Wednesday, January 27, 2010

GMOs in Pasture Raised Meat

I was going to post my recipe for the best meatballs on the planet along with the best roasted veggies as a side dish. My plan went up in a puff of smoke when I started suffering a monster corn reaction to the meatballs. I double-checked all the ingredients: onion, garlic, sea salt, fresh ground pepper, 70% lean ground beef from US Wellness Meats. Now, onions and garlic can be corntaminated, but I knew these were safe. They are not only the same brand I have tested and confirmed, but they were from an open bag. Needless to say I use the sea salt and black pepper every day so I knew it was safe. Besides, this reaction started quickly (before I had even finished eating) and it was intense. I could tell from the first symptom that it was a corn derivative.

After rechecking my ingredients I came to the conclusion that it had to be the pasture raised ground beef from US Wellness Meats. I was so angry and upset. Until this reaction, I was an affiliate. I recommended them on every corn allergy website or forum that I frequent. How could this happen? I emailed them that night to find out how the GMO corn had landed in the meat. The owner, John Wood, emailed me back quickly and said he would look into it. His next email confirmed that they are using lactic acid (citric acid's evil twin and a powerful GM corn-derived anti-bacterial) at the processing plant. The ground beef contains a higher concentration because it is made from the trim off roasts and steaks, therefore, more heavily sprayed areas make up the ground beef.

Now, can you understand the enormity of this? At US Wellness, they go to great lengths to finish cows on pasture. They refuse to finish them on a feedlot using GMO corn to fatten them up quickly. This costs extra because it takes much longer and more work to finish cattle this way. The health benefits of eating pastured meat are extensive and eating only healthy animals is important to me. Feedlot cows are sick when they are butchered and the force-feeding of unnatural grains causes them to suffer high levels of E. coli infections. The government requires the processing plants to use powerful anti-bacterial sprays directly on the carcass to combat the spread  of E. coli. If you saw the process, believe me, you would be in favor of spraying whatever it took to kill all the contaminants that are on these carcasses.

My problem is that the anti-bacterial spray that they use is made with GM corn and I cannot tolerate even a little bit of it. It seems that the government guidelines make no distinction between butchering sick cows in high production abatoires and butchering healthy cows in smaller facilities. Now, the obvious conclusion is that the beef sold by US Wellness Meats is coated with a toxic spray as it is being processed. All of that work and care to raise the best quality meat with the most health benefits is ruined in the few seconds it takes to pump out that toxic brew onto the carcass. Healthy, pasture raised cows are reduced to toxic ground beef in an instant.

To say that I am angry about this would be an understatement. I have come to embrace the need to cook all my foods from scratch. I have come to terms with the idea that I can never eat at a restaurant or relative's house again. I have even given up the idea of "convenience foods" and have resigned myself to gathering uncorny ingredients from sources far and wide, but this is where my patience ends. The produce section of my grocery store is a minefield of corny waxes and ethylene-gassed vegetables and fruit. I can't even buy uncorned milk in the entire city of Jackson, MS and now my source of pasture-raised meat is gone. I don't care if there is GMO corn and soy in every packaged or canned food in my grocery store, I can do without those. Why can't I at least buy fresh produce and meat that hasn't been corntaminated? Does anyone realize that even the organic meat in my grocery store ($12.00 for a small whole organic chicken!) has been treated with non-organic sprays that contain GMO corn? The USDA doesn't count the antibacterial sprays as an ingredient even though consumers clearly are ingesting them.

What does this mean for my family? I have tried to find a local farm for meat and produce, but I moved here on Thanksgiving Day and there wasn't much of a farmer's market by then. All of the places listed on eatwild.com for my area have gone out of business. When the farmers market starts up again in the spring maybe I will be able to find fresh meat and vegetables that haven't been corned. Maybe I will find a way to grow my own vegetables and meat in my backyard, but that seems doubtful with no money and chronic fatigue.

Now, what to do with the corntaminated meat I still have from US Wellness Meats? My mom said she would take it home but I doubt she can tolerate it any better than I can. I couldn't even feed the leftover meatballs to my dog because they had onion in them. What a waste. Of time, money and effort. This depressing post is part of Real Food Wednesdays. Go over and find something happy to read about to lift your spirits. I know I will.

63 comments:

  1. I feel so bad for you. This is very eye opening. I had no idea about the antibacterial spray. Hopefully you'll be able to find something in the spring when the markets open again. My inlaws are from the Coast (Ocean Springs, MS) and they have a really nice market (thought that doesn't help you now.)

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW!!!!!!!! I am the anonymous person who wondered where you were! I am so sorry.... you became a "guinea pig" for me, and for that I am greatful(and so sorry for you!) I pray that you will find a farmer as I have who does thing the old fashioned way.
    Kelley
    randkell@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  3. i have a relationship with a local farmer who won't use the usda processor. he kills right outside of his barn and a local butcher is there and takes the carcass to get it ready for sale. nothing is sprayed on the meat, and i am so grateful! maybe you can find a farmer willing to do this same thing for you. you might have to purchase the entire cow, but it's so worth it to have meat and food you can actually eat.
    sorry to hear about all of this, it makes NO sense does it?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Motherhen68, There is a huge farmers market here, too. I was here for the last weekend that it was open, but there were no veggies then. I am hoping that it will be full of safe veggies in the spring. I plan to freeze and can as much as I can this year so I don't have to rely on the grocery store for veggies.

