Red Meat Bad

In shocking news, a recent study proved yet again that all kinds of red meat are bad, and in so many ways. The study gained quite a bit of attention on the Internet and is summarized nicely in one fabulously named article, titled, “Red meat raises risk of all kinds of death – study“. All kinds of death! All kinds! That’s darkly funny, no?

The article starts with three summary points:

  • Heaviest meat-eaters die sooner
  • Effect is independent of smoking, other diet factors
  • Farming animals for meat hurts environment

I’ve written posts of this nature before, but these points require repeating to sink in. Something needs to be read seven times before its remembered, or so they say. Red Meat Bad. Red Meat Bad. Red Meat Bad. Red Meat Bad. Red Meat Bad. Red Meat Bad. Red Meat Bad.

Of course the meat industry called the study flawed, but that was as predictable as the sun coming up tomorrow. Remember when we believed the cigarette companies? Just give it time. Not only does meat have negative health effects (read: cancer) it is also damaging to the environment.

Many studies have shown that people who eat less meat are healthier in many ways, and Sinha’s team noted that meat contains several cancer-causing chemicals, as well as the unhealthiest forms of fat.

The U.S. government now recommends a “plant-based diet” that stresses fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Barry Popkin, an expert in nutrition and economics at the University of North Carolina, said the study was unusually thorough and careful.

Eating less meat has other benefits, he said, and governments should start promoting this. For instance, farming animals for meat causes greenhouse gas emissions that warm the atmosphere and uses fresh water in excess, he said.

“I was pretty surprised when I checked back and went through the data on emissions from animal food and livestock,” Popkin said in a telephone interview.

“I didn’t expect it to be more than cars.”

More than cars people, more than cars. Another article quoted a man who said he wasn’t necessarily advocating vegetarianism, which of course I do, but that meat should be taking a back seat to fruits and vegetables. The only way to move toward a meat-free society, and thus one with healthier people and a healthier environment, is to take baby steps. Make meat only part of one meal a day and make sure it’s not the biggest thing on the plate.

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