The World Water Conference is now taking place, and misinformation rules. A report came out claiming that meat must be reduced to five percent or less of the world’s diet, so the increasing population can be fed. The report claimed that there will not be enough water to feed the planet without this dietary change. Vegan and vegetarian diets are now necessary to save the planet? Nonsense!
The fact of the matter is this. Vast herds of grazing animals made agriculture possible, by creating and supporting grasslands and soil. The world’s water supply can be greatly increased by increasing the number of grazing animals, and having them follow proper grazing practices. Not only will this greatly increase the water supply, but it will result in the creation of great amounts of new soil suitable for growing crops, and increase the size and richness of grasslands, allowing even more herds to graze. And the grassfed meat made available by following this path will provide the food that is far more nutrient-dense and nourishing than a plant-only diet.
This is not a fantasy. Properly managed grazing has already reversed desertification in many areas of the world, which has resulted in the restoration of dried out streams and rivers and the formation of rich soil.
Grassfed meat is not the problem. It is the solution.
The Vegan Fantasy Holds No Water
This is true in more than one way. The theory that we must reduce meat eating to five percent or less of the world’s diet is based on several misconceptions, ideology, and a lack of understanding of the vital role played by grazing animals.
The assumption is made that most meat will be raised by the factory model, with large amounts of food plants such as soy and corn used to feed the animals. This process is harmful, in that the animals are fed an unnatural diet that makes them far less nutritious, and a lot of water is used to grow these crops that are fed to animals. Even worse, when the animals are not grazing in dense herds, they are not performing their proper function of enriching and creating soil, and creating and recreating grasslands, which hold water in the earth, and prevent desertification and the wastage of water. Properly managed grassfed grazing avoids these problems, and rebuilds the earth and increases the water supply. Grassfed animals need no crops to be grown for them, and proper grazing practices create plant life that holds water in the soil, increasing rainfall and the water supply.
If the world’s supply of grazing animals is greatly decreased as recommended by the report, the world’s soil will literally hold no water, and desertification and a great reduction in the world’s water supply will occur. This could lead to mass starvation.
How the Grasslands Were Created
Once, there were huge herds of grazing animals on the grasslands of our planet. A perfect example was the huge herds of bison, estimated at seventy million or more, that once roamed the Great Plains of the United States. These herds moved in tight groups, as a defense against predators. When they grazed on a particular area of land, they would eat all the old growth, dig up the earth, stomp the grass seeds deep into the churned up soil, fertilize the soil with their manure, and leave. It would be months before they returned, and the rich crop of grass they planted in the earth they dug up with their hooves, and fertilized with their manure, grew and thrived. This rich grass held water in the soil, creating more rainfall that resulted in the creation of rivers and streams that provided more water for richer grass and for the grazing animals to drink. When the herds returned, the whole process was repeated.
The herds supported the grass and the grass fed the herds. This was the perfect balance created by nature, and it resulted in the creation of rich soil that could support food crops. Grazing animals were the key to the health and life of the soil, and still are.
How the Grasslands Are Being Turned into Deserts
The great wild herds of grazing animals are largely gone, replaced by modern monocrops, which suck the life out of the soil and destroy many of the grasses and plants necessary for the land to hold water. Small modern herds do not follow proper grazing practices, and do far less to help the land. Pesticides and chemicals are used to kill many of the native grasses, and the few crops planted by humans take huge amounts of water to grow, without returning any water to the land. Croplands are not rotated, and the land is given no chance to rest and regenerate. These practices have resulted in large amounts of grassland turning into desert. Deserts that cannot be used to grow crops. Deserts that cannot hold water. This is a huge problem all over the world, including the U.S. Reducing the number of grazing animals will only accelerate the process.
The Natural Solution
Since herds create and support grasslands, the solution is herds of grazing animals. This is not theory, it has already been done. Holistic Management, a system created by Allan Savory, uses properly managed herds of grazing animals, including cattle, to rebuild and support soil through an ingenious system that actually reverses the desertification process. You have only to look at the before and after photos maintained at the Savory Institute website to see what a huge difference this process can make.
The Holistic Management system works with and honors the laws of nature to restore grasslands, using grazing animals as a vital part of the process. Many grassfed ranchers have been inspired to use similar grazing practices to improve their land and soil. This includes John Wood of U.S. Wellness Meats, who has greatly improved the grass yield and quality of his soil, as shown in Grassfed Farmer Renews the Land. I can attest to the excellence of the meat he raises, having eaten it many times.
