What value do you place on your family’s health? What role does meat play in a healthy diet? Does it really make a health difference in how the animal is raised? Can eating meat actually improve your health?
Meat is an excellent source of protein which is a requirement for a healthy diet. However it is known that much of America’s meat has some serious health issues. It turns out that the increasing use of grain rather than grass, the use of antibiotics (even in healthy animals), the use of animal byproducts in animal feed, and the overcrowding confined spaces where animals are raised affects not only the animals themselves, but our own health. When animals are fed only grass the health benefits are remarkable, and when they are raised in an environment that promotes their healthy growth, our own health benefits as much as the animals.
Can eating grass fed meats actually improve your health? The answer in study after study is an emphatic yes. When you let animals eat what their bodies are designed for, the animals, and subsequently their meat, is far healthier. After all, the more we try to tamper with natural patterns the more we find out that it’s wiser to keep things they way they are. Butter is indeed healthier than margarine, and though we have poured billions of dollars into research, there is no formula that can match breast milk’s nutrition.
All Green Zabiha animals are pastured (free range on grass) where they are rotationally grazed and allowed to eat the food they would eat naturally. Cows, lambs and goats, all eat grass and forage diets exclusively, while pastured chickens eat grass, bugs and are supplemented with non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) grains. They are never fed ground up pork/beef, chicken manure (yes, this is a feed for cows), or administered any antibiotics, hormones, arsenic (yes this is an additive for chickens) or any other medicinal chemical. Since they are not confined to feedlots they are able to run around freely and stay healthy.
- Improves your immune system: It is high in antioxidants (including vitamins E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C, lutein), which contribute to a good immune system.
- Slows cancer, reduces blood pressure and improves brain function: This natural source of omega 3 fatty acids helps to reduce blood pressure, maintain brain function and prevent or slow some cancer growth.
- Lowers the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease: Grass fed meat contains higher levels of CLA, conjugated linoleic acid, which is another of the healthy fats and possibly one of the most potent cancer fighters. It has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease, as well as lower the risk of some cancers.
- Lose weight: There are some studies which indicate that foods such as grass fed meats may help in weight loss due to the fact that its high in protein and lower in fat and thus lower in calories.
- High Mineral content: It has higher levels of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium.
There are many great websites that further discuss some important aspects of the nutrition (like here, and here), and there are new studies all the time. Check our blog, connect with us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter to get updates.
- Keep antibiotics working: It is estimated by some that the MAJORITY of antibiotics manufactured in the US are used in industrial livestock feed. They are used proactively, even if the animals are not sick, and the overuse of antibiotics is a major factor in mutations of antibiotic resistance viruses and infections. So this is not just a health issue for you personally, but a public health concern as well.
- No carcinogens: No GZ meat has received any growth hormones or arsenic (a supplement for in chicken feed), which have been shown to potentially cause cancer. In fact the use of hormones is why Europe has banned US beef imports.
- No bleach or irradiation: The final step in industrial poultry processing is a wash in chlorine/bleach, which is the reason for Europe banning US poultry imports. And beef is now irradiated in an attempt to lessen the chances of E.Coli occurrence that has been a major issue in industrial beef production. While there is not conclusive evidence as to how this might affect those who eat the meat, do you really want your meat irradiated?
- Blood drainage: Green Zabiha meat is harvested using halal methods, which ensures maximum blood drainage from the meat. Blood in the veins carries urea, other waste products and potential naturally occurring toxins that are cleaned out in the kidneys.
- Nitrate/Nitrite, MSG, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Binders, Preservative/Additive Free: All of GZs prepared meat products (jerky, sausage, deli meats) are free of any of the additives commonly found in processed meat which have been shown to impact health adversely.
- Very low chance of E.Coli: It has been found that by feeding cattle grain in feedlots promotes E.Coli O157:H7, a deadly bacteria that causes over 70,000 illnesses and dozens of deaths a year. Additionally the high stress of feedlots can further compromise the cattle health, and make them more susceptible to the dangers of this bacteria. And in industrial slaughter houses, where thousands of animals are zipped through often still filthy with caked on manure contamination with E.Coli in the meat is a real danger. In fact every year millions of pounds of ground beef is recalled because of E.Coli concerns.
- Very low Mad cow disease risk: Grass fed beef is fed grass, not ground up cows, or chicken or pork etc. So there is little chance of any instance of mad cow disease. Recall that mad cow disease spread because cows were being fed infected cows, though the USDA does not allow cow brains, or meat to be fed to cows any longer, they do allow beef blood and tallow. Furthermore some worry of cross contamination because cow meat can be feed to chickens and pigs, and dead pigs and chickens can be fed to beef. So there exists a potential for cross contamination. Finally, since we follow halal guidelines and do not shoot our cattle in the head with captive bolt gun or shotgun, there is even less chance of mad cow. It was found that shooting them in the head carried the danger of spreading brain fragments (where mad cow disease is located) across the cattle’s body further endangering the health of the meat.
Do we eat too much meat?
Finally we should mention that by and large, modern man eats way to much meat. The average American eats 400% more chicken, 50% more beef, and 150% more meat overall in 2007 vs 1950. What used to be something to eat on special occasions or a couple times a week, is on the menu for every meal. Part of this has to do with the cost of government subsidized industrial food, which has opened the floodgates of cheap, nutritionally poor meat. Eating anything to an excessive amount, including meat, can bring on health issues. So we’d suggest eating less meat, but make sure the meat you eat is grass fed/finished and of highest quality.