Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cats Gone Raw

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I was watching a lecture over the weekend about a particular study that sort of came about by chance in the 1930s, and ended up unveiling some pretty scary truths about the effects cooking and processing our food has on our health. Jon watched the lecture as well and after seeing the way he reacted to the findings (sort of a mix between "WHAT-REALLY!?" and "That actually makes so much sense..."), I knew I had to share it with all of you. The study itself is really quite famous, you may very well have heard it before in a science class or two, but its lessons seem to have long been forgotten (or, maybe just ignored?). Allow me first to give you a quick overview of the study, that way you can react and reach conclusions on your own. I'll briefly offer my input at the end. 

Pottenger's Cats

Dr. Franics M. Pottenger was a second generation medical doctor whose family owned a sanatorium in California where people with illnesses like tuberculosis came to regain health. An initial observation, that his patients seemed to recover when given a certain type of supplement called adrenal glandular, piqued Pottenger's interest. He devised a study of this supplement's effectiveness, using cats as his subject, to determine just how much of this supplement was necessary to reach optimal health and function. 

(stay with me here...)

So, everything was going really well with the supplement part of the study but then it took an unexpected twist. Pottenger noticed a baffling spike in mortality rates among the cats. The cat's were living shorter and shorter lives despite the fact that the supplement was effectively addressing their deficiencies and they had been otherwise quite healthy animals.  It just so happened that around the same time, people in the neighboring areas heard about his study and started bringing stray cats to him for refuge. While they were grateful and welcoming, they no longer had the resources to feed all of these cats from the leftover cooked table scraps from the sanatorium, as they had been. So they reached out to local butchers for scraps which were supplied mainly in the form of raw animal meats.

(so the dying cats were eating the cooked foods from the sanatorium kitchen, as new cats arrived they were fed any raw animal scraps the local butchers could provide) 

Then came the next significant twist: the cats that were fed this raw-food diet experienced a significant and unexpected decrease in mortality rates! This puzzling observation led Pottenger to conduct a second study, this time on the relationship between cooked and processed food and the health and mortality rates of the cats. All of the cats were fed a consistent base diet of milk, meat and some additional foods. The only thing different between each group would be the degree of cooking or processing done to their meat and milk. The groups of cats were given diets along a spectrum from completely raw milk and raw meat to completely processed milk and cooked meat; while the additional food items remained constant among the groups. The results were shocking.

(so he divided the cats into groups, one group was fed all raw milk and raw meat, the next was fed cooked meat and pasteurized milk...the next was served cooked meat and evaporated milk...and so on...)

Animals fed raw meat and raw milk were of optimal health, animals fed raw meat with pasteurized milk were of inferior health inside and out, the animals fed evaporated milk were of even worse health and the animals fed condensed milk sweetened with sugar were completely physiologically degenerative. The cats fed diets that were more cooked and more processed experienced structural deformities, significant social stress, onset of allergies, still births, infertility and anxiety. What's really important to note though is that, of these cats fed the various degrees of cooked and processed food, the health of the 2nd and 3rd generations of these groups were worse and worse, though their diets remained consistent. By the 3rd or 4th generation, the animals fed cooked and processed foods became completely unable to reproduce.Cats fed a raw food, uncooked, unprocessed diet continued to reproduce offspring of optimal health. 

(you still with me? so groups 2..3..4..and so on along the spectrum of cooking an processing..their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren...while they consumed exactly the same diet as their parents, grandparents, etc... their health continued in decline...ultimately resulting in their inability to reproduce at all.. the cats fed a raw food diet continued to reproduce healthy offspring as nature intended)

Now for one of the most important parts of this whole study: Pottenger was able to prove that by returning the next generations to their naturally intended diet of raw foods, they could return to optimal health. The correcting process was slow, taking 4 solid generations to do so, but it was effective. 

(glimmer of hope: while consuming cooked and processed foods nutritionally stripped the animals leaving them physiologically degenerative, by returning them to a raw food diet, they were slowly able to heal themselves, heal their lineage and, after 4 solid generations of this raw food diet, produce offspring that were physically, socially, nutritionally of optimal health )

So what does this mean for us? Well, Pottenger's findings bear a striking resemblance to our modern day health crisis. As we continue to eat a highly processed, heated and over-cooked diet, deficient in raw foods and therefore deficient in essential nutrients, we are seeing more disease, more infertility, more metal health problems - and it continues to get worse and worse. It is clear from these findings that what we eat is not only affecting us, now, in the present, it is affecting our children and their children and their children, and the effects are of greater significance with ever generation. We are seeing inexplicable infertility rates among women (and men), scary rates of mental and social disorders, even scarier childhood obesity rates, and more osteoporosis  arthritis, inflammation and other, nowadays "common", ailments that were once quite rare. Perhaps we ought to take a lesson from Pottenger's cats and make intentional changes toward a life of optimal health. Let's begin the return to a traditional diet of properly prepared nutrient-dense whole foods, more abundant of raw foods, and reverse these ill effects before it get's to the point that we as a race can no longer reproduce without the help from doctors, scientists and laboratories. We have the power to do so, it resides within every choice we make throughout each and every day:

  • processed HFCS-filled apple sauce vs. nutrient dense local apples
  • pasteurized, homogenized, condensed or sweetened milk from GMO-fed cows vs. organic nutrient-rich raw milk from grass-fed cows
  • highly processed, refined and toxic chocolate cookies vs. a piece of nutrient-rich 85% cacao dark chocolate
  • frozen breaded GMO-fed chicken strips vs. a whole roasted grass-fed chicken from your local farm
  • a glas of pasteurized nutrient-deficient orange juice vs. a nutrient-rich juicy orange
Let's turn this ship around for our children, their children, and theirs - let's be a part of a physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally stronger and healthier generation by returning to a traditional diet of properly prepared nutrient-dense whole foods - starting today.

You in?

If you're interested in reading more about Pottenger's Cats study, I highly recommend picking up a copy here: Pottenger's Cats.

Make Every Choice in Your Life Really Count & Keep it Real,

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