    Anonymous1, It makes me feel better to know that our reaction was at least helpful to someone. There is a local farmer that looks promising, but they won't have any meat available for another month.

    Anonymous2, There were farmers here like that until recently. They were unable to find enough customers to keep them in business. There is a farm here that seems to do things right, but they only have beef or lamb and sell it in something called "shares".

    ReplyDelete
  5. hi kc-i just found your site from michelle's. i had no idea about the gmo sprays use don fruit and in shampoo, etc. i don't really buy procssed food and i try to get organic produce but i had no idea how pervasive this was!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Michaela, thanks for the visit. Corn allergies really cut down on the clutter of medicine cabinets, under sinks, in cabinets, in the laundry room and in the shower. Same goes for the kitchen. I have very few items in my pantry, but have an extra freezer full. We also produce very little garbage compared to other families so there are a lot of good things about this allergy. We eat healthier than anyone we know and can never cheat on "our diet".

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi kc - i was very interested in the comment you left on my site and am amazed at the challenge you are dealing with. It's amazing, these food allergies and the lengths one must go to simply eat.

    What are some of your 'safe' foods, if there is such thing?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Michelle, thanks for the comment. I was trying to come up with a list of foolproof, always safe foods for a beginner's guide that I am working on and I haven't thought of anything yet. It is incredibly difficult to stay completely corn-free even if you are on a real food diet like we are. We only purchase meat, veggies, fruit, salt, spices, honey, sugar, flour, brown rice, dairy, coconut oil, and olive oil. That is pretty much our entire grocery list and it is still hard to stay corn-free. The thing that I want people to know is that the corn I am avoiding (and everyone else in this country is ingesting) is genetically modified. GMOs are not food.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you for exposing the Truth! It saddens me to see others use the convenience of denial just because they happen to "have just placed a 10 lb order for liverwurst" from the culprit! :( (See Cheeseslave blog on this)
    Ignorance is bliss, I guess!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anon: I thought Ann Marie's post was very well done. I don't know if you read the same thing I did, but there was no denial because she ordered liverwurst. What a ridiculous statement!

    She spent hours (perhaps days) researching this subject in great depth, speaking with numerous experts and farmers, in order to get to the truth. Then she made a decision for herself based on FACTS... not ignorance. Everyone needs to do the same for themselves and their family. Just because you don't agree with her decision does make that decision ignorant, nor was it made in denial.

    Obviously the author of this post has extreme sensitivity to corn (GMO or not?), and that really sucks! Ann Marie was very sensitive to this issue as well. I wish "cornfree" and her family the best, and I hope in time the allergy will resolve itself. This often is possible with diet and nutrition changes.

    Ignorance is bliss for some people, but NOT Ann Marie.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Correction: "Just because you don't agree with her decision does NOT make that decision ignorant, nor was it made in denial".

    ReplyDelete
  12. LIGHTBULB MOMENT!

    I can't believe I hadn't thought of this. Our grassfed beef was processed and carefully handled. I have been wondering why it makes me sick sometimes. It seems you are just as sensitive as I am. Thank you for the post. It changed my life already.

    I called my processor this morning and checked. The meat doesn't HAVE to be sprayed. It is just a precaution. Good news for us! He had no trouble with not spraying it. So, this spring when we process we will have truly corn-free beef.

    It is such a challenge to live corn-free. I am very blessed to have a grass based farm and a supportive spouse so i already have grassfed beef and milk. My hubby is raising corn-free chickens for meat and eggs this year (for me and a few customers) so I can add them back in. We are working on establishing pastured rabbits for later this year. Maybe next year or so we will add in grassfed lamb. While we do feed most of our chickens grain, you can see what we are working on to provide some corn-free meats to our local community at our website www.familyfriendlyfarm.com.

    As far as eating out, I THINK I will be able to eat out at Red Lobster as fresh lobster is only boiled in water (assuming they are willing to rinse the pan and start boiling me fresh water). I am very excited about that as it means I can travel again.

    Regarding meat in your area, I found Livingston Spring Farm that raises beef and lamb on grass.I called but wasn't able to get a hold of them on short notice. They sell by the side so I am guessing you could buy all four sides and ask the processor not to spray the meat. Their website is www.livingstonspringsfarm.com. If you talk real nice maybe they will start a small flock of corn-free chickens? Or you could look into Jacksons rules. Many cities allow for a few hens.

    For everyone else out there you can look at www.eatwild.com, www.localharvest.org and www.eatwellguide.org.

    I have sources for cheese, butter and a few other products if you haven't found them yet. You are welcome to call and chat.

