Sunday, June 3, 2007

9. Animal based food

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The larger category here is meat based foods, whether animal or fish, or their derivatives like milk-based butters or animal fat oils.

A book on our innate "bioregional diet" as important to resuscitate for our own health is Why Some Like it Hot: Food, Genes, and Cultural Diversity, by Gary Paul Nabhan

From Publishers Weekly
With 21st-century science promising better living through genetic engineering, and myriad diet fads claiming to be the answer to obesity and disease, this exploration of the coevolution of communities and their native foods couldn't be more timely. Ethnobiologist Nabhan (Coming Home to Eat) investigates the intricate web of culture, food and environment to show that even though 99.9% of the genetic makeup of all humans is identical, "each traditional cuisine has evolved to fit the inhabitants of a particular landscape or seascape over the last several millennia." Sardinians are genetically sensitive to fava beans, which can give them anemia but can also protect them from the malaria once epidemic in the region. Navajos are similarly sensitive to sage. [Other cultural regions--of food, genes, and culture over time--thus build animal fats into diets as why people some people are healthy on these diets and others less so.] In both cases, traditional knowledge allows safe interactions with these powerful medicine/poisons through cooking methods or food combinations. Nabhan questions the wisdom of genetic therapy, which "normalizes" the "bad" genes that can cause sickness but also enhance immunity. Most inspiring in this bioethnic detective story are Cretans, maintaining their health for centuries through traditional living, and Native Americans and Hawaiians, whose communities, devastated by diabetes, find an antidote by returning to their traditional foods, customs and agriculture. Mixing hard science with personal anecdotes, Nabhan convincingly argues that health comes from a genetically appropriate diet inextricably entwined with a healthy land and culture.

From Booklist:
Ethnobotanist and nutritional ecologist Nabhan continues the paradigm-altering investigation into the matrix of food, place, ethnicity, and well-being that he's been conducting in such influential books as Coming Home to Eat (2002). A leading voice in the slow-food movement and a thoroughly engaging guide, Nabhan now delineates the evolutionary dimension of newly recognized interactions among cuisine, culture, and genetics that inspired him to modify an old adage: "We are what our [recent regional instead of ancient paleolithic!] ancestors ate and drank." He teases out the evolutionary secrets of chili peppers and explains why some folks like them hot and others can't take the heat. Since it's easiest to see the hidden benefits of ethnic cuisines in isolated island societies, he travels to Sardinia, where, for centuries, fava beans have protected the populace from malaria, and to Hawaii, where natives have discovered that traditional yet neglected taro dishes control diabetes [in their genotypes best]. With millions [really the majority of the world, he writes] of people suffering from little-understood food-related maladies, Nabhan's revelations of the complexities of our [regionally] inherited interactions with food, the true significance of the healthful "synergies" of traditional ethnic cuisines, and the essentiality of both biodiversity and cultural diversity are as critical as they are fascinating.

Therefore, beware the industrial pressures that attempt to avoid your 'bioregional diet' of traditional regional foods, many of them (not all!) high in animal fats. Ms. Fallon describes the U.S. as the worst case scenario of powerful industrial destruction of bioregional dietary standards, where diet and scientific knowledge is sculpted or perverted to be advertising for industrial profit instead of for health:

The Oiling of America, by Mary Fallon (of the Weston Price Foundation, discussing Dr. Mary Enig's (Ph.D., medicine) research on animal fats, cholesterol, and industrial food's perversions of scientific studies on health
2:03:00 min

"Margarine is the bad guy and butter and eggs are the good guys [for certain regional foodways--see Nabhan's book above.] For fifty years, big business, government agencies and medical organizations have campaigned deceptively against animal fats, meat, eggs, butter and other nutritious, traditional foods, leading to huge profits from the sale of toxic margarine, shortenings and liquid vegetable oils, and the foods that contain them [because these have greater profit margin potentials for large scale suppliers than the others]. Scientific data contradicting current anti-animal fat public health policy was suppressed and censored for many years. Dr. Enig and Sally Fallon now tell you the truth about how that happened. The Oiling of America will open your eyes to fraud and deception behind the lipid hypothesis of heart disease. Topics include:

* How scientists cheat in scientific studies
* Why cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease
* The dangers of cholesterol-lowering diets and drugs
* Why trans fatty acids and [the industrial chemical processing techniques of many] liquid vegetable oils are [making them] so dangerous to human health."

With Fallon and Nabhan in mind, let's go to the sea, next:

Dan Barber: How I fell in love with a fish
19:02 min.

Chef Dan Barber squares off with a dilemma facing many chefs today: how to keep fish on the menu. With impeccable research and deadpan humor, he chronicles his pursuit of a sustainable fish he could love, and the foodie's honeymoon he's enjoyed since discovering an outrageously delicious fish raised using a revolutionary farming method in Spain.

And open-ocean farmed fish is unsustainability incarnate, with a host of dangers to the local communities of people and ecologies where it has been destructive worldwide. Avoid farmed fish. Why? Watch this four part documentary of its effects:

Farmed Salmon Exposed (1/4)
3:26 min

A short documentary by the Pure Salmon Campaign--though what they say applies to the devastating effects of open-ocean farmed fish in general.

