Tag Archives: Omega 6s

Healthy Living Healthy Meat Kids & Family Real Food Toxin Alert!

In ‘n Out Burger Cancels Contract with Plant Found Processing Downer Cattle

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This week the news has been splattered with reports about downer cattle discovered at Central Valley Meat Co. in Hanford, California, a processing plant which supplies up to 30% of the meat used by fast-food chain In ‘n Out Burger, and also to the U.S. school lunch and emergency food programs.  This establishment, known by its slogan ‘quality you can taste‘  is now facing a publicity nightmare.

Watch the ABC news report

What was shown in an undercover video produced by animal rights group Compassion Over Killing in June and July of this year is that there were animals being poked, proded, and who could barely stand or walk. Federal law prohibits the use of meat from animals that cannot walk on their own for processing.

Ho hum, you might think. Food recalls happen everyday and packing plants are getting shut down pretty frequently. True. However, if you look on the FDA Food Recall list you can see just why the U.S. food system, touted by its defenders such as politicians, big wigs at the FDA, CDC, and USDA, and “food safety” experts from medical and health authorities as being “the safest in the world”, it’s obvious that our system is anything but safe.

“But”, you might argue, “I eat out at restaurants pretty regularly and I’m just fine. “ So why should you care? Sure, maybe you’ve gotten away with doing this for some time and things have been all right. But what about that time that you got sick because you ate at the local drive in or maybe your favorite Chinese restaurant that serves General’s Chicken? So maybe you get food poisoning a few times a year. It’s no big deal. Normal, even…right?

Not really.  As a culture, we’ve grown so accustomed to food recalls, food poisoning, and chronic health issues we don’t really give a second thought to the idea that maybe the food we’re eating is causing more problems than we realize. Consuming industrial foods are now being linked to many different health issues such as antibiotic resistance and the development of superbug viruses such as Salmonella, E. coli, MRSA, Enterococcus, and Campylobacter, yeast overgrowth, heart disease, obesity, cancer, and many other degenerative diseases.

Food poisoning is not something that is normal or that we “should get” regularly. Some years ago when I was eating out a lot and not paying attention to my diet, I had food poisoning 1-3 times a year, whether it was a terrible upset stomach, diarrhea, or all out vomiting for 12 hours or more.

Since I changed my diet and eat mostly real food from safe sources, I haven’t had food poisoning in at least 7 years, maybe longer. During this time, it was common for me to have bowel irregularities, stomach cramps, bloating, and feeling bad in general. And I thought that was normal. It now very rare that I have a mild upset stomach or  nausea, and most of the time I feel great. So when I hear about people I know with “stomach flus” and digestive distress, I remember very well how it used to be. No fun.

Why does factory farmed food make us sick?

  • The food we eat from these facilities, whether it’s from a restaurant or store is filled with preservatives, fillers, dyes and colors, and other chemicals that are harmful to human health on many levels.
  • The food is nutritionally imbalanced because it’s grown or produced in the most unnatural ways – as is evidenced by the video footage from the packing plant supplying meat to In ‘n Out Burger. Many foods are irradiated, heat-treated or pasteurized, extruded, or highly processed in some manner that removes colors, flavor, and nutrition. Then food companies add back in synthetic nutrients and chemicals that give food the right texture and flavor so people will eat it. But it’s completely devoid of anything good or natural for our bodies, and is mostly lacking in any easily-absorbed nutrients.
  • Factory meats contain residue from antibiotics & hormones to make them grow faster than normal to increase business profits, and also  residue from pesticides and herbicides used on the feed consumed.  These substances are linked to many health issues including digestive problems, yeast overgrowth, antibiotic resistance, hormonal and endocrine problems, weight issues, and much more.
  • Cattle and other animals are not on pasture, and are crammed into too-small quarters, standing on dirt or cement, and within close proximity of excrement piles or standing cesspools of feces. The feces is supposed to be used as fertilizer, but you wouldn’t want anything you are eating to be fertilized with this stuff. Because it comes from sick animals, it’s not healthy to use on anything. But it gets used on crops and also ends up running off into other areas such as waterways and land and seeps into our groundwater. It’s a contaminant and makes people sick. Have you heard about spinach, tomatoes, or watermelon recalls in recent years? That’s thanks to contamination from disease such as E. coli and Salmonella from factory farms.
  • Cattle are fed something besides grass and hay (which is what they are meant to consume) such as corn, soy, grain, and are genetically modified (GMOs).  Among other problems, consuming these feeds causes the nutritional content of this meat to be too high in Omega 6s, which contribute to inflammation in the body.

