Obviously, meat is a cornerstone on the Kaufmann 1 diet, but it is highly recommended that the meat you consume be grass-fed and organic. I’ve seen some questions about it recently, and I wanted to clear a few things up.
The Importance of Grass-Fed Meat
Grass-fed meat specifically refers to meat from cows and other ruminant animals that are raised eating grass. (Grass-fed/grass-finished animals eat a diet exclusively of grass; this is ideally what you want to find.) Ruminants are animals whose natural diet – the diet their bodies are designed to process – consists of grazing on grass. Their stomachs are specifically designed to digest this diet. Animals that are classified as ruminants include, but are not limited to: cattle, bison, elk, moose, sheep, goats, and deer.
Much of the problem with most of the meat produced here in America is that the animals in question are raised on unnatural diets; for ruminant animals, it is often a mix of corn and other grains, supplemented with hormones and antibiotics. The reasons for this are primarily economical; corn fattens animals up quickly and happens to be a cheap, readily available feed product. Traces of the hormones and antibiotics (not to mention the mycotoxins inevitably contaminating the corn feed) that are put in the the animals’ feed will also get stored in the animals’ fat cells, and these substances will wind up contaminating the meat that ends up on your grocer’s shelf.
One of the big issues with corn fed vs. grass fed is the disproportionate amount of Omega 6 to Omega 3 present in the meat. Corn fed meat is much higher in Omega 6, which is associated with inflammation and other health problems. Grass fed meat is much higher in Omega 3, the health benefits of which hardly need repeating here. Grass fed meat is much higher in other nutrients, is typically leaner and contains more beta carotene than conventional, grain fed meat. For these reasons, grass fed meat and/or wild game meat is recommended for Kaufmann 1.
Obviously, cows should eat grass, because that is what they would eat in the wild. Chickens, however, don’t eat grass. Chickens eat insects, plants, and fruits – they are omnivores. So, you won’t find grass-fed chickens. The healthiest chickens that you will find for Kaufmann 1 are free range chickens. Most chickens raised conventionally are fed an unhealthy diet and are given no chance to exercise. The exercise and omnivorous diet will make for healthier chickens and eggs. If you compare the the egg yolk of a truly free-range chicken to a conventional egg yolk, the difference is remarkable; the range chicken’s egg will be a darker, richer color, denoting a more nutrient rich yolk.
Organic is Best
Organic means that no growth hormones or antibiotics are given to the animals during their lives. This is important for a number of reasons, but it is especially important for Kaufmann 1; antibiotics are fungal metabolites – one of the primary things Kaufmann 1 seeks to avoid.
Hormones can also fan the flame of a fungal infection, as well. Avoiding both of these things is critical for Kaufmann 1. Even if you can’t always find grass-fed meat or free range chickens, going organic is always a good idea. It is more expensive, but in this case, definitely worth it.
Wild Caught Fish are Always Better than Farmed
Farmed fish are sometimes fed a grain diet, which seems beyond counter-intuitive. They are also sometimes kept in close proximity to one another in tanks, restricting exercise. Fish has a lot going for it, as far as health goes, but a lot of those health benefits disappear when you buy farm-raised fish. Look for wild, ocean-caught fish. Fish that live in their natural habitat will (obviously) consume their natural diet. These fish will have the healthy Omega fat profile that fish are touted for.
Some people are concerned about heavy metal contamination from fish, and I think it is a reasonable concern. Remember, the lower in the food chain you go, the lower your risk of contaminated fish is. If you are worried about this, try adding fish like sardines in to your diet, and keep the salmon and tuna steaks to maybe a weekly or monthly treat.
A Couple More Ideas
Shopping this way can seem overwhelming when you aren’t used to doing it. It will certainly require more effort on your part unless you have a great natural grocer in town. I would encourage you to try something, though. Try finding local farms and farmers that you can buy direct from. This will serve a number of purposes: you will have a more direct relationship with what you are consuming.
Go talk to the farmer about his philosophy – they more often than not would love to tell you about it. You will also support your local economy and help keep one of the most critical cultural components – how we as a people feed ourselves – out of the hands of the faceless, soulless corporate machines that would sooner alter genetic composition of our food than lose a dime. Going local is always best. And, you will probably have a good time, too.
Take a day, get out of the suburbs, your neighborhood or the city, and go check out a farm. It could be a healthy, wholesome way to blow some steam and promote your own good health.