With the outbreak Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy ( BSE ) or "mad cow disease," right here in America, people are starting to wake up to the fact that there are more dangers in eating grain fed beef other than heart disease and obesity. There are currently 1.28 billion cattle populating the earth. They occupy nearly 24 percent of the landmass of the planet. Their combined weight exceeds that of the earth's entire human population. However, most people are totally unaware of just what it is they are eating when they put that hamburger in their mouth. The Cattle Industry forces their cows to live in horribly inhumane conditions and to eat food that is unnatural to them. Grain fed cattle are tainted with growth hormones, irradiated, raised in sick and unnatural environments and are given loads of medicine to just barely keep them alive until they stop gaining weight and the end product is toxic meat sold to you right at your local grocery store.
There are about 42,000 feedlots in 13 major cattle-feeding states in the United States. The feedlot is generally a fenced-in area with a concrete feed trough along one side where the cattle are brought their grain. In many of the larger feedlots, thousands of cattle are crowded together side by side in severely cramped quarters and standing ankle deep in manure and urine. To obtain the optimum weight gain in the minimum time, feedlot managers administer a variety of pharmaceuticals to their cattle, including growth-stimulating hormones and feed additives.
Anabolic steroids, in the form of small time-release pellets, are implanted in the animals' ears. Cattle are given estradiol, a variety of testosterone esters, trenbolone acetate and progesterone. The hormones stimulate the cells to produce additional protein, adding muscle and fat tissue more rapidly. Today 80 percent of all the herbicides used in the United States are sprayed on corn and soybeans. Grain fed beef now ranks number one in herbicide contamination and number two in overall pesticide contamination. Grain fed cattle have, on rare occasions, been made to eat pig, horse, poultry or chicken manure that has been composted. Even though the dung has been composted into a non-toxic substance that you might use for fertilizer, cows stomachs do not recognize dirt as food. Feeding cows in such a way decreases the nutritional value of the finished cuts of meat. The feeding of cow and sheep parts back to these ruminants is now banned in the U.S. because it spread mad cow disease in Europe. Some feedlots now experiment with adding cardboard, newspapers, and sawdust to the feed to reduce costs.
Janet Raloff reports in Science News that growth hormones are administered to two-thirds of the approximately 36 million beef cattle raised yearly in the U.S. Spills of hormone-laced excrement pollute water. A study led by Louis J. Guillette at the University of Florida and Ana M. Soto of Tufts University School of Medicine found hormones and fish with deformed testes in rivers downstream of Nebraska feedlots.
The overcrowding, filth and lack of exercise along with the unnatural and disgusting diet that grain fed cattle endure, cause their resistance to disease to be eliminated. Cattle were meant to live on grass and roam the pastureland where drugs are not needed to keep them alive. Calves have no need of regular medication while eating grass, but as soon as they're placed in the back grounding pen [and fed grain] they get sick. After weaning, animals are dosed with antibiotics every day of their lives for the primary reason of keeping abscesses from forming in the liver. The frequent injections also cause large, oozing, and infectious lesions that in turn may contaminate the meat during butchering. As a result of frequent antibiotic administering, bacteria - including some strains of E. coli and Salmonella - have developed antibiotic resistance. Studies published in 2001 in The New England Journal of Medicine indicate that many food-borne and other illnesses in people are now not responding to the usual antibiotics.
There are many health problems linked with eating grain fed beef and dairy products. In feedlots across the country, grain fed beef cattle are given the hormone Zeranol, a synthetic estrogen implanted in cattle. A series of tests done for the Pentagon show a possible link between breast cancer and Zeranol. In the lab, researchers at Ohio State University mixed beef from Zeranol-treated cows with human breast cancer cells and saw "significant" cancer cell growth -- in some cases at levels 30 times lower than the government says is safe. Concerned about possible long-term effects, they write: "consumption of food ... derived from ... animals treated with Zeranol poses a potential health risk to consumers." Coincidentally (or as expected if you believe the research) American leads the world in breast cancer victims per capita. Breast cancer now affects more women than it ever has before, and the percentage of American sufferers continues to rise.
Harvard scientists found that women who had grain fed beef as a daily main dish were two and a half times more likely to develop colon cancer than did those who ate grain fed beef less than once a month. The conclusions are drawn from a study of 88,751 nurses that was begun in 1980. The consumption of grain fed beef has also been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes. According to the Adventist Health Study, men who consumed grain fed beef increased their risk of developing fatal coronary heart disease. Those who ate grain fed beef up to three times per week had a risk nearly two times greater than those who said they never ate grain fed beef.
The horrible practice of irradiating beef is now widespread and commonplace. As if all the other heath risks associated with grain fed beef aren't enough to stop you from eating at McDonalds, consider this; irradiated beef poses cancer, genetic and other risks. "The government's assertion that irradiated food is safe for human consumption does not even pass the laugh test," states Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., emeritus professor of environmental medicine at University of Illinois School of Public Health, Chicago. " Exposing American's to the hazards of irradiated food is reckless endangerment , compounded by the absence of any warning to consumers."
Irradiated meat is a very different product than natural meat. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved irradiation dosages of 450,000 rads, which is a dosage approximately 150 million times greater than that of a chest x-ray. Apart from high levels of benzene, new chemicals known as "unique radiolytic products" were identified in irradiated meat in U.S. Army tests in 1977 and recognized as carcinogenic. Later tests identified other chemicals shown to induce genetic toxicity.
In sharp contrast to the FDA's claims of safety based on grossly inadequate testing, there is well-documented scientific evidence that eating irradiated meat poses grave risks of cancer and genetic damage. Irradiated meat is also highly susceptible to cross-contamination with food poisoning bacteria. Nevertheless, the meat and irradiation industries, with the FDA's complicity, are lobbying aggressively to sanitize the agency's weak labeling requirements for irradiated meat and other food by eliminating the word "irradiated" in favor of "electronic (or cold) pasteurization". This euphemistic absurdity would circumvent consumer's fundamental right-to-know.
Furthermore, irradiation masks grossly unsanitary conditions in slaughterhouses and meat processing plants. Irradiation is thus a major disincentive to decades of long overdue basic sanitary practices essential for the prevention of Salmonella, E.coli, and other pathogenic food poisoning. While irradiation kills most bacteria in meat, it does nothing to prevent gross fecal and other contamination.
Obviously eating grain fed beef puts the consumer at risk of developing health problems. So should you totally give up eating beef? ABSOLUTELY NOT! The answer is as uncomplicated as it is obvious; GRASS FED BEEF is the solution to the dilemma. It's that simple. Grass fed cattle suffer none of the problems that grain fed cattle do and they are not made to endure inhumane living conditions. Grass fed cattle are healthy and enjoy morally justifiable living conditions just like God intended. Best of all, grass fed beef poses no threat to the end user: you!
For more information on the wonderful benefits of eating grass fed beef see the nutrition information section of our web site by clicking HERE .