We can support these ranchers and their efforts to heal and restore the grasslands by buying and eating the wonderful grassfed meat they raise. In fact, I submit that one of the best things any of us can do to increase the food, soil, and water supply of the planet is to eat grassfed meat from ranchers using proper grazing practices. This is the most delicious and nourishing “burden” I can imagine.
We need far more grazing animals, not less, and their meat and fat is the most nourishing food humans have ever eaten. We do not need the factory meat system, which goes against the laws of nature and truly wastes resources.
Eating grassfed meat is not the problem. It is the solution.
JERF, which stands for Just Eat Real Food, is the best nutritional advice I have ever seen. And in only four words. This terrific phrase was coined by Sean Croxton, of the Underground Wellness Show. I try to live up to it, and the results have been amazing in every way. If you just eat real food, you will avoid many toxins, and get the nutrition your body so desperately needs. But to get these benefits, it is important that you just eat real food, and nothing else, to the best of your reasonable ability.
Yet there are those who are claiming it is okay to eat any junk food you want, as long as you do it no more than twenty percent of the time. While that would be so convenient and make things so much easier, it is just not true. While eating real food eighty percent of the time is much better than eating junk food most of the time, shooting for eighty percent is just not good enough, in my opinion. If you want to enjoy the full range of benefits that comes from a real food diet, it is important to do your best to just eat real food. If you are eating twenty percent junk, you are still eating a significant amount of junk, which will affect your body, and maintain your addictions to various factory ingredients, like processed sugar. After all, junk is junk, and should be avoided to the extent possible.
We did an experiment last week, dropping off the real food wagon and allowing ourselves to eat the junk food we wanted for one major meal. It was a mistake, as is described below.
But the bottom line is this—if you want the full benefit of real food—JERF. Just Eat Real Food.
The Real 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 concept in terms of diet was created by Mark Sisson, one of the most influential people in the Primal/Paleo movement. It was created to help people make the significant diet and lifestyle changes advocated by his program, the Primal Blueprint, without feeling bad if they could not do it all of the time. The concept was that if you do eighty percent of the program, you will receive substantial benefits. Yet some people have taken the 80/20 rule to mean that you only have to eat real food eighty percent of the time, and it is fine to eat any junk you want for the other twenty percent of the time.
Not only is real food a distinct concept from The Primal Blueprint, the eighty/twenty rule was never meant to be a license to eat junk twenty percent of the time. Mark Sisson himself made that very clear. Here is a link to an article by him that explains what he meant: 80/20 Revisited
If you read the article, you will see that he advocates trying for 100 percent compliance with the program, but not kicking yourself if you can only reach eighty percent. That is not a license to eat factory junk twenty percent of the time.
My Experiment in Eating Some Junk
My wife and I have been just eating real food, to the best of our reasonable ability to do so, for many years. We tried for 100 percent real food, but did not feel guilty for the times when we did not make this goal because of circumstances. Our path is to do the best we reasonably can to just eat real food, but not to feel bad about the occasions when this does not happen. We have seen enormous improvements in our health, energy, productivity, happiness, attitude, general joy of life, and ability to deal with whatever happens. If the medical profession and drug industry was depending on people like us, they would go broke, because we have no need for them.
Yet I do miss, from time to time, some of the factory foods I was addicted to. And the truth is that avoiding toxins and eating only real food is not easy. It can be awkward socially, in restaurants, at parties, at family dinners, where toxic factory food is often served. It is so much easier just to go along with the crowd and eat as they do. After reading some of the advocacy for the version of the eighty/twenty rule that allows you to eat any junk you want in the twenty percent portion, we decided to investigate. After all, the idea that we could maintain all the benefits of real food and eat any junk we wanted twenty percent of the time was tempting. So, last Friday night, we dropped off the real food wagon and ordered a pizza from a large chain that we used to frequent before we switched to real food. We got our old favorite toppings, though I could not bring myself to order a topping that contained feedlot beef.
After I took the first bite of pizza, I was astonished at how I immediately wanted to eat more and more and more of it. The taste was mediocre, yet I wanted to keep eating and eating it, to wolf it down as fast as I could cram it into my mouth. Normally I prefer to eat slowly, thoroughly chewing my food before swallowing it. I was astonished by how strong the desire to wolf it down and eat more was. As we continued to eat the pizza, I became aware of an overwhelming thirst, something that never happens when I eat real food. When I discussed this with my wife, she also had the desire to eat more and more of the pizza, and she also got very thirsty.
While I have no scientific proof of this, I am convinced there was something added to the pizza to make me want more of it, and something in it that made us very thirsty, perhaps so we would order factory soft drinks.
