Meat has gotten a lot of bad press lately, and it would be remiss to not acknowledge some of the problems associated with the way we produce our meat, poultry, and seafood. Factory farming practices are deleterious to the environment and are often inhumane to the animals being farmed. Fish farming is notoriously dirty work, polluting the oceans and yielding fish that is often contaminated with environmental pollutants. Furthermore, there is evidence that overfishing is wrecking ecosystems, damaging the inherent web of nature that all animals––and ultimately, we humans––rely on.
It is enough to make you want to cut out meat altogether, right?
Not quite so fast…
On The Kaufmann Diet, you are eliminating foods that pathogenic yeasts and fungi need in order to continue living as parasites in your body––primarily, this means simple carbohydrates and sugar. Instead, you are replacing these foods in your diet with foods yeasts and fungi hate. These include high protein foods, high-fat foods, and foods rich in natural anti-fungal nutrients.
Most forms of meat, incidentally, meet these requirements. Meat is high in protein, often higher in fat (including good fats like omega 3 fatty acids––when you know what to look for), and generally void of carbohydrates and sugar. This fits the bill perfectly for a diet that is designed to eliminate these parasites from the body.
(This is not to say that you cannot do vegetarian or even vegan forms of the Kaufmann Diet, which is very conformable to all needs.)
That said, there are still concerns with certain meats you’ll find at the grocery store that are worth addressing.
Most factory-farmed beef, lamb, and poultry are likely contaminated.
These foods are often given hormones and antibiotics, largely for the weight gain these drugs promote. (That is another subject altogether!) These drugs wind up being stored in the animals’ fat, meaning that when you eat these products, you are exposed to these drugs too. Antibiotics, of course, are fungal metabolites, or mycotoxins, and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary while on the Kaufmann Diet. Hormones can adversely affect underlying fungal problems, and these should be avoided, as well.
To complicate matters, in lieu of hormones, animals (beef and lamb, specifically) in The United States are often given a growth promoter called Ralgro, which is an estrogen mimicker derived from a mycotoxin called zearalenone. That’s right––often animals in the US are given a mycotoxin that encourages them to put on weight! (It is worth noting that this practice has been banned in Europe.)
Most of these animals, too, are fed moldy feed, and there is evidence that this is a growing problem. Often, these moldy feeds are subsequently contaminated with mycotoxins which wind up contaminating the meat that ends up on your plate.
Finally, farmed fish is notoriously contaminated with pollutants, often fed a grain (therefore, mycotoxin-contaminated) diet, and given antibiotics/hormones as well.
These are all things we should seek to avoid.
Here’s What To Look For
There are a few things you should look for when shopping for meat.
- Buy organic when possible. These animals are not given hormones (including Ralgro) or antibiotics. They also cannot be genetically modified.
- Look for grass-fed, grass-finished beef, bison, lamb, etc., as these animals eat grass and not moldy feed. The meat will be higher in Omega 3s, vitamins and minerals than conventional meat.
- Look for pastured, free range poultry and eggs. Similarly, these animals will not eat the moldy feed given to factory farmed animals.
- Shop small––there are many small, organic farms now that sell directly to the public that engage in humane farming and avoid using antibiotics and hormones.
- Look for wild-caught fish. Fish always runs some risk of contamination with pollutants, but wild-caught fish is less likely to be heavily contaminated than farm raised fish. Look for responsibly sourced varieties. If you are pregnant or have health concerns, talk to your doctor before consuming any sort of seafood.