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Posts tagged ‘Grass Fed Meat’

Myth busting – Part 11

Continued from Myth busting – Part 10. If you have not read Part 10 yet, I suggest you go start there, in order to keep everything in context. Thanks!

Carbon sequestration

 

To be clear on usage of certain terms:

Carbon (organic carbon) means the mineral carbon, an essential building block of all organic life on Earth – plants and animals, including humans.

Carbon dioxide means the gas breathed out by animals, and taken in by plants. Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring gas in our atmosphere – but human activity burning fossil fuels has increased the amount.

Over millions of years, plants ‘breathe in’ carbon dioxide and use it as a building block for cellular life. As those plants grow up into big strong trees, so the dense wood holds lots of carbon. When the tree dies, the logs fall to the ground and are buried in new growing organic matter. That carbon is taken down into the ground and stored for many years, slowly releasing its mineral content into the soil to nourish other plants and animals. This is a crude explanation, but you get the idea.

Carbon sequestration means ‘taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and storing it as carbon bound up in life forms (such as wood, plants, soil, insects, etc.)

A carbon sink is a place or thing that acts to sequester carbon, such as a tree.

Mother Nature provides places to sequester carbon naturally. The oceans, the topsoil, the forests and peat bogs (peat wetlands or peatlands) are all massive efficient carbon sinks, the world’s top four. The problem is, those carbon sinks are not working optimally.

Where have all the fishies gone?

Approximately 70% of the planet is covered by oceans and seas. Currently, around one third of all the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is sequestered by our oceans. They could be taking a lot more.

However, there is a problem with our oceans. We have over-fished them for the last century or more, and the result is that early in the 21st century we find that 85% of fisheries worldwide are over-fished and seriously depleted. We have massively reduced fish stocks in our oceans, and the use of trawlers and supertrawlers has decimated marine life, hurting Mother Nature’s ability to restore what we have taken. In some species, over 90% of living stock has been wiped out over a few decades, reducing numbers below a certain ‘critical mass’ to such a point that populations can’t recover. This means the oceans have a reduced ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, due to lower levels of biological activity in ocean waters.

You see, it’s supposed to be the life in the water that sucks up the carbon…not the water itself. However, with more carbon dioxide in the air, our oceans are also suffering from something called ‘ocean acidification’ which means the water itself is absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, because there is more there to absorb, and it’s changing the pH of ocean waters, reducing the oxygen-richness of ocean waters. This makes it harder for marine life to proliferate. It’s a double whammy, and a vicious negative cycle.

We need marine life to proliferate in order to sequester carbon. Ocean acidification, over-fishing and pollution have left the oceans with reduces amounts of algae, phytoplankton, seaweed and fish. The result is that our best carbon sink isn’t working at all well, and the largest part of the planet’s surface, that should supply a huge proportion of our food, is drastically depleted. The answer must be to stop over-fishing, stop polluting our oceans with plastics, chemical waste and more, stop polluting the atmosphere with burned fossil fuels and let the oceans work naturally, the way they are supposed to.

Without trying to sound too melodramatic about it, it’s a bit like the zombie apocalypse, but underwater. Reduced life, pollution, loss of marine biodiversity, massive scars of land destroyed by trawlers, ‘kill squads’ out slaughtering marine life en masse. What’s happening in our oceans isn’t pretty. Read more

Myth busting – Part 5

This post is Part 5 of a continuing series of posts tackling persistent myths in the world of healthy eating, with a particular focus on the consumption of animal foods as a source of ill health and environmental destruction.

You may like to read the whole series starting from Myth busting – Part 1

Myth: But big strong animals like gorillas don’t eat meat. A gorilla is a vegan and he’s made of muscle! So who needs all that protein now then?!?!

You may have seen this image circulating on social media sites, lots of folks who don’t really know much about health and nutrition like to share this image as some kind of ‘proof’ that it is healthiest to be a vegan, and no one needs to eat animal foods at all.

I don’t want to sound rude, and this next line isn’t meant to be an attack on any vegans or an insult to anyone specifically, but in all honesty, sharing this Internet meme as some kind of ‘proof’ that people shouldn’t eat meat is pretty much the highest display of ignorance out there in the whole ‘meat vs. vegetarian’ discussion.

Not ignorant because the people sharing it don’t know much about the digestive system of a gorilla; that’s fair enough, most folks probably don’t; but ignorant because the people sharing this are stupid enough to think the digestive function of one animal somehow acts as some guide of evidence-based scientific guide to the digestive system of another. That is just plain dumb.

Why would the digestive system and food habits of a gorilla have anything to do with a human?

Oh because gorillas have muscles, therefore this is ‘proof’ of how to build muscles?

Well elephants have muscles too; maybe I should eat an elephant’s diet? Read more

Meat Consumption and Cancer (WHO report and media frenzy)

This week, the media here in the UK (and elsewhere I guess) is awash with this latest ‘processed meat and cancer’ story. WHO cancer agency IARC (The International Agency for Research on Cancer) just published a report (October 2015) identifying associations between meat consumption and cancer. The media has, predictably, gone nuts over this story.

In my opinion, this is not news at all. This supports everything I say and every word MotherNaturesDiet stands for.

‘Processed’ is the key word here

The report mostly points a finger at processed meat, then less so at red meat in general.

Living the MotherNaturesDiet way, we say ‘avoid processed foods’. That’s Core Principle 3. If it has a barcode and a list of ingredients, don’t eat it. That stands here, for processed meat, too.

Just to be clear, this new report won’t be forcing me to make any changes to the MotherNaturesDiet recommended healthy lifestyle. I’ve been warning against processed meat for a long time.

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/03/07/new-research-linking-processed-meat-to-increased-risk-of-death/

In my opinion, any dietary advice generally around ‘red meat’ MUST be openly questioned.

As I often explain in my live seminars, before you eat an animal (or plant) you have to ask “What did that animal eat?”

If the animal was mistreated and eating grains, and worse (antibiotics, growth hormones, ash, cardboard, mashed up pig parts…etc.) then that animal will make meat that is not so good for you. But if the animal has lived a natural life, living outside (pasture raised, free range) eating grass (natural food for cows) and been treated properly, then the meat will be nutritious and good for you.

This is, of course, the logic behind Core Principle 8 – eat only organic, free range, pasture-raised, grass-fed meat.

So this WHO advisory makes ZERO different at all to MND.

For a long time, I have been asking the question: Read more

Getting the macronutrient balance right – the simple way, with MotherNaturesDiet

I was recently asked for my advice on macronutrients in a healthy diet:

  • How much protein should I eat?
  • You seem to advocate a very low-carb diet. Should I eat more carbs, where do you get your energy from?
  • Do you eat lots of good fats?
  • What about saturated fats? Omega-3’s? Oils?
  • 3 meals per day, or 4, or 5, or 6?

I believe that eating has gotten far too complicated, we are all wrapped up in measuring calories, macronutrients and micronutrients, when I believe that if we are eating the right foods, then such ‘scientific detail’ is not really worth worrying about too much, not for most people. Read more

The BBC seemingly ‘recommending’ a Big Mac over a home cooked Sunday roast

Many of you may have seen an article the BBC News site ran regarding new research linking red meat consumption to heart disease.

This is the original article: Red meat chemical 'damages heart', say US scientists

A good friend of mine who runs a vegan health retreat asked me for my thoughts, and I ended up writing a long reply to him, so I thought I would share it here with you too.

Here are my thoughts.

Read more

Naturally reared meat versus ‘junk meat’

With my deep interest in nutrition and good health, I have obviously read many books about food and whether or not we should eat meat, versus a vegetarian diet. There are many books, The China Study (largely the text behind the movie “Forks over Knives”) being one of the most prominent examples, which show the virtues of avoiding meat, and these books promote a vegetarian diet.

Obviously, I am a meat eater, and I do enjoy meat, I like the taste and I have found myself left wanting when I have lived on a vegetarian diet in the past. But I don’t eat meat JUST because I like the taste, and if I saw evidence that I genuinely believed, proving that meat was bad for me, compelling me to reduce my intake of animal products, then I would consider cutting right back on my meat consumption or even giving it up altogether.

Show me the evidence

Read more