In the name of maintaining biodiversity, the Slow Food Movement of institutionalizing biodiversity and varietals is a far more long term and far more sound model for health, ecology, and economy--than cloned cattle.

"The Slow Food movement was created to combat fast food and claims to preserve the cultural cuisine and the associated food plants and seeds, domestic animals, and farming within an ecoregion. It was the first established part of the broader Slow movement. The Slow Food movement was founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy as a resistance movement to fast food. It has since expanded globally to 100 countries and now has 83,000 members."

Since in the bioregional state the local jurisdictional autonomy on economic developmental path decisions is the primary jurisdiction, decisions like this along the model of 'does it fit where we live?' will be far more instrumental for setting commodity policy in a watershed. This is already seen in the many county level governments and states that have institutionalized much higher local levels of human health-ecological health protection concerning commodities, than federal baselines.

Thus, decisions on all commodities will be up to particular local watersheds, a model of state more akin to modeling biodiversity and ecological variegation as the purpose of the state to protect and maintain, instead of destroy. However, this fails to mean that large scale baseline standards laws (or laws to outlaw) certain commodity uses and merely supply-side uses will disappear from larger jurisdictions. These will only be baselines of human health, ecological, and economic sustainability local protection though, in all cases, instead of attempts to make multiple local areas suffer under larger federal 'glass ceilings laws' attempting to stop local health, ecological, and economic protection from going higher, when the public in that area wants it.

In this movement toward material sustainability, I can think of nothing more appropriate than [1] to demote supply-side biased agricultural monocropping and its recent budded-off twin, [2] to demote supply-side biased cloned animal strategies. Both have always been short term evil twins against local long term ecological, health, and economic durability. They are evil twins organizationally speaking because they are interwoven in massive pollution/externality streams connected via monocropping feedstocks for such 'animal monocropping.'

In this category of 'animal based food,' the Slow Food Movement encouraging local varietal use and maintenance is far more important to institute with commodity ecology interactions.

Seven Arguments Against Cloned Animals

Arguments against cloned animal monocropping are very numerous and interrelated to health, biodiversity/ecological, and economic sustainability issues:

[1] Clones cannot be perfect copies.

"...clones are far from perfect copies. All clones are defective, in one way or another, with multiple flaws embedded in their genomes. Rudolf Jaenisch, a geneticist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, estimates that something like 4-5% of the genes in a cloned animal's genome are expressed incorrectly.

[2] Clone and human health difficulties arising from clones get transferred into the food chain: you.

"These often subtle genetic defects can have tangible consequences. Cloning produces an extraordinarily high number of deaths and deformed animals. Some clones have been born with incomplete body walls or with abnormalities in their hearts, kidneys or brain function, or have suffered problems like "adult clone sudden death syndrome" and premature ageing."

[3] Without the data on its safety at all, it is only another open air experiment on your health, thanks to the corrupt FDA--just like their corrupt open air experiment without notification concerning GMOs.

"...who knows how this is transferred to YOU. Nothing has been done in research on these issues of long term exposure.

[4] Cloned animals demote biodiversity.

[5] Cloned animals encourage agricultural 'shakeout' or agricultural/stock consolidation land tenures, which become more prone to externalities (like factory farming large scale arrangements).

[6] In practice, cloned animals would yield more health dangers to you from wider 'monocropped animals' in factory farm conditions, with more loads of crowd diseases risk, stress, and antibiotics given to them all the while, which gets transferred to you as well, as well as leads to pathogens becoming immune to antibiotic treatment.

[7] It's against the animals themselves.

In general, the added risks and lack of similarity in cloned meat is anti-consumer and anti-animal on every level.

As mentioned in the Commodity Ecology title page, institutions on the watershed level (CDIs and commodity ecology) help facilitate this changeover, equitably and sustainably, for the iterative long term. It is very similar to the goals of the Slow Food Movement.

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[Slow Food Snail with Green Phrygian Cap]

The bioregional state in many ways, from the point of view of animal/vegetable varitals, the state formation implications or component of the Slow Food Movement:

The Slow Food movement incorporates a series of objectives within its mission, including:

* forming and sustaining seed banks to preserve heirloom varieties in cooperation with local food systems

* developing an "ark of taste" for each ecoregion, where local culinary traditions and foods are celebrated

* the preservation and promotion of local and traditional food products, along with their lore and preparation

* the organization of small-scale processing (including facilities for slaughtering and short run products)

* the organization of celebrations of local cuisine within regions (e.g. the Feast of Fields held in some cities in Canada)

* Taste Education

* educating consumers about the risks of fast food

* educating citizens about the drawbacks of commercial agribusiness and factory farms

* educating citizens about the risks of monoculture and reliance on too few genomes or varieties

* Various political programs to preserve family farms

* Lobbying for the inclusion of organic farming concerns within agricultural policy

* Lobbying against government funding of genetic engineering

* Lobbying against the use of pesticides

* Teaching gardening skills to students and prisoners

* Encouraging ethical buying in local marketplaces

Building those two institutions of commodity ecology and CDI in all watersheds will aid in making commodity uses streamlined and optimized in particular watershed areas as well as encourage local democratization--instead of merely watching corrupt governments institutionalize biased commodity uses against local health, the ecology, and against the sustainability of the economy itself.


Anonymous said...

