There are quite a few problems and dangers with conventional animal products that come from factory farms. These meat, dairy, and egg products are used in fast food and these are the products you buy at the average grocery store. Let’s look at the major health dangers.
There are 6 types of steroidal hormones approved by the FDA for use on beef cattle. These hormones stimulate more growth to produce more meat. Dairy cattle are given the hormone rBGH to stimulate more milk production(which results in blisters on the udders which pop and the puss goes in the milk). These “estrogenic” hormones mimic the hormone estrogen, which in turn can have potential negative effects on human health.
Humans are exposed to synthetic hormones when they eat the meat of livestock treated with these chemicals. The hormones are also excreted in the urine of livestock, and can contaminate water supplies for humans and wildlife.
While all animals produce estrogen, the effect of additional estrogen is affecting humans. Studies show a “feminizing effect” on males. Males exposed to environmental estrogens can show lowered sperm counts and abnormal sexual development. Environmental estrogens may also cause females to enter sexual maturity earlier than normal, and a potential increased risk of breast cancer. This growing body of evidence has prompted the European Union to ban growth promoting hormones and all imports that were produced with them. Hormones are also endocrine disrupters which can cause birth defects and tumors.
(This brings us to a sub-category: SOY. Soy is in a lot of products and you must briefly read about the dangers which includes hormones. Soy is high in phytoestrogens which mimic estrogen in our bodies. Too much estrogen in the body is a leading cause of breast cancer, infertility, and low libido. An infant taking the recommended amount of soy formula is consuming a hormone load equivalent of 4 birth control pills a day! This is one of the reasons we’ve seen such a dramatic rise in puberty at an early age with young girls starting their periods at 6 and 7. Soy also destroys your thyroid by preventing it from getting enough iodine. This will cause you to gain weight, be fatigued, along with many other issues. Soy contains trypsin inhibitors which causes digestive problems. Lastly, over 90% of soy is genetically modified. So keep away from products with soy in them like soy lecithin which is commonly found in chocolate bars, soy protein isolate(in many workout bars and supplements), cereals, and crackers which contain soy.)
Because of the disgusting conditions and close proximity of the high concentration of animals in a small space, they are given antibiotics to fight off disease. The animals are also given these antibiotics to stimulate growth. Did you know that 80 percent of antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used on livestock?! This is causing the outbreak of antibiotic resistant bacteria(superbugs) which endangers the health of thousands. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of the antibiotic fluoroquinone in chickens, fluoroquinone-resistant bacteria began showing up in humans. Consuming antibiotic tainted meat also kills gut flora(good bacteria) which contributes to obesity and a higher susceptibility to disease.
There are other differences between conventional and organic animal products as well: Organic eggs have higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamins A, and Vitamin E. Organic eggs are also free of arsenic. Organic chickens are cage-free which means they can actually move around and are not treated cruelly by being stuck in a small battery cage where they can’t do anything; this equals healthier chickens which produce healthier eggs.
Conventional pork products have a lot of problems. They are contaminated with disease causing bacteria like E. coli, staph, and Salmonella. Pigs used for conventional pork products are not only given antibiotics, which have their own dangers, but are also given a drug called ractopamine to speed growth. Because this drug ractopamine has not been studied well at all pertaining to it’s effects on humans(except for a study with 6 people which turned up negative health effects), the pork from pigs given ractopamine is banned in 160 countries outside the U.S.!
In addition to that, many processed meat products, which often contain pork products, contain the harmful preservative sodium nitrate. I mean products like sausage, bacon, pepperoni, cold cuts, beef jerky, and hot dogs. Sodium nitrate turns into sodium nitrite in the body and then in your stomach into harmful chemicals called nitrosamines. Nitrosamines are also formed when processed meat is cooked at high temps through the combining of naturally occurring amines in the meat and sodium nitrite. Nitrosamines have been studied and shown to cause pancreatic, stomach, and colon cancer; in addition to that they damage your DNA, cause migraines, and other negative side effects. Sodium nitrate is in most fertilizers so you can find it in a lot of conventional produce as well. The way to avoid this is to buy organic produce and also make sure you consume plenty of Vitamin C from natural sources like citrus fruit because the Vitamin C blocks the formation of nitrosamines.
Just in case all that wasn’t enough to convince you, take a look at this article and video about meat glue. It’s an enzyme made from the blood plasma of pigs and cows and it’s used to glue together scraps of meat making them look like a solid cut of meat like a steak! It increases your chance of food poisoning and is yet another reason to avoid conventional meat.