Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Dropped Cholesterol Twenty Points Eating Lots of Meat

 We had a pleasant surprise when we went for our annual wellness check ups. Kirk's cholesterol had dropped twenty points. Twenty points lower eating approximately the same amount of meat as in  past years. I'm sure this has many of you shaking your heads in confusion because what could we have done to make this dramatic of a reduction? Simple, we lowered the amount of store chicken that was served on our table. But wait, chicken is a leaner, healthier choice- right? Not necessarily.

Chicken is leaner than beef- true. Farmers have changed genetics to where there is more muscle to fat ratio in chickens. The problem is leaner means tougher, dryer, and less flavor. Now how do you sell that to consumers? You add up to 15 to 30 percent of body weight in saltwater, corn syrup, and flavor enhancers. Unbelievably, even organic chicken is treated this way. Yes, maybe organic has less of some things but really, do you think the buyers have saltwater, sugars, and flavor enhancers in mind when they choose the organic label? No wonder everyone is saying, that tastes like chicken but what does chicken actually taste like? 

Customers want more natural foods so the industry labels the same chicken as they were selling before as natural or heritage. Marketers make a living out of bamboozling peoples emotions to sell more products. I admit, I've grown to like those giant sized chicken breasts from the store because they have been a staple of our diet so my taste buds have adapted. But seriously, when did you ever see cleavage on a hen like that? These are D cup girls were talking about that were genetically created. It is not natural in a chicken. I will have to thank our tight wad budget as it taught me a good lesson. I need to use more rabbit.  

But it makes me mad that the food industry gets away with labeling these chickens natural because there is a creative list of natural ingredients allowed. Corn syrup is on the list and pumped into your chicken. Corn syrup is made from the starch of corn with the addition of maltose. Maltose is a hydrogenated sugar that is in the alcohol sugar family. It is cheap and filled with some really scary chemicals used in its processing. My dentist tried to get me to use xylitol, the latest dream child of the alcohol sugar family. A close relative of maltose. Poor dentist, he mentioned it to the wrong patient. I did my homework on how it is manufactured and if it really comes from birch trees like he told me. Of course it ca...n, BUT, it doesn't. That would be really expensive so they use cheap GMO corn husks and chemicals galore, scary ones right up your tingle factor alley of horror shows. Alcohol sugars are hydrogenated sugar. Remember how nice hydrogenated oils are for you? When they first came out they told us that they were so much better than butter and other truly natural products. Now they say how bad they are for us but that is only after the health of millions was demaged and after they've made their millions.  

The truth is in the details because fat is not all created equally and that includes beef fat. We need a certain percentage of fat in our diet because that is part of the foundation from which hormones are created. Fat tenderizes meat. (Why is a gastronomically interesting read. Okay, maybe just for me.) Fat also gives meat flavor and moisture. Fat is good and bad. It is one of those moderation kind of things and of course some types are better for us than others.

 As I create more and more of my own products, I've come to realize just how tasteless the stores are. The real deal on food is simply amazing. People are always surprised by the difference in our meat, our buttermilk, our anything. It has such robust flavor. We just smelled our vinegar that I started six months ago. I can't believe how different it smells from the stores. It actually smells appley and yummy. But lets talk about that later.

We may not have dropped our meat consumption but we did make a conscious decision to cut dramatically down on the amount of meat we buy at the store - all kinds. It isn't like we don't have plenty of meat of our own. We even have a nice variety yak, chicken, lamb, beef, deer and rabbit but like many or should I say most, we crave certain meals for supper or breakfast and our freezer or jar supplies don't equal our desires. This year too few roasts and too much hamburger but that changes from year to year. The store has filled in. I'm almost weaned from store meat but there are areas like ham, bacon, and sausage to go. This shift away from the store is not something we can make overnight. It has been a slow process that will continue into next winter because my attitude and habits have to change. 
I'm sure we will continue to eat some chicken but as we shift more into raising a greater number of rabbits, the plan is to adapt a large portion of our chicken recipes to rabbit meat. To us, domestic rabbit tastes a bit like turkey anyway. Of course we will continue to raise a few chickens. Right now we have thirteen roosters strutting around the yard thinking they are hot stuff. They are the only ones impressed because the hens aren't. Add to the roosters a few this year's hatch hens which will not be saved for the future laying flock, and  most of the two year old hens, and we will have a bit more bone broth and canned meat. Hardly enough chicken but like I said, we are shifting our diets. The less we can purchase from the store the better. 

Did you know that once we bought a beef steak and it actually grew in size on the barbecue grill? Now something is not right there.  What do you think is fishy in the meat industry?

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