The news reports say In ‘n Out Burger has canceled their contract with the offending CA meat packing plant. ABC News also stated that this packing plant does not only supply In ‘n Out Burger and the school and emergency systems with meat, but other businesses and entities as well.

At this point, 3 very important questions need to be asked:

1)  Should In ‘n Out Burger, who claims to pay a premium price for “quality meat”, be given kudos for ending their relationship with the meat packing company that broke the law?

2) Will In ‘n Out Burger sign a contract with yet another processing plant that has unsafe and inhumane practices?

3)  After the offending meat plant “cleans up their act”, will it then be “safe” to purchase meat from restaurants and grocery stores that have a contract with this company? 

Here’s the reality of this situation: most meat comes from factory farm settings, and simply because the cattle found there are not staggering and unable to walk does not mean the meat produced there is safe to consume. And, just because your favorite fast food joint doesn’t get their meat from this particular plant in CA with downer cattle does not mean they don’t get their meat from a facility that doesn’t use unsafe and unhealthy practices. Downer cattle are not the only factors which make meat from factory farms unhealthy to consume.

Another critical point: because food companies and establishment get busted by the FDA does not mean we have to stop eating meat. You’ll hear many voices from animal activist groups, health groups, and others proclaiming that this is why meat is so harmful for us, causes high cholesterol, cancer, heart disease, and so on.

Animal and environmental activists will prey on your emotions by saying that animals are getting murdered and are suffering mercilessly at the hands of big corporations (which they are), and that all meat farming is devastating to the environment. They will  attempt to persuade you with false studies and infamous books like The China Study by T. Colin Campbell about how all meat is bad for your health, and that you should avoid it as much as possible.

But don’t be fooled. There is a better way, a more natural way practiced for thousands of years by traditional populations around the world. Healthy meat from animals and birds raised humanely, and from natural environments is not only okay to eat, but critical to our health and the environment  – as described by Joel Salatin, sustainable food activist, grassfed farmer and author of various books on the subject.

The solution should be clear:

Choose sustainable meat from healthy, happy animals and birds raised on pasture

Learn why not all meat is harmful to our health 

Questions to ask your farmer – know what’s in your food!

A great rebuttal of The China Study from Denise Minger

 

More information on food recalls and factory farmed foods:

1 in 4 meat packages tainted with pathogenic bacteria 

Nina Planck talks candidly about industrial food

Is cheap food really cheap? The hidden costs of industrial food

Industrial meat and pink slime: more recalls = drug resistance

Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food Toxin Alert!

Deceptions in the Food Industry: Baked versus Fried

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In this continuing series of Deceptions in the Food Industry, I want to address yet another fallacy the food industry uses to make us think a product they sell is healthy – baked versus fried on labels. I know a lot of people who eat real food would never touch a bag of the above pictured products. But, I still see a lot of people in general eating these foods, and I see them sold in many places.

I frequently see packages of chips, crackers, or other packaged foods that read “baked” or “baked instead of fried” on the label. I also hear people say that when you bake something instead of fry it – even some home-made foods – it’s healthier.

When you honestly think about this statement, does it really make any sense? If the premise is that the food is healthier because it’s baked in the oven, that’s just plain wrong. Why would something be healthier just because it’s not fried?

If the premise is that fat is unhealthy, that’s also wrong. Don’t believe me? Read this article by cardiologist Dr. Dwight Lundell, M.D., who admits the low-fat scam we’ve been fed by conventional health simply isn’t true.  Dr. Joseph Mercola also believes saturated fats are really important for health too. There’s also this blog post by Tim Ferriss with an explanation by bariatric doctors (those who treat obesity) Dr. Michael Eades and Dr. Mary Eades: 7 Reasons to Eat More Saturated Fats.

Over the last 50+ years, many people have associated fried with foods like french fries, battered items like fish, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, chicken fried steak, tater tots, fried calamari, etc.  What  makes the food unhealthy is not that it’s deep fried. It’s the fact that it’s cooked in a highly processed oil that it is harmful to consume.

