Beth Greer, known as the Super Natural Mom, is author of the bestseller “Super Natural Home,” endorsed by Deepak Chopra and Ralph Nader. She’s former President of The Learning Annex, Huffington Post columnist, holistic health educator and healthy home makeover specialist who offers a one-of-a-kind service to protect people from invisible toxins in their homes that can cause fatigue, allergiesasthma, and other health problems. Naturally Savvy’s Andrea Donsky interviewed Beth about reducing our exposure to toxins.

NS: Is BGH in milk bad for us and how do we avoid it?

BG: Conventional dairy cows are raised on feedlots, not on pasture, and are injected with bi-weekly hormones that produce three times as much milk as the old family cow used to. One hormone is bovine growth hormone (BGH, also known as BST, rbGH, and rbST). This hormone is genetically engineered and injected into dairy cows so they can also produce milk for nearly twice as long after calving. The FDA doesn’t require the treated milk to be labeled, so look for organic dairy products or those saying “Does Not Contain Growth Hormones.”

Milk from pastured (not pasteurized*) cows appears to be much healthier than conventional milk. The U.K. Independent reported in 2008 that grass-fed cows offer “60 per cent higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA9), which has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer.” Also more abundant in milk from grass-fed cows were Omega-3s – 39 percent higher, and vitamin E – 33 percent higher. Unlike in the U.S., U.K. organic standards make sure that organic milk come from cows with access to grass when it’s abundant in the summer.

NS: What are the benefits of eating grass-fed beef vs. conventional (factory farmed) beef?

BG: Almost all of the meat you buy in supermarkets is from cows raised on factory farms, feedlots, or CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations). In these overcrowded places animals are fed whatever it takes to grow them as large and as fast as possible. The cows get fat quickly and cheaply, because they’re given synthetic growth hormones and feed consisting of grain, corn and soy (most often genetically modified).  Since cows are meant to eat grass and not grain, their stomachs become acidic and they get ulcers and other digestive problems. Ranchers then dose the cows with antibiotics which we consumers then ingest.

It’s best to look for beef that was raised on pasture and labeled “grass fed.” The good news is that a growing number of ranchers let their cattle graze on grass, which is the diet in harmony with nature.  The animals eat nothing but their mother’s milk, fresh grass and cut hay their entire lives and tend to be healthier and more humanely treated. Grass-fed beef does cost more than conventional beef, but their meat is higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and lower in saturated fat and cholesterol.

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