We finished the pizza, and still felt hungry and unsatisfied. Yet we wanted more and more of the pizza, an urge we resisted. I also felt bloated and uncomfortable, a feeling I never have when I just eat real food. There were other uncomfortable digestive consequences, as my body tried to get rid of the chemicals and toxins in the pizza. I also had some headaches, something that I normally never get. And I was low energy and tired. After two days of just eating real food, I was fine. Since then, we have tried to eat one hundred percent real food, and we have been fine, without any of those unpleasant symptoms. It is clear that the “you can eat twenty percent junk” rule did not work for us.
My Eating Rule—JERF, But Don’t Stress
I try to eat real food one hundred percent of the time, yet I am fine with the fact that I will not always meet that goal. I will carefully make sure that every item of food that enters our home is real food, and nothing else. I will cook and serve nothing but real food. Once you get in the habit of doing this, it becomes a routine, and being healthy and functioning better is well worth the time, trouble, and additional expense.
The problem comes at social gatherings and restaurants, where most of the food is never real. I will often eat a large snack of real food at home, rich in animal fats, before I go out. This helps protect my body from the toxins I may ingest, and satisfies my hunger before I am exposed to factory food. When offered desserts and food items that I should not eat, I politely decline them without trying to preach the merits of real food. If it seems like an explanation is needed, I calmly and quietly explain that I am on a strict diet for my health, which is absolutely true. Most people will accept that explanation. I will eat whatever seems the closest to real food, from what is available, and I will not eat very much of it. In a restaurant, I will carefully choose food that is as free of toxins and as close to real food as I can find, and I am not shy about asking the waiter for details. I also try to eat only at restaurants that have something that is good to eat, even though I avoid most of their menu.
Now prior to eating the pizza, we had done our usual best to just eat real food for the rest of the week and the rest of our meals, so the pizza was far less than twenty percent of our diet. But it was far too much. The benefits of just eating real food are so great that we will not throw them away to indulge in junk, or to fit in with the crowd. And we do not feel deprived because we enjoy our real food so much. There is such a huge variety of foods we can eat, and they are so much better and so much more satisfying. And we do follow a rule set down by Sally Fallon Morell, the founder and president of the Weston A. Price Foundation—never eat carbs without plenty of good animal fat.
But the main rule I follow is simple, profound, and it works—JERF. Just Eat Real Food.
By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue
photo credit: cliff1066™ Is it a “mental disorder” to make a pleasant trip to a Farmers’ Market to buy healthy organic produce?
The real food movement is a real problem for the food industry and the medical industry. More and more people are refusing to eat foods containing artificial ingredients. More and more people are refusing to let doctors tell them how to eat. More and more people are avoiding foods containing toxins, chemicals, and preservatives. More and more people are thinking for themselves. Can’t have that. People should do as they are told, by those who know better. So the powers that be are turning to a tried and true method of controlling the masses.
The methods used to keep people ignorant and compliant are many, and the tyrants and exploiters who live off the fear and suffering of others have used a huge variety. One of the most despicable methods is to label people who dare to disagree with conventional belief as crazy. Nowadays, the term of choice is “disorder,” which can be used to condemn any dissenting opinion and dismiss those who hold it as having a mental illness. That way, the truth of the dissenting opinion is never addressed, and the people who have it are condemned, made fun of, often institutionalized, and sometimes killed. Most people become afraid to even consider the dissenting opinion, for fear they will be labeled as mentally ill. A very effective way of killing free thought and preserving the status quo.
The latest use of this freedom killing method is the creation of a “mental illness” called “Healthy Eating Disorder,” which is usually called by the scientific-sounding name they picked for it, Orthorexia. Rhymes with Anorexia, which helps invoke the fear of a known disease. If it sounds like a mental disease, it must be a mental disease, right? If you avoid foods that contain chemicals, preservatives, GMOs, or any toxins, you are mentally ill with this so-called disorder. I kid you not. Psychiatrists have actually been quoted saying that this is a “serious mental disorder,” which can lead to “malnutrition,” social isolation, obsessive behavior, and many other horrible consequences, including death.
In other words, if you try to avoid eating toxins, if you try to only eat the healthy, unmodified foods of our ancestors—you are mentally ill and should be treated with psychotropic drugs. I suppose the only way you can avoid being labeled mentally ill is to eat the worthless factory foods industry promotes without hesitation or complaint.
This is nonsense. But it can and will be used to control our behavior. Unless we reject this evil and cynical fiction for the nonsense it is.
