There is an old saying that “you are what you eat”. This simply means that the food choices you make are directly linked to your health and wellbeing. What you put in to your body is what you get out of your body! So if you choose to eat healthy, life-giving, natural, organic whole foods, full of energy and vitality, then you can expect to feel healthy and vibrant. In contrast, if you choose to eat processed, chemical-laden foods with little life force left in them, then you can expect your own life force to feel depleted and your body to feel as empty and lifeless as your food!
The food that we eat and all of the nutrients contained therein are what provide the building blocks for new cell growth. Our bodies are always replenishing and regenerating and that process cannot happen efficiently without the best building materials. Empty calories or substandard food will only ensure that our foundation for health and wellness is weak.
For those who eat meat and animal products, the saying can be extended to “you are what your food eats”. If you are what you eat, and what you are eating comes from an animal, then it makes sense that the food eaten by that animal has a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of the animal – and therefore on you, when you eat it.
Many factory farm operations feed their animals foods designed to fatten them up quickly with empty calories so that they can be slaughtered at ever increasing rates. They are fed genetically modified crops that are heavily sprayed with pesticides and often they are fed foods that are not appropriate for their digestive systems. Cows, for instance, are meant to eat grass and roughage, but in factory farms they are forced to eat grains such as corn. The sugars in corn increase the fat content unnaturally and they cause illness and disease. Chickens are shut away indoors and kept away from the greens they love so much. I have also heard horror stories of diseased animals who die in factory farms being recycled as food for the remaining ones.
If you are what your foods eat, then what do you hope to become by eating animal products that come from factory farms? This is a scary thought and it is one that has paved the way for the rebirth of the grass fed and pastured foods movement. Many consumers are no longer comfortable eating factory farmed meat, dairy products and eggs. Instead they seek out beef from cows who are allowed to graze freely and eat the healthy food that they were intended to, with minimal pesticide ingestion. They buy farm fresh eggs from farms where the chickens are cage free and allowed to roam and eat grass, seeds, bugs, fruit, and other foods more natural to them.
Meat from grass fed animals is lean and has a fat content that more closely resembles chicken or wild game. This actually helps to improve your cholesterol levels instead of raise them. While it is low in the bad fats associated with high cholesterol, it is very high in the good fats, the omega-3 fatty acids. All of the nutrition from the pastures they graze in translates into lean cuts of meat and delicious milk that are nutritionally superior and much healthier for you and your family.
Pastured eggs are said to have about 20 times more omega-3 fatty acids than their factory farmed counterparts. The moment you crack open a pastured egg you can tell from the dark orange yolk that you are eating something rich and full of nutrition. They also taste infinitely better than other eggs. Once you try them you will find you be hard pressed to ever go without again.
Choosing organic takes it one step further. In addition to having pastures to roam and organic, pesticide-free foods to eat, these animals are spared the antibiotics and hormones routinely injected into factory farmed animals – which means you are also spared these toxins from entering YOUR body through the meat and animal products you consume. This is a very important consideration. Unfortunately, organically farmed animals are not always grass-fed, so try to choose meat that is both organic AND grass fed.
We truly are what our food eats, and if you choose to eat meat and animal products, then it is wise to choose the very best, grass fed and pastured and organic wherever possible. Personally, I have been a vegetarian for many years. I often flaunt with the idea of veganism, but for now I have chosen to be very particular with the dairy and occasional eggs that I do consume – always certified organic, never from big factory dairies, and local wherever possible.