    May God bless your adventure,

    Rachel Fasnacht
    Family Friendly Farm
    Cape Girardeau, MO

    ReplyDelete
  13. Just read your comment about making a corn-free list. Don't try to reinvent the wheel. There is a blog that already does that. http://corn-freefoods.blogspot.com/ Check out the links on the right. They are a great way to get started.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous, I was expecting this post from Cheeseslave because John Wood stated that it would be "a good read" in an email posted on a forum I belong to. I knew that it was going to be slanted in favor or US Wellness Meats, but I was curious to see how it would be done.

    LS, Cheeseslave never requested the emails exchanged between John Wood and myself, but I sent them to her anyway. I heard that she was working on a post and thought she would appreciate all the facts. She never did ask me any questions, though. I actually don't have an "extreme" allergy to corn since I do not experience anaphylaxis. Those people could die from US Wellness Meats and I was only miserable for a week.

    By the way, I have left a comment on Cheeseslave's post, if you are interested.

    Rachel, I am going to visit your site right now. I rent a small place but made sure I have a garden plot and room for chickens since I have had the hardest time with eggs and chicken. I did call Livingston Spring Farms and she is checking her processing procedure for me. I am hopeful, but still wish I could find chicken and pork. I NEED BACON!! :)

    As for the Red Lobster, much of the seafood available is treated with citric acid before it ever hits land. I know this is especially hard to avoid with shrimp, but am not sure about lobster. I would double-check that before digging in.

    I know about that list of corn-free foods but it hasn't been updated since Dec. 2007. I use it as a reference, but I also listen to the people over at the Avoiding Corn forum on Delphi. I was hoping to make a simple beginner's guide, but it is really hard to simplify going corn-free.

    ReplyDelete
  15. kc, I did read your comment at Cheeseslave. I 100% agree with you that it is a sad state of affairs that our country uses GMO ANYTHING!

    I am a real foodie (obviously) and I find it reprehensible that a GMO corn product is used in the processing of any meat, but especially grass fed/pastured products that are very expensive and marketed to consumers specifically trying to avoid GMO's.

    Thankfully, I have a local source for grass fed beef, and no corn allergy (that I know of). However, I will investigate the processing of our beef further before I order again. I do purchase pork products from US Wellness because I MUST have bacon! :) I recently found a local source for pork that does not use GMO feed (will have to question the processing), but it's not available until next fall.

    I have researched GMO's and it is scary... especially when the USDA and FDA do absolutely nothing to protect the consumer. They're more interested in kissing up to Big Ag.

    I hope you realize that my previous comment was directed specifically to Anon. I do believe that everyone must do their own research and come to their own conclusions regarding what is best for themselves and their families. Ann Marie did that, and so have you. The rest of us must do the same.

    I truly wish you and your family the best, and I hope GAPS will help you all heal.

    ReplyDelete
  16. LS, I am really shocked at this whole thing. In the original emails from John Wood, it sounded as if he was going to "get to the bottom of this" and I thought he would be looking for ways to avoid using GMOs. After a while, I saw that he intended to do no such thing. Instead he has enlisted Cheeseslave in an attack much like the ones that Monsanto is famous for. I hate that most of the commenters on Cheeseslave's blog seemed to have missed the whole point: there are GMOs in pasture raised meat.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Corn really has become crazy-insidious.

    I get meat from Slankers. At first it was some of everything, and now it's just the stuff I can't get ahold of locally, especially bones for stock (which I can get some of around here, but not as much as I'd like :)), whole pastured chickens and, when they have it in stock, bone-in pork loin. The only problem I have with them is that they go out of stock on the bone-in pork loin too often. :)

    (I see they have some in now, though--time to put an order together!)

    ReplyDelete
  18. WOW!!! But sadly this doesn't suprise me. I am a scientifically educated rancher. Most of the beef we sell I label as "pastured" because at some point in its life it has recieved grain. We do raise some select "100% Grass-Fed Beef". Unfortunately, with some big farms they don't know EXACTLY what happens to their animals from the day they were born to the day the customer recieves it.

    I was appalled that Cheeseslave got it wrong. I didn't think you were complaining about a GMO, it was the CORN, any CORN!

    You have CORN in your GRASSFED beef!!! Hello!! totally wrong!! Plus it probably is a GMO. But to me that was a different issue.

    I feel so awful that you have had a reaction to their beef. We have just harvested an entire cow that was 100% Grass-Fed Beef. We also made beef jerky & sticks. This is a new processor for us. I will certainly double check their processing procedures in detail.

    Another reason you are doing the right thing for your family by BUYING LOCAL!!! Keep going. Thank you for speaking up!! We all need to pay more attention to EVERYTHING that happens to our food.

    You refreshed my memory to even question what they put "on top" of my vegetables that I purchase during the winter at a big-box-mart.

    WONDERFUL POST!!!!!

    stop by if you have time (greenranchingmom.blogspot.com or ebersolebeef.com)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Heather, You have no idea just how insidious it really is in grocery stores. I can't wait for the farmer's market so I can find some local goodies.

    GreenRanchingMom, I was appalled that there was any corn in their beef, but even more shocked to find that it was GMO corn. I think I found a local source today. Yippee!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. KC, I just wanted to say brava for the post and for your articulate responses to Cheeseslave's post. I know it must be hard for people to face how wrong it all is to spray supposedly wholesome grassfed meat with a GM-corn derived solution. Certainly part of the problem lies with USDA regs and the whole mess that is large scale animal processing, but to try to justify it as "the way things are" and "it's on 2%" seems like so much denial.

    I wish you the best in finding wholesome, clean food for your family.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Chris, thanks for the support. I never wanted to be in the middle of such vitriol and controversy. I feel like I have been run over by a truck as a result of this whole thing. The only thing I wanted to do was warn people about hidden corn in expensive pasture raised meat. This is an "avoiding corn" blog, after all. :}

    ReplyDelete
  22. I finally wandered over to Cheeseslave's blog to see the post, and that was a disappointment. Your comments, especially the last one, were spot on--as was your original post here. Regardless of Anne Marie's insistence that you could have been reacting to something else, the fact is you did the legwork and found out that there is, indeed, a corn product sprayed on the meat during processing. That's not conjecture or speculation; it's verified fact, and you reported it as such to your audience, an audience largely made up of, I expect, people with corn allergies who need to know when corn may be present in or on products that would otherwise NOT be suspected of having corn.

    People like myself who are fortunate enough to not be allergic to corn can look at what you posted and decide how and even if it factors into our decision to source meat from US Wellness or how we question other suppliers about the processing of their meat. My primary concern with corn and beef is whether or not the cows are ~eating~ corn, because that affects the nutritional make-up of the meat, so a 2% spray that will be trimmed off (though probably not without the knife blade contaminating the meat underneath) isn't a big concern for me at the moment. But I'm still glad to know about it. It makes me an informed consumer, and I long to be an informed consumer. I don't appreciate the implication that when information pertains to a beloved supplier and/or seems incidental to a group of people who AREN'T affected by it that it should be better left unmentioned.

    When it comes to what we put in our bodies, the truth is never better left unmentioned.

    ReplyDelete
  23. KC sounds to me like you hit the nail on the head: THE CHEESESLAVE PERSON IS IN IT FOR THE MONEY! USWM is HER SPONSOR! She doesn't give a crap as long as it's putting money in her pocket. It's clear SHE & HER BLOG CAN NO LONGER BE TRUSTED! SHE PROMOTES GMO USE! When it comes right down to it, she ain't better than Monsanto! It's only a matter of hours till Monsanto becomes her insidious sponsor & CHEESESLAVE starts covertly HAWKING OTHER GMO CRAP AT HER BLOG! MARK MY WORDS! The corruption has begun among us. Who will be next? By the gist of her blogs & comments, Kitchen Kop, no doubt!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Heather, I think we were supposed to forget that one little fact tucked into all that mumbo jumbo: there is GMO corn in the meat. Her title says I "allege GMOs in pastured beef" and then she goes on to prove the allegation. In the emails that she saw between Mr. Wood and myself it states that all three of us reacted instantly (my two teenagers and myself) to the meatballs and we ate only the meatballs and that is why I was so sure corn was present in the meat. The fact is I knew corn was in there but I confirmed it before warning people.

    Hi Anonymous, I thought it was interesting that a comment from Kelly the Kitchen Kop was conspicuously absent. She still has not weighed in on the whole thing. USWM is her sponsor as well, so we will have to wait to see what position she takes on this issue.

    ReplyDelete
  25. KC Kitchen Cop posted on Twitter. I can't paste anything on your blog for some reason so just go to her twitter and read her *twit* on US "wellness" meats for Feb 5 at 12:39pm. Basically she sides with Cheeseslave :-(

    ReplyDelete
  26. Yep. I'm shocked. I wonder how many "Real Foodies" will be writing this week about how GMOs are just delicious and do a body good?

    ReplyDelete
  27. My name is Caroline Cooper. I am the Weston A Price Foundation Chapter Leader for Kamloops, BC, Canada. Here is a pdf about an alternative to the lactic acid spray using hot water. Another alternative would be lactic acid from the dairy industry. I found these alternatives on the WAPF chapter leader's board:
    http://ddr.nal.usda.gov/bitstream/10113/22625/1/IND43830798.pdf

    This is a very serious problem with the government agencies standardizing methods for "safety" reasons. These regulations are killing artisan butchery in Canada and the US. I would recommend you find a local pasture farmer that will sell the whole animal alive to you. You need to build a relationship with your local butcher and find out about his/her method of processing. As a client you will be able to control this process better.

    "Where there is a will there is a way." Do not get depressed about this situation. You may find you are better off in the end; you may get a better product at a better price. I get my pastured beef for $1.10 pound live weight.

    If you need to contact me: info@eatkamloops.org.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I've been reading the issue of USWM, GMO's, and corn on this blog, Cheeseslave, and Nourishing Gourmet and the one thing that I think is the most outrageous is the vitriol and claims that Cheeseslave or the Kitchen Kop's opinion can be bought by a sponsor. I am not making comments about the validity of anyones claims but be careful with your words before slandering someone because of an ad on their blog. By making unsubstantiated claims you are only bringing into question your credibility not the writers of Cheeselave or Kitchen Kop.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I too agree that cheeseslave has gone off her rocker on that one! There is no excuse for supporting so-called organic meat companies which are deceptively using GMO's & grains on their meat. Personally I believe you ought to sue USWM. You have enough of a case between your phone calls & cheeseslave blog that is proof enough that they are deceiving consummers and that you suffered because of their negligence. Get yourself an attorney ASAP: gotta strike while the iron is hot! Sue them out of their business so this never happens again to anyone else! You have an allergy to corn, this is deliberate and admitted negligence on their part: this could have killed you! If not for you do it for the next guy. I'm with you 100%. Those of us who are allergic to corn need protection from fraudulent companies. It's a disgrace that the fraud & corruption has now reached organic meat manufacturers. You are protected by law: they are not allowed to use GMO on organic products. Let USWM be a warning to any other fraudulent producers out there. Some guy in VA got arrested for selling normal bread as gluten-free. They should also be thrown in jail but at the very least hurt them where it matters: the pocket book. Please contact an attorney ASAP. You have an awesome case so don't delay. You owe it to your readers, to our children and to yourself. Good luck & keep us posted.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm done reading CheeseSlave. I was just discussing her blog earlier today, with a few friends, and we all agreed that this whole issue is just tacky.

    Here's the comment I left on her site:
    Wow... I am stunned by your bias and I have been a vocal supporter of small farmers for decades. In fact, I work on farms and I'm moving into purchasing our own shortly. You have attacked KC and her blog and that is simply in low taste.

    I am doing work on food sovereignty and protecting the lands and livelihoods of our small farmers. I spent last summer butchering meat in a small, local abattoir. I'm happy to report that there are still custom butchers that are skinning, gutting, and butchering animals without any sort of spray being added. The meat is hung for approximately three weeks after which the dried, outside flesh is trimmed off.

    You are not responsible for the judgement of other's blog posts. KC reported on a spray that US Wellness Meats uses on their product. No, they aren't the only one, but many people do purchase their product because they are educated about the problems with feedlot beef and all of the inherent problems found within. That there is a spray containing GMO being applied to that meat is a concern, or isn't, depending on the individual. However, we all have the right to know and to make that decision. It is not for you to deem it inconsequential.

    I find your stance to be arrogant and out of line. How much money you once made is irrelevant to your argument and does nothing to augment your virtuous position.

    ReplyDelete
  31. >> It is not for you to deem it inconsequential.

    Yes! I couldn't put my finger on what it was that niggled at me the most about the Cheeseslave post and some of the subsequent comments, but that is it exactly!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Caroline,
    I read that same study here: http://www.meatinternational.com/research/meat-safety/treatments-using-hot-water-instead-of-lactic-acid-reduce-levels-of-aerobic-bacteria-and-enterobacteriaceae-and-reduce-the-prevalence-of-escherichia-coli-o157-h7-on-preevisceration-beef-carcasses%86-id27.html It was the study I was referencing in my comment to the cheeseslave post. I have been looking for local farmers with meat for sale (I think I found one yesterday!), but I haven't lived here long and my WAP chapter would not return phone calls.

    David, I simply pointed out the sponsorship connection because I felt that readers had a right to know why cheeseslave was reversing her own position on GMOs. Mr. Wood enlisted cheeseslave to write this article and he bragged about it in an email posted on a forum. Perhaps you don't understand the meaning of the word slander, since I only stated substantiated facts. The same can not be said for the "Fox News approach" used by cheeseslave. I get why you enjoyed her post and are all fired up to defend her honor, small-minded people really go for entertainment news in a big way.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi Tara, I feel the same way. I once sought guidance in my real food journey from cheeseslave and her friends, but now I am just disgusted by the lack of integrity displayed by them. I am feeling pretty beat up and disillusioned, but I will get over it. I think she veered off the path and now is stuck in the mud. Thanks for the support.

    Heather, I think cheeseslave's post could have been completely different. It could have been a call to arms to stamp out this insidious GMO treatment to keep our small farmer's products safe, but instead it was an attempt to justify an indefensible practice. She has a much larger following than I do and could have done so much good. Instead her stance helps ensure that this practice is seen as harmless by the more gullible of her followers and contamination of our real food with GMOs will continue.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I've been following Cheeseslave's post, and this one, with interest for the past several days.

    You know kc, I agree with your last comment to Heather. Why didn't she take this in a different direction? USWM is not THE ENEMY needing defense at any cost. GMOs, ridiculous government regulations, and lactic acid spray containing GM corn that has been approved for organic use is the problem!!!

    Reading her responses to any comment that didn't totally agree with her was really sad. Some of them seemed very irrational coming from a person opposed to GMOs. I admit... I've lost some respect.

    It's little things adding up that make me question a company's integrity. If what you say about John Wood bragging about enlisting Cheeseslave to write the post, while she totally denies it in one of her comments... now that really makes me wonder!

    As I said above, I purchase pork from USWM (and a few other things here and there). I decided to look for more information regarding the pork on their website. It's "Certified Humane", so I wondered what that meant. I googled it, and found the website for the certifying organization. The pork listed on the USWM website is Heritage Acres Pork. However, I received pork from Ozark Mountain. No big deal... I've always been happy with the quality of the products I've received. What IS a problem is that plain as day on the Certified Humane website, neither of these farms are certified anymore. They are both listed as "No Longer Certified". HUH? Maybe it's a mistake, but I don't know that. I know that I'm paying a premium price for food for my family, and I expect it to be legit. So my questions are: 1) Did Heritage Acres and Ozark Mountain just decide not to pay for the certification anymore, yet USWM still markets it as certified, or 2) Did they lose the certification for some reason, and 3) either way, why am I still paying a premium for it? The pork products should not be marketed as Certified Humane when they are not!

    Answer to #3? I'm not anymore. I will seek out other options. I can purchase "Natural Pork" from Trader Joe's for a lot less until next fall, when I will purchase pork in bulk from a local farm that I know does not feed GMOs, and raises the animals humanely. Or maybe I'll just go without my bacon. Neither "Natural Pork" nor "Certified Humane" means that the animal receives organic feed, and that is important to me.

    Local farms are the way to go. That's the lesson I've learned from all this. Visit the farm, talk to the farmer, and KNOW what you are purchasing.

    Best of luck to you!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Local farms are absolutely the way to go. I miss the farm I bought from in Alabama. I will find one around here - I won't give up!

    ReplyDelete
  36. KC, I'm not too sure what you mean by "I get why you enjoyed her post and are all fired up to defend her honor, small-minded people really go for entertainment news in a big way." Do you think that Cheeseslave's article is "entertainment news" like FOX news therefore insinuating I am small-minded? I only came to her post through Nourishing Gourmet (which I came to looking for a recipe) so I don't know her history or anything about her honor. What I do like about her approach is that she asks good questions and apparently found answers far beyond what was written about on this blog. Also, you say "Mr. Wood enlisted cheeseslave to write this article." What evidence do you have beyond Mr. Wood supposedly "bragging" on his blog. Please post that information and the corroborating evidence to support his and your claims. It sounds like your approach to this issue of GMO's in meat is closer to the "Fox News approach", i.e. news with lots of opinion and little evidence. Hell, I don't even eat meat, I just don't like unsubstantiated claims without evidence, so please don't start claiming I've been bought off by USWM in addition to anyone that might have a different opinion or evidence contrary to yours or of your readers.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Well, it is obvious you are no mental giant since you supposedly read both posts and then came to the conclusion that I had posted "unsubstantiated claims". The owner of the company in question verified that he used GMO corn-derived lactic acid on the meat. It is not an "allegation" or an "unsubstantiated claim". John Wood himself said that it was true. Maybe you are unclear on the meaning of "unsubstantiated", too.

    ReplyDelete
  38. LMAO!!! Tell them like it is KC! Don't let the bastards grind you down! I agree with Lee, you should sue USWM! My husband & I get our meat from Rocky Mountain Cuts and they don't use GMOs or corn sprays. I'm not sure how long shipping takes to get where you're located but have a look at their website.

    ReplyDelete
  39. KC, my first comment was about the other comments on your blog not about your blog post so please there is no need to call names or question a persons intellect. I purposefully chose not to question your blog post because I was not interested in being attacked for my views or my news preferences (which, BTW, is not Fox news). Now you are the one making "unsubstantiated claims" about my intelligence and the quality of journalism on another blog.

    Also, I was not questioning lactic acid being used just some of the claims of bloggers being bought off or enlisted to write a post to defend USWM.

    Now, please go ahead and try to tear me apart. After all it should be really easy since I am "small-minded" and "no mental giant".

    ReplyDelete
  40. Now, please go ahead and try to tear me apart. After all it should be really easy since I am "small-minded" and "no mental giant".

    David, if the shoe fits... :-) (you wear it oh so well with your constant Fox News references)

    ReplyDelete
  41. USWM doesn't even have organic cert so we can't report them but they lie on their FAQS: "grain-finish is counter to the values of grass-fed farming".
    ANNEMARIE CHEESELAVE IS POCKETING A WHOPPING 8% FROM YOUR PURCHASES.
    also USWM CONTAIN NITRITES (per their faqs) unless labeled "nitrite free" SOME 'WELLNESS' COMPANY THEY ARE! just go to grasslandbeef.com and hit their faqs. THEY LIE AND CLAIM THEY DON'T WANT TO PAY 3% TO THE MO GOVT TO GET USDA ORGANIC CERT. LIARS!

    USWM ORGANIC CERTIFICATION WAS REVOKED BY THE USDA FOR USE OF PURAC CORN GMO'S!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Anonymous, I believe I read that Purac was approved for use in organic meat processing by the USDA. In fact, the best way to avoid it is to buy meat processed in a non-USDA certified processing plant like one used by your local farmer. One of my main gripes is that some GMO products are allowed to be used on organic foods and remain unlabeled. Even organic potatoes, bananas, and tomatoes can be gassed with GMO derived ethylene gas. People are lulled into a sense of security that by buying organic they are effectively avoiding ingesting GMOs and that simply isn't true anymore. The only way to be sure you are avoiding GMOs is to know your farmer and only buy from trusted sources.

