Warning, these facts are really stomach-turning!
Something to chew on (or not):
- Your fast food hamburger could contain a mixture of meat from thousands of different cows!
- The majority of beef in the United States comes from cows that are fed corn, not grass. By feeding cows a diet that isn’t natural for them, they become diseased much more easily and require increasing amounts of antibiotics. Harmful, acid-resistant E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria can flourish in cows that eat corn.
- Hamburger is routinely cleansed with ammonia to kill E. coli. This method doesn’t always work.
- The majority of chickens are raised in window-less chicken houses, where crowding is extreme. Many chicks are de-beaked.
- Most egg-laying hens in the U.S. are raised in battery cages, with so little room that they can’t even spread their wings. They also can’t nest, perch or dust bathe.
- Chickens are engineered to grow more quickly, with much larger breasts than nature intended. The shift in body composition makes it so they can’t walk more than a few steps without collapsing.
Okay, so now that we know these shocking truths, what can we do?
- Create demand for higher-quality meats by purchasing grass-fed organic beef and pastured chicken whenever possible. Naturally-raised meats can be found at health food stores, farmers’ markets and online —US Wellness Meats is a good source.
- Knowledge is power. Ask your supermarket to find more humane and healthful sources of meat.
- Local Harvest is a great resource for finding a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm near you.
- Use the Eat Well Guide to find stores, co-ops, farmers and restaurants serving food raised humanely.
- Looking for restaurants you can trust on the road? Read Healthy Eats Here!, by Holly Hickman.
- Learn more: Watch Food, Inc.
- Become involved. A good place to start is the National Organic Coalition website. Also check out The Farm to Consumer Foundation.
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1) Food, Inc.
2) Humane Society of the United States (here)