Red Meat

The reasons not to eat red meat are legion. I will try to summarize the main points here.

First off, in the U.S. cows are injected with growth hormones and antibiotics. Also, cows are not fed what they should be – grass. They are fed animal feed and the like. So, every time you eat red meat, you are eating everything cows have been injected with and fed, but weren’t able to digest properly.

For women, the reasons to not eat red meat are even more compelling. Eating large amounts of red meat may double young women’s breast cancer risk, a study suggests, according to an article in the online BBC News from Nov, 2006. The article goes on to warn that cooked and processed red meats have been shown to contain cancer-causing chemicals such as heterocyclic amines which are created during the cooking of red meat. A second potential link is the growth hormones which are given to cattle in the US, although not in Europe. The researchers also say red meat is a source of heme iron, which previous research has shown fuels the growth of oestrogen-induced tumours.

A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health finds a strong association between eating red meat and Type 2 diabetes.

So, what’s a red-meat-eater to do? Switch to fish, poultry, soy, tofu and legumes for protein and iron. The benefits of a Japanese diet, which is almost devoid of red meat, but contains plenty of fish and tofu is well-known.  When consumed in moderation, natural soy products like tofu and edamame beans are a great protein alternative to red meat because they have little or no saturated fat, according to Web M.D.

Another advantage to not eating red meat,  is it keeps you far away from fast-food restaurants, where other dietary pitfalls loom, like French Fries and milkshakes. Although if you must go to a burger joint, milkshakes and fries can be a healthier alternative, if the milk is hormone-free and the fries are not cooked in lard.

One of the most compelling testaments to not eating red meat comes from a cattle rancher who wrote the book Mad Cowboy. As a lobbyist for the National Farmers Union, Howard Lyman helped pass the National Organic Standards Act.

“The question we must ask ourselves as a culture is whether we want to embrace the change that must come, or resist it. Are we so attached to the dietary fallacies with which we were raised, so afraid to counter the arbitrary laws of eating taught to us in childhood by our misinformed parents, that we cannot alter the course they set us on, even if it leads to our own ruin? Does the prospect of standing apart or  ridicule scare us even from saving ourselves?” – from Howard Lyman


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