Hey everyone, Yossif here. I’ve been hounding my girlfriend to finally whip up a bit about our mutual feelings with real food. She’s a big proponent of using high quality, grass-fed meats and organic foods in our diets. If you’ve never tasted a grass-fed burger, you’re really missing out. When we treat our animals right, they’re happier and healthier, and you can tell the difference.
“When chickens get to live like chickens, they’ll taste like chickens, too.”
So, why does our food taste like crap?
A few weeks ago, I was reading emails from a local traditional foods mailing list. The particular topic that started me thinking was the necessity of fostering healthy soil and grasses for cattle and other food animals to feed on. Nutritional supplementation with various other substances like bentonite clay and diatomaceous earth was also mentioned, but my focus was mostly on the benefits of giving animals a natural environment to live in, with REAL FOOD to eat.
This is when I started pondering the objectionable monstrosity that we call our “modern” food production system, aka Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). These animals are raised in inhumane conditions. They are kept on huge factory farms en masse with barely enough space to move around comfortably. Instead of fresh air and water, they most often get bathed in the stench and substance of feces. They live their lives sick and stressed, and they die under the same tension. We call it “tortured meat.”
Their food is a mix of chemical supplementation (artificially derived vitamins and minerals) and what is most probably GM corn and other low quality/cheap grains. And of course we can’t forget their routine course of antibiotics (since we might as well indiscriminately kill anything good and natural in their bodies along with the bad stuff)!
Instead of getting the grasses and hay cattle should get, they are artificially fattened on corn. Isn’t it ironic that we’re also being artificially fattened on chemical concoctions passed off as “food,” that are really just “food-like substances?” Ha ha, the joke’s on us.
Is it even worth eating low quality meat??
At one time, I actually stopped eating beef altogether. This was not because I was on some vegetarian kick or something. It was a point at which I decided beef was tasteless to me. It seriously tasted and smelled dead to me. Tasteless and bland. Yes, it is by virtue a butchered part of something that used to be alive, but this meat was particularly dead. The whole prospect of putting my palate through another round of chomping down on that repugnant “meat” was unbearable.
Then, after a while, I realized how much I missed beef. I started buying it again, but from a different grocer. I could still tell inherently that there was something missing, that it still tasted dead, and it still was not very pleasant to me. But my choices for meat were sparse already since it was a time in which I also did not eat pork. That is a long story in itself. Anyhow, I guess the fact that the beef tasted like crap didn’t deter me for long.
All of that changed when I started reading more about the merits of grass-fed, pasture-raised cattle (or insert any farm animal here). Before that, I had never really put much thought into what my meat was going through before it was turned ever-so-conveniently into meat. Those packages look really cute and clean at the store with those fancy labels and all, but that’s the first time that animal ever has. The truth is, I didn’t know what my meat was eating, or how it was raised, or how it died. Once my eyes started opening to the reality of factory farming, the mystery of my tasteless, dead meat was no longer a mystery.
Why does our food taste like crap? For a good reason!
In essence, my food, once a living creature, was born into crap, lived smeared in crap, was fed crap, and died in crap. Anyone could venture a guess that living in all that crap and eating all those unnatural genetically modified crap foods (that create unhealthy, disease-laden crap fortified with E. coli) doesn’t exactly foster a healthy animal.
After I started buying truly grass-fed, pasture-raised meat, I realized that I had never really known what beef really tastes like. Or at least what it’s SUPPOSED to taste like. It is supposed to taste and look alive, brimming with natural substances that sustain us. It is supposed to contain all the healthy, naturally acquired vitamins and minerals and fats animals get when they are raised in a humane, native environment. It is supposed to satiate your hunger and satisfy your needs.
Factory farmed, grain-fed meat cannot do this by its very nature (or lack thereof). Those animals are kept artificially, raised artificially, and killed artificially (well, I think “artificially” would actually be more humane than how they really do it, but you know what I mean). Is it any wonder that their suffering and lack of a natural life here on Earth leads to bland, dead-tasting meat? You are what you eat, after all.
It’s well worth the extra effort to buy high quality.
Now that I’ve bought my meat from a local farmer, I am much more satisfied with my meals. I am confident my animal is pasture-raised in a humane, sustainable manner. My beef tastes like beef because it eats like cattle should, lives like cattle should, and dies in a humane manner without stress. The same goes for other meats and dairy I’ve bought from local farmers. For example:
- How’s the milk from pastured, grass-fed cows? Delicious.
- And eggs from pastured, organic-fed chickens? Remarkable.
- What about the meat and organs from pastured, organic-fed chickens? Phenomenal.
There is no stench, or weird colors, or odd flavors imbued in them. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve been paying attention to what you’re eating from the store. It takes a little more effort in locating these resources, but I don’t think I ever knew satiation until I started buying real food. It is well worth it, and after putting my money where my mouth is, I would never go back.
If you feel like there’s something not quite right with your food, your body and mind are probably trying to tell you something. If it looks like food but doesn’t taste like it, there’s something wrong. Challenge your taste buds sometime and go to a local farmer’s market or search for a farmer near you on eatwild.com or localharvest.org.
I promise you, it is absolutely worth it.
Yossif here again, be sure to check out my rapidly growing Angry Nutrition Facebook, just reached 1,000 likes!pic credits: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grass_closeup.JPG https://secure.flickr.com/photos/jster91/2342586920/ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cow_and_calves_(4528305139).jpg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Confined-animal-feeding-operation.jpg