Rotational Grazing



featured here:

20 February 2007
Can Biodiverse Farming Feed The World?

Agriculture is rapidly approaching a time of massive change, says an article in Agronomy Journal.

Impacted by the end of cheap energy, depleted water resources, impaired ecosystem services and unstable climates, agricultural industries will have to find new ways to feed a world whose appetite for food crops will grow by around 75 percent over the next 50 years.

Article author, Fred Kirschenmann, of Iowa State University, believes that biodiverse farming may provide the answers.

Biodiverse farming exploits the biological synergies inherent in multi-species systems; a methodology far removed from today's monocultural, energy intensive industrial agriculture systems that are based on specialization, simplification, therapeutic intervention and cheap energy.

Kirschenmann cites examples where farmers have already established successful, complex farming systems based on biological synergies and adaptive management.

One is Takao Furuno's duck/fish/rice/fruit farm in Japan. He produces duck meat, duck eggs, fish meat, fruit, and rice without any purchased outside inputs, using a highly synergistic system of production on the same acreage where he previously only produced rice. Astonishingly, in this new system, his rice yields have increased up to 50 percent over previous yields from an energy-intensive rice monoculture.

Likewise, Joel Salatin, of Polyface Farms near Swoope, VA, has developed a rotational grazing production system featuring pastures containing at least 40 varieties of plants and numerous animal species. Salatin's farm uses little fossil fuel, yet the farm is highly productive. The 57-hectare farm annually produces 30,000 dozen eggs, 10,000 to 12,000 broilers, 100 beef animals, 250 hogs, 800 turkeys and 600 rabbits.

Kirschenmann believes that climate change will play a big role in determining the farming methods of the future. Volatile weather conditions will make it difficult to sustain highly specialized monoculture cropping systems which require relatively stable climates. Farmers likely will need to adjust quickly, he says, adopting methods that are more resilient in the face of unstable climates, and that begin to out-produce monocultures by virtue of their multi-species output.

He cites another study which showed that diverse, synergistic farms can be profitable and simultaneously benefit the environment.

The study demonstrated that when farms are converted from corn/soybean monocultures to more diverse operations, net farm income can increase by as much as 108 percent, while generating significant environmental and social benefits.

The key principles of biodiverse farming, according to Kirschenmann, are:

* Be energy conserving

* Feature both biological and genetic diversity

* Be largely self-regulating and self-renewing

* Be knowledge intensive

* Operate on biological synergies

* Employ adaptive management

* Feature ecological restoration rather than choosing between extraction and preservation

* Achieve optimum productivity by featuring nutrient-density, and multi-product synergistic production on limited acreage

Read the whole article at

Anonymous said...

[Current frameworks of meat and methane production... or find ways to harvest the methane as well.]

Meat is murder on the environment

* 18 July 2007
* news service
* Daniele Fanelli

A kilogram of beef is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution than driving for 3 hours while leaving all the lights on back home.

This is among the conclusions of a study by Akifumi Ogino of the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Tsukuba, Japan, and colleagues, which has assessed the effects of beef production on global warming, water acidification and eutrophication, and energy consumption.

The team looked at calf production, focusing on animal management and the effects of producing and transporting feed.

By combining this information with data from their earlier studies on the impact of beef fattening systems, the researchers were able to calculate the total environmental load of a portion of beef.

Their analysis showed that producing a kilogram of beef leads to the emission of greenhouse gases with a warming potential equivalent to 36.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide. It also releases fertilising compounds equivalent to 340 grams of sulphur dioxide and 59 grams of phosphate, and consumes 169 megajoules of energy (Animal Science Journal, DOI: 10.1111/j.1740-0929.2007.00457.x).

In other words, a kilogram of beef is responsible for the equivalent of the amount of CO2 emitted by the average European car every 250 kilometres, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days.

The calculations, which are based on standard industrial methods of meat production in Japan, did not include the impact of managing farm infrastructure and transporting the meat, so the total environmental load is higher than the study suggests.

Most of the greenhouse gas emissions are in the form of methane released from the animals' digestive systems, while the acid and fertilising substances come primarily from their waste. Over two-thirds of the energy goes towards producing and transporting the animals' feed.

Possible interventions, the authors suggest, include better waste management and shortening the interval between calving by one month. This latter measure could reduce the total environmental load by nearly 6 per cent. A Swedish study in 2003 suggested that organic beef, raised on grass rather than concentrated feed, emits 40 per cent less greenhouse gases and consumes 85 per cent less energy.

"Methane emissions from beef cattle are declining, thanks to innovations in feeding practices," says Karen Batra of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association in Centennial, Colorado. "Everybody is trying to come up with different ways to reduce carbon footprints," says Su Taylor of the Vegetarian Society in the UK: "But one of the easiest things you can do is to stop eating meat."
Related Articles

* It's better to green your diet than your car
* 17 December 2005
* Fishy food cuts belching beasts' methane
* 13 March 2003

Mark said...

Bison and Ostrich.

Kosher and Grass-fed Bison: Healthy Meat, Incredible Taste

[This is the voice of Dr. Mercola:] Bison is one of the best tasting of all meats; this is my opinion, and apparently the opinion of many others, as this red meat has rapidly been appearing on the menus of fine restaurants throughout the world over the last decade. Its flavor is similar to prime beef, but sweeter and more tender. Bison also happens to be one of the most nutritious meats on earth, which is why I eat it more than any other meat, and recommend it so highly to you.

