Eat natural, organic, free range, outdoor reared, grass-fed, wild-caught, ocean dwelling
The above Core Principle ‘Eat Plants and Animals’ should not be taken in isolation, it should be applied together with this Core Principle as one. This is essential.
A lot of people who are looking for good health struggle with the issue of eating animals. A lot of people looking for good health go down the vegetarian or vegan road. Years of bad press for animal products, especially animal fats, have scared people into believing that eating animal products will make us fat, give us all high cholesterol and cause heart disease. In my opinion, based on many books I have read and a huge amount of common sense thinking, over many years, plus my own experiences of trial and error, I think this is total garbage. I think the animal-products-cause-heart-disease myth is misunderstood, misquoted and awash with incomplete, inconsistent, inconclusive research.
It’s a story that sells billions of pounds worth of cholesterol-lowering drugs but does not address the real issues of what human beings are supposed to eat. ‘They’ have been pushing low-fat diets for 30 years, and ‘they’ have been pushing statins, cholesterol lowering drugs, for more than two decades now, yet rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD) continue to increase, and CVD is the number 1 killer in the Western world.
I have read the books, studied the scientific reports and papers, tried different diets, read testimonials and talked to many people, and I can’t find any evidence that eating CLEAN NATURAL animal products is in any way harmful to human health. I have tried vegetarian and vegan diets, but I find that I personally feel better and I am healthier and stronger when I am eating meat. I think the mass confusion comes from the SOURCE and QUALITY of the animal products.
Quality, organic, grass-fed meat
In my opinion, the ‘bad meat’ to avoid is the mass-produced, factory-farmed meat we see piled high and selling cheap in our supermarkets, grilled in franchise burger bars and pushed in cheap hot dogs we buy from street vendors. The studies that lambast meat and animal products in general, should (in my opinion) be taken as directed to this meat, the product of poor animal husbandry, poor land management, disgusting animal mistreatment and nasty chemical additives. I have NO interest in eating meat from animals that have been treated with cruelty, reared in CAFOs (Google CAFO if you need to know the horrors of how animals are treated) and raised in barns in the dark, force fed maize and wheat with hormones and antibiotics added.
It seems to me little wonder that consuming such meat is bad for human health. These animals are not raised in a natural way, they get virtually no exercise and the meat is extremely fatty as a result. They are fed the wrong food (cows should eat grass, not maize) and they are filled with antibiotics to keep them healthy, as the conditions in which they live, and their diet, is so bad it makes them sick. I detest animal cruelty and I am staunchly opposed to bad animal husbandry. Everything about CAFO ‘farming’ is wrong, and I am strongly against such cruelty. CAFOs are concentration camps for animals, and they should be abolished completely.
I believe in eating animal products from responsibly, sustainably farmed livestock. Cows, sheep, pigs and chickens should roam around outside, under sunlight and rain, eating grass (cows and sheep) and scratching up worms and bugs (chickens) and digging for insects and roots (hogs) as this is what these animals would do and how they would eat if they were given free range to choose their own food supply.
All the books, diet plans, studies, surveys and research over the years that have given eating animal flesh a bad name, have been based on ‘the typical Western meat eaters diet’ and this means factory farmed meat and battery farmed eggs. Predominantly, these endless studies conclude that a vegetarian lifestyle is healthier, and frankly, I agree, it is. I have been unable to find ANY scientific research that looks at the health of ‘a typical Western meat eaters’ diet where that meat eater is eating ONLY fully organic, grass-fed, outdoor-reared, naturally reared, wild-ocean-caught, free-range animal flesh.
I do not buy poorly raised meat, I do not support the mistreatment of animals and I only buy free range, organic eggs and sustainably caught fish. I have a farm shop just a few hundred yards from my house, from which I buy lamb, and I can actually see the sheep grazing in the fields from here. There is another farm shop a few miles up the road, from which I buy pork and beef, and I can see the pigs and cows grazing in the fields behind the shop. I have spoken to the butchers about the diet these animals are raised on, and I am satisfied that they spend large parts of their lives outside in fresh air, they eat mainly natural food, they are not pumped full of drugs and they are treated humanely and respectfully.
Free range eggs
There is another small farm just a couple of miles away from my home which is not big enough to run a shop, but they have an honesty box out front which is filled with eggs every day. I take my kids with me and we collect our eggs, and looking over the gate we can see the chickens roaming around outside scratching up worms and living naturally with plenty of space to gather insects and bugs.
I buy some of my chicken from my local farm shop. The chickens are bard raised, but the butcher says they have free range space within the barn and they are not crammed in the dark, caged or fed hormones. I have no better, 100% satisfactory local source of chicken, so my only other option for chicken is my local supermarkets, Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s for my organic free range chicken.
I tend to buy the organic free range thigh meat (organic breast is insanely expensive) or whole free range birds which say they are from a local source. Organic labeling is a mine field. Supermarkets offer a range of options, but I have to be vigilant because some labels say “free range” when in fact it just means ‘raised in a bigger barn with a few less birds-per-square-meter than the really cruel barns’ and that is not my idea of free range organic chicken. I shall continue quizzing the butchers at my local farm shops regarding what chicken they can offer. The best organic label to look for in British supermarkets is Soil Association certified.
One of my local farm shops offers other meats, rabbit, duck, and others, and in time I shall talk to the butcher about diet and sources. So far in recent months I have eaten pork, beef, lamb, chicken, wild venison, goat, guinea fowl and pigeon.
Wild caught fish
I do not live anywhere near the ocean, so I have only local supermarkets to buy my fish. I try my best to avoid anything processed, overly packaged or contaminated in any way with preservatives or additives. I buy fresh fish over the fish counter if the fish monger can tell me that it is definitely wild caught, sustainably caught and not farmed. I do buy some tinned fish (tuna and mackerel) if it carries the MSC stamp – Marine Stewardship Council – of approval, as this seems to be the highest standard of sustainable fishing practice.
- Avoid the cheap meat, the ‘bad’ meat. It’s fatty, nutritionally inferior, and the animals are treated appallingly
- Buy outdoor reared, grass-fed, pasture raised meat
- Buy organic meat, free from hormones and antibiotics
- Buy wild-caught, pole-and-line caught, sustainably caught fish
- Support good animal husbandry, abolish animal mistreatment