Thursday, November 13, 2008

Corn-Fed Doom

A new study establishes what was already common knowledge, or should have been -- that most beef and other meat eaten in the USA was fed by corn, not grass -- and this is not a good thing:

Eating a diet of meat from corn-fed animals hasn't been linked to any specific health effects in humans. But it has resulted in widespread environmental degradation, including drained water supplies, degraded soils, and reliance on fossil fuels for fertilizer, pesticides and farm machinery fuel, says preventive medicine physician Bob Lawrence, director of the Center for a Livable Future at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who was not involved in the study.

It's also hard on cows, whose stomachs are specially designed to break down the cellulose in grass, leading to an epidemic of antibiotic use. Also, humans may lose out on beneficial omega-3 fatty acids—important for development of the nervous system and heart health—when they consume corn-fed as opposed to grass-fed beef.
Apart from all that, eating meat is a good idea.

Ah, sweet sweet vegetarianism. On some days I think it exceeds my ranting atheism and extreme political views for making me so sunny and well-liked.


Laura said...

Not to mention vegetarianism seems less harmful to other living beings.

Anonymous said...

No doubt that we should all be eating grass fed beef.
I always order from La Cense I've tried many companies and local farmers, and they are hands down my favorite - great to work with, and the product is always shipped right to my door in the most amazing packaging - keeping the meat very fresh.

I also just joined for those of you interested- it's an online social community for sustainable agriculture and grass fed beef. It's really great, and definitely worth checking out.

Great post - we all need to know what we're eating.

Dale said...

Thanks anonymous. I'm one for allowing the perfect and the good to be allies, not enemies, and your links and suggestions seem like good ideas.