Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Organic Scam

I know, all of you convention food folks trying to justify your existence are happy to see the title. Sorry to disappoint you, but Organic Food is healthier than conventionally grown food for several reasons. Most of what I eat is organic and I wouldn't waste my money if it truly wasn't worth it. But this isn't the focus of my current frustrations. Today I want to discuss something different...a little more in-depth into the organic food industry. You see, there’s a scam within the organic food industry that needs to be uncovered and I’m in the mood to stir it up today.

Yesterday I’m in Whole Foods here in South Beach. I’m looking through the dairy section for some raw milk and some good healthy eggs. I found the milk, but the eggs…. We’ll, herein lies the scam…

So, there are several different brands of “organic eggs” on the shelf at Whole Foods. All of which proudly advertise their hens are cage free (note it didn’t say pastured or free roaming) and they eat a 100% vegetarian diet.

I bet that sounds wonderful doesn’t it? 100% vegetarian diet. Some of them advertise 100% organic corn, or organic feed, or roasted organic feed. Some even advertise organic flax meal to enhance Omega-3 content of the yolk.

Ready for the scam?

What is a hens natural, evolutionary diet? Is it corn? Is it soy? Is it roasted corn? Is it 100% organic corn or flax seed? If you said yes, you’d be 100%.....wrong.

Naturally, chickens/hens roam grassy fields pecking away on bugs, worms, larvae and seeds. Chickens are NOT vegetarians, they are omnivore and protein is an important part of their diet. Of course, I'm only using evolution as my reference, not something more valid like the opinion of someone at whole foods or someone that sells multilevel vitamins (sarcasm intended).

Just because you give an animal (or a human) something grown with organic principles, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Did you know that modern day corn is genetically engineered? Yep. Corn use to have a 12C molecular structure (that’s 12 carbon atoms). Modern day corn has 13 carbon atoms. But, you can take that genetically altered corn and grow the seeds in organic soils, use organic compost materials to fertilize it and end of with an organically grown genetically modified corn plant. Organic or not, it's still not healthy for you to consume.

Nor is it healthy for a cow (whose natural evolutionary diet is the flowering tops of grass) or for the hens making the eggs for your breakfast.

If you want a truly healthy egg from a truly healthy hen, you need to get eggs directly from a farm that allows their hens to run around the fields (typically after the cows have chewed up the grasses then poop it out, flies sworm and lay eggs, then larvae hatch), peck their natural evolutionary diet and extract the nutrients to live a full, healthy chicken life and produce truly healthful and nutritious eggs. 

It is E-X-T-R-E-M-E-L-Y rare for these healthy hens and their eggs to have salmonella. However salmonella is significantly more common in eggs from hens grown in a conventional manor. Why? Their given food they were never meant to eat, now allowed to exercise and they live in an artificial & stressful environment. This produces stressed out – very unhealthy hens and eggs that are nutritionally poorer and susceptible to disease.

So, therein lies the organic scam. You can feed any animal or any human anything organic. If that food, organic or not isn't the native evolutionary food for that species, then they will be organically sick and eventually organically diseased!

Next time you’re in Whole Foods or some other “Natural Food Store” and are about to buy eggs or some type of meat…when it says organic, ask yourself (and maybe the dairy or meat manager) if these animals were fed “their” natural organic evolutionary diet?? Or simply “An” organic diet, on foods not native to the animal???

***Healthy foods are only healthy if they (the animal that produced the food) ate foods they were meant to eat. Organic or not.

***Cows are supposed to eat grasses, not corn, not soy, not hormones, not dead diseased cow waste, not antibiotics.

***Chickens are supposed to peck bugs, worms and whatever else they want to while running around (aka: exercising) in fields. Not corn, not soy, not flaxmeal, not hormones, not farm waste, not antibiotics

***To all those expensive fancy steak houses that advertise "100% corn fed beef"...your beef is crap. It's unhealthy and I wouldn't touch it with your fork. Why don't you advertise that your 100% corn fed cows can't live past 150 days on their 100% corn diet.

***Next time you go out for dinner or to the grocery store, ask yourself if your food also ate healthfully? If yes, then buy it and enjoy it.

I also want you to be careful of the terms "cage free" & "humanely treated" as they infer something other than what they may actually represent.  Remember, question everything until you get a specific answer and use your purchase power to influence your local retailers.

Anyone know of a good healthy local farm? I need some eggs!

nuff said

Dr. T

Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

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Dr.DevineSeattleChiropractor said...

Great post! When you eat meat, eggs, and dairy products from animals raised on pasture you are improving the welfare of the animals, helping end environmental degradation, helping small-scale ranchers and farmers make a living from the land, helping sustain rural communities, and giving your family the healthiest possible food.

JMH said...

I was under the impression that chickens could eat flaxseeds. Not as a staple or anything, but they do eat some seeds too, yes?
What should they be fed in the winter, when there are no bugs to eat?