We live in a city full of great athletic potential. I, like many of our reporting students on this site are residents of the Portland area, which presents those residing with great places to hike, bike, run, climb and become the strongest version of ourselves athletically. I am a runner and cyclist personally, and complete a great many races throughout the year. One thing that all athletes know is that they need a consistent source of protein. I know a lot of individuals and fellow marathoners and triathletes which derive a lot of use from the amount of protein they are able to get in whole vegetable form without the use of meat. And their loyalty is well placed! According to PBS’s Frontline, antibiotics are not only used to preserve the health of cattle, but they also cause United States cattle to gain as much as 3% more weight than they would naturally.
I tried becoming the quintessential vegan or vegetarian athlete for a time. However, genetics are all different from person to person across the board, and every good athlete knows that all bodies require different sources of fuel and in different amounts. My body does not do very well without factoring beef. That’s right; red meat, relatively lean, sometimes ground, beef. So where does someone like me go to healthily obtain beef which is NOT treated with antibiotics or HGH?
Fortunately for us living in the Pacific Northwest, there are many options for buying meat from smaller ranchers, specialty stores and other organic sources. But what if you are somehow unable to find easy access to these sources? Never fear! Here are some guidelines for changing your sources of beef!
1. Find out about regional food certifications
a. Your local commercial store will only sell meat which is compliant with these laws.
2. If you must shop at commercial stores, READ THE LABEL.
a. Look for brands whose selling point is their use of non-treated cattle. If you need to, check up on these brands ahead of time to make sure that these sellers are actually telling you the truth.
3. Look for brands like CSA (http://grassfedcattleco.com/packages/beef-csa/) or Laura’s Lean Beef (http://www.laurasleanbeef.com/)
PBS Frontline: Modern Meat (1995-2013) WGBH educational foundation, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/meat/safe/overview.html
Good Housekeeping: Looking for Hormone Free, Antibiotic-Free Beef? http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/product-reviews/test-kitchen-blog/hormone-free-beef