From the Farm to the Table

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In this post I want to address my previous post, “Nutrition is not a science – we made it one”. For the vegetarians amongst you, it is a fact that our ancestors were predominantly meat eaters; ancient Eskimos had a 100% meat/fat diet. Agriculture only actualized 10 000 to 20 000 years ago, which, in evolutionary terms is a mere blink of an eye. If you have chosen to be a vegetarian and you can sustain optimum health, without having to take a handful of supplements, I applaud you. Do keep in mind though that we are not all the same.

My conviction that we need animal proteins to sustain optimal health does however not mean that I believe we need to farm and slaughter more animals. I do not support the meat industry as it is and I am convinced the meat of mass-farmed and grain-fed cattle does us more harm than good (I will write about this more in another post). Again I have to look at the wisdom of our ancestors. They hunted free-roaming animals. They did not hunt in spring when the animals were lean but waited till late summer or autumn when they knew the animals had fattened up.

THEY DID NOT KILL BABIES, instead, they killed the biggest and fattest of the lot. They killed what they needed to survive and they utilized the whole animal. Nothing was wasted.  They did not gorge themselves on meat; instead, they rationed their food to get through the long winters. After a kill, they thanked these animals for giving their life so they could sustain themselves. There was deep gratitude and respect…

Let’s fast forward to today. Our animals are kept on farms, where they are merely seen as a source of food and therefore a part of the profit-making food industry. We kill the young because their meat is more tender with less fat. We feed substandard grains to accelerate growth. On some farms, these animals have no room to move and are kept in the most appalling conditions. The process of slaughtering is both violent and stressful to the animals and we dispose of the blood, most of the bones, and a lot of the internal organs. We gorge ourselves on meat products since we can simply run off to the store and buy some more. The ease of buying meat whenever we want has caused us to become disconnected from that animal that gave it less than optimal life to sustain us. There is no gratitude or respect. How many of you have looked at your plate and thanked that animal on it for sustaining you? Do you think of the quality of life the animal had while you inspect the steak that originated from it? Most of us don’t give it a second thought. We simply dismiss it because it makes us uncomfortable to think about it. Here is a link to a documentary you can watch on Youtube called, “From Farm to Fridge”. This is not meant to motivate anyone to become a vegetarian, but to indicate to you how much we are not aware of, and how disconnected we have become.

We cannot go back to how our ancestors lived, but we can make sure that the meat we buy is from free-roaming, grass-fed animals. Yes, it may cost a bit more, but ultimately it may save you a lot of money when it comes to medical bills. The quality and nutritional value of free-range products are infinitely higher than that of mass-farmed animals. There are no antibiotics or hormones, and the meat is not full of stress hormones. In my opinion, if you can afford to buy free-range products, please do, if you cannot then you are better off without them.

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