Archive for December, 2011

NO MEAT-NO CANCER

December 27, 2011

Since early 2009 when the National Cancer Institute published their dietary study     of 500,000 older Americans (our reference #16) we have had many research studies showing the strong connection between red meat consumption and early death caused by cancer and heart disease, including the American Cancer Research Institute’s study of the Worlds Cancer research and long term epidemiological studies published by Harvard University. Last night on 60 minutes we were introduced to direct physical evidence of this strong connection. The 2000 plus monks who have lived isolated in the monasteries on Mount Athos in Southern Grease for nearly 2000 years have never had cancer nor heart disease. They grow their own food, tend their own vineyards, consume plenty of their own wine, and eat a lot of fish from the Aegean Sea. They have two 10-minute meals per day and do a lot of physical work. They eat no red or white meat.

But corn fed meat consumers in addition to exposing themselves to cancer and heart disease also bear the major responsibility for loss of our topsoil, water quality and species loss in all the rivers and estuaries East of the Rockies, caused mostly by short cuts in soil management, overuse of fertilizer to grow corn feed and the glut of manure from CAFO’s. Maybe realization of the real cost of meat will cause consumers to think twice before ordering their next fast food bacon burger, hot dog, sausage, or Philly cheese steak. We can only hope the consumer will wake up to this reality because government agencies responsible for protecting our natural resources and our health have abdicated their responsibility under pressure from the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Fertilizer Institute, The Corn Growers Association and some Academic Institutions who still support our failed Industrial Agricultural Production System.

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Chipotle-Higher Quality Food

December 21, 2011

Chipotle Mexican Grille opened a new fast food restaurant in Easton, Maryland last week. We attempted to eat there on December 20th but the lines were too long. By using organic vegetables and pasture raised meat, locally raised if possible, Chipotle is setting a much higher standard of quality for all restaurants. Steve Ells the founder decided to use pasture raised animal products, after visiting Factory Farms (CAFO’s) in 1999. Another benefit of pasture raised animals is reduction in corn feed production which along with CAFO manure is primarily responsible for the nutrient contamination of every river and estuary East of the Rockies including the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay. Both of these estuaries had near record oxygen dead zones in the summer of 2011. Short cuts in soil management to produce corn have caused the U.S. Corn Belt to lose half its topsoil. Chesapeake Bay had record sediment intrusion in March of 2011. Long-term studies by Harvard University, the National Cancer Institute, the American Institute for Cancer Research, and the World Cancer Research Fund cite overconsumption of red meat and process meat, mostly CAFO raised, along with high fructose corn sugar and refined grains as primarily responsible for our epidemics of cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Why are lines so long in Easton as well as the restaurants on M street in Washington, DC and in Annapolis? Certainly it is not the ambiance. The tacos and burritos are served on paper plates with plastic utensils and it is bench seating with little or no privacy. Could it be that young people (most of the customers are in their 20’s) are interested in healthier food that is produced in a way that is sensitive to the welfare of animals and restoration of the environment? We went next door to Bob Evans which was half empty. I did have the opportunity to suggest to the manager that he tell ownership of this shift in demand for higher quality food.