By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
I strongly recommend the use of organic ingredients in Tender Grassfed Meat. The reason is simple. I want to eat the most nutritious food I can, and the tastiest food I can. Dr. Weston A. Price discovered that people eating the traditional diet of their ancestors were healthy. All of the food contained in these traditional diets was organic or the equivalent. My health was restored by trying to copy the diets described by Dr. Price. After I restricted my diet to organic or the equivalent, I learned something. The food tasted better — much better.
The human body is made to process natural, unaltered food.
The methods that the human body uses to sustain, nourish and rebuild itself are many, and very complex. Nutrients are not processed in isolation, but together. For example, it is now known that an oversupply of one B vitamin can actually cause a deficiency in other B vitamins, because the body is set up to process these nutrients together, the way they are present in food. When you get your nutrients from unaltered food, everything is present that is needed to fully assimilate the nutrients. Our ancestors learned which foods were good to eat, and all of the nutrients and cofactors in those foods are necessary to properly assimilate the nutrients. Our ancestors also learned to combine foods to ensure proper nutrition. While they could not identify specific vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids, they knew what to eat. This knowledge was passed from generation to generation, over thousands of years.
Non-organic foods are altered and different from traditional foods.
Modern food raising practices have altered the very chemistry of food. For example, feeding grain and other non-grass substances to cattle change the balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids dramatically, from one to one to twenty to one. When you eat meat from an animal made to eat grass, your body expects the food to have the proper ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. When the meat does not have the proper ratio, your body is not getting what it is ready to process. We do know that an excess of omega-6 fatty acids can cause inflammation and a host of illnesses.
Vegetables that are sprayed regularly with pesticides, which they absorb, are different from the vegetables humankind has eaten for most of history. Artificially fertilized soil lacks many of the nutrients and minerals present in naturally rich soil, and food grown with artificial fertilizers is different from food grown in naturally rich soil. This forces your body to process substances that either have never existed before (artificial chemicals and pesticides), and/or lack the substances the body expects to find in the food, which may be necessary to properly process and assimilate the nutrients.
GMOs did not exist in nature, and were not eaten by our ancestors.
None of the healthy peoples studied by Dr. Price ever ate GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), because GMOs did not exist at the time. GMOs are plants that are changed in a laboratory, sometimes having insect genes and other foreign components added to them. This once again presents your body with substances that it does not expect. Most GMO crops are designed with an internal pesticide, or designed to absorb and tolerate huge amounts of pesticides, amounts that might kill a normal plant. The presence of these pesticides in the crops once again forces your body to deal with a substance it does not expect, or know what to do with.
Modern science has identified only some of the nutrients and cofactors needed by our bodies.
Scientists keep discovering new nutrients as time goes on, from vitamin K2 (which used to be unknown), omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which were also unknown decades ago, and a number of other substances. Vitamin K2, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids all are very important nutrients. The point is that there are dozens, maybe hundreds of nutrients and substances necessary to process nutrients that are currently unknown. Since conventional agricultural practices change the very chemistry of food, it is impossible to know what nutrients are altered or missing, since so many nutrients have not even been discovered.
How to get all the nutrients and cofactors.
How can we get all of the nutrients and cofactors we need, if science has not identified all of them? The answer is very simple and I know it works because I have done it. Eating the nutrient-dense food enjoyed by our ancestors will give us all the nutrients and cofactors we need. Foods that are organic or the equivalent are the closest we can get to the food that was actually eaten by our ancestors.
What is the equivalent of organic?
The phrase “organic or the equivalent” is often used. “Equivalent” means food that has been raised according to organic food practices, but has not been certified organic by an authorized agency. The food is the same, it just doesn’t have the stamp of approval, which can be quite expensive and time-consuming to obtain. Food meets my definition of “organic or the equivalent” if it is raised without the use of pesticides, artificial fertilizers, chemicals, or ionizing radiation. It cannot be GMO. Animals must be raised without the use of growth hormones or antibiotics. I add another requirement to the meat that I eat. The food that is fed to the animals must be species appropriate, meaning that it is very similar to the natural diet of the animal. For ruminant animals, such as cattle, bison, and lamb, this means 100 percent grassfed.
Organic food tastes much better.
There is another benefit to using ingredients that are organic or the equivalent. They will make your food taste much better. Vegetables grown in good soil, without the use of pesticides or artificial fertilizer, have much more flavor. You can really taste this when you use a recipe that has only a few ingredients. Organic spices grown in good soil that contains the full range of minerals and nutrients have a depth of flavor that is far superior to the conventional varieties. The meat of grassfed animals who have eaten lush, green grass, grown in good soil has a deep, wonderful flavor that no feedlot meat can equal.
I eat organic or the equivalent because it is healthier and tastes better.
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