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Ultimate Cost of a Quick Bite
When was the last time you stopped at your favorite fast food restaurant for a quick bite? Whether you ordered a burger, hotdog, chicken or fries, it was inexpensive and tasty, right?
What appears to be a harmless taste treat may be costing you far more than you know. With Americans consuming about 5 billion hamburgers a year, a few Cleveland researchers wanted to know what we are eating and conducted a study recently. They came up with some startling results.
The authors of “Fast food hamburgers: what are we really eating?” (Science Direct, Annals of Diagnostic Pathology,) Brigid Prayson, James McMahon, PhD, and Richard Prayson, MD, assessed the content of eight fast food hamburger brands for protein, water content and recognizable tissue types. Water made up 49 percent of the burger, with actual meat constituting only 12 percent. The rest was a mix of skeletal muscle, including connective tissue, blood vessels, peripheral nerve, adipose tissue (fat) and cartilage or bone. Plant material made up most of the remaining filler.
But it didn’t end there: Two burgers contained Sarcocystis, an intracellular parasite that infects animals such as cows, dogs, cats, pigs, reptiles and birds when they eat contaminated meat or feces from another animal. Since cattle may harbor the parasites in their muscles as cysts, beef must be cooked to inactivate them.
In a previous study, the research group had assessed hotdogs, only to find the meat content was less (5.7 percent) and that water made up 50 percent of the processed product. They learned that hamburgers contain the same tissue types as hotdogs, including unexpected tissues like bone or cartilage.
Nearly all fast foods are processed, so most of the flavor has been destroyed. But with the addition of salt, fat and sugar, along with other additives, consumers can enjoy deliciously different tasting hotdogs, hamburgers and chicken nuggets.
A Natural News article by Mike Adams noted that that the e.coli scare prompted another additive that goes undetected by consumers—ammonia! The USDA, according to Adams, has approved the injection of ammonia into beef “…as a way to make the hamburger beef ‘safe’ enough to eat.” Unfortunately, the ammonia doesn’t always kill the pathogens, and both e.coli and salmonella have been found as contaminants in the injected beef.
If we trace the reason e.coli has contaminated our food in the first place, we learn that large factories scientifically process hundreds of strips of beef from different cattle across the country and blend it together. Ingredients like lettuce, tomatoes, beef, or chicken are processed in huge vats. That means if you have one sick cow or one contaminated head of lettuce, everything in the vat gets contaminated.
This is a great reason to know your farmer and where your food comes
The real cost of eating fast food isn’t the few dollars you spend at the counter. It comes in the way of obesity (the rise of fast food chains and obesity actually parallel each other, according to Eric Schlosser), chronic conditions like hardening of the arteries,
diabetes and the consequences of those and other diseases as they advance.
So the next time you’re thinking of stopping for a quick bite, you might want to slow down and think about the benefits and lower long term costs of eating something whole, fresh and delicious, like a mixed green salad with fresh veggies. It’s a choice your body will thank you
for as you reap the rewards of good health.
Slow Cooked Chicken Taco Filling
recipe can be made ahead of time and then reheated when needed.
Extras can also be frozen if needed. You can fill corn or rice
tortillas or napa cabbage leaves! Enjoy with brown rice, avocado, a squeeze of lime,
or cherry tomato halves.
1 Ancho chili, seeded*
1 cup boiling water
4 cloves garlic
˝ teaspoon (add more for a kick) chipotle chili powder
1 to 2 tablespoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons sea salt or Herbamare
3 pounds uncooked chicken breast and/or thigh meat
1 medium onion, diced
3 cups tomato puree*
few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or grape seed oil
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place the ancho chili in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Let soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
Then place the chili and soaking water into a blender with the garlic, chipotle chili powder, cumin, and salt. Blend on high until pureed.
Place the pureed chili mixture into a large casserole dish with the remaining ingredients. Cover and bake in a pre-heated oven for
1 hour at 325 degrees. Remove cover, stir, and bake for 1 more hours uncovered.
After it is done, use the back of a large spoon to mash the chicken until it begins to fall apart.
Taste and add any extra salt or seasonings to bring it up to flavor.
Recipe used by permission from Whole Food Nutrition
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