In this file:
· Let them eat steak: Hold the shame, red meat is not bad for you or climate change
· As we mark World Vegan Day, here are four great reasons to give animal products a miss
Let them eat steak: Hold the shame, red meat is not bad for you or climate change
Plant-based meat may enjoy the perception of being healthier than real meat, but it has more sodium and calories and can cause weight gain.
Will Coggin, Opinion contributor, USA Today
Nov 2, 2019
Coggin is the managing director at the Center for Consumer Freedom
Imagine ordering dinner at your favorite restaurant. You know what you want without hesitation: a perfectly marbled 8-ounce steak cooked medium rare. Just before you order, your date tells you they’ve read that cows cause climate change and that meat might be unhealthy. Suddenly, the Caesar salad seems like a better option.
We’ve all been steak-shamed before. Ever since Sen. George McGovern’s 1977 Dietary Goals report declared red meat a health villain, Americans have been chided out of eating red meat. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, red meat consumption has fallen more than 24% since 1976. During that time, study after study has attempted to tie red meat to a laundry list of health problems.
So many studies, so many flaws
Three studies published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine did something too few papers do: Ask whether the previous studies had any meat on their bones.
The researchers who wrote the report analyzed 61 past studies consisting of over 4 million participants to see whether red meat affected the risk of developing heart disease and cancer.
All three came to the same conclusion: Decreasing red meat consumption had little to no effect on reducing risk of heart disease, cancer or stroke.
How can so many studies be wrong?
Nutritional research often relies on survey-based observational studies. These track groups of people and the food they eat, or try to tie a person’s past eating habits to a person’s current state of health. The result is something akin to a crime chart from a mob movie with a random red string connecting random suspects trying to figure out “who dunnit.”
Observational studies rely on participants to recall past meals, sometimes as far back as a month. Even when eating habits are tracked in real time using food diaries, issues arise. Research has shown that participants don’t give honest answers and often pad food diaries with typically “good” foods like vegetables while leaving out things like meat, sweets and alcohol. There’s also the matter of having to accurately report portion sizes and knowing the ingredients of the food eaten in restaurants.
Beef may be healthier than fake meat
The room for error is huge. A much better form of study would be to lock people in cells for a period of time so that you could precisely control what they ate and did and then measure outcomes. Obviously, there are ethical issues with such a structure, which is why observational studies are more common, if flawed.
Some companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have tried to cash in on the misconception about meat’s healthfulness. According to the market research firm Mintel, 46% of Americans believe that plant-based meat is better for you than real meat. Ironically, the anti-meat messages could be leading people to less healthful options.
Plant-based meat might enjoy the perception of being healthier, but that perception is far from reality. A lean beef burger has an average of nearly 20% fewer calories and 80% less sodium than the two most popularfake-meat burgers, the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger.
Fake meat is also an “ultra-processed” food, filled with unpronounceable ingredients. The National Institutes of Health released a study in May finding that ultra-processed foods cause weight gain. Unlike observational studies, this research was a controlled, randomized study.
Earth will survive your meat-eating
It’s not just the flawed health claims about red meat that deserve a second look. In recent years, we’ve been told reducing meat consumption is essential to saving the planet. But despite what critics say, even if everyone in America went vegan overnight, total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the United States would only be reduced 2.6%...
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As we mark World Vegan Day, here are four great reasons to give animal products a miss
Amy Woodyatt, CNN
1st November 2019
(CNN) — Happy World Vegan Day!
Friday, November 1 marks 75 years since the founding of The Vegan Society by English animal rights advocate Donald Watson and his associates, who defined and popularized modern veganism.
Vegans follow a plant-based diet, which means they don't eat meat, and don't use or consume animal products.
Celebrities like Lewis Hamilton, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande and Venus Williams all stick to a plant-based diet.
So, why are people going vegan?
It's good for the planet ...
It could be good for your health ...
Animal welfare ...
Being vegan is easier than ever ...
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