Bison, also known as buffalo, is a highly nutrient dense food because of the proportion of protein and minerals in relation to its caloric value. One pound of ground bison, in fact, contains 34 grams of protein, while its fat, cholesterol and calorie levels are lower than other popular meats, as you can see in the chart below.

Comparisons to other meat sources also show that bison has a greater concentration of iron as well as some essential fatty acids necessary for human health.

Bison Nutrition Comparison
Serving (3 oz.)
..............Calories, Protein (g), Fat (g), Chol. (mg)
Chicken (skinless).140 27..3...73
Turkey (skinless)..135 25..3...59
Beef (lean, steak).240 23..15..77
Pork (lean, loin)..275 24..19..84

Free-range Ostrich, Including Exclusive Omega-3 Ostrich: The Premier Meat

When it comes to the combination of great taste and healthiness, ostrich is truly one of the most superior meats in existence. It may be unusual for some to think about the planet's largest bird in this manner, but the taste of ostrich is incredibly similar to prime beef.

Ostrich, a red meat, is even lower in calories, cholesterol and fat than skinless chicken and turkey, while remaining high in iron and protein. Due to its ideal balance of nutrients, in fact, my chief nutritionist here at the Optimal Wellness Center eats it routinely, and recommends it highly to those whose religious faiths it does not conflict with.* It is also the leading recommended source of protein from a wide variety of health organizations, including the American Heart Association, American Cancer Association and American Diabetic Association.

What's more, due to the ostrich's ideal pH balance, the meat does not attract harmful bacteria like E.coli or salmonella, unlike chicken and other meats.

This combination of great taste and nutrition, and its incredible ease and versatility in cooking, is why ostrich has so rapidly found its way onto the menu of many of the nation's finest restaurants.

The market for feathers collapsed after World War I, but commercial farming for feathers and later for skins, became widespread during the 1970s.

Ostriches are farmed in over 50 countries around the world, including climates as cold as that of Sweden and Finland, though the majority are in Southern Africa....

Since they also have the best feed to weight gain ratio of any land animal in the world (3.5:1 whereas that of cattle is 6:1)[citation needed], they are attractive economically to raise for meat or other uses.

Although they are farmed primarily for leather and secondarily for meat, additional useful by-products are the eggs, offal, and feathers.

It is claimed that ostriches produce the strongest commercially available leather.[13] Ostrich meat tastes similar to lean beef and is low in fat and cholesterol, as well as high in calcium, protein and iron.[14]Uncooked, it is a dark red or cherry red color, a bit darker than beef.[15]

The town of Oudtshoorn in South Africa has the world's largest population of ostriches. Many farms and specialized breeding centres have been set up around the town such as the Safari Show Farm and the Highgate Ostrich Show Farm. The CP Nel Museum is a museum that specializes in the history of the ostrich.


and on Bison:

The American and European bison are the largest terrestrial mammals in North America and Europe. Like their cattle relatives, bison are nomadic grazers and travel in herds, except for the non-dominant bulls, which travel alone or in small groups during most of the year. American bison are known for living in the Great Plains. Both species were hunted close to extinction during the 19th and 20th centuries but have since rebounded, although the European bison is still endangered.

Unlike the Asian Water Buffalo, the bison has never really been domesticated, although it does appear on farms occasionally. It is raised now mostly on large ranches in the United States and Canada for meat. Wild herds are found in Yellowstone, Utah's Antelope Island, South Dakota's Custer State Park, Alaska, and northern central Canada (see Wood Bison).

Bison live to be about 20 years old and are born without their trademark "hump" or horns. With the development of their horns, they become mature at two to three years of age, although the males continue to grow slowly to about age seven. Adult bulls express a high degree of dominance competitiveness during mating season.

On March 16, 2007, 15 American bison were re-introduced to Colorado to roam where they did over a century ago. A herd of 15 bison has been established in the 17,000-acre (69 km²) Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, a former chemical weapons manufacturing site.


Make sure its grass fed beef/bison/ostrich.

Recreation of a prairie-grass fed stock would maintain biodiversity as well. [see book Bring Back the Buffalo!: A Sustainable Future for America's Great Plains by Ernest Callenbach (2007)]

Where's the REAL Beef? [Dr. Mercola's voice once more]

How do you provide you and your family with high-quality animal protein?

If you think you are going to get it by going to your local health food stores, think again. Nearly 100% of the beef sold in health food stores is not "real" beef.

Even though it may be organic, the cattle are fed grains and grains are NOT what cattle are designed to eat.

REAL Beef Eat Grass -- Not Grains

The fat content of beef is the primary reason it has lost ground as a respectable entrée on America's dinner table. Not only do most beef cuts have a high fat content, ranging from 35-75%, but the majority of it is saturated.

[A bad ratio,]...[g]rain-fed [industrial] beef can have an omega 6:3 ratio higher than 20:1
J. Anim. Sci. 2000. 78:2849-2855
[Omega 3 is the better one, and the one people get less of in the current unhealthfully irrational industrialized regime]

This well exceeds the 4:1 ratio that is recommended to avoid an essential fat imbalance. Also [industrial farm] grain-fed beef can have over 50% of the total fat as the far less healthy saturated fat.

