You Are What You Eat – Animal Products
[This article is an excerpt from the newly released nine-hour CD/Workbook program “You Are What You Eat!” by Paul Chek.]
While there is a drive to eat more grain products than many natural health professionals feel is ideal for the human body based on developmental design, it is safe to say that most of us still see meat as the main staple of our diets. Meat was essential to human survival because it serves as condensed energy and nutrition to whoever consumes it. Plant eating animals convert plant nutrition in to proteins and fats, which are stored in their bodies and becomes available to us in the form of organ meats and muscles. In many parts of the world, it was fish and animal meat sources that allowed us to survive through winter months prior to domestication of animals, farming practices and the development of food preservation technologies.
The meats we consumed to nourish our bodies for millions of years were purely organic – strictly farmed by the principles of Mother Nature and not by man! Plants consumed by the animals we ate came from unadulterated soils, resulting in only the best food being consumed by the animals that became our food. The principle of the food chain – soil microorganisms and organic matter feeding plant, plants feeding animal life, plant and animal life feeding human beings – is a chain that, by design, results in the health of any successive life form being only as healthy as the life forms which it feeds on. This cycle is referred to by many as “The Wheel Of Life” (Figure 1). Right up until about 1900, we lived at the top of an organic food cycle that was free of pesticides and relatively free of disease in comparison to today’s food chain.
A huge percentage of the meat eating population are not cognizant of the current health crisis that begins with our eroding and highly polluted soils – soils that are literally swimming with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, being applied at the rate of over 1 billion pounds a year in the US! The result of conventional chemical farming practices is an enormous reduction of organic material in our soils, which starves the microorganisms to death, and leaves only 15 percent of the microorganism population compared to that found in organically farmed soils. Losing the soil microorganisms to feed and protect the plant life results in the rearing of animals and humans via the consumption of severely nutritionally deficient foodstuffs. In fact, commercial animal farming tactics today have resulted in the production of meat for human consumption by the use of disturbing tactics! For example:
Some commercial meat producers have begun research trials adding cardboard, newspaper and sawdust to cattle feeding programs to reduce costs.
Some factory farms scrape up manure from chicken houses and pigpens, and add it back into the chicken feed.
According to the US Department of Agriculture cement dust may become a particularly attractive feed supplement in the future, “Because it produces a 30 percent faster weight gain than cattle on regular feed.”
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials say that it’s not uncommon for some feedlot operators to mix industrial sewage and oils into feed to reduce cost and fatten animals more quickly.
There are numerous reports of animal cruelty emanating from investigations of factory farming. For example, it is well know that most of the chickens and pigs that end up on your dinner table today are raised in extremely tight cages, allowing them no exercise. Many factory-farmed animals are raised in giant barns and it is common that they never see the natural light of day! They are fed a constant supply of antibiotics to aid in rapid growth and to keep them alive, as they literally live their entire lives in their own feces (1)!
Seventy years ago, steers were 4 or 5 years old at slaughter. In the 50’s, they were 2 or 3 years old. Today, steers are accelerated from 80 pounds to 1200 in 12-14 months! How do factory farmers do it you may wonder? They use enormous quantities of corn (a food cattle are not designed to eat!), protein supplements and drugs, including growth hormone! These animals are literally living the drug life of a modern bodybuilder, but without the exercise – and you are eating them!
By now you may be wondering, “What is the result of raising animals this way?” In 1998, the USDA inspections and safety system reclassified an array of animal diseases as being “defects that rarely or never present a direct public health risk” and said “unaffected carcass portions” could be passed on to consumers by cutting out lesions. Among animal diseases the agency said don’t present a health danger are:
Airsacculitis (pneumonia of poultry)
Glandular swellings or lymphomas
Diseases caused by intestinal worms
Tumors – the guidelines state: “remove localized lesion(s) and pass unaffected carcass portions.”
“They just cut off the areas,” said Carol Blake, spokeswoman for the Agriculture Department’s inspection and safety system. But the reality is that production lines are moving so fast that they can’t catch all the diseased carcasses, and some are ending up on supermarket shelves. “When I started inspecting, inspectors were looking at 13 birds a minute, then 40, and now it’s 91 birds a minute with three inspectors. You cannot do your job with 91 birds a minute,” Jones said (2).
