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Why Buy Grass Fed Beef?

Pregnancy and Nutrition 

At no point is nutrition more important; the benefits and dangers more lasting and powerful, than during pregnancy. In fact, quite often it isn’t until pregnancy that the effects of healthy eating really sink in. Topline Foods is here, as always, to make sure you have both the best food and the best food information we can find to give your baby the best start.

On Fish: The Good, the Bad, and the Toxic

Since there are so many frightening chemicals and things you can’t eat out there, let’s start with the good news; Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to have a very positive effect on the development of baby’s brain. Infants whose mothers had more omega-3 in their diets had much higher attention spans, essential to learning, and tested over two months ahead of their peers (WebMD). Other studies show that they can reduce the risk of miscarriages caused by antiphospholipid syndrome, and reduce a child’s risk of developing asthma.

The primary source of omega-3 fatty acids is cold water fish. However, not all fish are suitable for pregnant women. Fish that are very high in the food chain, like tuna, tilefish, sea bass, swordfish and sharks, can be too high in mercury and cause serious damage to a developing fetus. We do sell sea bass and ahi tuna, and consider it our duty to warn you; do not consume these fish, from us or anyone else, for the duration of your pregnancy. Our Mahi-Mahi and Halibut can be eaten safely six times a month, and our shrimp and salmon can be eaten twice a week with no problems (according to American Pregnancy).

Wild Caught SalmonWe personally suggest that you switch to our wild caught Alaskan salmon, one of the best sources of omega-3 in the world and also one of the safest and most doctor-recommended. And we aren’t recommending Alaskan wild-caught because we happen to sell it. We sell it because it happens to be one of the only kinds that is recommendable. It’s been proven that farm-raised salmon is roughly sixteen times higher in the dangerous chemical polychlorinated biphenyls; which have been essentially banned by the United Nations as one of the “dirty dozen” toxins. Prenatal exposure to these chemicals can impair the brain’s development and lead to “learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, mental retardation or personality and behavior difficulties”. For more information on the health risks and benefits of farm raised and wild caught salmon, just click here for our full analysis. And if you’re looking for another high quality and chemical free source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids, our grass-fed organic steaks are four times as high in omega-3s as their corn fed counterparts.

Antibiotics in Meat

During pregnancy, your immune system is weakened, so it’s especially important to keep diseases and bacteria out of your home. Buying organic meats can help you do this. Conventional farms tend to pack their animals as closely together as possible, in stressful environments with poor nutrition, all of which greatly increase the spread of disease. These farms have to feed their animals a steady stream of antibiotics just to keep up, a procedure which not only fails to bring bacteria levels in meats down to a rate comparable to organic meat, it also leads to the creation of drug-resistant bacteria that can make it much harder to treat and leave you sick for longer. Check out our page on organic chicken for more on how much safer organic meat is than conventional, especially when you are pregnant.

Chemical Preservatives in Cured Meats

Nitrites used in cured meats as a preservative can recombine during digestion to form nitrosamines; which can increase the risk of cancer and birth defects. Try to find products that are nitrite and nitrate free, like the ones we have available here, or be certain to take plenty of antioxidants like Vitamin C or E whenever you eat cured meats to prevent nitrosamines from forming. We also have nitrate and nitrite free bacon, but if you consume bacon that is treated with these chemicals, make sure that you don’t eat it if it’s overcooked; as this can also create nitrosamines. For more on nitrites and nitrates, click here.


Produce and Pesticides

New studies have consistently found that ordinary pesticide exposure, well within the limits tolerated by the US government, can have small but ultimately significant effects on a child’s cognitive development, leading to an average loss of between 3 and 7 points of IQ. It’s not enough to cause serious problems, but enough to make school more difficult and more intimidating than it needs to be (according to Time Magazine). And of course, that’s assuming that pesticide levels are within these acceptable limits. A test last year found that conventional peaches had over 50 different pesticides on them; five were in concentrations too high for the EPA to consider safe, and six were chemicals which are banned in the US. Levels like this can cause serious neurological damage to a developing child. For many fruits and vegetables, you can remove most of the pesticides by scrubbing them thoroughly, but the safest, most effective way is definitely to buy organic, especially when it comes to the dirty dozen. The twelve most contaminated foods for 2011 are apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines, grapes, sweet bell peppers, blueberries, lettuce and kale/collard greens.

The New Contaminant on the Block: Genetically Modified Organisms

Of course, spraying crops with dangerous chemicals isn’t the only way to combat insects in industrial agriculture. These days we can also genetically modify our food to produce neurotoxins on the cellular level, making it completely impossible to wash them off and avoid eating them. Progress!

We can’t tell you what the effects of these chemicals on the developing fetus are, because we just don’t know. Companies that patent the gene sequences for these new strains of produce have the right to withhold their products from outside testing, which means that the USDA basically has to take their word for it that their products are safe for human consumption. And they do. Constantly. Currently, about 70% of all processed foods are genetically modified, as are 85% of all corn and corn products and 91% of soybeans (True Food Now). Corporations like Monsanto apply billions of dollars’ worth of pressure insisting that their products couldn’t possibly harm pregnant women or developing fetuses; and we would love to believe them, but these are the same people who said that these chemicals couldn’t possibly reach pregnant women and fetuses. The chemicals are supposedly completely destroyed during digestion and therefore entirely harmless. A recent study has found that these neurotoxins have found their way into the bloodstream of 100% of the pregnant women tested and 100% of tested umbilical cords (Gaia Health).

Just think about that for a second. Someone, somewhere, confused zero percent for one hundred percent in a scientific study where millions of lives could be at stake. Incompetence or Machiavellian ethics, it hardly matters. That person, that team of people, is almost certainly still being paid, and their advice is being taken, not only into account but as the primary evidence by the government of the United States in determining whether something is safe for you and your children to eat every day.

Despite every effort by these corporations, scientific research is under way to try and find the truth behind these products, and the results are not comforting. Animal tests and real world examples have shown extremely high increases in infant mortality, premature birth, miscarriage, infertility, and abnormal immune responses that can be expressed as asthma, inflammation, or potentially life threatening allergies. Low birth weight, infertility, and infant mortality are on the rise in the United States, and in the UK, rates of soy allergies increased by 50% after the introduction of genetically modified soy products.

The worst news is that it is not legally required for food products using genetically modified ingredients to be labeled. Organic foods are guaranteed free of genetically modified organisms, for now at least, and some products voluntarily label themselves as GMO-free; but aside from that, when it comes to grains, meat, dairy, soy, or anything made with those ingredients, it’s a fairly safe bet that it does contain GMO’s.

That’s why Topline Foods has collected all the Certified Organic and Non GMO Project Verified products we can find. Our foods are free of pesticides, nitrites, hormones, steroids, additives and chemicals, which are no good to anyone but especially dangerous for pregnant women. We’ve made it our job to make eating safe, nutritious meals easy and affordable. People have the right to know, without hours of research, that the food they eat will be safe and beneficial. And if corporations, grocery stores and the FDA can’t fully provide that security, we’ll be proud to step up and deliver.

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