Archive for the ‘Meat Disaster’ Category

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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Poor Choices Primary Obesity Cause

June 27, 2011

A study based on 20 years of monitoring eating habits, other lifestyle habits and the health change (all started healthy) of 121,000 professional men and women who  participated thru the Nurses Health Study and the Health Professionals Supplementary Study, was published last week by Harvard University Department of Public Health. The conclusions cite poor food choices, not calories, not aging, not other popular myths as the primary cause of overweight and obesity. For example, the foods associated with the greatest weight gain included potato chips (for each one increased daily serving, (+1.69 lb) more weight gain every 4 years), other potatoes (1.28 lb), sugar-sweetened beverages (1.00 lb), unprocessed meats (0.95 lb), and processed meats (0.93 lb). Of note, several foods associated with less weight gain when their consumption was actually increased, including vegetables (−0.22 lb), whole grains (−0.37 lb), fruits (−0.49 lb), nuts (−0.57 lb) and yogurt (−0.82 lb). Other factors such as sedentary activities including watching TV and two little or too much sleep were also factors. While each factor was a small contributor to weight gain or loss the combinations added up to an average weight gain of one pound per year, which is about the National average. An excellent video presented by the co-author and professor of epidemiology and medicine is currently available. The full report is summarized on the School of Nutrition website.

Once again as with colon cancer and heart disease we see red meat and processed meat consumption, as significant factors. CAFO red meat production including corn feed production is the primary cause of massive soil loss and nutrient pollution in the Mississippi, and Pamlico Sound watersheds and is about half of Chesapeake Bay Watershed nutrient pollution.

The Huge Cost of Meat Consumption

June 10, 2011

Following up on the report published in the Baltimore Sun that the National Academies of Science urges government at all levels to urge people to reduce meat consumption, I sent a letter to Senators Coburn, Cardin and Mikulski pointing out the many National issues that could be solved if people consumed less meat including:

1. Cancer reduction

2, Heart disease reduction

3. Diabetes reduction

4. Restoration of the Gulf of Mexico

5. Restoration of Chesapeake Bay

6. Reduce the loss of the Nations topsoil

6. Reduction of Health Care Cost

7. Ability to balance our annual budget dominated by health care cost

8. Reduction in our National debt

I urged the Senators to start an educational campaign focused on media based education and the committment of the health care community urging Doctors to talk directly to patients. I suggested two immediate actions that would increase the cost of meat  and reduce consumption.

1. The treatment of all factory farm manure

2. A tax on fertilizer to help offset the cost of natural resource restoration

I did give the Senators one authority for each issue who should be called to testify before House and Senate hearings and offered help in naming additional experts.

CANCER-RED MEAT Connection Stronger

May 29, 2011

The World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) issued a press release on May 23, 2011 reporting on their Continuous Update Project (CUP). Since their 2007 report was published 263 papers on bowel cancer were added to the 749 considered in the 2007 report. For red and processed meat 10 studies were added to the 14 considered in the original report. Based on these new studies the evaluation panel concluded that the evidence had increased that red meat and processed meat are a convincing cause of bowel cancer. Convincing is the highest risk assessment. They also concluded that high fiber plant food is more of a deterrent to colon cancer than their original assessment and the positive risk level was increased from probable to convincing. The recommendation to eat more fruits and vegetables and less beef, lamb and pork is the same as their previous recommendation as is their recommendation to eat no processed meat.

If people followed these recommendations contamination of Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico would decline significantly since food animal production including corn feed fertilizer excess and untreated manure are the major sources of water nutrient contamination.

Baltimore Sun-Panel-An Innovative Idea

May 5, 2011

The Baltimore Sun reported on results of a 9 member Scientific panel which noted that the proposed best management practices (BMPs) being adopted by Maryland for Chesapeake Bay cleanup have not proven to be long lasting nor effective. Some of us who have followed the long term failed effort to restore Chesapeake Bay agree. The Maryland response to the EPA mandated Total Maximum Daily Load Program was a missed opportunity to directly reduce fertilizer application rates to corn and to treat farm animal manure which total to 94% of Delmarva’s nitrogen pollution. Instead the State is proposing to implement a number of BMPs which have been implemented to some degree for several decades without recordable result. USGS recently reanalyzed the farm dominant Choptank Watershed which showed a 53% increase in nitrogen pollution over the last decade. This watershed has extensively implemented the BMPs. The USGS scientist commented that we should have seen some pollution reduction by now.

