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Letter: Grain vs. grass

Gary Rothman’s letter on the studies that show a link between eating meat and heart disease is an interesting, but it only tells a small part of the story. It is critical when talking about meat to differentiate between grain-fed meat and grass-fed meat, and between tank-raised fish (grain feed, hormone injected) and wild-caught fish and chicken, pork, etc. Grain-fed meat is indeed dangerous to the human body in more ways then one, but meat, in its traditional natural form, is critical to a healthy mind and body. Our bodies are evolutionarily designed to eat a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet, but the food and its source that make up that diet is critical. Our brains need large amounts of Omega 3 fats, which mostly come from animal and fish meat. What we don’t need is too much Omega 6 fat. Grass-fed beef has the recommended ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fats of 3:1. Grain-fed beef has an unhealthy Omega 6 to Omega 3 ration of 20:1. The same holds true for eggs, the ratio for range-fed is 1.5:1 and for industrial-raised eggs it is 20:1.

Eating grain-fed beef is detrimental to the human body, the cows (E.Coli bacteria can only occur in grain-fed cows) and the environment (it takes about 284 gallons of oil to raise the corn for one steer). Eating grass-fed beef or other naturally raised animal meat is healthy for the human body and the environment. Extensive research has shown that hunter-gathers of the past had no history of heart disease yet had meat as a staple food in their diet. The same holds true for the few remaining groups of hunter-gathers, no heart decease.

There is, of course, more to health than just eating grass-fed meat — think exercise and lots of colorful, high-fiber vegetables and fruit, reduced salt, reduced sugar, reduced grains, reduced oils, etc. — but there is mounting evidence that the right meat (i.e. grass-fed animal meat, wild game, or wild-caught fish — ideally from the Pacific or Alaska to avoid mercury issues) plays an important role in preventing coronary heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, cancer, autism, Parkinson’s, ADHD and more.


Shelburne Falls

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