The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine 

    APRIL 11, 2003     PAGE TWO      
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   Content Links
 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!


Synergy Diet

                   The Meat You Eat Matters
                                                     "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 really enjoy.

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 place!)

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 FDA's site.


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 swine.

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 article 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 death.

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.


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.

Nimon Ranch 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.)

Schafer Farms Natural Meats — Selling natural beef, lamb, chicken, and turkeys. Located in Jamesport, Missouri, you'll need to order online unless you're local.

                                                        Stuart and Lora
                                This report was prepared by Stuart Ruffner and Lora Ruffner.


Carbsense Tortilla chips 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.

Strive Bars!
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
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!

Joe Bread Joe Bread:
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!


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