Some Examples of How Accusations of Mental Illness Were Used To Maintain The Status Quo:
Most people have never heard of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweiss. Yet Dr. Semmelweiss has saved the lives of more women than anyone who has ever lived. During his time, and before, in Europe and the U.S., many women died from a horrible, painful disease. It was called childbirth fever. Fatality rates ranged from fifteen to eighty percent. A woman was at great risk of getting this horrible disease every time she gave birth. Many millions of women died from this illness.
The medical profession of the day could do nothing to cure childbirth fever, and treated it as a normal risk of giving birth.
In the mid-nineteenth century, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweiss, a Hungarian obstetrician, began doing something remarkable. He began washing his hands before assisting in childbirth. Semmelweiss noticed that his patients did not get childbirth fever. He assisted a number of women, from the rich to the poor, and they did not get this horrible disease that was so common. Semmelweiss decided that all who assist with childbirth should thoroughly wash their hands. He vigorously advocated his theory, and was astounded and dismayed when most doctors refused to wash their hands, despite his findings. He wrote letters to newspapers, letters that offended the medical profession. The doctors denounced Semmelweiss as insane. Semmelweiss was lured into visiting a mental institution. When he realized that the real purpose of the visit was to commit him, he tried to leave. He was savagely beaten by the brutal thugs used to control the inmates, and committed. His wounds became infected, and he died within two weeks. An autopsy revealed severe internal injuries from the beating.
Yet Semmelweiss had managed to publicize his findings enough that more doctors began to experiment with them. Eventually it was realized that childbirth fever was caused by the filthy hands of doctors and some midwives. And it became standard practice to wash and clean the hands before assisting in childbirth. Childbirth fever almost completely disappeared.
The old Soviet Union had a problem. Many of its citizens were complaining about the harsh conditions and constant shortages, and were expressing their opinion that the system did not work. The government decided that, since Soviet Communism was the best governmental system on earth, anyone who questioned or criticized it must be mentally ill. Tens of thousands of Soviet citizens were drugged or sent to mental institutions for questioning the system. The very fact that they complained was taken as proof they were mentally ill and needed “treatment.” This so-called mental disorder disappeared when the Soviet Union was overthrown.
Both Dr. Semmelweiss and the Soviet citizens were perfectly sane. Yet they were labeled as mentally ill and forcibly committed and/or drugged. Their real crime was to find a better way of doing things that threatened the established powers of their societies.
Now Comes Orthorexia
When I first read an article treating Orthorexia as a serious mental disorder, I thought it was a joke. Unfortunately, it was not.
The basic theory of this non-existent “disorder” is the idiotic claim that being concerned about the content and quality of your food is a mental disorder that requires treatment.
If you avoid foods containing toxins, pesticides, or particular ingredients such as soy, sugar, corn, or GMOs, you are considered mentally ill. That is nonsense! If a “disorder” claims that not wanting to eat poison is abnormal and crazy, then the disorder is nonsense. Most people in history, over the entire globe, were deeply concerned about the safety and quality of their food, and paid a lot of attention to it. It is only in modern times that people have blindly eaten whatever the food industry places before them. I consider it vital to consider the quality and content of my food, and my health has improved greatly as a result.
Some of the “symptoms” of this phony “disorder” are so ridiculous that I cannot understand how anyone can take them seriously. Here are some of the most idiotic:
Planning the Next Day’s Meals in Advance
Really? I plan the next day’s meals in advance all the time. In fact, I have a general idea of what will be eaten during the week, which enables me to know what foods to purchase. Is there anyone on the planet who sincerely believes that this is a sign of insanity?
Feelings of Happiness, Satisfaction, Esteem, or Spiritual Fulfillment from “Eating Healthy”
This is a problem? Eating real food does create feelings of happiness and satisfaction. What is wrong with that? Do I feel good about the fact that I carefully select and prepare the best real food I can get for myself and my family? You bet I do. Do I feel fulfilled when I eat a great meal of real food free of toxins and chemicals? Of course I do.
And I am certain that all of my many friends in the real food movement have the same experience, and most of humanity has had and cherished this experience throughout history. This is a “symptom” that everyone should be blessed with.
Noticeable Increase in the Use of Supplements, Herbal Remedies, and Probiotics
Well, this must be the ultimate proof of insanity. Anyone who does not use Big Pharma’s drugs is crazy. Anyone who finds a cheaper, safer way to health is crazy. Anyone who tries to make up for our nutrient-depleted soils by taking supplements is crazy. Anyone who uses probiotics instead of drugs is crazy. Certainly this has nothing to do with corporate profits. Actually, this “symptom” has everything to do with profit.
I could give further examples, but I have made my point.
Orthorexia is not a mental disorder. In fact, if the entire human race had the “symptoms” of this “disorder,” and insisted on clean food free of toxins and chemicals, we would all be much better off.