    ReplyDelete
  43. The "know your farmer" concept is really bizarre to me! It's the motto of local organic farming but I don't think that would work at all. I don't mean to be crude but I mean haven't you heard? People lie! Are we supposed to inspect their facilities with a hidden camera in our glasses? :(

    ReplyDelete
  44. If you went to the US Wellness Website, they specifically say that they do not want to pay for USDA Organic Certification. Why is it so difficult to understand that without this Certification, this is what happens. The company is able to cut corners or use products at the processing plant that do not meet the NOP Standards, this is exactly why the NOP was created and why it has to be followed (CERTIFIED). The companies that pay for this certification should be rewarded and the ones that do not pay should not be rewarded with your dollars. You say that you want Organics to thrive, then do not buy products that are not USDA Certified Organic! Again, the whole reason for this mess is that America wanted cheap food, cheap electronics, cheaper homes, cheaper health care......think about it.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Anonymous, I prefer to do business with a farmer that allows me to visit the farm any day rather than a corporate "farm" that doesn't even allow cameras on the premises. I like the fact that I can look the farmer in the eye when asking questions which makes it easier to detect lies.

    Anonymous2, The product that USWM uses on the carcasses is lactic acid and it is USDA approved for use in processing of organic meat even though it is made from GMO corn. I do buy certified organic when it is available but I now know that certified organic does not protect the consumer from GMO corn contamination. Certified organic corporate farms are allowed to use all kinds of toxic substances legally. Until that changes, I will still favor local over organic every time.

    ReplyDelete
  46. It's a crime that GMO's are allowed on organic foods! To the best of my knowledge 100% organic = 100% GMO-free. Do you have a link to corroborate that?

    The "know your farmer" concept is really bizarre to me! It's the motto of local farming but I don't think that would work at all. Local is not organic. Look what happened with USWM and claiming they're local and organic without cert! And I don't mean to be crude but I mean haven't you heard? People lie! Are we supposed to inspect their facilities with a hidden camera in our glasses? :(

    ReplyDelete
  47. At the USDA site at the National Organic Program guidelines, there is a drop-down list of substances that have petitioned for use in processing of organic foods. If you look at lactic acid, there is a link to this document: Technical Advisory Panel Report which indicates that lactic acid is now allowed, even though it is acknowledged that newer commercial fermentations would be made from GM corn.

    Also, take a look at the Federal Register in regards to organic farming and you will see: § 205.605   Nonagricultural (nonorganic) substances allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as “organic” or “made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s)).

    ReplyDelete
  48. Wow all this is very scary! Well persoally I'd like to recommend Rocky Mountain Cuts in Wyoming http://www.rockymtncuts.com/ They have great choice, excellent prices and their customer service goes above & beyond. Plus they don't use GMO's they do dry aging. Check them out, it's also grass-fed organic! Hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I appreciate the link. I did like the look of that company but I am all about encouraging and supporting local farmers so I finally found local grass finished beef. I found a local meat processor that was willing to custom process my half of the cow to ensure no corn contamination. This way I also get the marrow bones, organ meats and fat for rendering. Now, if I could only find some uncorny pork, chicken and eggs!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I think she is lying.
    She is probably a radical vegan trying to discredit US Wellness Beef to prevent people from eating beef.
    Probably also supports the recent physical attack upon Lierre Keith, author of The Vegetarian Myth. This atrocious attack was perpetrated by such type of radical vegans as this blogger.
    It's ironic this attack would occur upon Ms. Keith, since she writes about the abuses of commercial feed lots.
    The blogger, in my opinion, is lying. Anyone who would refer to a dead cow as a carcass, is probably a radical vegan. They cannot think clearly since they are not getting sufficient fat to provide support for intracranial neurons, that require the saturated fat found in animal meat.
    Thus their neurons cannot produce proper neurotransmitters and they won't think clearly, nor act rationally.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Carcass is the industry term. The definition of carcass is: The dead body of an animal, especially one slaughtered for food.

