News & Product of The Month
Article: Meat Matters
Article: Eggs 101
Jo Cordi's Lifestyle Series
Q & A: Hold The Aspartame
Cooking: Easter Recipes
Feature: Beautiful Easter Eggs!
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"Vegetables are interesting,
but lack a sense of purpose
when unaccompanied by a good cut of meat."
— Fran Lebowitz
NOTE: When you finish with this issue, take a few moments to browse the
CarniVegan website for some laughs most low carbers will
Let's face it — while we might all be a little obsessed with finding
great substitutes for the previous carb treats we used to eat, the
main focus of most of our diets is meat.
And while meat in its many forms is readily available in every grocery
in America (and everywhere else), have you stopped to think about why
you might need to be a little "choosy" in that department too?
With the common goal of getting and staying healthy the tie that binds
us all here, I want to talk a little about the benefits of serving meats
that are in their healthiest form — without prophylactic antibiotics or
supplemental hormones, and with as little use of nitrites in processed
meats as possible. Unfortunately these chemicals pass upward through
the food chain to the consumer... to YOU.
It's also important that beef be grass-fed, rather than grain fed. And there should
never, ever be animal by-products in the feed. Studies done at Hillsborough Research
Institute showed that beef cattle finished on pasture
(grass-fed cattle) had a ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 series four times greater than beef
cattle finished on feedlot diets. This research has shown that, as well as having a cleaner,
greener, environmentally friendly image, beef from pasture is also likely to be a much better
product in terms of human health than beef produced from grain.
First, let's talk about the problems with antibiotics being added to
livestock feed. It's done for two reasons — First, it helps to promote
a more robust growth in the animal (meaning they have more poundage to
sell and profits soar) and second, (ostensibly) to prevent the
possibility of disease afflicting the animals. (Of course crowding to
excess thousands of animals into small confined spaces where manure and
insects go out of control are the reasons for disease-danger in the first
But why is it a dangerous practice for we humans when cattle, hogs and
chicken are treated with antibiotics? Put simply, these are the same
antibiotic drugs we rely on every day to fight infectious disease. When
we consume those same drugs on a regular basis, the disease-causing
bacteria become resistant and we're left to find other alternatives — if
there are any. Think this is just extremist? Would it surprise you to
know that 33% of the antibiotic drugs currently sold in America now go
into livestock to speed their growth and rise profits?
As soon as you and your family become exposed to drug resistant forms of
such bacteria as E. coli or Salmonella, you'll have lost your ability to
fight back. A CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) report
in 1997 showed that more than 1/3 of the reported cases of a particular
type of Salmonella that causes food poisoning were caused by Salmonella
bacteria resistant to five important antibiotics used to treat the
disease. The percentage of resistant bacteria was negligible when this
type of Salmonella was studied in 1980.
(To be fair, we want to make note here that some of the current state of
bacterial resistance is thought to be caused by too much casual use by
physicians. Many people insist on a prescription antibiotic when
visiting the doctor — even though it's not called for. Too many
physicians give in to the pressure and just write the prescription, thus
adding to this problem.)
You can see the latest information on Antimicrobial Resistance at the
Now, let's talk about the use of supplemental hormones. First, why?
Well, for the most part the why is the same as those mentioned above.
It's really all about the money. Growth hormones make animals grow
bigger, faster — give more milk and lay more eggs. And in the process
eat less feed.
In addition, hormones reduce the amount of fat in meat — a marketing
tool to those on the low-fat bandwagon. An estimated 70-90 percent of
feedlot cattle are implanted. Both beef and sheep may be implanted, but
as far as I can determine, hormones are not currently administered to
Second — how?
Through the use of an implant to the back of the ear. It's a pellet, the
size of a saccharin tablet or half an aspirin. It contains either estrogen
or testosterone or progesterone, depending on the sex of the animal. It's
in the ear and it secretes estrogen (or other hormone) into the body over
a period of about 30 days. Some last longer but it finally melts away. Much
like a steroid in young athletes — it builds red muscle.
(A side note: The ears are removed at slaughter and are not offered
for human consumption... but guess where they go? Remember our
about pet food?)
Which Hormones are Used?
Five hormones are approved for use in the United States: estradiol,
testosterone, progesterone, trenbolone acetate, and zeranol. The
first three are produced naturally by livestock as well as humans.
The last two are synthetically made and are not found physiologically in animals or humans.
But what are the repercussions?
In the 1950's the average age of puberty for a young lady in America was
16 to 17 years old. In the 40 years hence, with the enormous increase of
hormone-enhanced meat consumption by American children, that average has
dropped dramatically to 11 to 12 years old. And there are many
pediatricians now reporting girls menstruating as young as 6 to 7 years
old and younger. If it's doing this to the bodies of our children, ask
yourself, what is it doing to their minds?
