Even Consumer Reports tells us that meat and dairy is among the most important foods to eat organic. In both the U.S. and Canada meat that is NOT organic can be irradiated (purposely nuked), and will be from an animal almost certainly fed artificial growth hormones, routine (even daily) antibiotics, and genetically modified (as well as pesticide-sprayed) grains. In the U.S. dairy cows can be treated with the artificial growth hormone rBGH and even though it is illegal to sell rBGH-treated U.S. dairy in most of the industrialized world, it can still be used in Canada as a raw material in products such as your child’s string cheese. Because many drugs, pesticides, and hormones concentrate in the fatty tissues of animals, we are exposed to greater portions when we eat meat and dairy.
Meat and dairy production are also responsible for a significant portion of greenhouse gasses. One kg of beef releases the green house gas equivalent of 36.4 kg of carbon (more than driving 160 miles) and that doesn’t account for the emissions impact of farm equipment or transporting the meat, according to a study in New Scientist magazine. Grassfed beef reduced greenhouse gas emission by 40% and consumed 85% less energy, according to a 2003 Swedish study.
2. If you haven’t started reading labels, then you are getting duped. Especially if you are a parent and definitely if you are buying beauty care products (and we are all buying beauty care products). There are over 10,500 industrial chemicals used in our beauty care products, most never tested for human safety. Both the U.S. and Canada have so many loopholes in regard to labeling, that even if you know how to read a label it doesn’t guarantee that the product will have listed all (or any) ingredients on the label. Even worse, kids products—especially the ones that taut Natural! Safe for Baby! No Tears! Doctor tested!—are usually the worst offenders. Look for meaningful labels such as USDA Certified Organic, EcoCert, or Natrue.