Slate published an article by one of my favorite food authors of late, James McWilliams, basically letting us know that grass-fed beef, you know the beef that pollan touts as being better for you because of the high omega 3 fatty acids, and the same beef produced from cows that are happier eating grass than corn, may have an issue. It was always thought that cows fed grain on the big CAFO lots were more susceptible to producing lots of bacteria, because it was, well, not in their “nature” to eat such foods. They are four cambered ruminants who like lots of grass to make that all important CUD. The bacterial infested rumen could provide a perfect environment to make the deadly E. Coli O157:H7 that killed the kid who ate spinach in California and the same E Coli that Eric Shlosser scared us to instead, eat fish. And now there is a problem with eating fish! oi. Well, turns out that grass fed beef are not immune to such deadly bugs. They found that grass feeding cows can be colonized with the E Coli just like grain eaters and in some studies, the prevalence is higher. Gulp. We need to start being more thoughtful as we trudge through all this food systems stuff, particularly when it comes time to organics, slow food, GMOs etc. We need science not passion to lead the evidence and provide consumers with the right information. So many websites and organizations are preaching the wrong information out there. And people are listening. Now chew your cud on that.
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