You Are What You Eat

No one is able to make this point clearer than Michael Pollan, the author of multiple books, journals, and articles on the food system in the United States. My personal favorite, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals”, will truely change the way you look at food. While I have heard several stories of people converting to vegetarianism after reading Rory Freedman’s “Skinny Bitch”, I am sure that just one chapter of Pollan’s book will have just as great of an affect. In my opinion, “Part Four: The Feedlot”, is the most intriguing and informative. I will admit that I cringed a little (okay, a lot) at some parts, but if you’re looking for the hard truth in what really goes on in our agricultural system, look no further. Pollan discusses the unsustainable and unethical system of feeding commodity corn to cattle in US feedlots. Not only are cattle’s rumens unable to digest the grain, which causes bloating, increased stomach acidity, and can lead to fatal liver disease, but eating meat from grain fed cattle also affects our health as humans. E. Coli, a prominent bacteria in cattle’s stomachs, have now begun to adjust to an environment that is more acidic, allowing them to survive in the acidic environment of our stomachs. In addition to cattle being forced to eat grains they have not evolved to digest, on feedlots they are forced to ingest protein (usually in the form of feather meal and chicken litter), and antibiotics (which lead to resistance in humans). I don’t want to get too graphic, so I will leave you with that information. But I would highly suggest reading at least part of this book. Pollan also does a good job at explaining how toxins in run off end up in our drinking water. If you’re interested, google Des Moines Blue Baby Alert… GROSS! While I know it is more expensive and harder to come by, try looking for meat that comes from grass fed only animals. It is healthier for you (higher in omega 3’s and less saturated fat), because there are no grains in the animal’s diet, and also better for the environment 🙂

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