Health updates

The following is new information regarding your health on the labeling of “grass-fed” beef and dairy, and sweetened coffee.

Factory farms seek “grass-fed” label

For most people, beef labeled as “grass-fed” conjures images of animals roaming in pastures, grazing on the grasses that cattle and other animals have digested over the eons of their evolution.

Now the USDA has proposed federal regulations that would allow the labeling as “grass-fed” of meat from factory farm animals, injected with antibiotics and hormones, who are fed corn and grain, rather than being raised on pastureland. No one supports this proposed regulation, other than large beef corporations who are seeking a federal license to defraud consumers and put family-scale farmers and ranchers out of business.

Animals raised on factory farms are routinely fed genetically modified grains, slaughterhouse waste, chicken manure and municipal garbage. Because cattle and other ruminants have evolved to eat fibrous grasses (not starchy low-fiber grain), they are more prone to disease when reared on a diet of grains rather than pasture and pasture forage.

Additionally, the manure from pasture-fed animals is easily taken up by the soil as natural fertilizer. In factory farm feedlots, the animals are confined to small spaces, the manure collects and runs off into area waterways, increasing algae and bacteria levels.

Compared to corn and grain-fed cattle, beef and dairy products from grass-fed animals have higher levels of vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids.

Sweetened coffee can make you fat

A 20-ounce Starbucks Caffè Mocha with whipped cream has 490 calories, equivalent in calories to a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with cheese. A 24-ounce Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino with whipped cream is equal in calories to a standard cup of coffee, 11 of their creamers and 29 packets of sugar.

 

Source: www.eatwild.com and Center for Science in the Public Interest’s September issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter. www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/coffee.pdf.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 5, October/November 2006.

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