The quality of the food you eat can make a huge difference in your health. This is especially true when it comes to animal products. The methods used to produce dairy products and meat are far from being natural processes and this trickles down to us when we ingest these foods. For example, conventional beef is raised in crowded feet lots where they are fed corn, rather than the grass they are designed to eat. This causes changes in the environment of their digestive tract which allows for the growth of potentially harmful microorganisms, such as E. coli, which would normally not be present. Also, the fatty acid content of the meat is much different from its grass-fed counterparts. In addition, these animals are pumped with antibiotics to fight off diseases that wouldn’t be a major concern if the animals weren’t raised in such deplorable conditions. The antibiotics also serve a second purpose of boosting growth. It’s unknown how this works, but it’s effective, so we do it anyway. Then some growth hormones are thrown in for good measure. This is why it is so important to be a picky eater when it comes to your meat and dairy. Choose organic in the grocery store and go the extra mile to seek out local producers who you can talk to directly. They will often use practices that go even farther than the federal organic standards and you’ll also be supporting your neighbors and local economy while forging new relationships that help build your community. To find a local producer in your area and start a conversation about the way they raise their food, go to eatwild.com or visit your local farmers market.