    Like Lierre Keith, I don't believe humans can achieve real health without animal products. I don't believe Americans eat enough pasture raised beef and especially not enough animal fat. My family eats a lot of meat, we just won't be buying it from USWM since we are allergic to corn and anti-GMO.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hi! I found your post via Cheeseslave's blog. I'm so sorry to hear about your reaction to US Wellness meat. I believe you did have a corn reaction to the meat. I am confident your reaction had little to do with the actual processing of the meat. I am posting anonymously, not because I have something to hide, only because I am active in the grassfed industry & my comment here may open a can worms. This is not the proper venue to discuss it with other producers. :-) So, I hope you understand my position. However, I feel an obligation to tell you what I know for your health & others with severe reactions to corn. First, I have been eating grassfed & finished beef for over 13 years. I know John Wood, as well as many others raising cattle & selling beef in this industry. John is a honest & upright man & produces quality product. However, there is a little secret in the grassfed industry that most outside of this industry are not aware of. Some beef producers finish and/or supplement their cattle on something known as DDGs - dried distiller grains. It is a by-product of the ethanol industry. Some producers use this product as a cheap protein supplement, esp. during the winter. Some people in this industry accept this practice because all of the starch is removed during the ethanol production. Therefore, it is no longer considered a "grain". Sounds crazy, I know. I am adamantly against this practice, as are most of the folks in the grassfed industry. It is a touchy subject. As far as I know, US Wellness accepts cattle from producers that use DDGs. It is not their preference, but it is allowed. I hope this incident will move US Wellness, as well as other grass fed meat producers to change this practice immediately. Besides the fact grain doesn't just become a "non-grain", I'm concerned there may also be trace amounts of antibiotics they add during the process of manufacturing ethanol. One ethanol plant we contacted stated they "think" any traces of antibiotic would be gone after the processing. To me, that was a troubling comment. A well known scientist in the grassfed industry is Anibal Pordomingo from Argentina. He recently stated in an industry publication, "So far, no significant research has been reported yet on the effects of DDGs and similar ethanol by-products as supplements to stored forages or living green pastures. However, it could be hypothesized that the response will be related to the rumen availability of precursors and the effects of such by-products on rumen pH. Differences in lipid contribution between corn and by-products of corn would not be expected. Therefore, lipid profiles of intramuscular fat fed DDGs for an extended period in the absence of green pasture would probably start to resemble those of grain fed animals." So, in others words - it's still grain according to the rumen, at least that's my take on it! I've personally seen lipid profiles of beef fed DDGs & they were no different from beef finished on corn. So, all this to say....You're probably right! There is a high probability you did ingest corn when you ate that beef. I would encourage you to buy from local producers that will show you how they finish their beef & are against DDGs. I wish you all the best...

    ReplyDelete
  53. Anonymous, Thank you so much for coming forward with this information. So many times we hit a wall of silence when trying to track down a corn reaction. Sometimes it's even worse (like Cheeseslave's attack on my integrity) but all we want is information so we can devise a way to eat without corn contamination. I always suspected that the reaction to USWM was caused by using the outer layer of fat that is heavily sprayed with lactic acid in the ground beef, but there was no way for me to find out for sure. I had never heard of DDGs but am happy you shared this information with me. I am going to post a copy of your comment on the avoiding corn forum right now so that other corn allergy sufferers will know to ask about this. Thank you again.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I order my grass fed beef from Baldwin Farm in NC - haven't had an adverse reaction yet. Highly recommend.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I used a farm in Alabama (Boutwell Farms) that I was very happy with but they wouldn't ship to Mississippi when I moved. I will check and see if Baldwin Farm in NC will ship this far. Thanks for the tip.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Thanks so much for sharing this info. I do not have allergies but I definitely want to know what I'm eating, and now I am better informed. You're so right about not being able to eat out ANYWHERE. People think I'm crazy but I know better.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Anonymous, It's so nice to hear someone without allergies concerned about what goes into our food. When I talk about how much of our food is contaminated with GMO corn, most people reply that it's my problem because I'm allergic. I feel like it is a problem for everyone, I just know about it because of my allergy.

    ReplyDelete
  58. It's crazy what goes on with our meat these days. I've taken to only eating it from farmers at the farmers market or people I know locally. That's the safest way, I feel. I would think that knowing and trusting your farmer guarantees you assurance that there are no gmo's in your food. Unless they say so. I recently started working for a company based out in Montana, La Cense Beef, and they are legit when it comes to raising healthy and chemical free Good Meat. You should check it out for more information on grass fed beef and how local farmers can help our local economies and such. It will also make a great Christmas gift!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Lady, Thanks for the tip about La Cense Beef. I will be checking it out before I post it as a possibility on the forums. I don't have to worry about beef anymore now that I've found a local farmer that raises grass fed beef. I am due to pick up my next half cow for the freezer in a couple of days.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Take the contaminated meat back! They should have no problem giving you your money back and if they do tell them they can pay for you doctor's bill and pain and suffering for making you sick then!!!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Are they still doing this today?? This post was from Jan 2010, have they changed their practices?

    ReplyDelete
  62. I have no idea what they are doing now since I haven't checked in on them. I do know that they enlisted one of their most popular affiliates to attack me and this post. They used subterfuge and personal attacks to muddy the waters. I think it worked for them, too, even though they couldn't dispute what I'd printed because it was fact.

    The bottom line is that most meat processors use this procedure and it can prove extremely difficult to find meat that isn't processed using corny derivatives. It's all well and good to find a great grass-fed beef rancher, but the contamination that occurs with processing can ruin the whole deal. Start with processors first and find one not using the corn derivatives, then you can worry about locating a farmer.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I don't even know how I stopped up right here **, however I believed this publish was once good. I don't know who you're however certainly you are going to a well-known blogger if you are not already. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete