Friday, September 24, 2010
We have all heard about the meat industry and how it is linked to billions of dollars as well as countless drugs. Today’s industrialized process reduces the nutritional value of the meat, stresses the animals, increases the risk of bacterial contamination, pollutes the environment and exposes consumers to a long list of unwanted chemicals. You can’t see it. And you can’t always recognize it by reading the label.
So I spoke with Dr Edward Kachab, PhD of Chemical Free Kids who witnessed the processing of meat and discovered how every step of animal farm production is controlled with drugs! Edwards shares what drugs are used and exactly how this affects the animals and us when we consume it in the body...
Did you know that farm animals in large-scale animal housing where large numbers of animals are assembled into small areas of land or water are continuously dosed with drugs for most of their life-span to keep them healthy and increase production???
Such is the economy of large-scale animal production of meat, milk and eggs intended for our supermarket shelves. For example, chicken, egg, pig, veal and fish production. I wasn’t terribly aware of what was really involved until I took this area up as a research topic during my post-graduate studies. My supervisor asked me to develop a diagnostic kit to detect these drugs in sheep. I discovered that drugs are added at very high doses to prevent the outbreak of infectious diseases and for growth promotion. In fact, it’s a common practice in animal farming to add antibiotics and anabolic agents to the animal feed to fatten up them and improve the overall efficiency of production.
I got to find out that every step of animal farm production is controlled with the use of drugs. Drugs with potent hormonal activity are used to control reproduction for example in ruminants and pigs. Other drugs such as prostaglandins and their analogues are used to regulate fertility and breeding programs whilst glucocorticoids are used to control timing of production. In fact, drugs are added to farm animals almost right up to the point before they are killed. As farmers need their animals to weight as much as possible for maximum returns, beta-adrenogenic blocking agents are given to sheep, cows and pigs whilst they are on their way to the slaughter house to reduce any weight loss due to the stressful circumstances of transportation. Once animals make it to the slaughter house, the drug dosing doesn’t necessarily stop; some may be dosed with even more drugs such as certain tranquilizers to stop anxiety or prevent heart failure or to curb aggressive behaviour.
If you’re beginning to wonder if food production is all about the economy, the answer to your question is yes! At the end of the day farmers or food manufacturers are interested in making a profit. They are set up to produce ‘food’ for a profit. They are not in the business of keeping you healthy. For that you need to find a good company that specializes in wellness. So let’s take a closer look at what happens when all these drug enter the body of farm animals?
In a best case scenario, once the drugs enter the blood stream they go to the liver where most of the drug gets metabolised and then excreted by the kidneys with little or no drug residues left in the animal body. However, there are many drugs that are not easily metabolised and eliminated from the body and these drugs enter the muscle, the skin and the fat where it gets deposited and stored and accumulate over time and over repeated dosing. Some people report experiencing an allergic reaction when eating a piece of animal fat but not to the meat itself as it is in the animal fat where some drugs accumulate at their highest concentration. Drugs or their metabolites can also make their way to milk and eggs as that may be the route in which the animal may eliminate the drugs or toxins from their body.
What are some of the regulations?
Regulations require that when drugs are administered to farm animals a certain period of time know as the ‘withdrawal period’ must elapse before the animals are killed or before eggs and milk are collected so that sufficient time lapses for most drug residues to be cleared from the system. However, drug residues exceeding the recommended levels continue to be detected for many drugs. One of the most common reasons for this is that animals are killed before the withdrawal time is animals with amounts much higher than they are supposed to. Drugs administered just before the animals are killed don’t have time to be eliminated and often result in high residue levels in the meat. If the drug is administered as an injection it can be localized at very extremely high levels at the site of the injection.
What are the health risks from these drug residues?
The two main health risks to humans is either toxicity on the body or microbiological effects. For example, some drug residues have been reported to be cancer causing agents or having an effect on the reproductive system. They may even act on the endocrine system and act as hormone disruptors. The presence of antibiotic residues in food may result in allergic side effects for individuals who are already sensitized to these antibiotics. For example; penicillin. Regular exposure to antibiotics from food containing these antibiotic residues can result in the built up of antimicrobial resistance by human pathogens and the disturbance of the healthy bacteria naturally occurring in the gut. This then gives rise to an increasing population of parasites inhabiting the gut.
So where do we go from here?
I have put together an action plan for you to support you in reducing your exposure to toxic drug residues from farm animals that when implemented will make you feel Good!
Your six-step Action Plan to feeling Good!
• Avoid or reduce the amount of meat that you consume and if you are a meat lover then simply go organic.
• Eat smaller portions of meat and make vegetables or salad your main portion.
• Always take a good pro-biotic to restore and keep the microflora of your gut healthy.
• Don’t drink water with your meal and wait for 30 or 45 min before drinking any fluids for your digestive enzymes to work at their optimal best.
• Exercise daily and drink lots of water.
• Try one of The Earth Diet recipes. You can do this one just for fun too below the Sweet Meat Stir Fry using Organic Free Range Grass Fed Cows: )
Dr Edward Kachab, PhD
The Earth Diet
The Earth Diet – Feel Good!
Another look at meat and it's health risks in my blog Day 168.
Quotes: "I have done my best", that is about all the philosophy of living that one needs....Lin-yutang.
What I Ate Today:
Meal 1: An avocado.
Meal 2: A beetroot (beet), carrot, celery and ginger juice :)
Meal 3: A orange and grapefruit juice mmm!
Meal 4: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups! I love this after a workout :) Raw and healthy!
Meal 5: Some brazil nuts :)
Meal 6: Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms!
Meal 7: Organic Sweet Meat Stir Fry. Created with olive oil, asparagus, capsicum (red bell pepper), ginger, garlic, green onion, chillis and honey!
Recipe: The Recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms and Sweet Meat Stir Fry are available free on The Earth Diet website www.TheEarthDiet.Org
Exercise: A 1 hour Zumba class at Big Al's Family Fitness with Raphael! Such a fun class - I love being able to move my body in so many ways and use so many muscles all in one class!
45 days to go!!!