It’s more than just a hot dog; more than just a chicken; not just ground beef and it’s not just a tomato. There is something to be said about the quality of food we put on our table to be put into our body. While there is something to be said, there will still be choices and there will still be those who don’t believe there is a difference. Some of those who do believe there is a difference believe the difference isn’t enough to worry about or pay money for. Food isn’t produced as it was in the days before chemical enhancements were introduced to the food chain. The chemical industry introduced these food enhancements because there is a profit motive to be gained from producing “food fast”. Those familiar with the path of bringing meat to the table know (basically) that an animal is born or hatched; fed and slaughtered and then shipped to the various retail outlets to sell you for your table. All of the factors of production-where the animals are raised; what they are fed and how quickly they are ready for market make a difference in the quality of the meat you put on your table. Those who can remember chicken and cattle before chemical enhancements remember them roaming in the outdoor areas, feasting on things that came from the ground-worms; occasionally some corn for the chickens; some enhanced table scraps for the hogs and special grasses grown for the cows, goats and other animals. Those animals usually stayed around long enough to get named and for those who raised them to get to know many of them by name. They didn’t grow faster because there were no chemicals and shots to enhance their growth and survival. They matured in accordance with nature’s cycle. All things in nature have a cycle of maturity-it’s called natural. “Natural” implies nature taking its course. When you alter the course of nature, you (most often) alter the quality of the results. Nature-under the right conditions of food, sunshine, rain, heat and cold-yields a product of intended, ideal quality. Chemical enhancements alter all of this and have been shown to compromise the well being of humans. If the chemicals used to help nature cannot be directly taken into our body to make us healthier, it is quite reasonable to assume that if they are taken into our body through animal and produce consumption they will make us unhealthy. Once big business began to take over the food production chain, the larger profit motive began to dictate how and how quickly foods would be produced. It is more profitable to feed a cow for 23-months than it is to feed one for 36-months. Chemicals have been created that can speed up the time it takes to get food to your table. This has enabled producers to make more money. When you hear talk about a longer shelf life or a “hard-ripened tomato” that won’t bruise, that’s not for your benefit-that’s to benefit the producers’ bottom line (profit). In the longer shelf life you get chemicals that are harmful to your body and in the harder tomato, you get a tomato that doesn’t taste or smell like a tomato.
A better hot dog
In an effort to introduce a friend of mine to a better hot dog, he said to me “Don, a hot dog is a hot dog”. When I suggested buying a better quality hot dog for a cook out, I was told that people like the cheap hot dogs fine. The hot dogs that aren’t so healthy are what those who eat them are accustomed to eating. They suggest that they won’t kill them or if they do “you gotta die from something”. Like remarks are made about smoking; too much sweet stuff or too much fatty stuff. I think about this when I hear individuals say “my mama had high blood pressure, heart trouble or diabetes, so I’m gonna have it to”. All illnesses aren’t created equal; just as all hot dogs are created equal. If you don’t eat “fat-back”, smoke cigarettes and gouge yourself on cheap sweets-such as jelly donuts, you may not develop high blood pressure, heart trouble or diabetes like your mama did.
Another friend of mine worked in a meat processing plant and he told me how they took scraps from other meat cuts-fat and all-ground them up, died them red and they became your hot dog. Those who wanted to brag about a better hot dog used only beef scraps. In later years, all of these scraps-both beef and pork alike-came from poor quality meats, so you got a poor quality hot dog. Once upon a time when I went shopping, I just asked for ground beef. Later on I would buy ground round. Now, the better quality is ground steak meat. Ground round and ground steak is better in quality than just ground beef. Regular ground beef is beef ground up and don’t forget the possibility of enhancements such as pink slime and other fillers. Yes, I know the dollar sign light is going off in your head and yes; I know that better quality is more expensive. So also is a better cell phone; a better car or a better suit. It’s your choice to make but isn’t your health more important than a cell phone, a car or a suit? It’s okay to expose yourself to better meat, better eggs, better butter and a better tomato. Better meat chews; better eggs have a harder shell and are richer in color and taste more like an egg and better butter has a higher melting temperature. I grew my own tomatoes and they smelled and tasted like a tomato. You may not be able to grow your own but you can buy a better quality tomato that was grown for you by someone else. Mass producers ship some of their produce to stores before nature has completed its cycle. Some of this produce has compromised quality and taste. We must remember the fact that this produce has already been bio-engineered and chemically compromised. When I took organically grown tomatoes from the garden before they had completed nature’s cycle on the vine, they completed the cycle perfectly well on the kitchen counter. Chemical enhancements probably and most likely compromise nature’s ability to produce a quality outcome. A tomato isn’t just a tomato; all chickens aren’t created equal; ground beef isn’t all the same and a hot dog isn’t just a hot dog.