Here’s an explanation from eHow about why baked is healthier than fried:

“There really is no competition when it comes to weight loss. Fried foods, eaten regularly, will defeat all the hard work that you put into creating a healthy lifestyle. Baked foods, on the other hand, allow you to actually taste the food without contributing to an expanding waistline and a diminished quality of life. Just compare the calorie and fat content of a fried chicken drumstick (905 calories, 52.39 grams of fat) to a baked drumstick (110 calories, 10.1 grams of fat).”

Notice how the first explanation of why baked is healthier than fried never actually tells you why baked foods are healthier. It just talks about caloric amount and fat content. So according to this source, the act of baking causes less calories and less fat. Sorry, don’t buy it (see references above about why saturated fat is healthy for us to eat).  And the only way it could be less calories and fat is if less oil was used and the chicken was somehow reduced in fat content. I’m not sure if  the second is actually possible when it’s simply compared with cooking the same type of chicken by frying.  But we aren’t given that information, so the whole statement is misleading.

Here’s Livestrong’s explanation about why baking is healthier than frying:

“Just because a dish is prepared by baking doesn’t mean that it’s low in fat. The food may have a high fat content to start with, which is the case when it comes to animal products like meat and cheese. To eliminate excess fat from baked foods, prepare them in a dish that allows the oil to drain away, such as a roasting pan. Since animal skin is also high in fat, remove it before eating to further reduce calories in the dish.”

Now we’ve got a second explanation, which tells us that it’s the type of pan we cook our foods in, such as a baking dish, which allows oil to “drain away” and the fact that we should remove any excess fat from the animal product, to reduce its calories and therefore make it healthier.

The problem isn’t with calories or fat, it’s with the kind of fat and calories – most of which are industrial fats (probably some type of canola, soybean, or cottonseed oil) and factory-farmed chicken. We need fat and calories to keep us going, give us energy, keep our moods and blood sugar level, nourish our brains, nervous systems and cardiovascular system, conceive, nurse, and carry babies, and so that every cell in our bodies can function properly.

I’m always amused when medical web sites try to advise on nutrition. Physicians typically have no training in real nutrition, and the recommendations I’ve seen are usually wrong. They tell us to limit our calories, fat, portion sizes, eat more grains, vegetables, and exercise more.  They are also critical of animal fats, in particular red meat, and tell us it’s healthy to consume polyunsaturated fats for good heart health.

Let’s be real here. We’ve been told to eat this way for decades.  I frequently hear people complaining that they are hungry, are exercising themselves to death, and are still having weight and health problems.

Are disease rates going down? I think not! Here are statistics from the CDC on obesity, a strong predictor of general health decline.

I wrote a post about the dangers of polyunsaturated fatsHere’s an excerpt:

“Remember that many of the polyunsaturated fats are new fats that have only been around for just over a hundred years. Even though oils like cottonseed, soy, and others like corn, safflower, and sunflower have existed in plants, they haven’t been available in their current states on the grocery store shelves in bottles as sold in mass production. These oils are processed, refined, deodorized, and subjected to high heat temperatures. Polyunsaturated fats are very fragile and are denatured easily, while saturated fats have been used in cooking for thousands of years and have stood the test of time for consumption and overall good effect on health.

When you consider the history of humanity and how long people have eaten real fats like butter, lard, and tallow from animals and animal products, it’s pretty obvious what’s been causing the spike in cardiovascular and other health diseases since the industrial revolution.”

Because the foods are cooked in rancid, highly processed, deodorized, polyunsaturated that are manufactured under high heat temperatures, it really makes these oils as bad as the hydrogenated oils that food companies are now often fond of claiming are not contained in their products. Plus, when foods like potatoes, corn, and other foods including cereals, crackers, and breads – pretty much all starchy foods – are fried in these or really any oils, they become carcinogenic due to the acrylamides generated by the process of raising the temperature.

According to TruthAboutAbs:

“Acrylamides in foods were discovered in 2002 by Swedish scientists, and made some big headlines (at least in America) when they were first reported. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) really has not acknowledged the negative impact of cancer-causing acrylamides, and food manufacturers, so far, are not putting warning labels on their products concerning the levels of acrylamides, either.

