Should Grass-Fed Beef MOOOOOOOve onto your plate?

Photo: Scott Bauer, USDA ARS

Photo: Scott Bauer, USDA ARS

by Daisy Christophel, Communication major

Walking into the grocery store we have two general choices, organic or not. With beef, we have options: grass-fed, grain-fed, (regular) grass-finished, or corn finished. Grass finished means the steer is fed on grain for the first half of his life then his final year before slaughter is finished on grass, corn finished means the opposite.

It’s important to understand what grass-fed beef entails since it can be confused with “organic” or “free-range” labeling. By USDA standards, grass-fed beef means that for the entirety of the animals life it must always be fed grass, forage, and “cereal grains in the vegetative state.”  Checks are done on farms to ensure this process.

Grass-fed beef can still be given hormones, and antibiotics. There is also controversy over the USDA label because grass-fed beef can be imported and it’s a blurry line to decide at what point grains stop being in the vegetative state. Explain this a bit further

What are the good things about grass-fed compared to grain? In short, it’s better for the environment, us, and the cow. It’s better for the cow because it’s more natural., When cows are fed grain it causes a more acidic environment in their stomachs, making them more disease susceptible, which in turn can lead to diseases. It’s also better for us because it contains more vitamins and fatty acids like Omega 3s and CLA .It also contains fewer  calories than the same portion of grain fed meat.

Sound like a win-win? Not altogether, in multiple blind taste tests grass-fed fell short. It’s also not reasonable to completely shift to grass-fed as a society, it take land we don’t have and twice the amount of time for a finished product for our growing population. There’s the facts, the choice is yours!

More info can be found here:
http://www.americangrassfed.org/
http://www.csuchico.edu/grassfedbeef/

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This blog post was an assignment for  Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.

GMO-Free School Lunch Options

By Marjan Souayvixay, Biology major

According to Moms Across America, “31 million GMO meals are served to our children in American schools each day.. . . These meals contain pesticides, dyes, high fructose corn syrup and synthetic chemical which have been linked to Autism, Allergies, ADHD and Auto Immune Disorders.”

Wow! This blog caught my attention because I am a mother myself and I believe it is hype to scare mothers about GMO foods.

I am a student at OSU and a health professional pursuing education to advance my profession. I know that there are many factors that contribute to the above childhood illnesses, and GMO foods are not one of them.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) involve improvements done to a plant in order to make a better crop – for example, a drought resistant plant or pest resistant. Nothing is changed about the plant life form. What one should ask is, what kind of modification is being done?

Before food companies distribute their crops to the grocery stores, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provide regulation.  The foods contain minimal residue, and it is recommended to wash fresh fruits and vegetables under running water to minimize any residue (National Pesticide Information Center).

My priority is whether my child is getting the right amount of nutrients for a growing and developing brain and body, recommended by the American Pediatric Association.

My concern is if my child is getting the right amount of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Does his lunch provide healthy portions of each of these categories?

My advice to mothers is doing your own research, as I did. Resources are abundant. You will gain insightful knowledge and only with your findings you will know what goes into the bodies of the ones you love.

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This blog post was an assignment for  Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.

GMOs: Healthy or Not?

by Courtney Tarvin, Agricultural Communication major

In today’s fast paced, instant world everyone is looking for the most efficient way accomplish their goals, for many farmers that is producing genetically modified food, but are they really healthy?

I personally think that these Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) foods are healthy for consumption. Biology Fortified’s article, The 10 Minor Realizations That Flipped My Thinking About GMOs, has some interesting points. For example, GMOs only have a single gene that is being transferred out of the thousands of genes that they contain. Also, I think we need to realize that we share half of our DNA with a banana.

Many plants produce their own pesticides, and traditional selective breeding has had a negative unintended consequence on the world. We can’t prove that these foods are bad for human consumption and contemporary breeding has been proven to be very selective.

The public is afraid of the unknown as we do not know the correlation between health and GMO products, but it is only because of the messages that people against GMOs have sent out, convincing others that these are bad products. GMOs have helped to vastly improve production over the years and have helped with the agriculture industry; they are healthy and safe. But the biggest issue that the agriculture industry faces is convincing the public that these products are safe for them to consume.
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This blog post was an assignment for  Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.

Label Me!

by Veronica Flores, Comparative Studies and Spanish double major

To label genetically modified organisms  (GMOs) or to not label GMOs, that is the question. In recent news there has been an increase in the push for the labeling of genetically modified products. While many say that labeling these products is nothing but a waste of money others say that Americans have the right to know what is in their food! Others say that labeling will deter costumers from buying the food.

In my opinion refusing to label is admitting they are hiding something. Or can it be that perhaps everything now is genetically modified and labeling will only expose this truth? Americans have the right to know what is in their food and labeling the products is the only way to do that. Labeling will give Americans the option to choose whether or not they want to consume genetically modified products.

More importantly, labeling products can lead to the answer to the following question,“Do GMOs cause health problems?” The reason this question remains unanswered is because by not labeling products there is no way to trace health issues with GMOs. This is why labeling is important. In order to trace the effects of GMOs and give people the right to know what they are eating, food products must be labeled.

For more info : http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09371.html

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This blog post was an assignment for  Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor

Microbes and You: Home Brewed Bacteria Health Drink?

by Peter Flynn, BA Psychology

Health crazes, fads, and exotic diets have grown in popularity since the 21st century.  People desire to be healthy and will go to pretty extreme measures to attain good health.  But how far would you go?

Would you be willing to drink sweetened black that tea, that has been fermenting in room temperature for about nine days in a pool of microbnes?  Well if you answer yes to this question, then Kombucha is right for you.  This sweetened tea has been transformed into an evanescent, lightly carbonated, semi-sweet beverage, chock full of probiotics and antioxidants.

How?  Through the introduction of a SCOBY, a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.  The brown, rubbery, frisbee shaped microbes live off the simple sugars in the sweetened tea, eating them and converting them into probiotics and antioxidants beneficial to detoxification, joint care, digestion, gut health, and immune boosting.

But perhaps this long list of terminology has made you feel like Romeo longing for his far off Juliet, making you think this desirable elixir is too far off.  Well don’t buy into that lie!  This potent potion can easily be made in your own kitchen for the price equivalent to that of a fast food burrito.  All one needs is a gallon glass jar, a gallon of water, a cup of table sugar, twelve tea bags, and a starting bottle of Kombucha that one can purchase at any health foods store.

Don’t wait any longer!  Grab your ingredients and grow the culture, capable of bringing you years of healthful living!

> More Info
(this is for information purposes only; this product is unknown to us and we do not endorse it)

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This blog post was an assignment for  Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor