half of US meat and poultry likely contaminated with Staph
half the meat and poultry sold in the US is likely to be contaminated
by highly dangerous bacteria, according to research published
this month (April 2011) in the scientific journal, Clinical
The study estimates that 47 percent of the
meat and poultry on US supermarket shelves contains the bacteria staphylococcus
aureus ("Staph"). It is not, however, among
the four bacteria—Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli, and Enterococcus—routinely
tested in meat by the US government.
The researchers tested 136 samples from 80
brands of beef, pork, chicken and turkey, purchased from 26
grocery stores in five major US cities. DNA tests from staph-infected
samples suggest that the farm animals
themselves were the major source of contamination. "Densely-stocked
industrial farms, where food animals are steadily fed low doses
of antibiotics... [are] ideal breeding grounds for drug-resistant
bacteria that move from animals to humans," according to the
The bacteria is not only linked to a number
of human diseases, but is also resistant to at least three classes
of antibiotics. Lance B. Price, Ph. D., senior author
of the study, stated that “The fact
that drug-resistant S. aureus was so prevalent, and likely came
from the food animals themselves, is troubling, and demands attention
to how antibiotics are used in food-animal production today.”
are the most important drugs that we have to treat Staph infections;
but when Staph are resistant to three, four, five or even nine
different antibiotics -- like we saw in this study -- that leaves
physicians few options," Price said.
Producer Georgia's Small Business Person of the Year
Congratulations to Eatwild producer Will Harris
for being selected Georgia’s Small Business Person of the
Year. Harris is the owner and president of the 1,000-acre White
Oak Pastures, one of the largest pasture-based farms in the
country. The operation employs 40 people and sells its organic,
grass-fed beef to Whole Food Markets and Publix Supermarkets in
SBA Georgia District Director Terri Denison
said that “Will Harris and White Oak Pastures serve as a
prime example of how innovation coupled with opportunity can transform
a business or entire industry.” One of Harris’ many
achievements is the construction of the largest solar barn in the
Southeast. The barn generates 50,000 watts of electricity which
is used to run the on-site beef processing plant. Harris is now
installing a USDA-inspected poultry plant to process his pastured
chickens and turkeys that will employ an additional 25 people.
Grasses Speed the Growth of Cattle and Sheep and Lowers
British Agricultural Minister Jim Paice announced the results
of a new study showing that raising cattle and sheep on high-sugar
grasses can lower their greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent.
benefits from the sweeter feed. The ruminants like the taste of
the grass and eat more of it. The sugars allow them to make more
efficient use of the proteins in the grass. As a result,
the animals reach market size weeks earlier, producing less methane
Paice said: “It is very exciting this new research has discovered
that simply changing the way we feed farm animals we have the potential
to make a big difference to the environment.”
study was carried out by Reading University and the Institute of
Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences. High-sugar pasture
grasses are now available for sale.
USDA Weighs In: Grazing Good for Soil &
Bring on the cattle! says a study
conducted by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA). For twelve years, soil scientists at the Agricultural
Research Service branch of the USDA have been studying the impact
that grazing animals have on the land. Compared with grassland
that has been undisturbed, areas that have been moderately grazed
have more carbon stored in the soil. Stored carbon increases
the fertility of the soil and slows global warming.
Summary of the study: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/mar11/soil0311.htm
Published in Soil Science Society of America Journal, 2010.
Volume 74, pages 2131-2141.
U.S. Scientists: “Grass-Fed Cattle
Benefit the Environment”
Which is better for the environment—raising
beef cattle on pasture or in the feedlots? On pasture, says a
February 2011 report from The Union for Concerned Scientists
(UCS) titled “Raising the Steaks – Global Warming
and Pasture-Raised Beef Production in the United States.”
all cattle produce greenhouse gasses, the UCS has determined
that a well-maintained pasture and careful management of the
grazing animals can draw greenhouse gasses out of the air and
store them in the soil where they fuel plant growth. The overall
impact is positive. Feedlots have no living plants – just
bare dirt and manure; instead of absorbing greenhouse gasses,
they emit them.
We applaud the UCS for going one step farther and researching
ways to make raising cattle on pasture even more beneficial to
the planet. Here are some of their primary recommendations:
- Improve the nutritional quality of the pasture by adding
legumes such as red clover.
- Manage the cattle so that they do
not overgraze the pasture. “Rotational
grazing” is the best method.
- Manage the cattle so that they deposit
their manure more evenly over the pasture.
- Find ways to increase grass production throughout the year,
not just in the spring and early summer.
- Apply appropriate amounts of slow-release nitrogen fertilizer
at the right time.
These best practices are in harmony with our
standards at Eatwild.
Read the Executive Summary Report: http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/food_and_agriculture/global-warming-and-beef-production-summary.pdf.
the Full Report: http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/food_and_agriculture/global-warming-and-beef-production-report.pdf
Grass-fed meats improve fat levels
Eating moderate amounts of grass-fed meat for
only 4 weeks will give you healthier levels of essential fats,
according to a 2011 study in the British Journal of Nutrition.
The British research showed that healthy volunteers
who ate grass-fed meat increased their blood levels of omega-3
fatty acids and decreased their level of pro-inflammatory omega-6
fatty acids. These changes are linked with a lower risk of a host
of disorders, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression,
and inflammatory disease.
Interestingly, volunteers who consumed conventional,
grain-fed meat ended up with lower levels of omega-3s and higher levels
of omega-6s than they had at the beginning of the study, suggesting
that eating conventional meat had been detrimental to their health.
British Journal of Nutrition (2011)
Red meat from animals offered a grass diet increases plasma and
platelet N-3 PUFA in healthy consumers. Volume 105, pages 80-89.
“Omega-6 is like a fat
So said French researcher Gerard
Ailhaud, commenting on the results of a new study showing that mice
fed the amount of omega-6 fatty acids present in the modern western
diet grow fatter and fatter with each succeeding generation. In
the picture shown, the mouse on the left was raised on the high
levels of omega-6 fatty acids and low levels of omega-3 fatty acids
typical of the American diet. In addition to being grossly overweight,
it has the warning signs of diabetes. The healthy mouse on the
right was raised on standard mouse chow. The two mice got equal
amounts of exercise. The mice are the fourth generation to be raised
on the two types of diet.
Omega-6 fatty acids are essential for health,
but the amount consumed by most Americans increases the risk of
obesity, diabetes, inflammatory diseases, and cancer. Omega-6s
are most abundant in vegetable oils such as corn oil, safflower
oil, and cottonseed oils. (Olive oil is low in omega- 6 fatty acids.)
Few people realize that grain-fed animals are also a major source
of omega-6s. Meat and dairy products from animals fed a high-grain
diet, which is the typical feedlot diet, have up to ten times more
omega-6s than products from animals raised on their natural diet
This study suggests that if we switch to food
with a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, we will
be leaner and healthier, and so will our children, grandchildren,
and great grandchildren.
Massiera, F; Barbry, P; Guesnet, P;
Joly, A; Luquet, S; Brest,, CM; Mohsen-Kanson, T; Amri, E and G.
Ailhaud. A Western-like fat diet is sufficient to induce a gradual
enhancement in fat mass over generations. Journal of Lipid Research. August
2010. Volume 51, pages 2352-2361.
Take care of your heart! Eat whole milk
dairy products from grass-fed cows.
For decades, we’ve been told that eating
full-fat dairy products increases the risk of heart attack. Now,
a study from the Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that
the more full-fat dairy products people consume, the lower
their risk of heart attack—provided the cows were grass-fed.
The reason grass-fed milk is protective is
that it has up to five times more conjugated linoleic acid or CLA.
CLA is a healthy fat found in the meat and milk of grazing animals.
People who eat grass-fed dairy products absorb the CLA and store
it in their tissues. In this study of over 3,500 people, those
with the highest levels of CLA in their tissues had a fifty
percent lower risk of heart attack than those with the lowest
levels. Keeping Bossy on grass could prevent more heart attacks
than putting people on expensive pharmaceutical drugs with all
their troubling side effects.
Smit, Liesbeth A, Ana Baylin, and Hannia Campos.
2010. Conjugated linoleic acid in adipose tissue and risk of myocardial
infarction. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Published
ahead of print, May 12, 2010.
New term you need to know: “by-product
Fresh pasture and dried grasses are the natural
diet of all ruminant animals. In factory farms, animals are switched
to an unnatural diet based on corn and soy. But corn and soy are
not the only ingredients in their “balanced rations.” Many
large-scale dairy farmers and feedlot operators save money by feeding
the cows “by-product feedstuffs” as well. In general,
this means waste products from the manufacture of human food. In
particular, it can mean sterilized city garbage, candy, bubble
gum, floor sweepings from plants that manufacture animal food,
bakery, potato wastes or a scientific blend of pasta and candy.
Here are some of the “by-product feedstuffs
commonly used in dairy cattle diets in the Upper Midwest.”*
- Candy. Candy products are available
through a number of distributors and sometimes directly from
smaller plants… They are sometimes fed in their wrappers….
Candies, such as cull gummy bears, lemon drops or gum drops
are high in sugar content.
- Bakery Wastes. Stale bread and other
pastry products from stores or bakeries can be fed to dairy cattle
in limited amounts. These products are sometimes fed as received
without drying or even removal of the wrappers.
- Potato Waste is available in potato
processing areas, and includes cull potatoes, French fries and
potato chips. Cull fresh potatoes that are not frozen, rotten,
or sprouted can be fed to cows either whole or chopped. Potato
waste straight from a processing plant may contain varying amounts
of inedible or rotten potatoes. French fries and chips contain
fats or oils from frying operations.
- Starch. Unheated starch is available
from some candy manufacturers and sometimes may contain pieces
- Pasta is available from pasta plants
and some ingredient distributors as straight pasta or in blends
with other ingredients, such as candy.
*This list is excerpted from “By-Product
Feedstuffs in Dairy Cattle Diets in the Upper Midwest,” published
by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the
University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Eat less feedlot meat
A growing number of people believe that eating
less meat is good for the environment. This is true when it comes
to eating meat from animals raised in feedlots. But eating meat
from well-managed grazing animals is a net benefit to the
A paper released by the Natural Resources
Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture
makes the following points:
- Grazing animals eat plants that cannot be digested by humans.
- Meat from grass-fed animals requires only one calorie of fossil
fuel to produce two calories of food. Many grain and vegetable
crops require from 5 to 10 calories of fossil-fuel for every
calorie of food or fiber produced.
- Well-managed pasture absorbs far more rain water than most
other land uses.
- Grazed lands help slow global warming by removing carbon dioxide
from the air. Grazing land in the Great Plains contain over 40
tons of carbon per acre. Cultivated soils contain about 26 tons.
- Well-managed grazing lands provide much-needed habit for wildlife,
reduce water runoff, and provide cleaner, more abundant water
for wildlife and human use.
- Grazing lands are among our most picturesque landscapes.
Read more: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/rca/ib6text.html
Do you want ammonia
Ring in the new decade with yet another disturbing
story about commercial hamburger. A New York Times expose,
published on December 30, 2009, revealed that Beef Products, Inc
(BPI), a South Dakota meat processor, has been injecting ammonia
into “fatty slaughterhouse trimmings” to kill bacteria
and render it safe for human consumption.
The USDA has approved this novel process.
Indeed, studies conducted by BPI showed the product to be so effective
that the government agency exempted BPI products from routine testing.
In another bow to the company, the USDA agreed with BPI that the
word “ammonia” need not appear on ingredient labels.
Instead, it can be described as a generic “processing agent.”
Why does this matter to you? If you eat commercial
hamburger, the chances are very good that you’ve eaten ammoniated
beef. BPI claims that its processed scraps are used in a majority
of the hamburger sold in the United States. Even our kids have
been treated to the meat. According to the Times, “The
federal school lunch program used an estimated 5.5 million pounds
of the processed beef last year alone,” saving an estimated
$1 million a year.
There are a number of problems using ammonia
to sanitize beef, beginning with the obvious “ugh, yuck” factor;
the very idea of sterilizing meat with ammonia is revolting to
many. Then there’s the odor. Even though the BPI meat is
mixed with untreated meat which dilutes the smell, some consumers
have still complained of a gaseous odor. The Times reports
that meat buyers for Georgia State prisons rejected 7,000 pounds
of the stuff because it had “a very strong odor of ammonia.”
This “odor problem” could explain why some batches
of BPI meat have been treated with lesser amounts of ammonia—significantly,
not enough to kill the harmful bacteria! Consumers get a product
that has a more acceptable odor and flavor, but it’s not
safe to eat! Last year, more than 53,000 pounds of BPI meat designated
for school lunch programs tested positive for either E. coli or
Several USDA microbiologists, including Gerald
Zirnstein, have been critical of the USDA’s approval of ammoniated
beef. In a 2002 email message obtained by the Times, Zirnstein
described the BPI beef product as “pink slime” and
said, “I do not consider the stuff to be ground beef, and
I consider allowing it in ground beef to be a form of fraudulent
labeling.” We at Eatwild concur and suggest that you buy
your next pound of hamburger from a local, pasture-based rancher. http://www.eatwild.com/products/
The entire New York Times investigation
is worth reading. (Safety of Beef Processing Method is Questioned” by
Michael Moss.) Find it online at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/31/us/31meat.html
Score ten for grass-fed beef
Grass-fed beef is better for human health than
grain-fed beef in ten different ways, according to the most comprehensive
analysis to date. The 2009 study was a joint effort between the
USDA and researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina. Compared
with grain-fed beef, grass-fed beef was:
- Lower in total fat
- Higher in beta-carotene
- Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
- Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
- Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium,
- Higher in total omega-3s
- A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3
fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84)
- Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential
- Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be transformed
- Lower in the saturated fats linked with
S.K. Duckett et al, Journal of Animal
Science, (published online) June 2009, “Effects
of winter stocker growth rate and finishing system on: III. Tissue
proximate, fatty acid, vitamin and cholesterol content.”
Mobile slaughter facility offers solutions
On June 3, 2009, the Alaska Meat Company/Sitkinak
Cattle Ranch, a grass-fed beef operation on Kodiak
Island, announced the opening of their mobile abattoir, a 4-trailer
solution to many of the logistical problems that bedevil grass-based
The trailers travel separately. On site, they
are configured into an “L shape” and perform all the
operations needed to get meat to market. Live animals enter the
first trailer where they are humanely slaughtered and inspected
by the USDA. The carcasses go into the second trailer, where they
are divided into individual cuts or ground into sausage. In the
third trailer, the hamburger is seasoned, smoked, and stuffed into
sausage casings. The sausages are vacuum sealed and then pressure-cooked
to kill all bacteria. The meat is then “shelf-stable” and
can be kept without refrigeration. Live animals enter the first
trailer and sausage comes out the third.
The abattoir will be fully functional in October,
2009. Father and son team Nathan and Bob Mudd, owners of the Alaska
Meat Company, plan to extend their operation to process bison and
reindeer—hey! It’s Alaska.
Making sense out of meat labels
Ever wonder what all those meat labels really
mean? For example, what is meant by non-confined? natural? source
verified? cage free?
The folks at The Sustainable Table website
have taken the time to figure it out and compile the information
in a comprehensive, downloadable, easy-to read glossary of meat
labels. Click here to
view a copy.
Eggs from pastured hens are far richer in
Eggs from hens raised outdoors
on pasture have from three to six times more vitamin
D than eggs from hens raised in confinement. Pastured hens
are exposed to direct sunlight, which their bodies convert to vitamin
D and then pass on to the eggs.
Vitamin D is best known for its role
in building strong bones. New research shows that it can also enhance
the immune system, improve mood, reduce blood pressure, combat
cancer, and reduce the risk of some autoimmune disorders.
This latest good news about eggs comes from
a study released by Mother
Earth News, a magazine that plays a leading role in promoting
health-enhancing, natural foods. The editors found that eating
just two eggs will give you from 63-126% of the recommended daily
intake of vitamin D.
Note that this benefit comes only from hens
that are free to graze fresh greens, eat bugs, and bask in the
sun. Most of the eggs sold in the supermarket do not meet this
criterion. Even though the label says that the eggs are “certified
organic” or come from “uncaged” or “free-range” hens
or from hens fed an “all-vegetarian” diet, this is
no guarantee that the hens had access to the outdoors or pasture.
Look for eggs from “pastured” hens.
You are most likely to find these superior eggs at farmer’s
markets or natural food stores.
Better yet, purchase them directly from your
local farmer. Click on the following link, then scroll down to
the yellow map of the United States. Click on your state. Find
eggs from pastured hens on eatwild.com
Healthy Eggs: What we knew in
In the 1930s, scientists and food producers
were creating the first plans to take poultry off family farms
and raise them in confinement. To enact their plans, they needed
to create “feed rations” that would keep the birds
alive and productive even though they were denied their natural
diet of greens, seeds, and insects. It was a time of trial and
In a 1932 experiment conducted by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, breeding hens were taken off pasture
and fed a wide variety of feed ingredients. When the birds were
fed a diet that was exclusively soy or corn or wheat or cottonseed
meal, the chickens didn’t lay eggs or the chicks that developed
from the eggs had a high rate of mortality and disease.
But when birds were fed these same inadequate
diets and put back on pasture, their eggs were perfectly normal.
The pasture grasses and the bugs made up for whatever was missing
in each of the highly restrictive diets.
“The effect of diet on egg composition.” Journal
of Nutrition 6(3) 225-242. 1933.
How spreadable is your butter?
Take a cube of butter from your refrigerator,
slice it with a knife, and spread it on a slice of bread. Did it
coat the bread evenly or did it remain in hard lumps? Researchers
have determined that the easier butter spreads, the better it is
for your health.
Why is this? The firmness of butter depends
on its ratio of saturated and unsaturated fat. At refrigerator
temperatures, saturated fat is hard and unsaturated fat is soft,
or even liquid. Therefore, butter that is relatively easy to spread
has less saturated, artery-clogging fat and more (healthier) unsaturated
In addition, a 2006 study shows that the softer
the butter, the more fresh pasture in the cow’s diet. Cows
that get all their nutrients from grass have the softest butterfat
of all. Butter from grass-fed cows also has more cancer-fighting
CLA, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids than butter
from cows raised in factory farms or that have limited access to
“The Linear Relationship between the
Proportion of Fresh Grass in the Cow Diet, Milk Fatty Acid Composition,
and Butter Properties.” Journal of Dairy Science,
2006. 89:1956–1969. [Note: this study is available free of
charge at the Journal
of Dairy Science website.]
Be a “meat and spinach” or
a “meat and red wine” kind of a guy
red meat—but not white meat or fish—is linked with
a moderately increased risk of colon cancer. Why is that? Some
experts believe that the amount of iron in the food, specifically,
a type of iron called “heme” iron, is part of the problem.
Red meat has considerably more heme iron than its paler counterparts.
Iron is essential for survival, but heme iron can irritate the
lining of the colon and set up the preconditions for cancer. Another
possible link with red meat and cancer is the amount of oxidized
fat in the meat. You create oxidized fat when you grill meat, sear
it, or cook it above medium rare.
Do you have to cut back on grilled sirloin
steak and lamb chops to lower your risk of colon cancer? Perhaps
not. Eating foods high in antioxidants along with the meat
could do the trick. Research shows that antioxidants have the potential
to neutralize the ill effects of both the iron and the oxidized
fat. For example, a 2005 study showed that eating spinach along
with red meat eliminated all irritation of the colon. Now a 2008
study reveals that drinking a glass of red wine with your meal
could do the same thing. It is likely that other foods high
in antioxidants will offer similar protection.
Does eating grass-fed meat also reduce your
risk of colon cancer? Meat from pastured animals has more
antioxidants than feedlot meat, so it is a distinct possibility.
To date, no one has studied this hypothesis.
Gorelik, S., M. Ligumsky, et al. (2008). "The
Stomach as a ‘Bioreactor’: When Red Meat Meets Red
Wine." J Agric Food Chem.
De Vogel, J.,
Denise Jonker-Termont et al. (2005). “Green vegetables,
red meat and colon cancer: chlorophyll prevents the cytotoxic
and hyperproliferative effects of haem in rat colon.” Carcinogenesis.
clearly superior, says German and Canadian study
Yet another study shows that grass-fed meat
is nutritionally superior to feedlot meat. This study examined
the differences in fat content between four breeds of cattle that
were either 1) raised on pasture or 2) given grain and other feedstuff
in a feedlot.
As in previous research, the results showed
that meat from cattle raised on pasture had much healthier fats.
The researchers concluded that grass-fed meat is “clearly
superior” and “remarkably beneficial.” They
stated that grass-fed meat “should be promoted as an important
part of a healthy balanced diet.” Read
the study summary.
(Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry,
June 2008, 56:4775-4782.)
The Grass-Fed Paradox
Grazing animals that eat their native diet
of grass have more polyunsaturated fat in their meat than animals
fed grain and other types of foodstuff. This is one of the reasons
that grass-fed meat is better for your health. But polyunsaturated
fats are prone to oxidation and oxidized meat can have a rancid
or “off” flavor, and the meat spoils more quickly.
It was long thought that grass-fed meat would suffer this fate.
Studies show that grass-fed meat is less
likely to oxidize than ordinary feedlot meat. Why? The answer
is that there are more antioxidants in grass than grain, and
these protective substances keep the polyunsaturated fat from
oxidizing. When you eat meat from a grass-fed cow, you are consuming
more polyunsaturated fat, more antioxidants, and the meat is
less likely to spoil.
Mercier, Y., P. Gatellier, M. Renerre
(2004). "Lipid and protein oxidation in vitro, and antioxidant
potential in meat from Charolais cows finished on pasture or mixed
diet." Meat Science 66: 467-473.
Ranchers who raise their cattle on grass from
birth to market do not send their animals to large slaughter houses
such as the Hallmark Meat Packing Company where extreme cases of
abuse were recently documented. (See post directly above.) Instead,
they slaughter the animals on the farm or take them to small, independent
Ranchers who drive their grass-fed cattle to
an abattoir go to great lengths to keep the animals calm. Some
bring along cattle that are not earmarked for slaughter to give
the animals the comfort of being with their herd mates. Many ranchers
watch the entire slaughter process to ensure that their animals
are being treated humanely every step of the way.
Some ranchers practice “field slaughter.” In
this case, they approach the animal out on the pasture, making
sure not to trigger alarm. Then they kill it with a bullet to the
head. The animal dies instantly and has no opportunity to experience
pain. Other ranchers contract with a specially designed mobile
slaughter facility that comes to the farm and manages the entire
process from killing the animals to preparing the carcass for the
Typically, a grass-based ranch has fewer than
150 animals, and the owners can identify each animal by sight.
Their goal is to make sure all the animals are well fed and cared
for and do not experience unnecessary stress at any time of their
To find a pasture-based rancher in your area, click
here. Ask the farmers about their slaughtering protocol.
The USDA proposes a “Naturally
On November 28, 2007 the USDA published a new
standard for the label, “Naturally Raised.” According
to the proposed standard, meat, eggs and dairy products are “naturally
raised” if they come from an animal that: 1) was not treated
with antibiotics, hormones or other growth promoters; and 2) was
not fed by-products from mammals or poultry. According to USDA
research, many consumers object to these practices, which are commonplace
throughout the United States.
We find the proposed label misleading. A package
of “Naturally Raised” steak as defined by the USDA
could come from a cow that was confined in a feedlot for six months;
fattened on GMO corn, candy and stale pastry; and was forced to
stand knee-deep in its own manure.
We prefer a more wordy but accurate label: “Raised
without Antibiotics, Hormones, or By-Products from Mammals or Poultry.” Such
a label would help consumers avoid unwanted chemicals and practices
but not imply that the animal was raised under natural conditions.
You can comment on the proposed label until
January 28, 2008. To read more about the label or register
your comments follow this link.
Keep ‘em moving to reduce greenhouse
All ruminants—including cattle, sheep,
bison, and goats—belch up a significant amount of methane
gas as they digest their grass-based diet. Methane gas is a potent
contributor to global warming, so reducing methane production is
an important step in protecting the environment.
Animal scientists have discovered that dividing
pasture land into separate areas or “paddocks” and
carefully managing the movement of cattle through those paddocks
produces the highest quality grasses. Cattle that graze on this
succulent grass produce as much as 20 percent less methane. This
style of ranching is called “Management Intensive Grazing” or
MiG, and it’s practiced by most of the ranchers on eatwild.com.
DeRamus, H. A., T. C. Clement, D. D.
Giampola, and P. C. Dickison. "Methane Emissions of Beef Cattle
on Forages: Efficiency of Grazing Management Systems." J
Environ Qual 32, no. 1 (2003): 269-77.
Long-lived cows reduce global warming
Bossy has a short lifespan when she is raised
in a confinement dairy, which is the way most cows are raised today.
She provides a very high volume of milk, partly due to hormone
injections and a high-grain diet, but she lasts for only 2-3 years.
Then infertility, disease, physical problems, or inflammation end
her milking career, and she is sold at auction for hamburger.
Cows raised on grass are healthier and more
fertile, making them good milk producers for up to twelve years.