Acrylamides are cancer-causing chemicals that are created when foods are grilled, fried, baked or roasted at fairly high temperatures.  It is thought that an amino acid found in starchy foods, changes its form when heated to become acrylamide. High-temperature cooking methods, such as frying, baking, or broiling, have been found to produce the most acrylamides, while boiling and steaming produce far less.

The World Health Organization, (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated that levels of acrylamides in certain foods pose a “major concern” and more research is needed to determine the dangers.

In one study, it was found that women who consumed 40 micrograms or more of acrylamides each day had twice the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer risk of women who ate foods with little or no acrylamides. 40 mcg is the amount of acrylamides in a small portion of potato chips.”

The chemical storm that makes up processed foods

There are also a lot of other undesirable ingredients in these foods as well…refined table salt, soy lecithin, sugar, corn syrup, and corn starch (the last 3 almost always from GMO sources). Over the last several years, reports have been increasing that this GMO substance contains mercury as well.

Even though companies like Lay’s Potato Chips, are now hitting heavy on marketing their products by emphasizing on the label that their chips only have 3 ingredients, guess what? As we’ve already shown, those ingredients are still some of the worst things you could put in your body!  Their web site says, “All natural oil” (sunflower and corn oil).  Again, these are polyunsaturated fats that are heavily processed under high heat, and like all polyunsaturated fats, are fragile and their bonds break down in those conditions.

Another problem is these oils are too high in Omega 6s. This is a major reason why we have so many health issues. Too many Omega 6s cause an inflammatory response in the body, and ultimately, disease.

A few weeks ago I noticed that food companies are now resorting to selling “chips” made from beans and other substances, as though somehow these are healthier than the potato and corn chips people have been eating for decades.  The ones I saw were black bean and lentil “chips”, once again baked, and touting various health claims on the package such as “no saturated fat”, “natural”, “healthy”, and of course, “baked”.

What kind of fat is are these products cooked in?  More of the same: polyunsaturated vegetable oils like sunflower oil, canola oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, and safflower oil. Sorry folks, this is still not healthy.

There are only two of these oils which have been around for many years and only one that people actually consumed in the historical past: sunflower and safflower oil. But these oils are most often expeller pressed and subjected to high heat, so they become rancid and should be avoided as well. Safflower oil was never used as an oil for consumption, it was instead used in industrial and commercial contexts such as for cosmetics, dyes, and painting.

The science behind why polyunsaturated fats are so unhealthy

If you eat these foods regularly, you might as well say hello to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, auto-immune problems, and weight issues. Those substances build up calcium deposits in your body, and in particular, your arteries. This is one of the culprits of hardening of the arteries, or cardiovascular disease.  In 1994 a study published in the The Lancet revealed that nearly three quarters of the fat in artery clogs is unsaturated, with very little of it being from saturated fat.

The very nature of polyunsaturated molecules is that they are highly unstable. They have more than one double bond, and normally share those electrons with other atoms to enable the molecule to become stable and saturated. Oxygen is attracted to the extra electrons in the polyunsaturated molecule because it is absent two electrons in its outer shell, making it relatively reactive. The more unsaturated the molecule is, the higher the likelihood is of it being unstable at a faster rate. Heated polyunsaturated oils like canola, corn, peanut, sunflower, safflower, and soybean oils become oxidized which causes rancidity.  Thus, saturated oils are the most stable and most suitable for cooking.

So, give up the very non-scientific notion that fat is bad for you to eat. And remember that despite the decrease in butter consumption per person annually of about 18 pounds in the earlier part of the 20th century to about 4 pounds per year in modern day, heart disease began increasing around that time and is still on the rise. What replaced butter and other animal fats like lard and tallow around that same time period was modern, polyunsaturated vegetable oils – and also white flour and sugar.

Read this post which tells the truth about cottonseed oil, how prevalent it was and still is, and how it was developed.

Have you read the other posts in my Deceptions in the Food Industry series?

Omega 3s

Low-sodium and no salt added

All-natural

Whole grains

Lean meats

More information:

The oiling of America – Weston A. Price Foundation

Cholesterol myth exposed

Fat Head the movie – exerpt

Gary Taubes – cholesterol and saturated fats 

Cholesterol-and-Health.com – Chris Masterjohn – web site with scientific discussions about why cholesterol and fat are healthy for us

Suggested Reading:

Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You – Uffne Ravnskov

Put Your Heart in Your Mouth – Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride