Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Just Do It Right the First Time Around!

I'm participating in meat shares from the Culinarium this year; we're getting chicken and pork. But, I'm still looking to get naturally raised eggs and perhaps rethinking beef. *sigh* beef... the thought is kind of a sore spot for me. Why? Because a few weeks ago, I got a telephone call at work from the Culinarium and they told me "we're really sorry to have to inform you that your cow died... prematurely". At first, I thought, ok so I get this thing earlier than expected. WRONG. The cow died having fallen over and being unable to pick itself back up!! No.joke. Something about a cows' body being so large that it basically crushed itself (why would nature make such a faulty animal?!)

You have no idea HOW upset 2 of the share participants were, when I broke the news to them. They even asked me if it would be ok to ask if we'd be able to get the carcass anyways.

I've gotten a chicken share last year and it was absolutely delish. You have not had real chicken until you've eaten this stuff. These chickens are raised the old way: they peck in the dirt, they eat bugs, they roost and nest and do the normal stuff that chickens do. No cages and no immature chickens sent to slaughter. Their bones were strong and well developed. The meat was flavourful and juicy.

Anyways! I'm probably making you readers very hungry! Getting back to the objective here. I'm going to have a brief overview of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and our diets.

Both fatty acids are considered essential to human diets because we're unable to produce these on our own. We must obtain these sources externally and lucky us, they're found primarily in marine and plant oils. The omega-6s are easily found in much of our food so we rarely have trouble getting enough in our diets--it's the omega-3s which many of us lack. In the 1970s, a study about the Greenland Inuit Tribe who consumed copious amounts of fish showed very low cardiovascular disease in the people. It's funny how while the omega-3 has a bunch of health benefits connected with it, the omega-6 has many less. It actually competes with the omega-3 and since it's so easy for Western diets to have omega-6s, there's a tendency to have issues related to an excess of omega-6s.

I'm not certain if the negative light about omega-6s is because it's so readily available in our diets and thus, for our bodies, but I do know that we should be more conscious about getting more omega-3s where we can. Omega-6s are also connected with inflammatory conditions, cancer and other diseases; the opposite of those which omega-3s are protecting against!

It's just unfortunate that the way the Western diet is structured, it's very high in omega-6s and our current agricultural practices impart a higher omega-6 concentration. Instead, we take all these supplements to compensate for what we lack. But, nobody thinks about just paying for better meat/food and dropping the supplements all together. Why? Grass-fed animals have much higher omega-3 concentrations in their bodies, than grain fed ones! Seems like nature got it right the first time and while we've been able to manipulate nature for the biggest bang for our buck, it is eventually all even: we use supplements but could just have it all in our food if it were done right the first time around!

(Next topic/theme: Loblaw and their changes to become more socially responsible)

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