In chickens alone these hormones have decreased the age of slaughter from
16 weeks in 1950 to seven weeks today. These chickens have breasts that
are 6 times bigger than their ancestors. These chickens only get these
drugs for 7 weeks. Imagine what eating this meat for many years might do.
Lastly, the use of nitrites in processed meats...
First, what are nitrates and nitrites?
Nitrates and nitrites are naturally occuring chemicals. Nitrates are
created when plants breakdown nitrogen that is in the air during
photosynthesis. Humans consume nitrates in the plants they eat and
animals they eat. Nitrites are smaller molecules that are created when
nitrates break down.
Why are they used?
For two reasons: First, they inhibit the growth of bacterial spores
that cause botulism, a deadly food-borne illness. And second,
for color enhancement of cured meat, poultry, and fish products.
The reason the FDA allows them is simply that they consider the risk
of adverse health effects from botulism is much greater than the risk
of developing cancer from small amounts of nitrites, therefore
nitrites are allowed.
You've probably read in many of the Atkins books (as well as others)
that nitrates and nitrites should be avoided wherever possible. But
I bet you wondered why...
What are the health effects?
Excessive levels of nitrate have caused serious illness and sometimes
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the chief danger
associated with nitrates is that they are converted into nitrites during
digestion. Nitrites can poison humans, particularly infants and children.
Nitrites can combine with amines, a by-product of protein digestion, to
form nitrosamines, a potent carcinogen, according to the U.S. surgeon
general. Nitrosamines can cause malignant tumor growth over a long
exposure period, such as a lifetime of eating nitrate-added pork.
Additionally, nitrites can bond with the hemoglobin in human blood,
forming a different molecule, methemoglobin, which cannot carry oxygen.
Because humans rely on blood flow to carry oxygen to all parts of the
body, including the brain, oxygen deprivation is another real risk
associated with nitrate use in meats. Young children are especially at
risk from contact with nitrites — particularly nursing babies less
than three months old, according to the EPA.
Long-term: Nitrates and nitrites have the potential to cause the
following effects from a lifetime exposure: diuresis, increased
starchy deposits and hemorrhaging of the spleen.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
While we don't feel the need to stress "organic meat", we do want
you to be aware of what you're eating, what's in it, and how it's
produced so that you can make an informed decision.
That being said, we recommend a few companies that go the extra
mile to deliver safe, natural, flavorful meats that offer you that
peace of mind as well...
Coleman Natural Meats — The best roasts and ground beef we've ever
tasted. In many parts of the south, you can find them at Earth Fare and at Fresh Markets
and here in Ohio (the Dayton area) we can get Coleman Beef at Dorothy Lane Markets. Visit
their website to locate a grocer in your area.
Applegate Farms — Deli
Meats, sausage, bacon, ham, cheeses, turkey,
and more. Natural, antibiotic free, safe. And tasty... they were
reviewed here at Low Carb Luxury! You can either find them
locally (same stores as those listed for Coleman's Beef — see their
website to search for your area) or they accept online ordering.
Meats — Livestock are humanely treated, fed the purest natural feeds (with no animal
by-products or waste), never given growth hormones or sub-therapeutic antibiotics,
and raised on land that is cared for as a sustainable resource. Full list of restaurants and
groceries that carry Niman's is at their site. Can usually be found at Whole Foods, and
Trader Joe's. (You can also order online.)
Conservation Beef —
Beef from ranchers who work with The Nature Conservancy and Artemis Wildlife Foundation to sustain
healthy landscapes — and to produce beef both environmentally friendly and delicious.
Conservation Beef cattle never receive added growth hormones. They are fed on rich, nutritious
grasses for at least 20 months, and without antibiotics. (You can order online.)
Farms Natural Meats — Selling natural beef, lamb, chicken,
and turkeys. Located in Jamesport, Missouri, you'll need to order
online unless you're local.
This report was prepared by Stuart Ruffner and Lora Ruffner.
CarbSense Tortilla Chips!
CarbSense Tortilla Chips are back in a brand new package! And we have them on special
for $3.99 per bag. Or, get a bag FREE if you place an order of $75.00 or more by
April 10th! Order the chips, and then use coupon code LCL when you check out.
It's time to stock up on Strive Bars! This is one of my favorite bars (The Smores flavor).
It's crunchy like a Rice Krispie treat—and they're only $1.99 per bar until April 10th!
Low Carb Success Granola:
We have the
Low Carb Success Granola
back in stock in both flavors, "Cinnamon Nutrageous"
and "Wild Cherry Nutrageous". It makes a great treat for breakfast or a snack! And it's
on special this week for $6.99!
With less than 3 grams per slice, you can use Joe Bread to put variety back into your diet! Treat
yourself to a sandwich, or a nice juicy cheeseburger using Joe Bread.
It's on special
right now for $6.79 per loaf! And it is shelf-stable until you open it, so we can ship it to you inexpensively!
Order it now!