That’s a long title, I know, but this is a long blog post, so they fit together. I recently got to wondering WHY processed meats are so bad for you, and my mom encouraged me to do my own research and draw my own thoughts. Here’s the startling information that I found:
Red Hot Dogs: Should I eat hot Dogs? 4 out of 5 experts say no. Just one hot dog with ketchup and mustard contains 290 calories and 910 mgs sodium. So, are hot dogs themselves all that bad? Peter Clifton, professor of nutrition at the University of South Australia, says, “All data says processed meat is bad: more diabetes, higher mortality, more cardiovascular disease.” The average hot dog also has Nitrates inside of it. What are Nitrates? Nitrates are what help keep Hot dogs full of color for a long period of time. Nitrates are thought to maybe cause Pancreatic Cancer, could be linked to Alzheimer’s and Diabetes and could harm the baby in the womb. Nitrates are also well-established cancer-causing agents. According to Eliana Dockterman in a TIME post, “Back in 2009, a New York Times reporter filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act asking the U.S.D.A. to hand over all the complaints about foreign objects in hot dogs they had received between 2007 and 2009—and one, apparently, contained a Band-Aid. Some other alarming ingredients: glass shards, metal fragments, maggots, a rat leg, a piece of an eyeball, a razor, and bone fragments.” She also goes on to say that, “Sara Lee’s Ball Park Franks, the most popular hot dog brand in the U.S. as of 2011, lists the first ingredient in their product as ‘mechanically separated turkey.’ What’s that, you ask? The USDA describes it as a ‘paste-like and batter-like poultry product [that is] produced by forcing bones, with attached edible tissue, through a sive or similar device under high pressure.’ Yum.” According to Dr. Josh Axe, “Hot dogs may also contain mechanically separated meat, or MSM. This is a type of meat that has been pushed through a sieve to separate the meat from the bone, creating a type of paste. While this process was made illegal in the United States in 2004 due to its association with mad cow disease, regulations now state that hot dogs can still contain up to 20 percent MSM.” One study by Public Health Nutrition Journal found that each serving of processed meat boosted your chance of getting heart disease by 15%. Nitrites are also a really big problem. Nitrites can increase heart’s disease and can affect oxygen circulation. From personal observation, I have seen what happens to my brother whenever he eats nitrites. He will eat a hot dog, or some type of red meat containing nitrites, and the next day he has an awful headache throughout the entire day, without any relief of the pain until the next day, after a good night’s sleep. So, if you don’t want to just through out hot dogs for good (I sure don’t!) then go to your local grocery store and see what they have for healthy hot dogs. When I say “healthy”, I am talking about hot dogs with no nitrites and not as much saturated fats in them. Once you find a good brand that is free of those horrible ingredients, you can finally eat a hot dog-and guilt free, too!
Pork: Pork is the most widely eaten meat in the world, making up around 38% of the meat production, worldwide. In the Bible, God warns us that pigs are unclean animals and instructed the Israelites to not eat it. Leviticus 11:7-8 says, ” 7 And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. 8 You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.” I personally think that God was telling the Israelites this to protect them. Why would the Israelites need warned to not eat pigs? Well, it’s pretty obvious that pigs are dirty. I mean, have you ever met a pig that had never rolled in some mud in its entire life? As well as rolling around in mud, pigs will eat basically anything you give them or that they find on their own. They eat bugs, insects, any scraps lying around, their own feces and have even been known to eat their young. At least one farmer has gone out to feed his pigs and then never returned. In 2012, that man became the pig’s breakfast. According to Dr. Josh Axe, “A pig digests whatever it eats rather quickly, in up to about four hours. On the other hand, a cow takes a good 24 hours to digest what it’s eaten. During the digestive process, animals (including humans) get rid of excess toxins as well as other components of the food eaten that could be dangerous to health. Since the pig’s digestive system operates rather basically, many of these toxins remain in its system to be stored in its more than adequate fatty tissues ready for our consumption. Another issue with the pig is that it has very few functional sweat glands and can barely sweat at all. Sweat glands are a tool the body uses to be rid of toxins. This leaves more toxins in the pig’s body. When you consume pork meat, you too get all these toxins that weren’t eliminated from the pig. None of us needs more toxins in our systems. In fact, we should all do what we can to eliminate and cut down on toxin exposure. One vital way to do this is by choosing what you eat carefully, and for me, that definitely includes completely avoiding pork products of any kind.” According to the World Health Association, processed meat like ham, bacon and sausage cause cancer. Researchers found that eating just 50 grams of processed meat a day raises your risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. That’s about four strips of bacon. And listen to this. Processed meats are considered to be food items like ham, bacon, sausage, hot dogs and some deli meats. Notice anything there? All of those meats are mainly pork-derived products. Have you ever heard of Swine Flu? It is yet another virus that has made its leap from pig to human. Influenza or flu viruses can actually be transmitted directly from a pig to a human. According to Dr. J. Axe, “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, H1N1 and H3N2 are swine flu viruses that are “endemic among pig populations in the United States and something that the industry deals with routinely.” Outbreaks can occur year-round. H1N1 has been observed in pig populations since at least 1930, while H3N2 began in the United States around 1998. “According to the CDC, swine flu has not been shown to be transmissible to people through eating properly handled and prepared pork. Properly prepared means cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, which is supposed to kill all viruses and other foodborne pathogens. “But what if you consume pork from a pig that had influenza and it wasn’t cooked to that temperature guideline — then what? I certainly wouldn’t want to roll the dice and find out.” Pigs are also primary carriers of: Taenia solium tapeworm Hepatitis E virus (HEV) — In developed countries, sporadic cases of HEV genotype 3 have occurred in humans after eating uncooked or undercooked pork. Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, aka blue-ear pig disease Nipah virus Menangle virus Viruses in the family Paramyxoviridae Each of these can lead to serious health problems that could last for years to come. And if that isn’t enough for you to reconsider eating pork, then I don’t know what is.