[On the healthy contrary,]...[g]rass-fed beef has an omega 6:3 ratio of 0.16 to 1

This is the ratio science suggests is ideal for our diet. This is about the same ratio that fish has.

Grass-fed beef usually has less than 10% of its fat as saturated.

If you are a pregnant or breastfeeding mom, the extra omega-3 from the grass-fed beef will provide incredible nutritional benefits for your child.

You Will Enhance Your Health With REAL Beef

Much of our nation's nutritional deficiency epidemic is caused by a "Big Business" perceived need for cheap, mass-produced, convenient food products. [A 'supply versus demand' world of the politics of commodities.]

As a result, Americans live in a land of plenty, but the bounty no longer provides proper nutrition.

If you like to see scientific "proof" of the benefits of grass-fed beef, please review the animal scientific literature page that I compiled.

For more information on the amazing health benefits of grass-fed beef, please review the health benefits page.

We Know That Grass-Fed Beef, Unlike Grain-Fed Beef, Is:

A natural source of omega 3 fats
High in CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)

Full of beta carotene

Loaded with over 400% more of vitamins A and E

Virtually devoid of risk of Mad Cow Disease

You May Maintain Your Weight Loss With REAL Beef Due to its CLA Content

CLA is a naturally occurring fat found in animal and dairy fats such as beef and poultry that are not fed grains. As soon as you start to feed cattle grain they start to lose their ability to produce CLA. Animals that graze on pasture have from 300% to 400% more CLA than animals fattened on grain in a feedlot.

As we all know, diet and exercise are required to lose weight.

However, University of Wisconsin research, completed this year but not yet published, showed that CLA intake will assist individuals who lose weight in preventing putting pounds back on.

Of course, I don't think we in good conscious can state that CLA-enriched beef will enable you to lose weight without other diet measures and exercise.

The human intestine produces CLA naturally from linoleic acid.

Recent studies have been conducted on attaining a higher CLA content in daily food intake because of possible health benefits such as weight loss. Please review the CLA Benefit Page for more information.

Help Protect Your Family's Health With Grass-Fed Beef

Eric Schlosser, who wrote Fast Food Nation, tells us that since 1993, half a million children in America have been made ill by the E coli bug.

Feeding dead cats and dogs to cattle was legal in the United States until 1997 when the government banned the practice because of fears over mad cow disease. Dead horses and pigs, however, are still occasionally ground into cattle feed.

One-quarter of America's minced beef, writes Schlosser, is made from worn-out dairy cattle, likely to be riddled with disease and the meat containing antibiotic residues.

Grain feeding promotes the growth of dangerous E. coli. When cattle are fed grass, the amount of potentially dangerous E. coli decreases dramatically. From Microbes Infect 2000 Jan;2(1):45-53

When you feed your family grass-fed beef, you can feel quite confident that you are doing the best you can to dramatically reduce, if not eliminate, many of the health concerns you may have regarding the quality of the beef you consume.

How Does REAL Beef Taste?

The flavor, look, smell, and texture of grass-fed beef differs slightly from grain-fed beef. So you may have to learn to like grass-fed beef. But many enjoy it immediately because it actually tastes like beef is supposed to taste. Others will gladly learn to like it simply because it does their body good.

I have many patients who were raised in rural sections of Europe where this is the only type of beef they ate and when they came over to the United States they were very disappointed with the flavor of our grain-fed beef. So it is all a matter of what one is used to.

Due to less fat in the grass-fed beef it does need to be cooked differently.

I Have Been Eating REAL Beef Since February of 2001

I really enjoy the taste and the health benefits. I do prepare a good deal of ground beef for myself as that is easy for me to put in my salads. I have found that I can cook four pounds of the ground beef and there is only about six ounces of fat that I drain off.

But the amazing thing is that the fat is a completely different color than grain fed beef. It is nearly clear and much thinner. This should not be surprising but is an interesting physical confirmation of the huge difference there is in the fat between these two types of food.

links mentioned above avaiable here:

Mark said...

Ideally, we should institutionalize only small, fast growing fish stocks and find ways to ban or technologically limit the industrial fishery techniques that since post WWII have been responsible for decimating global fisheries. Changing the technology to ban drift nets and larger operations would be a start to aid the survival of the larger and slow breeding fish like the nearly endangered tuna.

[Mercola's voice:]

Pregnant or nursing women and young children should avoid: Pregnant or nursing women and young children should limit:

Pregnant or nursing women and young children should avoid:

Tilefish (a.k.a. golden bass, golden snapper)
Tuna steak (also used in sushi and sashimi)

Pregnant or nursing women and young children should limit:

Canned tuna
Sea Bass
Gulf Coast Oysters
White Croaker
Largemouth Bass
Mahi Mahi
Blue Mussel
Eastern Oyster
Channel Catfish (wild)
Great Lakes Salmon
Gulf Coast Blue Crab
Lake Whitefish

The following fish are lowest in methylmercury:

Catfish (farmed)
Blue Crab (mid-Atlantic)
Fish Sticks
Flounder (summer)
Trout (farmed)
Salmon (wild Pacific)

Lobsters Have Proven to be Sustainable in Practice and Keep Fishermen in Business

Lobsters in Australia [mentioned in Jared Diamond's book _Collapse (2005)] as well as U.S. State of Maine's lobster fisheries are quite sustainable as they are--mostly due to the fact that the fisheries technologies of lobster rely on catching one at a time among other variables that are very social. I'll post a citation to an analysis of a sustainable lobster management framework off of Maine shortly...]

