Do you wonder if it's true, does grocery store meat make you fat?
I always find it ironic that many who are on grain-free or low-carb diets to lose weight or improve their health are not prioritizing better quality meats. I think that many just don't know this really important fact…
“You eat what the animals you eat eat.”
Sadly, nearly all of the meat at the grocery store comes from conventionally raised, confined, grain-finished beef, lamb, bison, and pork. They are fed energy-dense pesticide-laden corn, grain sorghum or wheat to fatten them up fast. Corn is the dominant player and and at least 80% of the 2017 corn crop was GMO. (GMO = genetically modified organism, which means the corn seed was altered so the crop can be sprayed like crazy with chemicals, but it will only kill the weeds, not the corn. Yes, most people are eating that!) Poultry at the store is no better, it's also from factory-farmed confined chickens, and they're usually fed corn and soy.
That's not all, animal products can contain high levels of estrogen if their feed has been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides (such as Atrazine, which is the 2nd most used herbicide in North America), and because these sprays are considered estrogenic, they can cause weight gain, man boobs, cancer, and more. (Source)
While some say there are not significant hormones in conventional meat products, just dairy products, I don't want to risk it before we find out for sure, so I asked an estrogen expert, Anthony Jay, to clarify. He's the author of Estrogeneration (who I met at the WAPF conference over the weekend), and he said in this video he made just to answer my question (cool, right?) that that link was from an older article in 2011, and we now have new information. “Feedlot cows were tested and had 17,000 nanograms/liter of Atrazine in their blood! Is that harming you? Yes! If you're a man, your natural estrogen is 20 nanograms/liter. If you're a woman, it's not that far off, it's between 20 and 400, depending on your cycle.” So adding so much of these harmful estrogenics to your system is going to cause problems without a doubt.
Watch this for more from Jay about how artificial estrogen causes obesity:
He shares the science on how the herbicide Atrazine, which again, is an estrogenic, causes insulin resistance, no matter physical activity level. So exercise as much as you want, but that won't stop weight gain if you're putting Atrazine into your system. It also slows metabolism and increases belly fat — it flips on your “fat switch” telling your body to gain weight. He shared a study that shows how soy promotes weight gain too, because that is also estrogenic, and most factory-fed animals are also fed soy. WOW.
Here's what else I've learned about the importance of eating pasture-raised meats from a farmer you trust…
The grazing animal's grass-fed and grass-finished rumen (the 1st of 4 stomachs in sequence) has a pH of 7. The reticulum, abomasum, and small intestine follow. The grain fed animal will run a pH of 5 from starch digestion.
Why is this important?
- pH7 grazing animals produce omega 6:3 ratio of 3:1 on average over time, plus significant amounts of CLA.
- pH5 grain-finished animals produce omega 6:3 ratio of 18:1 on average over time, and only small amounts of CLA.
First of all, CLA is a known cancer fighter. And also, when our omega 6:3 ratios are closer, it makes a huge difference for our health by significantly lowering inflammation, and controlling inflammation is a big part of almost every health issue we face.
This does not mean we should avoid meat. Instead it means we need to pay attention to the quality!
I realize, however, that this isn't so easy and cut-and-dried for most of us. As much as we wish it weren't so, convenience and cost DO still matter.
First, regarding convenience…
Finding a local source for healthy meat is best, and I normally buy from local farmers who I know are raising their animals naturally on nutrient-rich pasture, with no GMO/no pesticides. I know that many of you just won't have the time to track down a farmer and go pick up your meat locally, though. Or you may want to just order it to your door like I do now and then when I'm extra busy, or when I want certain cuts that I can't get locally or conveniently.
In that case, here's where I order safe, pastured meat online. (Use the code KOP15 for a discount.)
(KOP15 can be used twice. This code is good on orders under 40#, because there are other discounts on orders over 40#.)
I wanted to help you get to know the owner of U.S. Wellness Meats, John Wood, and asked him to share more about the company…
We personally own and control 80% of the cattle we raise and harvest. The founders are producing beef in Western Illinois and NE Missouri. The company is working with a health conscious family near Mobile Bay in South Alabama with year round operations that provide green forage 12 months out of the year. The Mobile Bay is heaven for cattle during the winter months of the Midwest.
The other 20% comes from like minded friends in Montana, Nebraska, Missouri and Nevada. We all link together in the Grass-fed Exchange.
We promote Allan Savory style grazing management and are encouraging young farmers to get involved in regenerative agriculture and learn the magic that he discusses in his Ted Talk here.
Being a founding member of the Grassfed Exchange has created a unique opportunity to network with the brightest and most innovative grass farmers in North America. This organization has reached critical mass in year 8 since the initial conference in Yankton, SD. We are encouraging consumers to attend future conferences to meet the leaders in this industry and learn firsthand how soil, plants, livestock and rural communities are treated with reverence.
I asked what is his favorite cut of meat?
We took the lead from the sugar free community 5 years ago and removed sugar from bacon products and all beef and pork sausages. Now these beef bacon slices are the number one seller in our online store. This is also quite popular with our Paleo, AIP Sensitive, and Ketogenic customers. The Spring of 2017, the USDA allowed the use of beef heart in ground beef. We promptly added beef heart to our ground beef as a new unique choice. Last but not least, I am very enthused about our organ sausages which are steeped in health benefits of organ meats. It's the perfect way to consume liver, heart, and kidney with no preparation required…just slice and serve.
Next… I asked for his thoughts on the best ways to SAVE on healthy meats?
- Whether buying locally or from us, bulk orders are almost always a better deal, and you can go together with like-minded friends to save more.
- Watch for our periodic sales!
- I have also created a discount code for 15% off: KOP15 — that can be used twice. FYI: this code is good on orders under 40#, because there are other discounts on orders over 40#.
I've got more to add on saving your budget:
- Meatless meals now and then are okay to stretch your meat budget, as long as you're using plenty of healthy fats like butter, tallow, lard, coconut oil, etc… Here's my list of favorite meatless meals. 🙂
- Also get an entire list of real food time savers and other printable health guides by signing up here, also there you can get a Real Food Ingredient Guide (the whole first chapter of my book), and now my entire Real Food for Rookies online class is free too, with cooking videos and real foodie rockstar interviews!
Do you have other tips for making your meat budget more manageable?
- Click here for their beef tallow which make the BEST homemade French fries! Remember to use the code KOP15 for a discount.
- Read more about John here and find out how he got started.
- Read more here about why it's so important to source healthy meats.