Processed Beef: We all love a good steak or juicy hamburger, topped with lettuce, buns, ketchup, cheese and any of your personal add-ons. I personally love me a good, juicy, homemade hamburger. The kind made with homemade hamburger buns. And with a slice of real cheese. Ahhhhhh…. Anyways, even though we all love hamburgers, steak and all that wonderful stuff, we all should consider why conventional beef is actually not that good for you. According to Heather McClees, a a certified nutritionist and dietetic specialist, “ Researchers at the University of California found that meat triggers a toxic reaction within the body that weakens the immune system due to a natural sugar it contains our bodies can’t digest. The body launches an immune response as it tries to get rid of it and in the mean time, a host of health problems occur, such as cancer (which is largely a disease of a weak immune system). The unique findings are that other carnivores can eat red meat fine because their bodies actually contain the natural sugar that digests the meat. Our bodies don’t.” She goes on even further to say that, “The sugar, Neu5Gc, is already in the body of other carnivores that consume meat for food. Mice (who don’t contain the sugar as we don’t) were fed meat and actually developed tumors quickly.” So, not only does it weaken the immune system, but it also seems to increase one’s risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as Colon cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Type 2 Diabetes and Mad Cow Disease (And yes, lol, this is a real disease). Rachel Krantz, creator of the popular site, Bustle, says, “Large studies in England and Germany showed that vegetarians were about 40 percent less likely to develop cancer compared to meat-eaters, the most common forms being breast, prostate, and colon cancers. A 2014 Harvard study found that just one serving a day of red meat during adolescence was associated with a 22 percent higher risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer, and that the same red meat consumption in adulthood was associated with a 13 percent higher risk of breast cancer overall.” Also, if you are looking to maintain a lower BMI for your health, then you should let me tell you that meat-eaters are three times more likely to obese than vegetarians, and nine times more than vegans. Averagely, vegans tend to be 10 to 12 pounds lighter than the average meat-eater. I, personally, love beef. You can literally do almost ANYTHING with it, and it can be REALLY, REALLY good, if you make it the right way! But i still have a couple more reasons why you should eat more healthy beef that costs a little more, but saves your body from future disasters! Now, a lot of people have in their head that red beef is bad for you because of the hormones in it-but that’s not true! Hormones in meat are bad, but only if you eat 200 pounds of meat per day! So, most of us obviously are NOT going to be doing that, so what else could possibly be bad about red beef?? Grass-fed cows are usually treated in a more humane-way than CAFO (confined animal eating operations) animals are. According to Daniel Imhoff: Inside “In a CAFO, animals are concentrated in unnaturally high stocking rates by the thousands or tens of thousands and under unnatural conditions, often unable to breathe fresh air, see the light of day, walk outside, peck at plants or insects, scratch the earth, or eat a blade of grass. They are fed a high-calorie grain-based diet (sometimes including reclaimed animal manure, ground-up fish, or recycled animal parts) designed to maximize growth and weight gain in the shortest amount of time. Only a select few modern breeds are chosen for these cold industrial parameters.” Inside a CAFO, animals are given antibiotics, even if they don’t need them! Plus, it isn’t uncommon for a CAFO to have on their land, as much sewage as 100,000 human inhabitants could generate, on only 100 acres. And even though it’s illegal to slaughter “downer cows”, which are cows that are unable to walk the slaughter floor, it is estimated that 100,000 downer cows have been slaughtered every year in the United States of America. What’s even more startling is what Daniel Imhoff continues to tell us: “According to an oft-cited 2006 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization report, the livestock sector alone accounts for 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, a larger share than all of the world’s transportation emissions combined.(13) A more recent study published by the World Watch Institute, however, pegs global livestock production as responsible for 32 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, or 51 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.(14) There are now five hundred reported “dead zones” throughout the world, aquatic regions whose biotic capacities are collapsing, largely because of agricultural runoff and waste contamination, much of it linked to the livestock sector.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So, let me ask you a question as a fellow Christian….
Why should we even care about these things? I mean, can’t we just walk away from all of this information and forget about all of it? We can, but we also need to do something. We, as Christians, ought to filter all that we do through God’s Word. Does the Bible had anything in it about CAFO? Well, not specifically, but it does refer to taking good care of the things around us, which definitely refers to animals. The verses below show what I mean… Proverbs 27:23: “Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds.” Psalm 50:10-11 “For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills. “I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine.” -So, if all of the animals are God’s, then we should DEFINITELY take care of them, right? After all, God DID say that we would rule over the animals of the earth… Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Now check out what Isaiah says… Isaiah 40:11 “Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.” So Jesus, as our Shepherd, is gentle with us. Shouldn’t we, as “Shepherds” over the animals around us, strive to take care of the animals? Just some things for you to think on, as you go about your day.
Cheers! -Keziah ❤