In closing, the very fact that the real food movement has a phony mental disorder being used to try to control us is an admission that we are being heard, and that there are more of us every day. We should not give any credibility or consent to this cynical attempt to control us and should always call it what it is—nonsense.
The first food safety system allows the meat from animals too sick to stand to enter the meat supply. The second food safety system does not allow any meat from a sick or diseased animal to be eaten.
One is modern, and one has been in use for three thousand years. Which is more advanced? The answer is obvious. Common sense alone tells us that nobody should be eating meat from an animal to sick to stand. You might be surprised to learn that it is our own modern U.S. food safety system that allows the meat from animals too sick to stand to be eaten, and it is the ancient food safety system that forbids it.
We are taught that our modern society is far superior to all previous societies in every respect. We are taught to think of our ancestors as primitive and ignorant, especially when it comes to matters like food safety. Yet that is simply not true.
Of course, with our advanced technology, we could do much better than a three thousand year old food safety system. But we do not. Because our system is set up to maximize speed and profit, and the ancient system was set up to maximize safety.
A Tale of Two Food Safety Systems
About three thousand years ago, the kosher dietary system was set up, as part of the Jewish religion. This system has probably been modified over time, but most of it appears to have not changed. While the kosher system is better known for its restrictions on what foods can be eaten, it has definite food safety provisions relating to meat inspection that we can learn from. It is likely that many other ancient peoples followed similar principles, but what they did is not documented.
One of the key goals of the kosher inspection system was to prevent the eating of meat from sick animals. We know that many ancient peoples shared this goal. It stands to reason that nobody would want to eat the meat from a sick animal, for obvious reasons.
Every animal was inspected before slaughter. If the animal showed any signs of illness or ill health, it was rejected, and could not be used for meat. If the animal was dirty, it was rejected, and could not be used for meat. This inspection was carried out carefully, by a man who was trained to notice signs of illness. There was no time limit for the inspection. It took what it took.
If the animal passed the first inspection, it was inspected again after slaughter. Most of the internal organs of the animal were carefully examined for any sign of disease. If any sign of disease was found, all the meat of the animal was declared unclean, and could not be eaten. Again, no time limit was placed on the inspection of the internal organs of the animal. It took what it took to do a thorough job.
Our own American meat inspection system is very different. For reasons that can be only related to profit, our government allows meat from animals too sick to stand to enter the meat supply. Recently, the state of California tried to stop this practice by outlawing the use of meat from such animals. The federal government tried to stop this law. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, which overthrew the California law, ruling it was preempted by Federal law. And the federal government simply has failed to ban such meat.
The other great problem is that meat animals are slaughtered and their meat is usually processed at great speed, which the industry has constantly increased, as speed means profit. What this means in reality is that the carcasses and meat from slaughtered animals move quickly past the meat inspectors on a conveyor belt, and the meat inspector is supposed to be able to see any problems as the carcasses whiz by. When it comes to chickens, a meat inspector is supposed to examine 90 chickens a minute, and it has been proposed that the rate be increased to 180 chickens a minute. Some inspectors have been quoted as saying that they cannot really notice much when they are responsible for 90 chickens a minute. Expecting anyone to be able to examine so many chickens in so short a time is beyond absurd.
Is All Kosher Meat Superior?
Not necessarily. It does not matter what the system is, unless its requirements are followed. An animal can be raised on unnatural feed and show no signs of disease. As I have written many times before, I consider grassfed meat to be far superior to grain-fed meat, and almost all kosher meat is grain-finished. Allegations have been made that not all producers of kosher meats follow the required procedures. I have no way of knowing what the truth is. The point of this article is not to advocate kosher meat, but to point out how it forbids the use of the meat of sick animals, and that we should do the same.
What We Should Do
I consider safety to be far more important than profit. Surely we can take steps to identify and remove the meat of any sick animal before it enters the food supply. We can do at least as well as a system devised three thousand years ago.
The processing of meat animals can and must be slowed down enough to allow for a thorough examination of each animal. Animals should be examined both before and after slaughter. Any that show any signs of illness should be banned from the meat supply. The meat industry should change its practices to raise healthier animals. They will do this if the meat from sick animals cannot be used. The federal government should put the safety of the meat supply above the profit of the big producers.
For now, I only eat grassfed meat. I believe that meat animals fed their natural diet, grass, grazing naturally on living grass, are healthier than factory animals. Factory animals are penned in a feedlot for months and fed GMO corn, GMO soy, and other species-inappropriate feeds. Besides, grassfed meat tastes much better, and I feel good and renewed after eating it.