my readers. They send me the neatest articles.
this one called, “7 Reasons Kale Is the New Beef.”
naïve enough to think that all the beef eaters out there are
suddenly going to change their habit of eating beef 4 to 8 times per
week because of an article like this. As a student of human
behavior, I realize that change is very hard. In fact, we know two
things about change:
Nobody wants it.
that being said, we do have to change the farming practices we
employ to raise our livestock in this country along with our meat
eating habits; all of which are unsustainable.
thing, we have to stop raising livestock on antibiotics. Did you
know that turkeys are on antibiotics every day of their lives up
until ten days before butchering?
We mentioned in a newsletter a few years ago that the CDC finally
admitted that strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria were showing
up specifically because of the over-use of antibiotics in raising
our livestock. Here’s a page of FAQ’s about antibiotic resistance:
Secondly, raising beef costs us 11 times the amount of fossil fuels
used in raising vegetables.
Fossil energy is
used for the production of feeds (land preparation, fertilizers,
pesticides, harvesting, drying, etc.), their bulk transport (rail
and/or sea freight), storage (ventilation), and processing (milling,
mixing, extrusion, pelleting, etc.) and their distribution to
Once on the
farm, and depending on location (as in the climate), season of the
year and building facilities, more fossil energy is needed for the
movement of feeds from the storage to the animal pens; for control
of the thermal environment (cooling, heating or ventilation); and
for animal waste collection and treatment (solid separation, aerobic
fermentation, drying, land applications, etc.).
products (meat animals to abattoirs, milk to processing plants, eggs
to storage), processing (slaughtering, pasteurization, manufacture
of dairy products), storage and refrigerated transport also require
distribution to the consumer and the final cooking process may also
require expenditures of fossil fuels. [http://www.fao.org/agriculture/lead/tools/fossil/en/
Thirdly, we raise our beef on grains. Cattle were never meant to eat
that much grain; they were designed to eat grasses. Feeding cattle
grains has three major drawbacks:
e-coli in their digestive tract is ridiculously high due to
being fed grains (in fact, one way to lower the e-coli count is
to feed the cattle grasses for two weeks prior to butchering;
however, the meat industry prefers to spray the meat with
Eating beef that has been fed grains increases our consumption
of omega-6 fatty acids; when our ratios of omega-6 to omega-3
are out of balance, our inflammation indices climb increasing
our odds of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes (just to name a
few chronic illnesses). And since most of our conventional
grains are Genetically Engineered, well, we are the final
consumer of GE foods that have never been tested by the FDA and
we have no idea what the long term effects are.
grains that go into feeding our cattle could feed over 800
million people. [Link]
Finally, we cannot forget the impact of raising all this beef on the
Livestock Account for 51% of Greenhouse Gases is a
great article to read, but greenhouse gasses are just one side of
the problem. You’ve got land degradation and water pollution. We’ve
destroyed so much land to make room for cattle; rainforests have
been decimated, grazing lands in Montana and
Wyoming trashed by
wiping out the indigenous plants and trying to plant grasses that
never took hold.
We truly must cut back on raising livestock to
make our food production sustainable. Period.
So let’s get back to kale. The original article
can be found here:
but I’m going to add a few things.
Kale is an anti-inflammatory. Served either
steamed or raw, you get the same anti-inflammatory fighter:
Vitamin K. Vitamin K is not only an anti-inflammatory, it helps
your bones absorb free calcium (that could damage your
arteries), and protects the myelin sheath that wraps around your
nerves leading to your brain, thus protecting brain function. I
mention steamed or raw simply because “most” of kale’s nutrition
is made more readily available steamed. See below.
Lowers cholesterol (though no one has ever been able to convince
hypercholesterolemia [high cholesterol]) is actually a
Calcium: kale has more calcium per ounce than/per calorie than
milk. And it comes in a form (along with vitamin-K) that is more
easily absorbed than milk.
Iron: kale has more iron than beef (per calorie).
Fiber: fiber rich food keep your blood sugar from rising
following a meal, and keep your digestive tract healthy. Diets
high in fiber have been shown to lower your chances of heart
disease and cancer.
Protein: one serving of protein provides two grams of protein.
Omega-3 EFAs: one serving of kale provides 121 mg of omega-3 and
92.4 mg of omega-6. A very good ratio, by the way.
Cancer protection: kale provides our bodies with glucosinolates
that build isothiocyanates (many of which we’ve discussed at
this site, including indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane) which
are powerful cancer fighters, lowering your risk of bladder,
breast, colon, ovary, and prostate cancers.
Antioxidants: kale is a rich source of carotenoids and
flavanoids (over 45 different), including quercetin and
kaempferol, which all add up to boost your immune system.
High sulfur content: our diets today lack sulfur. Sulfur helps
keep our inflammation low and it also helps detox our bodies.
Sulfur is part of glutathione, one of the most powerful
antioxidants we know of but is made by our bodies (thus we need
the building blocks). Sulfur helps the body detox environmental
toxins, pharmaceuticals, and heavy metals such as aluminum. [http://www.livestrong.com/article/317807-sulphur-detox/]
It seems that most nutritionists recommend steaming kale before serving
to get the full benefit of its nutrients, though it can be used in a
salad raw. If steamed, make sure you don’t steam it too much. The
recommended time is about five minutes, then you can toss it into a
salad; serve with a nice Mediterranean salad dressing (vinaigrette).