Column #272

Sometime back I ran across the “Meat Myth Crushers” website. It has numerous short videos and essays that address many of the myths swirling around meat. The site is well worth a visit and I’m sure you’ll find some topics of interest.1

They have about 60 myth crushing presentations. For instance:
●   Meat Rots in Your Digestive System
●   Processed Meat is Unhealthy and Should Be Avoided
●   Meat Is the Only Product from Animals Raised for Food
●   'Glue' is Used to Hold Some Meat Together
●   Livestock Have a Greater Negative Environmental Impact than Cars
●   Hormone Use In Poultry Production Poses a Health Risk to Consumers

Keep in mind that this meat marketing industry website follows USDA safety and dietary guidelines which means it pushes a few arguments that are based on “outdated” science. This is why blindly following someone’s idea of “science” isn’t always the smartest thing. Their science may be obsolete or merely politically correct, bureaucratic mumbo jumbo. For instance, concerns for eating saturated fats were debunked years ago yet the myth crushers seem to reenforce the old saturated fat story in one crushing answer. It’s now known that saturated animal fats do not cause blood vessel blockages like many used to think. That’s because of the type of LDL they create.2

As I was paging through their website, I stumbled across another myth crusher article that’s titled “Grass-Fed Beef Is More Nutritious Than Beef From Cattle Finished On Corn And Grains.” Now that “myth” really caught my attention and, as I expected, they blew it. Essentially the website said the two meats are the same.

The beef industry likes to promote the idea that there is no nutritional difference between grass-fed and grain-fed, because they don’t want to put the “big money” side of the meat industry in bad light. So their myth crushing story is a myth itself. They ignore the fact that the two meats are a different color, they taste different, they don’t smell the same, they feel different, have different tenderness characteristics, and do not process the same way, etc. Based on just those physical attributes our senses can detect we can't say the meats are the same because all of those differences are due to chemical differences. Foods are bundles of atoms and chemical compounds.

When it comes to Omega-3, the big-money, industrial myth crushers say that Omega-3 quantities in beef are so low it doesn’t matter. But what they won’t tell you is that the balance of essential fatty acids (EFAs), Omega-6 to Omega-3, “is” what matters. That’s because they have no idea the EFA “ratio” is the entire story behind Omega-3. We wouldn't be able to define an Omega-3 deficiency if it wasn't for the EFA ratio. I've lab tested beef many times over the years and the EFA ratio in grass-fed is close to 1:1 and grain-fed beef runs from 10:1 to 18:1. Those numbers agree with most credible studies.3

Chronic diseases start occurring in people and animals as the EFA ratio reaches and exceeds 4:1. This is fundamental information about the ratio that has been around for 40 years or so. That's why even some modern dog foods now advertise 1:1 EFA ratio feeds. You can buy commercial eggs from Kroger that have 1:1 EFA balances rather than the normal 18:1 balances. So, to dismiss the Omega-3 story is fraudulent or ignorant.4

I can also point to other nutrients in grass-fed meats that differ significantly versus grain-fed. Protein and many minerals are a toss up. But some vitamins differ significantly. Vitamin E and vitamin A are many times higher in grass-fed. Beta carotene, CLA, as well as other nutrients are also significantly higher in grass-fed. Studies proving these differences were conducted 25 and 30 years ago and have been replicated many times since.5

So, in effect, when comparing the two beef classes studies prove that grain-fed is somewhat nutrient light compared to grass-fed. That's why I eat over a pound a day of grass-fed and Omega-3 meats every day. I want perfect nutrition. Meats are literally the best source for all nutrients required for optimizing human body function. But if there are deficiencies in the animals’ diets, rest assured their meats will have deficiencies too.6

For part of their analysis the myth crushers relied on a report published by Dr. Stephen Smith, a Professor of Meat Science at Texas A&M University. His report actually stated that grain-fed beef was healthier than grass-fed. Soon after his report made national (MSM) headlines, which was in 2010, I contacted him. Afterwards I concluded he’s an egotistical farce.

For starters his report was funded by the National Cattleman’s Beef Association. Secondly, his 27 subjects completed a three-way crossover study. Each group rotated, consuming five, tiny, four-ounce ground beef patties PER WEEK for six weeks from grass-fed and grain-fed cattle. Obviously they had to eat many other foods to survive and what they chose to eat was not tracked. In addition, Smith’s nutritional evaluation was narrowly focused on saturated fat which eliminated the big picture. Consequently his report was nothing but a contorted opinion piece that ignored decades of peer-reviewed studies on meats and nutrition. The only good thing about his report was that it showed saturated fat is heart healthy.7

As Andrew Gunther says, “. . . sound science is a key to the future, but only in the hands of ethical scientists. We need to expose these shameless media stunts and the bad science they promote. Only then will consumers once again have confidence in the many great and revered scientists who are working tirelessly to make the world a better, more sustainable place.”8

I wholeheartedly agree. There are scientists who ignore the rigors of science. They are a dime a dozen and they respond to who pays them the most. Therefore they are just like crooked politicians who laughingly sell out their constituents.

Big business, big social media, big MSM, big education, and big government want uniformity and dependancy. They do not want independent outliers to the norm. Many middle class Americans are outliers. People in food production are outliers. People in the gig economy are outliers. Many people living in rural areas are outliers. In order to survive many small businesses are outliers to such an extent that some are considered nonessential!

If small businesses become successful and start to develop a national reach they are often bought out or squashed one way or the other. It’s either that or they are taken public and the Wall Street titans gain control. In that vein the top dogs keep getting richer as they manipulate the government and the masses with propaganda. I think this is where the term sheeples comes in.

For all these reasons and more I recommend that we should be critical, independent thinkers.9

To your health.

Ted Slanker

Ted Slanker has been reporting on the fundamentals of nutritional research in publications, television and radio appearances, and at conferences since 1999. He condenses complex studies into the basics required for health and well-being. His eBook, The Real Diet of Man, is available online.

1. Meat Myth Crushers

2. Saturated Fat Is Not the Major Issue by Aseem Malhotra

3. Effects of Forage vs Grain Feeding on Carcass Characteristics, Fatty Acid Composition, and Beef Quality in Limousin-Cross Steers When Time on Feed Is Controlled by I. B. Mandell, et al.

4. The Importance of the Ratio of Omega-6/omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids by A.P. Simopoulos

5. Effects of Forage Species or Concentrate Finishing on Animal Performance, Carcass and Meat Quality by S. K. Duckett

6. Nutritional Composition of Red Meat by P. G. Williams

7. Study Shows Ground Beef from Grain-Fed Cattle Healthier than Grass-Fed from AgriLife Today

8. More Bad Science: Ground Beef from Grain-Fed Cattle Healthier than Grass-Fed. Fact or Fable? by Andrew Gunther

9. Bias by Ted Slanker