There are so many places to start when talking about organics and food information. I decided to start with beef. My main reason is Barbara Kowalcyk.
Her story is highlighted in the movie Food Inc., and her story very much stuck with me. Barbara was just any ordinary mother of a two year old little boy. They were on a family vacation and they were traveling. Just like we have done so many times, they ate hamburgers at drive thru fast food restaurants. Her little boy, Kevin ate a hamburger contaminated with E.coli. He died a little over a week later due to complications from E.coli.
I know that this is a sad story, but the saddest part of her story is that the company that processed the hamburger knew about the E.coli before Kevin ate his hamburger and did not recall the meat. There were other deaths related to the same contaminated meat.
I have a very hot injustice button, and this story hit it dead on for me. And of course the company should get in trouble for not reporting! Its just common sense. Nope. "In 1998 the USDA implemented microbial testing for salmonella and E.coli 0157h7 so that if a plant repeatedly failed these tests, the USDA could shut down the plant. After being taken to court by the meat and poultry associations, the USDA no longer has that power" - www.foodborneillness.org
What?! I could not believe what I was hearing. So, even if they are testing the food, they are not recalling it as they should, and the USDA can't do anything about it. This is crazy! As you are watching it is overwhelming and maddening. But there are things that we can do. Basically know what you are choosing when you are at the grocery store.
The answer? Grass Fed Beef.
First of all, grass is what cows were designed to eat. The other beef that you buy is grain, or corn fed. Corn is not a natural food for a cow and it throws off the acid balance in their stomach which allows for the E.coli. (Companies treat the grain fed beef with a variety of things, including chlorine gas to help stop the E.coli) A grass fed cow has a balanced stomach acid, and therefore kills off the E.coli naturally, without the use of any treatments or chemicals.
The nutritional content of grass fed beef is superior to grain fed. It is higher in Vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids and Conjugated Linoeic Acid (CLA- has been linked to cancer fighting). Not only are there more nutrients, but there are less calories! Yes! Less calories. A grass fed steak can be up to 50% less calories than a grain fed steak.
Grass fed cows are healthier and healthier cows require less hormones and antibiotics.
I know. Informational overload. There are so many things to consider and this is just beef! I think that if we just take it one topic at a time and talk it over together, it won't be so overwhelming. I would love to hear your feedback on this, and other facts that you have found.
As a mom, I know that we are bombarded with info about everything from immunizations, to car seats, to what schools to send our kids to. I hope that by talking and sharing we make that an easier burden to carry.
If you want to learn more here are a couple sites that I found helpful.