Every two to three months I go to a farm about 30min. from where I live. It’s quite the ride since towards the end there isn’t even a proper road to get there. You couldn’t get there if you don’t have a car.
I found this farm by looking through the internet and looking for grass-fed beef. I generally buy beef and lamb from them and I usually spend around 600-800 Swiss Francs (which is around 630-830 USD) every time I go there.
The meat is all packaged up and even frozen most of the time. It’s labelled and shows me the exact cut on the label.
Most of the people I know, they buy meat at the grocery store. They spend maybe 100-200 Swiss Francs tops a month on meat (Proteins are the most expensive part in the grocery store).
Why do I spend almost 10x the amount when I’m buying meat?
Simple: Peace of mind, But let me explain.
The negative evolution of the meat industry
About 50-60 years ago, the industralization of farming began in the US. It was post-war, the technology to do it developed and every one was playing with different forms of food for cattle.
Although they thought they are doing something good, because they thought “ah now we can feed more people with meat”, they did something terrible.
Instead of thinking about the environment, the animals and the humans as a whole, they only thought about the humans and essentially ignoring every law of nature.
Cows and chickens started receiving corn as food, because corn was the cheapest option (it was/is subsidized) and later on antibiotics, to fight of illnesses they didn’t even have.
As you know Penicillin was a game changer in the 2nd World War, as it helped millions and millions of people. It was Penicillin which started the “antibiotic revolution”, which created derivatives and alternatives in the next couple of decades.
So the food industry thought “Great, now our animals can even fight off illnesses, so let’s give them antibiotics whenever they have a cough” (I don’t know whether cows can have a cough, but you get the point).
Essentially two problems we already have with the above evolution:
- Animals are not supposed to eat corn, especially GMO-corn or other man-made foods
- Animals shouldn’t receive antibiotics
And then comes the third
But additionally to that, we created a third problem: growth hormones.
Because the demand was so high and the farmers were under pressure, the food industry thought in order to increase the cattle size or rather produce more meat per animal, they started giving them growth hormones.
Growth hormones are naturally incurring in every body, but as soon as you start supplement huge doses of it, you start looking like a unnatural bodybuilder.
The same thing happens with cows and chicken. They just grow huge and with that of course comes other problems.
Where there is growth cells, there are tumor cells and other nasty illnesses. And when there is illness, there are antibiotics. Do you see the circle already?
This, in a nutshell, is what happened in the last 50 years in the meat industry and it keeps on happening. Occurences of mad cow disease or other nasty diseases keep popping up every now and then, and this is the reason.
I don’t know about you, but I want my meat to be healthy!
Organic meat = Healthy meat = healthy human
A lot of times I see studies, saying red meat causes cancer or other nasty things, but the problem is, that these studies don’t look at the quality of the meat!
Of course, if you eat the meat of a sick animal, you will eventually get sick as well.
The shortsightedness of some people irritates me. I mean you don’t want to spend time at the doctor’s, but then spend more time and money on buying proper food, otherwise you’re gonna land at the doctor’s anyway!
Or you don’t want to spend too much money on food. Great, but you do have a 50inch TV at home, right? Or the newest iPhone? And what about that new car? But you’re scared to spend more money on quality food for your body? So, tell me more about your money management skills 🙂
“Mens sana in corpore sano” – which is latin and means “A sound mind in a sound body”. Why is this relevant?
Simple: If you care about your productivity and energy levels at work, you have to make sure to treat your body right. And treating your body right begins with eating the proper food.
The only time where I agree with vegans
When it comes to veganism, I’m not really a big fan. The reason is two-fold:
- They have nutritional deficits because they eat very one-sided, hence causing energy levels to drop and have other health issues
- They are generally way too aggressive about their message, which puts a lot of people off.
But, there is one-thing we agree on and that is: We need to take better care of our animals.
For me, eating meat is not only a health thing, but also an ethical thing. Just because I eat meat, doesn’t mean that I condemn bad animal raising. I think the healthier (and happier!) the animal, the healthier the meat and the healthier the human. Oh and of course, the healthier the environment because you’re letting these animals grow in an natural environment, where the soil profits from them and they profit from the soil.
Other ecological reasons
Depending on the studies you’re looking at, meat production is the cause for about 15% to 20% of all our CO2 emissions. And that of course is an issue. The climate change is no joke and we should really take care of the earth we live on.
HOWEVER, I do think that not eating meat is not a solution either. I think we should really try to solve this problem and at the same time think about how we can raise the animals in an ethical and healthy way.
I’m a big believer that eating healthy or grass-fed raised animals are ecologically less of an issue, than those industry-raised/industrialized animals.
Money does matter
A lot of people don’t like to buy organic, or grass-fed, or wild, because money is an issue. And I get that.
But I’d like you to re-refer to my sentence above, where we talk about the newest gadgest, clothes or car you have.
It’s all about priorities and if health is a priority for you, and it should be, simply because what do you have without health?
How can you be productive and have more energy for the things you love, if you don’t have a healthy body?
Money does matter, yes, but so does voting every day with your wallet. I learned that from Eddie Huang, and it makes so much sense (believe it or not, I ignored this for a long time).
We vote every day with our money on the things we’d like to have or like to see. It’s not an election and not a presidential debate, but it’s action. Action we’re taking every day to say what we want in our lives.
Think about it: You eat at least three times per day and every time you make a statement.
Do you want that statement to be: “I like to be unhealthy and sick”? If not, then why would you spend money on meat or food that’s unhealthy for you?
The economy reacts to demand and if we demand healthier animals and healthier food, than it will give that to us.
This of course takes into consideration that you actually have the money to spend on quality food. But what if you really don’t?
First of all, please make sure that if you don’t have money, that you’re not walking around with the newest smartphone, otherwise we can’t have this conversation!
Second of all, before you’re eating out all the time, check out my article on grocery shopping and meal prep during the week, so that you can save some money by cooking yourself.
And third point: Try as much as you can, and if you can’t, it’s ok. We all have our limits and it’s important to be aware. If you can afford it, get the best meat (organic, grass-fed) you can, but if you can’t, maybe get the second best (free-range) or eat less meat and when you eat meat, eat quality. That way you’re helping yourself and the environment way more than by just being ignorant.
Action steps for you and conclusion
As you’ve seen the meat industry is really messed up, but there is hope. We can vote with our dollars every day, three times a day, when we eat. Use this money wisely and spend it on quality vs. spending it on quantity.
You’re doing yourself (by taking care of your body), the environment and the animals a favour.
What can and should you do today? Here are a few action steps:
- Check all the labels of the meat you have currently at home (what does it say? where does the meat come from? local, organic, etc.)
- Look for a farmer or a butcher that supports organic, free-range and grass-fed beef/lamb/chicken/pigs and contact him/her
- Learn about the environment these animals grow up in
- Buy quality in quantity that way you can save up a bit (e.g. if you buy big amounts from a farmer)
- Buy local
- Buy organic and grass-fed if you can afford it, free-range if you can’t or eat less meat and only buy quality when you’re eating meat
- Think about meat not only in the form of your dinner, but the whole environment we live in and how the animal was raised
- Share this article to grow the awareness about this topic!
And don’t forget “mens sana in corpore sano” – a sound mind in a sound body. Take care of your body and it will take care of you!