Hi, Friends! If you’ve been around for a while, you’ve probably noticed that here at Moink, we love talking about really good food. Whether we’re sharing grilling tips or a delicious new dinner recipe, we love spreading the word about exceptional-tasting ethically sourced meat, and then delivering it right to our customers’ doorsteps.
But another important part of our mission is education. We want to shed a light on what’s really happening with our food system and the steps we can take to make a difference. We also want to recognize the people and companies that are serving as a force for positive change. Moink only partners with family farmers who are good stewards of nature, the ones resisting the control of big food companies to prioritize the humane treatment of animals and the ethical and sustainable use of the land.
We also love telling you about the many health benefits of eating high-quality meat. But since we’re not wellness experts ourselves, we sat down with Dr. Seneca Anderson, founder and lead physician at Longevity Health Center in Atlanta, GA. During his 40 years in practice, Dr. Anderson has treated thousands of patients in the Southeast and around the country for both acute and chronic illnesses. He was kind enough to let us pick his brain about how the impact of meat on our health in this Q&A.
What kind of health issues do you see in your patients due to the over-consumption of poor-quality fish?
The health problems confronting us in the 21st century are different than any other time in human history. There isn’t a day that goes by in my practice that I don’t see a patient affected by environmental toxins, many of which are found in large, farm-raised fish. Chemicals like Polychlorinated Biphenyls, or PCBs, and Dioxins, as well as metals like lead and mercury have all made their way into our air, land and water and tend to accumulate in the fatty tissue of larger fish. The levels of these toxins are significantly higher in farmed salmon, and today’s leading health experts advise never to eat farmed fish.
But there is a world of difference between farmed salmon and wild salmon in terms of safety and nutritional value. Farmed salmon are fed food pellets containing GMO grains with no nutritional benefits, producing malnourished, gray fish that must be artificially colored to even look pink. But wild salmon eat a diet of crustaceans high in heart-healthy Omega-3s, brain-boosting B vitamins, immune and mood-boosting Vitamin D and cancer-fighting antioxidants like Selenium and Astaxanthin. When the quality is good, fish can contribute to whole body wellness, which is why I recommend my patients eat wild fish at least once a week.
How does the quality of meat products impact health?
Livestock raised on conventional farms are exposed to high levels of pesticides, both from the grass where they graze and the massive amounts of grain they are fed to fatten them up before slaughter. Pesticides tend to accumulate in the pancreas, disrupting our hormones and causing issues like Insulin Resistance, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Diabetes. Pesticides are also neurotoxins, meaning they lead to issues such as migraines, ADHD and Alzheimer’s.
Over the last decade I’ve noticed a surge in digestive disorders and antibiotic-resistant infections such as Lyme Disease and MRSA due to all the antibiotics Americans are ingesting through meat every year. Bacteria that used to be easily treated with one round of Penicillin are now requiring expensive, broad-spectrum antibiotics. These high-powered drugs are extremely destructive to the gut, causing a pandemic of yeast overgrowth and decreased immunity.
I also see many endocrine issues such as estrogen dominance, infertility and thyroid disease from my patients’ increased exposure to growth hormones. When animals are slaughtered in a stressful, inhumane manner, their bodies are filled with stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, and that’s passed directly to the consumer, causing further endocrine disorders. Not to mention, these hormones damage the taste and texture of the meat!
What do you recommend to your patients when it comes to selecting and consuming meat products?
I always remind my patients not only that we are what we eat, but also that we are what our food eats. Grass-fed beef is much higher in the beneficial essential fatty acids that are so good for our cardiovascular, endocrine and nervous systems. I’ve seen substantial improvements in patients with blood sugar disorders, metabolic syndromes and heart disease when they switch to grass-fed, pasture-raised and wild-caught meats. When it comes to my own family, I make every effort to purchase grass-fed beef, wild-caught Alaskan and chicken raised without growth hormones and antibiotics. I avoid toxic ingredients like Monosodium Glutamate, nitrates and dyes. We should do our homework when making all our food choices and pick the most pure and whole option whenever we can.
As far as quantity, many Americans are eating way too much poor-quality red meat. Unless people are extremely physically active, too much protein can be hard on the heart and kidneys. For an adult with an average activity level, I recommend about 4-6 ounces of red meat 2-3 times a week. Other high-quality proteins like pastured chicken and wild-caught fish can be enjoyed daily.
It’s easy to get discouraged about the state of our country’s health due to a highly political and corrupt food system. Government and Big Agriculture’s practices are designed to make the most money with the least amount of effort and forethought. It’s a short-sided system that favors yield and profit over our health, and the health of our planet.
But companies like Moink give me hope! I fully endorse their mission to support sustainable family farms and provide a convenient way to put ethical meat on the table. If you’re considering making the switch to ethically-sourced, humanely-raised meat, I urge you to do it sooner rather than later. Your health is worth it!
As a graduate of the New England School of Acupuncture, Dr. Anderson received his doctorate in Oriental Medicine from the California Acupuncture College. He is a Georgia state licensed Acupuncturist as well as a nationally certified Naturopath. As founder of Longevity Health Center, Dr. Anderson and his staff employ a variety of noninvasive testing methods and interventions such as homeopathy, nutrition and acupuncture to strengthen the body’s natural processes of healing and detoxification, addressing root cause issues. To learn more, visit longevityhealthcenter.com.