used on every type of meat, every cut of meat - poultry included, not just "pink slime." This aspect of the story surprised me in that folks were not aware. In a plant that processes millions and millions of pounds of flesh and at the cheap prices meat-eating America wants to pay, how exactly is the germ-affected, feces contaminated, quick to spoil waste of the process to be cleaned, if not with harsh chemicals? There's bleach involved as well. Maybe not applied directly to the meat, but it has to be used to clean the areas where the meat passes and the machinery that is used on the meat, many, many times a day. When you make a choice to eat meat from such a source, you choose these chemicals.
As for the processing that "pink slime" goes through, the boneless lean beef trimmings are passed through a centrifuge and then treated with ammonia gas. Are we worried we don't know what these supposed lean beef trimmings are exactly? Again, I think America needs to wake up! Yes, we have an FDA, but no, they are not checking on these packing plants, because there is not enough money in the budget. There are very few agents, making very little headway into this gigantic industry. So, yes you are trusting your health (you are what you eat), to a corporation. Make that choice, OK, but be sure you understand that a corporation is all about making money and not about the best interests of the consumer in many cases. Pick and choose your source carefully.
How to get around this? Know the actual butcher, farmer, producer of your product directly. This is becoming more and more possible. More and more communities and cities are supporting local producers who are choosing healthier practices in processing meat. Yes, you will pay more, but the reason we have "pink slime" in the first place is because we want our meat cheap. It shouldn't be cheap to raise an animal to full size, feed it, care for it well, so it is healthy, slaughter it, process it, package it and distribute it. It should cost the cost of feed, care, water, fuel, packaging, transport, and labor. So, eat and choose your meat mindful of all that goes into raising a healthy animal that you then consume! And, begin to make the move toward more vegetarian choices. We don't all have to become vegetarians, but being mindful and aware of our choices is really important. There are consequences to this American diet and they aren't good - physically, mentally, or spiritually!
How will you get your 50 today?