Another indicator that we not only suffer the fate of the animals we eat, but also of the food they eat can be seen when analyzing the pesticide residues in meat sources. For example in New Zealand, a country that has much tighter pesticide regulations than the US, it was found that a school child’s typical lunch sausage had DDE (a derivative of DDT), Chlorpyrifos-methyl, fenitrothion and Pirimiphos-methyl; Table 1 outlines some of the effects of these chemicals on us. Since farmers don’t spray animals with pesticides, other than an occasional application to kill lice or tics, it becomes pretty clear that we consume the entire food chain from the soil up. As the top of the food chain, we also suffer the concentration of toxins that occurs at each level!
Table 1: Pesticides found on school-lunch sausage. (3,4)
Chemical Health Effects Associated with Chemical
Chlorpyrifos-methyl Organophosphates which are cumulative and can cause damage to the fetus, the developing nervous system and brain, impaired immune response, birth defects and other reproductive abnormalities typical of estrogenic compounds. In bulls: sterility and impotence.
DDE A very persistent metabolite or breakdown product of DDT, an organochlorine. It accumulates in the body, is an endocrine disrupter and can cause abnormal sexual development, allergies and impaired reproduction as well as cancer.
Fenitrothion An organophosphate which can cause gene and immune-system damage, behavioural deficits in newborn, is a suspect viral enhancer and implicated in Reye’s syndrome
Pirimiphos methyl An organophosphate which can cause gene damage.
If we look again at the principles of the Wheel of Life (Figure 1), it becomes obvious that the diseased state of the animals we are being feed merely reinforces the concept that each succeeding life form on the Wheel Of Life can only be as healthy as the preceding life forms – and about 99% of you are eating these animals!
Where’s the Beef?
Have the truths about the meat industry presented above jolted you into wanting to know where to get safe, nutritious meets? I hope so! With 90% of the money being spent on foods in the US going toward the purchase of processed and fast foods, it is evident that there is a major lack of appreciation for how vital our food sources are to our health and vitality. Another major indicator of food ignorance among the public is the very low percentage of organic food sales in the US, and the rest of the world; there are few countries in the world that consume even close to 10% of their food as organic! When you realize that 85% of all Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and only a 100 years ago you would probably have had to walk around town all day to find someone on prescription drugs, it becomes pretty obvious that there is a link between our health and our food sources!
If we are to have a fighting chance at reducing medical spending for drugs, surgery and unnecessary doctors visits, we must STOP buying garbage foods and DEMAND organic meats and produce! We MUST support the small, local organic farmers that live near each of us. Organic produce and meats are MUCH more nutritious and are free of drugs, pesticides and antibiotics. To better appreciate why all of you reading this book, and everyone you know should be eating organic, compare information in the side bar “USDA Sets Rules For Organic Meat and Poultry” with the information I have given you about commercially farmed meats above!
USDA Sets Rules For Organic Meat, Poultry
Meat and poultry companies can now apply to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to have their products labeled as certified organic, according to a rule published in the Federal Register on April 13 (1999). Under the rule, meat and poultry must be certified as ‘organic’ by one of 33 private or 11 state-run groups approved by the Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. Certified meat should have “no antibiotics, no growth hormones and the animals have to be fed 100% organic feed.” Congress asked the department to establish national standards for organically produced agriculture products in 1990 with passage of the Organic Foods Protection Act, but until now, meat and poultry have not been allowed to carry the organic label. The new labeling is an interim move until the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service proposes a definition of “organic” for all farm products, which is expected later this year. Until a final rule is published, the Food Safety and Inspection Service decided to allow meat and poultry companies to apply to have their products labeled as “certified organic.” Less than 1% of the meat and poultry that is available is produced according to organic guidelines. Such organic products tend to be more expensive than products that do not carry the organic label. (5)
Hype About Animal Fats
The hype about animal fats, particularly fats from red meat, has resulted from two primary problems. First of all, the grain industry has nicely capitalized on public ignorance by encouraging and funding research with the intent of proving that many meats are unhealthy, placing emphasis on saturated fats as the villain. Secondly, while they are victimizing red meats, they are making billions by selling grains to the commercial meat ranchers to feed cattle that are designed to eat grass. Grain makes them FAT very quickly – just like they do to most of you! This was nicely described in Michael Pollan’s NY Times article “Power Steer” where he described how the calves, when being weaned from their mothers, become so sick that they can die from eating corn and grain in place of grass that they must be fed antibiotics! An interesting parallel is that WE are not designed to eat grains either, as evidenced by the fact that approximately 50-60% of us are gluten intolerant and today, 60 PERCENT OF US ARE OBESE, JUST LIKE THE CATTLE WE ARE EATING DUE TO THE CHEAP, COMMERCIALLY FARMED PESTICIDE LADEN GRAINS. It is no coincidence that nutrition expert Barry Sears, Ph.D (Author of “The Zone Diet”) calls the government Food Guide Pyramid the “Feedlot Pyramid”!
Not Just Any Egg!
Eggs were thought of by many pioneering nutritionists as one of the most complete and pure sources of protein. Unadulterated eggs are, in fact, not only an excellent protein source, they are an excellent source of dietary fats. Dr. Jensen, in his book “Foods That Heal”, describes eggs as having the right nutrients for brain, nerves and glands. My grandfather, whose hobby was the study of nutrition, told me when I was a young boy to always eat eggs. He rightfully predicted that more and more people would be told by doctors not to eat eggs secondary to the cholesterol scare, which he thought of as a bunch of bologna. He told me (and strangely enough I remember clearly), “Paul, no matter what they tell you about eggs having a too much fat or cholesterol in them, just remember that a healthy egg contains adequate lecithin to emulsify the fats in an egg, making the whole egg a well balanced – natural food source that is healthy.”
The problem today is that the egg is only as good as the bird, which is only as good as it’s environment and it’s food, which is only as good as the soil it was raised on! Bad soil will negatively affect the quality of insects and greens on the soil and thus, directly affects the quality of the eggs the chicken produces. Consider that today, commercially raised chickens are allotted less than one square foot of living space in a metal pen, leaving them no room to walk, move, or even stretch their wings; they spend their entire life standing in, laying in and pecking in their own excrement in absence of insect nutrition! A free-range chicken has ample room to be a bird, which includes eating seeds, plant bits and insects as an important part of its diet; insects provide the birds with important proteins, fats and micronutrients.
Additionally, I could blindfold any of you and have you taste a commercially raised egg and then an organic free-range egg and it is very likely you would be able to immediately distinguish between the two. The fats in the commercial egg are discolored, often a pale yellow and lack nutrients such as sulfur, which give an egg its good taste. I was shocked the first time I went to Adelaid, Australia and had breakfast there. The egg yolks were an amazing dark, deep orange and the raw eggs had an incredible consistency. When the egg was broken open, its integrity was so great that the egg didn’t even run. By contrast, if you break open a typical store bought egg today, it is soupy, pale and almost flavorless!
The result of allowing chickens to live a natural life is an egg that is composed of quality proteins, optimal omega-3:omega-6 fat ratios and a great food and/or dietary supplement! By contrast, the typical commercially raised eggs you buy in the grocery store today are terribly imbalanced in their fatty acid ratios. A good free-range egg will have a ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 of approximately 1:4, while a typical commercially raised chicken egg will be as high as 1:16-30! This presents a problem for those that eat too many eggs, as omega-6 fatty acids facilitate the process of inflammation in our bodies and today our grain dominant diets and commercial foods are causing a massive imbalance in the omega-3 to omega-6 ratios.
What many fail to realize is that cholesterol is a key building block for all cells and whenever there is an inflammatory process, there is an elevated need for cholesterol. Stress, alcohol, medical drugs and many food additives are all capable of causing inflammation of the gut, significantly elevating the bodies need for cholesterol and thus your cholesterol levels. So you go to the doctor and he/she tells you your cholesterol is too high and that you need medication and you should stay away from all the foods that you actually need to produce adequate cholesterol to heal the damaged cells, while seldom ever looking into the potential causes of elevated cholesterol! This is easily proven by the fact that few, if any, ever maintain a normal cholesterol level upon discontinuing the drugs, unless they have also been coached on how to remove the source of inflammation from their body – which is often stress or diet related.
According to research, primal man’s diet resulted in a ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 of about 1:1-4, while today, some experts suggest the average American’s dietary ratio is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1:16-30! This massive imbalance in fatty acids should NEVER be blamed on eggs, but on the farmers and food retailers that have so badly bastardized Mother Nature’s handwork and sold it to us disguised as an EGG! If you want provide your body with an excellent and needed source of protein and fats, organic free-range eggs are an excellent option. There are also a number of egg farmers now producing omega-3 fortified eggs, which are produced by feeding the hens flax seeds. These eggs are a big step in the right direction, but remember, the egg, regardless of having a little more omega-3 is only as healthy as the chicken and the chicken is only as healthy as it’s food and it’s environment! It’s a safe bet to say that the healthiest and happiest chickens are those that are free-range organic!
One little test I often give to my clients to show them the difference between a cage raised chicken and an organic free-range bird is based on a demonstration of how much stronger the ligaments of a healthy bird are than a sickly cage raised bird. All you have to do is buy a typical super market chicken, or even a rotisserie chicken cooked and ready-to-eat, and slowly and steadily try and break the leg portion away from the thigh, paying special attention to how much effort you must exert to break the ligaments of the knee joint. Next, buy a free-range, or even free-range organic bird. Cook it and do the same test. You will probably be amazed to find that it is three or four times harder to break the ligaments of that bird’s knee joint! I have seen the exact same problem with many athletes on garbage food diets that get muscle, ligament or connective tissue injuries and can’t heal, sometimes after years of therapy! It is only after I put them on a diet of real whole-foods for about three to six months that their body can begin to heal! Remember, you literally are what you eat!
There was a time, even as little as 100 years ago, when our oceans produced a source of edible organic plant and sea life. Today our oceans are toxic! Billions of pounds of sewage and industrial wastes are dumped into the oceans by industrialized nations every day! I remember working on a fishing boat and being sixty miles or more from shore and some days there was a petrochemical film on the water, just like you see in a boat marina! One can only wonder what it must be like for fish and other forms of sea life that have had their world turned into a toilet and a dump by disrespectful human beings! If I were a fish, it would certainly be enough to make me want to bite humans!
Our ill behavior is not only poisoning the fish, it is coming back to get us. According to Stephanie Hawks-Johnson, an Orca researcher at the University of Washington, the lack of salmon today and the presence of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls – pesticides) appear to be the primary reasons for the decline in Killer whale population. An Orca needs 40-120 kg of salmon a day but if it doesn’t get all this food, it draws from its blubber supply, which causes PCBs (which are stored in fat to protect the whale’s liver) to enter its system. PCB contaminated blubber in return affects the whale’s immune, neurological and reproductive systems.
The Puget Sound has over 15 PCB contaminated sites, and with less salmon available, Orcas need to dive deeper to get fish, which are more likely to contain concentrated PCBs. As this means diving 110m instead of 20m, it requires far more energy. Add it all together and you have the cumulative effect that has probably caused what is now recognized as a noticeable decline in the Orca population (6).
It is a sad truth that all our drugs, all our industrial chemicals and our pesticides are all affecting the lives of every living creature on earth, be they in the soil, on the soil, in the water or in the air, WE ARE MAKING THEM ALL SICK AND PROGRESSIVELY KILLING THEM ALL, much of which is being done in the name of modern agriculture, and now we know – modern medicine as well! Don’t be surprised if the government or the medical establishment steps in to establish tight controls and punishments for polluters because keeping people sick is big business! The worst part of it is that you can’t run from it, there is no where left to go – our complacency toward big industry, factory farming, food processing corporations and the medical establishment has left us, and all living creatures with no where to run – we must now eat our mistakes!
For example, about as far north as one can possibly go, the Inuit people on Baffin Island who mostly consume marine mammal meat as an essential staple of their diet, were found to be consuming up to 20 times the recommended safe limit of the pesticide chlordane. A sugar cube sized piece of ‘muktuk’, the skin and surface fat from the beluga whale, contains the accepted maximum weekly limit of PCB’s. In one week, some Inuit people eat a hundred times that amount (7)! The result of crashing our eco-system is such that fish is simply no longer considered a safe food to eat. In fact, the National Academy of Sciences estimated in 1991 that the risk of cancer to the average consumer who eats seafood can be 75 times greater than normally acceptable guidelines (8)!
Real Concerns About Farmed Fish
With our oceans becoming “fished out” (to use a fisherman’s term) and toxic, the environmental situation and demand for fish, forever considered a healthy food, has resulted in a boom of factory fish farms. There is good reason to be concerned about farm-raised fish. The raising of farm-raised fish is quite similar to factory farm yard methods used to raise cattle. As with cattle, fish are given a wide range of antibiotics and other drugs, all the while, the farmed fish industry is virtually unregulated. As a result, farm-raised fish are likely to contain residues of a wide variety of animal drugs, some of which are carcinogenic (8). Another real concern is that when you buy a farm-raised fish, you have no idea where the farm is located in most cases. If the fish farm is anywhere near a major industrial complex or commercial farming operation suited on the same coast line or anywhere near a river that feeds into the coast line, you run significant risk of eating farm-raised fish that is high in pesticide and industrial chemical residues. Those commonly found in seafood, be it from fish farms or otherwise, are benzene hexachloride, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, dioxin, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene, lindane, and polychlorinated biphenyls, the effects of which are listed in Table 2.
Table 2: Pesticides commonly found in fish (9, 10)
Chemical Health Effects Associated with Chemical
Chlordane and Heptachlor Probable human carcinogen, immune system suppression, blood disorders, liver damage, central nervous system disorders, suspected endocrine disruption, developmental disorders
DDT Probable human carcinogen, reproductive failure in wildlife, liver damage, central nervous system disorders, known endocrine disruption, developmental disorders, shortened lactation in nursing women
Dieldrin Probable human carcinogen, immune system suppression, nervous system disorders, reproductive damage, liver damage, kidney damage, suspected endocrine disruption
Dioxin Known human carcinogen, altered immune function, central nervous system disorders, skin disorders, disrupts liver and kidney function, reproductive effects: altered sex ration, reduced fertility, endometriosis, known endocrine disruption, developmental disorders, including birth defects
Hexachlorobenzene Probable human carcinogen, disrupts hormone function, damages liver, thyroid, kidneys, blood and immune system, Suspected endocrine disruption, developmental toxin
Lindane Carcinogenic, central and peripheral nervous system disorder, endocrine disruption, Immune system disruption
Polychlorinated Biphenyls Genetic damage causing developmental & cognitive retardation, vitamin A dysregulation, chlorachne, immune depression, peripheral nerve damage, liver damage, respiratory problems, thyroid hormone dysregulation, decreases in reaction time, spatial learning, short-term memory; excess pigmentation, (in animals: tumors, growth retardation, behavioural changes, fetal death, increased infection)
Benzene Hexachloride Bronchial, colon, and liver damage; leukemia; DNA damage; tumors including brain, liver, stomach, lung; cardiac abnormalities, eye irritation, drowsiness, unconsciousness, uncoordination, heart attack
How To Safely Eat Fish
Do you remember your parents either taking, or giving you “Cod Liver Oil”? How about recommending, or even forcing you to eat your fish? While many of us age 30 or higher may well have developed the perception that fish is good for you, the information I have provided above should raise concerns that are likely to change the dietary climate for today’s young, particularly with regard to eating fish!
The first thing I recommend to my clients is to rotate all protein sources that come from anything that has a set of eyes, including fish, on a four-day cycle – even if it is 100% organically raised. Applying this rule to your fish will minimize your chances of over exposing yourself to any given protein source, which can lead to food intolerance among most people in today’s climate of dwindling health and vitality climate. Additionally, rotating your foods on a four-day cycle as outlined in Table 3 (PDF) will minimize your chances of overexposing yourself to any given pesticide, antibiotic or drug residues that may have contaminated your food, not to mention heavy metal contamination.
Second, be aware that swordfish, shark, tuna and just about any deep-water fish (particularly the bigger ones) are mercury-accumulating fish. Today, many of these fish, fresh off the boat have been found to have mercury levels so high that eating them more than once a week is considered dangerous by many health experts – yet another reason to follow my food rotation eating plan! The greatest concern appears to be fish from the inland waters of the mid-west US and Florida (8).
Third, when cooking your fish, particularly the bigger fish that accumulate heavy metals, it is a good idea to grill or broil them to allow the juices to drip out. This allows pesticide residues and other chemicals to escape as you cook the fish. This is in part due to the fact that many industrial chemicals and pesticide residues that accumulate in fish are stored in the fat of the fish (the same is true of animals and man), which begins to drip away when heated to cooking temperatures. For this reason, any time you can trim the fat off of fish, it is a good idea!
Fourth, avoid fresh water fish unless it comes from high mountain lakes and streams, far away from any commercial enterprises!
Fifth, it is a good idea, in my opinion to stay away from farm-raised fish when ever possible. In addition to the concerns I have presented above, there is a difference in the omega-3:6 fatty acid ratio in farm raised fish vs. natural freshwater or ocean fish. It turns out that, with very rare exceptions, the fat ratios in farm-raised fish are about the same as a cage raised chicken egg, which is an omega-3 to omega-6 fat molecule ratio of 1:16-30; remember that research on developmental man suggests we should eat a ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 of 1:1-4! As you will see over and over every time man gets involved in trying to outsmart Mother Nature, things just get screwed up!
Processed or Cured Meat and Fish
How often do you eat cured fish or meats such as bacon, ham, beef jerky, salami, or packaged luncheon meats? Have you looked at the ingredients on the package of these foods? You may be surprised to see a number of words listed there that look as though they should be part of another language, and they certainly don’t look like they are a normal part of any food! One such ingredient found in many cured and/or packaged meats is “nitrate” or “nitrite”. Both of these additives are commonly used in the meats mentioned above, as well as fermented sausages, bologna, frankfurters, deviled ham, meat spreads, potted meats, spiced ham, Vienna sausages, smoke-cured tuna fish products and in smoke cured shad and salmon.
Nitrates and nitrites which are used primarily as a color fixative, for their ability to give meats a blood red color as well as to convey tanginess to the pallet and resist the development of Clostridium botulinum spores. Both nitrates and nitrites have been studied in University and private scientific settings and found to cause cancer and tumors in test animals. Some of the findings from injecting test animals with repeated small doses or single large doses of these chemicals are:
Pancreatic cancer in hamsters similar to human pancreatic cancers.
Deaths from methemoglobinemia, which results in oxygen flow to the brain being cut off.
Tumors analogous to human liver tumors
According the “The Safe Shopper’s Bible”, by David Steinman and Samuel Epstein, MD, researchers reported that children who eat hot dogs cured with nitrite a dozen or more times monthly have a risk of leukemia ten times higher than normal. Furthermore, children born to mothers who consume hot dogs once or more weekly during their pregnancy are twice as likely to have childhood brain tumors!
A most interesting observation in today’s world of Viagra popularity is that potassium nitrate is the chemical name for “saltpeter”, which is thought to be used in prisons to diminish libido; how much processed meat are you eating…? Nitrites are also known to suppress the immune system, which can’t be a good idea in today’s environment.
In 1977, Germany banned nitrites and nitrates except for use with certain fish species, while in the US, the FDA revoked its proposed phase-out because manufacturers said there was no adequate substitute for nitrites. I suspect that what the manufacturers were really saying is that “there is no cheap substitute for nitrites”, so even though they are well known to produce disease in test animals, we will just keep feeding them to you anyway! You have to wonder how Germany can do without them, and the US, a country famous for its advanced technology, can’t do without them…
While we are on the topic of food preservatives in meats here, it is worth mentioning that nitrates change into nitrites on exposure to air. Our major intake of nitrates in foodstuffs comes primarily from vegetables or water supplies that are high in nitrate content, in addition to those consumed through cured meats and fish. Nitrates are natural constituents of plants. They occur in very small amounts in fruits but are as high as 3,000 parts per million (ppm) in certain vegetables, such as spinach, beets, radishes, eggplant, celery, lettuce, collards and turnip greens. The most important factor responsible for large accumulations of nitrates in vegetables are the high levels of fertilization with nitrate fertilizers, and the tendency of the species to accumulate nitrate (11). It is important to realize that nitrate or chemical fertilizers ARE NOT used in organic farming, only commercial farming. It is bad enough that such toxic additives are placed in our meat and fish foods, yet there is a massive problem with nitrate run-off from commercial farms into surrounding water supplies, contaminating them.
Another problem with processed meats is that they trigger false food allergy in many people. Some of the preservatives in meats, and the meats themselves produce histamine. You are probably familiar with histamine because one of the effects of histamine is to make your nose run when you have a cold – thus the use of “anti-histamine” medications. Histamine can also cause a wheal reaction, as commonly seen as an allergic reaction. For example, if you have ever been scratched by a cat or a thorn, the wheal reaction (raised red and white lines) results from histamine released by the irritated tissues. One way to determine if your body is having a histamine reaction to processed or cured foods is that after eating them, your nose may begin to run. In more severe cases of false food allergy, after eating a given food you may start to itch and develop a wheal reaction as descried above. Such reactions are indications that your body doesn’t like the food you have eaten, even if you do! (12)
An important tip for those of you that have an appetite for the kinds of fish and meat products being discussed here, or for some circumstantial reason feel you must eat them is to consume antioxidants with them. As it turns out, vitamins C and E inhibit, or block the formation of nitrosamines, which can occur naturally in a number of foods by combining with stomach fluids. Some nutrition experts suggest consuming fresh vegetable juices, such as fresh squeezed carrot or juice (both high in vitamin C) with food products containing nitrates and nitrites. You can also supplement your diet with “ACES”, which stands for vitamins A, C, E and selenium, all beneficial antioxidants.
Source of safe meat procuts:
Personally, I stay a country mile away from all such cured meats unless they contain no harmful additives. It is possible to get fresh sausages and salamis from gourmet butcher shops that make them fresh or produce meat products using natural methods. They will be more expensive, but all the money you save not seeing doctors will buy you a LOT of fresh, high-quality meats!
There are a number of organic butcher shops in most major cities throughout the world. I can say that with assurance because I have sought many of them out in my travels. “American Jerky” is an example of a company that makes very high quality jerky that is free of toxic additives. “American Jerky” and many other gourmet and organic butcher shops also offer wild game meats. The butcher shops often buy wild game meats from hunters and offer them seasonally. There are also local farmers selling organic meats. For example, two of my staff members and my wife and I just purchased an organic pig that won first place at the Del Mar Fair. You would be surprised how much good food is available for those that make the effort to find it!
CHEK Points for Safe Meat, Fish, Foul and Egg Consumption
1. ALWAYS go out of your way to purchase organic, free range meats, including bird meats. They are far more nutritious, pesticide, hormone and antibiotic free!
2. If organic meats are not available, the next best choice is “grass fed – free range” animal meats. At least they were free to roam, getting exercise and eating what they were designed to eat!
3. Always go out of your way to eat organic, free-range eggs. The fatty acid ratio and quality is far superior in them! I recommend minimizing all commercially farmed eggs because they are really just another form of processed food, as is the case with meats raised commercially.
4. Avoid farmed fish. They suffer the same fate as the factory farmed cow, pig, chicken, yet may be even more toxic depending on the location of the fish farm and the drugs and antibiotics used in this relatively unregulated industry.
5. Read all labels, eliminating, or at least minimizing the consumption of processed meats. If there are words you don’t understand on the label, chances are good your body probably won’t like what ever it is either! Be sure to look to see what fillers are used in sausage type meats, as wheat and other grain-based products are commonly used, triggering uncomfortable and unwanted responses in those that are gluten intolerant. Avoid meats with nitrates and nitrites, as they are carcinogenic. Most butchers have the same meats without such additives and they are often kept in the freezer section.
6. Minimize the consumption of smoked meats and fish. While they often taste great, they do increase the risk of cancer in most cases. Occasionally enjoying them as a delicacy is probably fine, but eating them as a meal on a regular basis may be asking for trouble.
7. It is always best to rotate proteins that come from anything that has a set of eyes on a four-day cycle. I suggest rotating in this order, Beef/sheep, bird meats, swine (pork) and finally fish. This insures variety and minimizes exposure to anything your body may find toxic.
8. Do NOT fear the fat in the meat, or on the body of any protein source that has eyes if it is from an organic source. That is the fat that got us here!
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Chek, P. “Under the Veil of Deception”. Encinitas, CA: A C.H.E.K Institute Publication, 2002.
“USDA Sets Rules For Organic Meat, Poultry” http://www.mercola.com/1999/archive/usda_rules_for_organic_meat.htm
“Orcas at risk from PCBs” News The Ecologist Vol. 31 No. 9, November, 2001.
Rivlin, Michael A. (Fall 2001). Northern exposure. Onearth. 23(3). pg. 14-20.
Steinman, D. and Epstein, S.S. The Safe Shoppers Bible. New York, U.S.A: Macmillan, 1995.
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