Monthly Archives: February 2010

Sourcing Healthy, Grass-Fed Meats

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Research is showing that CLA might be a potent defender against cancer. Lab animals with tumor growths were given a very small dose of CLA, 0.1 percent of total calories, and their tumor growth was drastically reduced. New evidence now supports that CLA may also reduce cancer risk in humans. Dr. Tilak Dhiman, of Utah State University, research shows that CLA can reduce or slow some types of cancer, heart disease, and appears to help reduce body fat and increase muscle mass. Dr. Dhiman’s work speculates that you may be able reduce your risk of cancer simply by consuming one glass of whole milk, one once of cheese, and one serving of meat per day, all from grass fed ruminants of course. If you ate grain fed products you would have to eat five times that amount. In a study done in Finland, women with diets high in CLA had a 60 percent lower risk of breast cancer then women who had the lowest levels. Simply switching to grass fed meat and dairy products puts women in the lowest category of risk.

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Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Cardiovascular Disease

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Since the first AHA Science Advisory “Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Lipids, and
Coronary Heart Disease,”1 important new findings, including evidence from randomized
controlled trials (RCTs), have been reported about the beneficial effects of omega-3 (or n-
3) fatty acids on cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients with preexisting CVD as well
as in healthy individuals.2 New information about how omega-3 fatty acids affect cardiac
function (including antiarrhythmic effects), hemodynamics (cardiac mechanics), and
arterial endothelial function have helped clarify potential mechanisms of action. The
present Statement will address distinctions between plant-derived ( -linolenic acid,
C18:3n-3) and marine-derived (eicosapentaenoic acid, C20:5n-3 [EPA] and
docosahexaenoic acid, C22:6n-3 [DHA]) omega-3 fatty acids. (Unless otherwise noted,
the term omega-3 fatty acids will refer to the latter.) Evidence from epidemiological
studies and RCTs will be reviewed, and recommendations reflecting the current state of
knowledge will be made with regard to both fish consumption and omega-3 fatty acid
(plant- and marine-derived) supplementation. This will be done in the context of recent
guidance issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) about the presence of environmental contaminants in certain
species of fish.

Grain-Feeding and E. coli bacteria

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Outbreaks of deadly E. coli food poisoning have become more common in recent years
and grain-feeding may be one of the reasons. Researchers from Cornell University deter-
mined grain-fed cattle have approximately 300 times more E. coli in their guts than grass-
fed cattle. Worse yet, the E. coli in grain-fed animals is more likely to make us sick.
Grain-feeding makes a ruminant’s gut more acidic. E. coli that cannot tolerate this height-
ened acidity die off, allowing acid-resistant bacteria to thrive and multiply. Unfortunately our
frontline defense against E. coli is the natural acidity of our own digestive system. E. coli
from grain-fed animals are already accustomed to this level of acidity, so they are more
likely to lodge in our intestines and make us sick. Raising animals on pasture keeps the E.
coli count relatively low and keeps the bacteria vulnerable to our bodies’ natural defenses.

Meet Your New Farmer: Hungry Corporate Giant

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Forget buckets of blood. Nothing says horror like one of those tubs of artificially buttered, nonorganic popcorn at the concession stand. That, at least, is one of the unappetizing lessons to draw from one of the scariest movies of the year, “Food, Inc.,” an informative, often infuriating activist documentary about the big business of feeding or, more to the political point, force-feeding, Americans all the junk that multinational corporate money can buy. You’ll shudder, shake and just possibly lose your genetically modified lunch.

Divided into chapters dedicated to points along the commercial food chain — from farm to fork, to borrow a loaded agribusiness phrase — the movie is nothing if not ambitious. “There are no seasons in the American supermarket,” the unidentified voice intones in the opening scene, as the camera sweeps the aisles of one such brightly lighted, heavily stocked if nutritionally impoverished emporium. From there the director Robert Kenner jumps all over the food map, from industrial feedlots where millions of cruelly crammed cattle mill about in their own waste until slaughter, to the chains where millions of consumers gobble down industrially produced meat and an occasional serving of E. coli bacteria.

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Food Inc

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Filed under Featured, News