Mark said...

Lots of great ideas for sustainable agriculture and sustainable farm-animal raising have come from Cuba's "accidental revolution"--a real revolution of independence--that came when the Soviet Bloc stopped subsidizing Cuba in 1989.

Then Cuba had a real revolution, however accidental, toward sustainability. Cuba is still a bad police state, though we can learn from Cuba's working material examples of farm/fodder relationships and its legal ideas of integrating and supporting urban gardening with supporting state frameworks for it. "Arbor-foddering" and legume based foddering solutions are interesting, etc., to cut down on expensive external industrial protein feeds to go organic and closed-loop instead.

Lots of biodiversity-supporting sustainability ideas in these videos, in a working example:

Cuba The Accidental Revolution PT-1
46 min - 17-Oct-07 - (13 ratings)
latest revolutions, an agricultural revolution and a revolution in science and medicine are having repercussions around the world.
Cuba: The Accidental Revolution (Part 1),

Cuba The Accidental Revolution PT-2
46 min - 17-Oct-07 - (2 ratings)
-2...In Cuba: The Accidental Revolution (Part 2), airing Sunday, August 6 at 7 PM on CBC Television, we learn that

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Gooey Ducks grow to about two pounds in four or five years.

Anonymous said...

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Mark said...

"I have also learned that after coconut and palm kernel oil, the food that medium chain triglycerides are most concentrated in is human breast milk. It is also found in smaller concentrations in goat and cow’s milk, as well as the butters from these milks." [Though remember that different genotypes of cow's milk matter on the health or lack of health, see book below after the link]

Demonized Since the 1950s – Yet Still One of Healthiest Foods Available: Raw Milk (though only if it comes from a certain cow genotype, read more:)


Dr. Mercola Talks About Raw Milk With Mark McAfee (Part 1 of 6)
9 minutes

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

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Did you know there are two types of ‘raw milk’ in America?

As Mark McAfee explains, there’s the raw milk intended to be consumed raw, and then there’s the raw milk intended to be used for pasteurization, and contrary to popular belief, they are NOT the same.

When buying raw milk, it’s very important to make sure you’re buying milk that has been produced with the intention of being consumed raw, and not just raw milk from conventionally-raised cows that hasn’t gone through the pasteurization process yet.

There’s a vast difference between the quality and safety of milk from organically-raised, grass-fed cows, and conventionally-raised, grain-fed livestock.

How Can You Identify High-Quality Sources of Raw Milk?

Right now, only six states permit the retail sale of raw milk:

1. California
2. Connecticut
3. Maine
4. Pennsylvania
5. Washington
6. Arizona

However, it’s important to realize that each state sets their own standards. California, specifically, has its own special set of standards for raw milk for human consumption, in which farmers must meet or exceed pasteurized milk standards, without pasteurizing.

You can find raw milk retailers in California by using the store locator available at, and for other areas, check out the Campaign for Real Milk Web site.

You can also look here to find out the legal status of raw milk in the U.S. state or country where you live.

However, since many raw milk producers are very small farms, and the standards that do exist vary from state to state, how do you go about identifying solid, high-quality producers of raw milk if you can’t just buy it in a store nearby?

This is a complex question since the environmental conditions will vary from location to location, and from season to season. However, there are a few general conditions you should look for, including:

* Low pathogenic bacteria count (ie does the farmer test his milk regularly for pathogens?)
* The milk is quickly chilled after milking
* The milk comes from cows raised naturally, in accordance with the seasons
* The cows are mainly grass-fed
* The cows are not given antibiotics and growth hormones to increase milk production
* Cows are well cared for


Mark said...


If you’re thinking about purchasing milk from a small farmer, it would be very wise to visit the farm in person. Look around and ask questions, such as:

1. Does the farmer and his family drink the milk themselves?
2. How long has he been producing raw milk?
3. Are the cows clean?
4. What conditions are the cows raised in?
5. Are there any obvious sanitation questions?

If a cow is covered in filth and manure, stinks, is wet and cold and doesn’t look particularly comfortable, that could be a warning sign that her milk is less than ideal for raw consumption.

Only Healthy Grass-Fed Cows Produce Healthy Raw Milk

Naturally, fresh grasses for foraging are not available year round in many areas of the US, so it’s also important to take a look at what the cows are being fed during winter months. According to McAfee, acceptable winter feed includes dried alfalfa, timothy grass, and other cut pasture or forage that has been dried.

A key point to remember is that cows that are fed a lot of grain and raised under substandard conditions will likely produce milk that is unhealthy to drink raw because grains, antibiotics, growth hormones, and filthy living conditions change the pH balance and the natural bacteria present in her gut, which in turn affects the natural bacteria and pathogens present in her milk.

This is particularly problematic because so many Americans have depressed immune function, leaving any pathogen introduced into your gut free to wreak havoc.

Says McAfee:

“So, as an American citizen going out and finding raw milk, if you have a depressed immune system there is an exceptional challenge there, whereas somebody who is searching out raw milk in California, who has been on raw milk before and their immune system is in pretty good shape, it’s less of a problem.