These long-lived and more contented cows may reduce greenhouse
gas production (methane) between 10 and 11 percent according to
a British Study.
P.C., The environmental impact of fertility in dairy cows: a modeling
approach to predict methane and ammonia emissions, Animal Feed
Science & Technology, 2004. 112: 211-223.
Free-range eggs nutritionally superior
As it turns out, all those choices of eggs
at your supermarket aren't providing you much of a choice at all.
Recent tests conducted by Mother Earth News magazine
have shown once again that eggs from chickens that range freely
on pasture provide clear nutritional benefits over eggs from confinement
Mother Earth News collected samples
from 14 pastured flocks across the country and had them tested
at an accredited laboratory. The results were compared to official
US Department of Agriculture data for commercial eggs. Results
showed the pastured eggs contained an amazing:
- 1/3 less cholesterol than commercial eggs
- 1/4 less saturated fat
- 2/3 more vitamin A
- 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
- 7 times more beta carotene
Full results of the tests are available in
the October/November 2007 issue of Mother Earth News, or
on their website at http://www.MotherEarthNews.com/eggs.
Check Eatwild's Pastured
Products Directory to find free-range eggs near you.
Hold the heat. Get more calcium.
You absorb more calcium when you eat raw milk
yogurt, according to a study in the Journal of American College
Forty adult volunteers alternated between eating
raw and pasteurized yogurt. The researchers reported that “circulating
calcium markedly increased one hour after the fresh yogurt intake,
while no changes were detected after the pasteurized [yogurt.]” This
was true for people who had no difficulty digesting milk and those
who were lactose intolerant.
Journal of the American
College of Nutrition, Vol. 26, No.3, 288-294. 2007
Corn prices too high? Feed the animals
The growing use of corn for fuel has doubled
the price of corn for animal feed.
Typically, corn comprises about 70 percent of the diet of animals
raised in confinement. To offset the spiking cost of corn, many
feedlot managers are replacing some of the corn with candy and
other “junk food” that has been declared unfit for
According to an article in The Wall Street
Journal, this sugary, fatty fare includes banana chips, yogurt-covered
raisin, cookies, licorice, cheese curls, frosted wheat cereal,
Tater Tots, Kit Kat bars, uncooked French fries, pretzels and
chocolate bars. One feedlot operator from Idaho confesses that
he feeds his cattle a 100 percent “by-product” meal.
Grass, the native diet of grazing animals,
is a rich source of protein, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Has anyone measured the nutritional value of meat from junk-food-fed
cows? Candy may be cheap, but it’s cheating consumers out
of meat’s natural nutrition. Consider grass-fed, instead.
“With Corn Prices Rising, Pigs
Switch to Fatty Snacks” Lauren Etter, Wall Street Journal,
May 21, 2007.
Farm milk linked with lower rate of
asthma and allergies
A large European study of nearly 15,000 children
revealed that drinking farm milk rather than commercial milk is
linked with a lower risk of asthma and allergies.
Children who drank farm milk at any time of
their lives had a 26% lower risk of asthma, 33% lower risk of pollen
sensitivity, and a remarkable 57% lower risk of food allergies.
This was true for children who lived on a farm and those who lived
in the city and drank farm milk.
It was not clear from the study whether the
reduction in risk was due to the fact that the milk was unpasteurized
or the fact that the farm milk came from grazing cows. Milk from
cows raised on pasture has more omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants,
and other nutrients that may reduce the risk of allergies.
Clinical and Experimental
Allergy.Volume 37, pages 661-670. 2006
Federal Ruling To Allow
Meatpackers to Test for Mad Cow Disease
A federal judge ruled on March
29, 2007 that the government must allow meatpackers to test their
meat for Mad Cow Disease.
The ruling came in a case brought
to the courts by Creekstone Farms, which raises cattle in Kentucky
and has a processing plant in Kansas. Creekstone wanted to test
all of its animals for the disease in order to open up sales in
Japan and other strict markets, but was threatened with prosecution
by the Agricultural Department if they did so.
The Agriculture Department currently
regulates the tests, which it administers to about 1% of all slaughtered
cows. Many large meat processors opposed the increase in testing
because they feared that market pressure would force them to test
all their cows as well.
The federal district court judge
put the order on hold until June 1st when the ruling will take
affect unless the government appeals.