The Dangers of Mycotoxins in Factory Farm Beef
A mycotoxin is a naturally occurring toxin produced by a fungus. Myco comes from “mykes,” the Greek word for fungus. The most famous mycotoxin became known as penicillin, one of the world’s first antibiotics. Since its discovery in 1928 by Dr. Alexander Fleming, a London bacteriologist, penicillin and a growing group of new antibiotics have revolutionized the treatment of pneumonia and other life-threatening bacterial diseases.
Last count, scientists had identified 350 to 400 different mycotoxins, most of which are not beneficial to our health, especially if they end up in the foods we eat. Some are so dangerous, they can cause acute or chronic diseases and sometimes death in humans and other animals. This group of mycotoxins is known as food-borne pathogens.
The nonprofit Stop Foodborne Illness estimates that 99% of chickens and 78% of beef cows are raised and slaughtered in animal factories.
How Do Mycotoxins Get Into Factory Farm Beef?
The answer can be found by looking closely at the way factory-farmed beef cows are raised and fattened for slaughter. The nonprofit Stop Foodborne Illness estimates that 99% of chickens and 78% of beef cows are raised and slaughtered in factory farms, also known as concentrated or confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Low costs and high production are the primary goals of factory farming; the humane and compassionate treatment of livestock is not.
From Natural Grasses to Dangerous Mycotoxins
All cows spend the first few months of life happily roaming pastures and munching on forage grasses. Some cows, known as grass-fed and grass-finished cows, are lucky enough to live their entire lives roaming free. But that idyllic life abruptly stops for the unfortunate 78% that are going to factory farms
The cows are shipped off to live the rest of their lives indoors in filthy, crowded pens where the sun doesn’t shine. At that point, the Organic Consumers Association reports, the cows are fed a toxic mixture of fattening grains and byproducts including “same species” and diseased meat, antibiotics, hormones, carcinogenic pesticides, and other unthinkable things.
Factory farm cows sicken easily in an environment where germs, bacteria, and dangerous mycotoxins (toxic fungi) flourish everywhere—even in their food. There is a bigger problem with all the harmful substances the cows are forced to eat: those same toxins are transmitted to humans in every piece of beef we eat.
How Dangerous Are Mycotoxins?
This is the kind of damage three of the most potent food-borne mycotoxins can cause in beef cows, other factory farm animals, and humans:
- Fumonisins – Found in corn crops worldwide, fumonin destroys liver and kidney function, causes esophageal cancer and defects of the brain and spinal cord.
- Trichothecenes – Created from black mold, trichothecenes are so powerful they are used in biological warfare. This toxin inhibits protein synthesis.
- Zearalenone – This toxin causes sex hormone imbalances, infertility, spontaneous abortion, and other breeding problems in pigs whose reproductive system is most like humans. It also causes rapid weight gain.
Thanks to their outdoor lifestyle and healthy diet, grass-fed cows produce exceptionally nutritious beef…
Grass-fed Beef vs. Factory Farm Beef
When cows are raised outdoors on natural forage grasses their entire lives, they have a huge advantage over factory farm cows. Grass-fed cows roam freely eating the nutritious foods they are born to eat while growing at a natural rate without hormones.
Free of dangerous mycotoxins and other harmful, unnatural substances, they seldom, if ever, get sick. Thanks to their outdoor lifestyle and healthy diet, grass-fed cows produce exceptionally nutritious beef, loaded with vitamins, minerals, and a perfect balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 polyunsaturated fats. Read more about good-for-you beef vs bad-for-you beef and how grass-fed beef helps you lose weight.
Chomps Natural Beef Sticks
Made from 100% grass-fed non-GMO Angus beef, Chomps Natural Beef Sticks are Non-GMO Project Verified, Whole30 approved, and paleo-diet friendly. The perfect complement to an on-the-go lifestyle. Chomps are enhanced with the down-home flavors of farm-fresh ingredients and preserved with natural celery juice. We wrap our beef sticks individually in a natural collagen casing made from beef hides. Instead of tasting like those tough-to-chew unhealthy jerky brands in supermarkets, Chomps are tender, flavorful, juicy, and free of gluten, soy, hormones, antibiotics, dairy, and MSG. “Shop the butterfly” and keep your family safe and satisfied.
Order Chomps natural beef snack sticks online in four different flavors (with a fifth flavor coming soon)—Original, Crankin’ Cran, Hoppin’ Jalapeno and Kickin’ Chicken—and buy them at Trader Joe’s retail stores nationwide. Enjoy your protein boost the healthy non-GMO way!