One action suggested by this report “urge citizens to eat less meat”, could be effective in reducing pollution by reducing the consumption of corn based products. The other dominant product is corn based processed food. Both of these products are currently under attack as the cause of America’s obesity epidemic and health care cost disaster.

THE MEAT CONSUMPTION DISASTER

February 23, 2011

Recently there has been a backlash to government efforts to improve the health of the Nation. People are telling government to butt out that we know what we want to eat and if those food choices are destroying our health so be it, we have the god given right to eat what we want to eat. This attitude while understandable in a free society leaves the Country with a severe dilemma. We are the fattest and unhealthiest Country in the world. While heroic effort by our health industry have been effective in prolonging life it comes at increased suffering and high financial cost. Yes we have the right to eat whatever we want to eat thanks to our free system but how about the rights of others to clean air, water, and other common assets. Also everyone is paying equally for health insurance giving poor eaters a free ride.

Trees & Wildlife–When we hired our Master Plan Architect to design Trappe Landing Farm & Native Sanctuary (TLF&NS) 12 years ago, he described our farm and most farms as an ecological desert where every square foot of land that was not too wet or the slopes too steep were turned into corn fields to feed food animals. The result of this activity is that trees are eliminated, wildlife is eliminated, Every possible square foot is turned into corn production mostly to feed animals but recently to produce sugar and more recently to produce ethanol fuel additive. What’s wrong with this Industrial system? The basic problem is the inherent inefficiency. It takes 14 times more land to raise plant food to feed animals then eat the animals then it does to eat the plant food directly. So when we eat meat instead of plant food we are not only destroying our health (see archived WCRF and Harvard Nurses Study posts) we are destroying the nations trees, soil, wildlife and water assets

WATER–Corn is the most nutrient inefficient of all crops. It takes 3 times more nitrogen fertilizer to grow corn than any other crop. In normal rainfall year’s corn only uses 1/3 of the applied nitrogen much less in drought years. Most of the excess winds up in surface water where it stimulates algae, clouds the water and soaks up the oxygen essential for the life of water species. This activity has destroyed Chesapeake Bay, Pamlico Sound, The Gulf of Mexico and all rivers feeding these major Estuaries. This destruction of our precious water assets is directly related to the area of corn relative to the total farm field area.

SOIL–Historically grain farmers in the US have taken short cuts in soil management because the Country was topsoil rich particularly in the mid-west where topsoil was more prolific than any place in the world. Short cuts in soil management used to grow corn have destroyed half the Nations topsoil in 60 years. Changes in tillage equipment made 30 years ago have proven ineffective in stopping massive topsoil loss.

PATHOGENS–Most of the corn is fed to food animals in factory confinement facilities (see Factory maps) which produce 3 times more manure nationally than humans all of it untreated and contaminated with antibiotic resistant pathogens, high levels of phosphorous, growth hormones, arsenic and other feed additives which are put back onto the land adding to the nutrient pollution of the soil and pathogen contamination of our air and water resources.

ANIMAL ABUSE– The treatment of animals in Animal Factories is horrible described by Conservative writer Mathew Scully as the worst we can do to them, a complete negation of their life as an animal (see animal abuse archive).

HEALTH–As described in archived cancer and heart disease research posts, these diseases are directly related to meat consumption. The American Medical system including our pharmaceutical companies have developed pills and procedures which have until recently kept up to the health issues created by our corn based food system. But are these systems, which are extremely expensive, a long-term solution to basic unhealthy food consumption? I don’t think so. But perhaps our population growth will be the overriding factor dictating the amount of meat consumed because we simply do not have enough land to support the current inefficient meat production system and projected population growth.

There is only one reasonable solution. In the interest of your health, you’re children’s health, the restoration of Chesapeake Bay and other natural resources and our animal friends. CHANGE YOUR DIET. Stay tuned to our site for a critique of chefs and restaurants that are leaders in the movement toward a healthy and less destructive food system. We have found that eating plant food only can be an exciting eating experience. It just takes a little more time and patience.