Quick can you think of commercials for animal protein?
Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.
Pork. The other white meat
Real California Cheese. Happy Cows make for Better Cheese.
What is this about really? Why are the food lobbyists trying so hard to convince us to eat beef, to consider a pig to be a close friend to a chicken or that dairy cows are thrilled to be donating their milk to our nachos?
Let’s talk numbers today, tomorrow will be about the moral and health quandary we are in.
Protein Hysteria and Beyonce
Back in 2013, the meat and poultry industry was the largest segment of American agriculture. Total meat and poultry production in 2012 reached more than 93 billion pounds. (per the Meat Institute 2013 study).
American men on average eat 6.9 oz. of meat per day and women eat 4.4 oz. The recommended amounts for men 2-4 oz of meat per day and women 1.5-3 oz. per day for the average woman. (Authority Nutrition)
Why are we eating twice the average amount of meat that is recommended? I attribute it protein hysteria.
Many of us were brought up that we must have a large amount of protein in our diet, which means MEAT as in a steak. Every meal must have protein, right?
My grandmother based dinner around the protein. Chicken went with green beans, beef meant baked potatoes, and pork was paired with apples. I am not sure who decided these things went hand and hand, but I know I am not alone with the complimentary side dishes.
Beef was the lead singer, while baked potatoes were stuck in a lifetime of being the backup dancer of the dinner showcases across America. I look at it like Beyonce and Destiny’s Child, who remembers the other ones? I mean really?
What should be for Dinner?
Per the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study published in 2003 “Both the meat-based average American diet and the lactoovovegetarian (Fish, eggs and possibly dairy) diet required significant quantities of nonrenewable fossil energy to produce. Thus, both food systems were found to be NOT sustainable in the long term based on heavy fossil energy requirements
However, the meat-based diet requires more energy, land, and water resources than the lactoovovegetarian diet. In this limited sense, the lactoovovegetarian diet is more sustainable than the average American meat-based diet”.
So to break this down into Non-Nerd Speak, the way we have been eating Meat cannot continue. It is too expensive, it takes too much land and it will deplete our country of its natural resources, as our population grows. It is predicted our population will double over the next 70 years, so will our demand on our resources.
So are there any good reasons to eat meat?
What about the health benefits so many of us claim to feel after a steak?
Is PETA totally wrong?
What the heck is left to eat if we can’t eat meat?
Animal protein continues tomorrow.