But if you got a really depressed immune system and… find some bad milk from somebody who is intending their milk to be pasteurized… that’s kind of a marriage made in hell. That’s not a good thing at all.

And that’s where I think a lot of the outbreaks happen.

You see people doing research on the internet saying, “Oh, I have a really depressed immune system. I have common cold. I get irritable bowel syndrome. I got asthma. I got allergies. I need to fix that and they say raw milk will fix it.”

But they don’t have raw milk in their area that’s safe. [Milk] that is intended for people, so they go out and find a local dairy that takes pity on them, and they buy raw milk that is intended for pasteurization, and that’s where you start seeing real problems.”

Like McAfee says, “when you work with cows to produce raw milk, you can’t cheat!”

Why the FDA Doesn't Want You to Have Raw Milk

For a fascinating review of what the current position of the FDA is regarding raw milk I would strongly encourage you to read this recent enlightening article that will reveal some of their hidden agendas:


Mark said...

Continuing Dr. Mercola's article (the book is I said to look for is coming shortly in this...):

The Many Health Benefits of Raw Milk

Organically-raised, grass-fed milk naturally contains hundreds of healthy, “good” bacteria, including lactobacillus and acidophilus. There are also several coliform families of bacteria. It’s important to realize that there are over 230 different kinds of E. coli., and only two or three of them are actually pathogenic and will cause you to get sick. The rest are actually beneficial for your gut.

Raw milk also contains vitamins, which are virtually eliminated by the pasteurization process of commercial milk. But it’s the presence of beneficial bacteria are what make raw milk such an outstanding food source to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your intestine, which in turn has a significant, beneficial impact on your overall immune function.

Other health promoting ingredients in raw milk include:

* Valuable enzymes that are destroyed during pasteurization. Without them, milk is very difficult to digest. So if you have lactose intolerance, it may very well disappear once you start consuming raw dairy products.

It also contains phosphatase, an enzyme that aids and assists in the absorption of calcium in your bones, and lipase enzyme, which helps to hydrolyze and absorb fats.

Enzymes are deactivated when you get above 120 degrees. By the time you get to 150, 160 degrees, almost all of them are completely inactivated, which is why you will not get ANY of these benefits from pasteurized milk.
* Natural butterfat, which is homogenized or removed in pasteurized milk. Without butterfat, it becomes very difficult for your body to absorb and utilize the vitamins and minerals in the water fraction of the milk. Butterfat is also your best source of preformed vitamin A, and contains re-arranged acids with strong anti-carcinogenic properties.
* Healthy unoxidized cholesterol
* Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which fights cancer and may help reduce your body fat.
* High omega-3 and low omega-6 ratios, which is the beneficial ratio between these two essential fats

Pasteurizing milk, on the other hand, destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamins, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamin B12 and vitamin B6, kills beneficial bacteria, and actually promotes pathogens.

In my opinion, there’s no reason to drink pasteurized milk, ever.

Unfortunately, the FDA and other health agencies do not acknowledge the inherent differences between pasteurized milk and raw milk.

They claim raw milk and pasteurized milk have precisely the same kind of nutritional values, completely disregarding the value of enzymes, the probiotic value of beneficial bacteria, and the importance of healthy fats.

It truly is imperative to recognize that nutrition is a holistic thing.

You cannot take bits and pieces of nutrients and think you’re going to end up with good health. It is in fact the food as a whole that makes it good for you in terms of nutrition.

Says McAfee:

“When you look at the complete assessment of food, raw milk is a rock star when it comes to dietary meaningfulness.”

I agree with McAfee when he says that hopefully, someday, the FDA will come around and acknowledge the fact that we should look at the whole of the food instead of just pieces of the food. Right now, their assessments on most foods are partial and woefully incomplete, and unfortunately, this is having a major, detrimental impact on your health.


Mark said...


Should Humans Drink Cow’s Milk?

Some people believe that cow’s milk is food for calves only, and should not be consumed by humans to begin with.

However, this may be too simplified a view. As McAfee explains:

“Cows have four stomachs, so they can eat grass… They are literally that animal between us and the sun. They are solar sun convertors. They take sunshine expressed as grass on the ground (because the grass obviously grows when the sun hits the ground and [with] water the grass grows).

We can’t eat the grass but the cow can eat the grass, and then we can eat what the cow provides… [which] is very, very nutrient dense and very digestible by humans.”

I believe that’s an important point, and it’s an area of nutrition that few pay any attention to -- the area of biophotons.

But biophoton research explains the underlying principles of why it’s so vital to eat a diet of mostly RAW food, including raw milk.

As you know, without the sun it is virtually impossible for most life forms to exist. For example, we now know that without appropriate sun exposure, you will become deficient in vitamin D, which will have very far ranging consequences for your health.

Vitamin D influences at least 2,000-3,000 genes (that we know of), and without sufficient amounts of vitamin D, your body becomes susceptible to a staggering amount of diseases. But you can absorb sun energy via your food as well as through your skin (although this should not be confused with being able to alter your vitamin D status).

Every living organism emits biophotons or low-level luminescence, and the higher the level of light a cell emits, the greater its vitality and the potential for the transfer of that energy to the individual who eats it.

