Quote: Originally Posted by JLM
I don't think a person wants to get too overwhelmed with all this "organic" brohaha. I watch Dr. Art Hister quite a bit on Global T.V. (he's well respected and pretty down to earth) and he said just a few weeks ago, that the only advantage of organic is it tastes better, but not the slightest bit more nutritional. A carrot is a carrot.
Yeah, he's probably talking about a limited-scope UK study on organics vs. non-organics a little while back. Unfortunately, it didn't quite cover it all.
I'm not an expert on all this stuff (trying to learn more), but my understanding is that when they use inorganic (chemical) pesticides and herbicides on most fruits and veggies, those plants - which normally produce a natural, cancer-fighting substance originally intended (by nature) to fight off bugs and such - simply quit making this "good stuff." As a result, the "total" nutrition of the produce is lacking at least that element of goodness.
Again, I could look it all up somewhere but I'm pretty sure I'm right on the theory. Perhaps they simply measured the levels of carotene (Vitamin A)...not sure on that one. Studies can tell you anything, but they can also be misleading. I know one thing - having been raised in farm country, commercial carrots sure as hell don't taste anything like organic ones (we used to grow "organic", but didn't call it that back then...the fertilizer we used came from cow crap, not a pail from a chemical factory).
This "element" isn't included in conventional nutritional tests so it doesn't count, insofar as most studies go. There is also the fact that trace amounts of the chemical residues stay with the carrots, apples, etc. but I'm not sure if they can even measure that stuff reliably. Even if they did, the government would say that it is at "acceptable levels", and if all you ate was a few carrots in a week, everything would by hunky-dory. However, who measures the cumulative
amount of bad stuff we ingest...the answer is, nobody
I think there is far more info. available on the subject but it takes a pile of time and work to get at it all.
Dr. Art kind of reminds me of the folks - such as all levels of government - who say that "beef is beef." Now I'm a bit more up to speed on that
subject. A feedlot cow (supermarket beef) is fed corn and other grains to fatten them up quickly, they go get sick. Why? Because they are ruminants, which essentially means their digestive system is designed to digest good, old-fashioned grass. It's a multi-stage digestive system. So when they eat grain and other non-grass food, they get quite sick, and their liver is one of the first things to go. To prevent that, feedlots load them up (with many pounds per day!) of antibiotics to ward off the sickness. They don't really eliminate the problem...the objective is to keep that commodity (the cow) alive long enough to slaughter, and fat enough to get a good return on their investment. Some of those antibiotics ends up the meat.
So what? Wellll...if you eat enough antibiotics (the opposite of probiotics, the fashionable ad term attached to yogurt), the "good bacteria" in your own gut get killed. And that's not good, as then your digestive system won't be up to speed and you can't absorb nutrients from your own food effectively.
We've all heard about BSE (Mad Cow)...well, that comes from animals eating animals. Used to be that we (Canada) allowed rendered cow blood and other cow products to be fed to feedlot cattle as protein supplements. That's now illegal, but it's OK to feed cattle products to other animals such as chickens and turkeys. However, don't forget that those chickens and turkeys can be fed cow-based protein supplements, so it stands to reason that eventually, if there is that very hard-to-kill BSE in a chicken, it could come right back to being eaten up by a cow. I hope you've noted that, thus far, none of this stupidity has anything to do with raising a healthy, happy cow. Nope.
It's the result of "food scientists" trying to get the best rate of return for the big producers. Hell, I'm a capitalist myself (note that it says "Conservative" on my avatar), but I learned long ago that if you kill or hurt your customers, you won't have any business in the future! So I don't believe they're following a "total quality concept" when it comes to raising commercial beef. (A side note: My definition of "quality" is "Conformance to Customer Requirements" so it might follow that if all that the average consumer wants is cheap food, they might be satisified, at least in the short term. Be careful what you wish for...)
But wait - there's more!
The meat from feedlot cattle has been proven - scientifically, beyond a shadow of doubt - to be not as "good" for a human as grass-fed (only grass!) beef. Sure, the protein levels are similar, but there are other things to consider...things that have a very direct impact on human health.
levels in feedlot beef are almost non-existent, but quite high in grass-fed. Feedlot beef contains high levels of Omega-6
fats, low levels of Omega-3
fats. Omega-6 are the artery cloggers, Omega-3 is what your body needs to function. Grass-fed beef contains almost a perfect opposite of fat balance...high in Omega-3, low in Omega-6. Grass-fed beef contains high levels of CLA
(Conjugated Linoleic Acid), which is a naturally-occuring cancer fighter when it gets to the human body. Feedlot beef contains virtually no
CLA. There's lots more on the subject, but you get the picture...the website that is - in my opinion - the 'last word' on beef and other meats is Eat Wild (external - login to view)
and it's worth a look.
Last but not least, feedlot beef - to my taste buds - simply stinks. That could be partly the way they're raised (usually up to their knees in cow crap in an enclosed pen, vs. a nice open pasture), but likely due more to the method of killing. And you have not lived until you've been inside a high-volume modern abbatoir where the terrified animals are being handled in the most inhumane way possible. (After all, time is money, right?) As any hunter could tell you, if you scare an animal before it's killed, the resulting adrenalin will find its way through the tissues and produce a "wild" taste in the meat. In commercial beef, it literally stinks. (Your fast food burger is a product of that but don't worry...they have lots of "things" in that burger patty to cover up the smell. Nutritional value? Never heard of it)...
And yet, many doctors, government people, health departments, etc. still maintain that "beef is beef." Incredible. How come I can find this information but they can't/won't? I dunno - I'm just an average "foodie." Some of the officials act like a bunch of meat-heads!
And you can see why the average consumer isn't aware of the facts...look how long it took me to write - and you to read (I hope you did) - this long-winded diatribe on just carrots and beef! Who's got time?
Well, I make time for it because I think it's important. And to think it all started when one of my kids asked me why hamburger stinks, many years ago. It took a 5 yr. old to point out to me that something smelled rotten on her plate. Out of the mouths of babes...