Originally posted April 23, 2012.
Like so much else that comes out of Harvard, I find this study hard to swallow. The study warns that there is a “linear, step-wise increase in risk of dying prematurely with higher red meat consumption.”
(See: Five Questions: Dr. Walter Willett on red meat)
The study was conducted looking at consumption of mostly “lot-fed, grain-fed (corn) beef,” and makes clear it did not concern grass-fed beef. Had the study concluded that the increase in risk of dying prematurely with consumption of feedlot meat, rather than “red meat,” I would have cheered the conclusion. But without such clarity, readers can be sadly misled to conclude that all red meat is a death sentence.
In the Los Angeles Times interview, Harvard’s Dr. Walter Willett is asked about grass-fed beef and whether the way the animals are raised makes a difference? His answer: “I think it would be nice to be able to study grass-fed beef directly, but I think in the meantime it’s reasonable to assume that the answer is probably not going to be very different from what we see here.” Reasonable? Is it reasonable to assume that animals stuffed with antibiotics and hormones and jammed into befouled industrial feedlots are the same breed of cat as pasture-raised-to-finish cattle? Read a couple of grass farmer Joel Salatin’s books or Allan Nation’s Stockman Grass Farmer. Joel Salatin writes in SaladBar Beef, “A pall of fecal-contaminated dust hangs over western feed yards, where tens of thousands of beeves are confined in corrals for months at a time. This pathogen laden fecal dust invades the body through the respiratory system.”
Go to U.S. Wellness and read all about their grass fed beef family of farms and humane slaughter operations. It is not reasonable to assume that results of testing industrially raised and poisoned cattle offer results not “very different” from studying grass-fed-to-finish, humanely raised beef.
I will not eat confinement-raised meat—period. World-renowned rancher Bill Niman tells us, “The industrial production of farm animals is a grim saga of pollution, health risks, and animal misery.” Industrial feedlot meat is nothing but a host for antibiotics, hormones and poisons. This condition does not exist with pasture-fed-to-finish meat. Did you know that the majority of antibiotics sold in America are consumed by feedlot animals? Why is this? Because cattle are not meant to eat corn, which is poorly digested by cows. Cattle are meant to eat grass.
You may be familiar with Fast Food Nation. Here are a few items that will shed some light on the feedlot cattle issue for you. I doubt you will be increasing your consumption of feedlot industrial meat after you digest these scorchers.
“The animals used to make about one-quarter of the nation’s ground beef are worn-out dairy cattle, the animals most likely to be diseased and riddled with antibiotic residues…. About 75 percent of the cattle in the United States were routinely fed livestock wastes and the rendered remains of dead sheep and dead cattle-until 1997. They were also fed millions of dead cats and dead dogs every year, purchased from animal shelters.”
To this day, our FDA allows dead pigs, dead horses and dead poultry to be rendered into cattle feed. Still with me here? FFN continues, “The waste products from poultry plants, including the sawdust and old newspapers used as litter, are being fed to cattle.
My library contains a wealth of tantalizing intelligence on the food Americans eat and the bogus research papers written in support of the poison food approach to the American diet. I strongly advise you and your family to stand clear of feedlot meat and confinement raised chicken and the eggs from such beasts. Debbie and I order grass-fed-to-finish meat, wild-caught fish, and cage-free, free-range chicken from U.S. Wellness. We also patronize our many local farms listed for you on my home page. It is easy to do things right for your family.