If you look at my clean eating chart, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll see a dish with meat in it. I mean, sure… I gave up red meat a lonnnnnng time ago, but I still partake of the poultry… and if I travel someplace with nice seafood? Well, I can’t be held responsible for what I may do. But at home, on my everyday schedule? It’s not likely that you’ll find any form of meat. Maybe once or twice a month.
I know, I know… someone out there’s gasping for air.
“[insert gasp] You don’t eat WHAT? [insert gasp] Girl, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?”
Trust me… I have my reasons. I’ll share them with you, but only on one condition – promise me that if you wind up agreeing with me, you’ll take my approach into consideration. I’m not issuing any orders… but you gotta promise to at least consider what I’m saying, here.
Everywhere you turn, there’s a burger available for cheap. If you’re lucky, you might even have a $0.35 burger day in your area. Burgers are going for cheap everywhere, but no one asks the question of “why is this meat so cheap? How are they able to offer this for so little?” In fact, I have another question that I think is worth asking: what is the difference between the cheap product and the “cream of the crop” beef, and is the difference really so large that such a difference in price makes sense?
Let’s take a brief look at how beef is raised. Obviously, beef comes from cows. If you pay any attention to the commercials, you’d presume it comes from happy cows. In a pasture. With always-beautiful blue skies. Probably from somewhere out in California. They’ve got lots of wandering room, and lots of little dandelions to chew on if they so desire. I hate to break it to you, but things aren’t quite how they seem… much like most things in the food manufacturing industry.
A cow, raised healthily, does grow in a pasture, eat grass, walk and run at his own leisure and is devoid of antibiotics. He will grow to be a few tons, be big and strong, develop lots of healthy muscle to be divided up and delivered to wherever you purchase your beef.
The problem, however, is that most cows in the US aren’t grown this way.
On your average farm, you’ll find cows. Lots of ’em. You won’t find green grass, though. You won’t find pastures, dandelions or “happy” and “healthy” cows. You’ll find cows packed in tightly in a small space – meant to restrict movement – feeding on corn.
I won’t get into too much deeper detail – because I didn’t set out to gross anyone out with this post – but I will explain what’s so wrong with this.
We, here at BGG2WL, know what happens when you feed someone a lot of something they shouldn’t be eating… and prevent them from being able to move. They’re unable to healthily develop muscle, and equally unable to burn any fat they gain. Since they’re having a hard time developing muscle… the industry doesn’t say “Let’s give ’em room to play and grow healthily.” They say “Give ’em growth hormones.”
Take it a step further, though. Because the cows aren’t eating what they’re supposed to be eating, they’re unable to fight off infection (sound familiar?) and illness. So, instead of saying “Ohhh, we’re making the cows sick, let’s go back to giving them what they’re supposed to have,” the industry says “Give ’em antibiotics.” The anti-biotics can’t take care of everything, so the cows have to have a hole created so that a “ranch hand” (literally) can reach their hand inside the cow and pull out the infectious and indigestible product. Any antibiotics may help with illness, but not infection… so the meat is thereafter cleaned with ammonia.
I’m not making this stuff up. Really, I’m not.
So… am I writing with the goal in mind to turn anyone away from beef? Of course not. I’m a believer in the idea that man has subsisted on meat- though, not as much as we eat today – for quite a long time, and though there are “studies” that suggest man has never eaten meat.. there are also “studies” that suggest otherwise. Either way.. we’ve never eaten as much meat as we do now because it was never quite so cheap.
When it comes to time and money, beef has never been so easy for us to acquire. $0.65 cheeseburger night’ing it. Value meal’ing it. Giving beef away with your purchase of tires. It’s just easy to get… so easy, in fact, that there’s rarely any time to question the quality of the product. When you stop to question the quality of the product, you find out things like the above, though.
The interesting thing about the way beef is produced nowadays is, really, the fact that this has colored society’s perception of the “expensive” beef:
“Beef is beef.”
“Why pay $3,489,879,843,754.35 per pound for ground beef when I can get my sandwiches dollar-style?”
The cheapness and availability of beef nowadays has turned properly made beef into a luxury. Think about that. Cheap food – once again – has turned properly made food into a luxury... to the point where people don’t even want to address issues of quality. That’s a huge problem.
What is my point? My point is, the amount of money we spend on inexpensive beef every day could be saved and used to purchase high quality, properly grown beef. It may cost more, but if you can avoid the excess fat, antibiotics and hormones in your food, why not try? This is where the “eat less” aspect comes in. If you go from eating beef 18 times a week to, maybe, 6 times a week in healthy portions… are you going to feel it that much in your pocket? Now, if you don’t have access to healthful beef, then you have a decision to make. Do you want to limit your intake of beef? Cut it entirely? Do you even care?
That’s a decision that only you can make for yourself… but, as we used to say.. “knowing is half the battle.”
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