Hence, the more light a food is able to store, the more nutritious it is. Naturally grown fresh vegetables, for example, and sun-ripened fruits, are rich in light energy.

The capacity to store biophotons is therefore a measure of the quality of your food, and a very strong reason for making sure milk producing cows are allowed to forage for the healthiest, freshest grasses.

What about Raw Milk for Vegans?

As for vegans and strict vegetarians, unfortunately many of them end up not getting sufficient amounts of healthy fats in their diet, which can have a very detrimental effect on their nervous system.

Yes, the plant kingdom does offer some very important fats, but other fats are entirely animal-based, and they complement each other on a functional level. When all animal-based foods are excluded from your diet, you run the risk of developing a deficiency, which can have both physiological and psychological consequences.

In terms of consuming an animal-based food that is humane, drinking grass-fed milk from an organic dairy farm is perhaps one of your healthiest alternatives for the best of both worlds.

Pasteurized milk, on the other hand, does not offer any of the benefits available from raw milk, such as healthy fats, and a good case can be made that it does not fit the nutritional needs of humans.

I strongly recommend you avoid pasteurized milk entirely.


Mark said...


Explanation and Position of Organic Pastures on A-2 Milk and A-2 Testing

About five years ago, OPDC attempted to have the A-2 Corporation test all of our cows for A-2 genetic traits. At that time the “A-2 Corporation” was doing business in the Upper Midwest in the USA. The A-2 Corporation refused to test any cows unless all the milk was branded under the A-2 Corporation brand. They also required that all A-2 Corporation milk be pasteurized.

Because OPDC is 100% organic and never pasteurize our raw milk….that was the end of any A-2 testing idea for OPDC. The A-2 testing mandates and ideas broke all of our rules.

About a year ago, OPDC again attempted to contact the A-2 Corporation in an attempt to have its cows tested for A-2 Genetic traits. It was discovered that the A-2 Corporation had gone bankrupt in North America and had just skeletal operations in New Zealand. It took months to get an email through or contact via phone. The answer from A-2 was that they were not providing the patented test to anyone at that time and that perhaps in the future that the test may become available.

As of March 2010, the A-2 Corporation is not providing tests to American Dairymen.

There are some people in the raw milk movement that say that they have a way to get cows tested for A-2 traits, but it is questionable whether these tests are actually the original A-2 test and these people want lots of money to do the test.

It is also still very questionable whether the claims made by A-2 are accurate. The authors of “The Devil in the Milk” book claim that cows made a genetic split about 5,000 years ago and that Holsteins and some other breeds were more domesticated because of calmness and other traits ( they were to become more A-1 dominant ). We have no way of knowing that this is true or not. No other research confirms these historical concepts. Also…it is claimed that A-2 cows ( Jerseys )produce milk which is far better than cows that are tested and found to be A-1 genetics.

We disagree with this analysis and remain unconvinced of its value. If the split occurred 5000 years ago and A-1 is the source of modern heart disease and makes autism worse….then this does not match up with other researchers at all. Modern diseases began with grain feeding and confinement just 75 to 100 years ago. Modern diseases are much more likely to be associated with modern processing of milk and lack of grass feeding etc.

When evaluating the “67th amino acid” differences in A-2 milk, we ask a much bigger question, when pasteurized milk is observed microscopically it is a massive destruction zone. It looks as if it has been hit with a bomb and everything is dead, broken and twisted. Everything is in little pieces and nothing is alive.

How can a slight 67th position nuance of a single amino acid matter at all in the bigger scheme of massive amino acid changes during pasteurized milk destruction. This makes zero sense.

At OPDC about 50% of our cows are Jersey and 30% are Jersey-Holstein crosses. The rest are Holstein.

At OPDC we believe that the cow is a part of the environment and her milk reflects her conditions and her feed. We feed 100% pastures all of the time. These conditions will reflect in the raw milk that she produces.


Mark said...


Presently, we are being approached to test our cows for A-2 traits by people that do not work for A-2 Corporation. These tests are very expensive and we have no idea what the results would mean or what value they would bring or if they are actually A-2 tests at all? Who knows what they are.

For now, at OPDC, the jury is out on A-2 v. A-1 cows. We are approached every week by people that try to sell us something new to make our products better. We are always open to new ideas….but most of the time we stick with the very oldest of ideas. We stick with mother nature and grass and sunshine. We are not going to slaughter or sell off our perfectly good cows based on one book and a concept which has not been verified by anyone except for the authors.

Both of the founders of A-2 are now dead and no one is verifying their work. [How did the authors 'die'?]

In our calculation the very best milk is raw milk from cows grazed on green pastures and tested to assure that no bad bugs are present. This is the raw milk that makes people healthy, rebuilds human immune systems regardless of animal genetics.

The FDA will not allow OPDC to explain what things raw milk improves medically.

Trust us….Grass fed, tested, Raw Milk is a highly effective medical food.

See for details that cannot be explained here.

More Information

For more information, I urge you to listen to the interview in its entirety above. The full transcript is also available.

Mark McAfee’s experience and knowledge base on this topic is phenomenal, and the interview covers many of the facets involved in raising healthy cows and producing healthy raw milk, as well as the numerous health benefits, and potential pitfalls, of raw milk.

You can also find lots of valuable information on McAfee’s site, and


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