I recently read an op-ed featured in Forbes that gives me hope that common sense and truth may one day prevail. And when that truth does finally shine through, nobody will need to feel guilty about eating meat.
The op-ed was written by Paul Hsieh, a physician with expertise in health policy, medical ethics and free market economics. Hsieh is also the founder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (FIRM) and practices medicine in Denver, Colo.
Titled, “I’m a physician, and I’ll continue eating read meat,” Hsieh shares why the past and current recommendations to reduce red meat consumption in favor of a plant-centered diet is based on faulty science and grand assumptions.
Addressing the recent study printed in the Annals of Internal Medicine, which concluded that adults should, “continue current levels of red meat and processed meat consumption.”
Hsieh writes, “These conclusions were a direct challenge to current recommendations urging that people significantly reduce red meat consumption. These new recommendations have met with ‘fierce criticism’ from the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In particular, the Harvard group called these new recommendations “irresponsible and unethical” and warned that this could ‘harm the credibility of nutrition science and erode public trust in scientific research.’”
The 14 researchers who conducted this study found that most of the plant-based data is derived from weak observational studies.
Hsieh explains why this type of research can be so flimsy. He says, “Observational studies are notoriously unreliable, in part because they are based on people’s reported recollections of what they ate — sometimes weeks in the past. I sometimes have a hard time remembering what I had for dinner the night before, let alone 3 weeks ago!
“Another problem with observational studies is the issue of confounding factors. We must be careful not to confuse correlation with causation.”
The good doctor goes onto explain that he recommends his clients continue to eat and enjoy meat for their health, and he practices what he preaches in his own life, as well.
He concludes, “As for myself, I’ll continue eating red meat at my current levels, purchasing meat from sources in accordance with my ethical values. Enjoying some hearty beef stew at dinner or crispy bacon at breakfast probably won’t affect my health much one way or another. But it will certainly enhance my overall life and happiness!”
So this holiday season and every day after, eat meat and be merry! It’s good for you, for your health and for the planet, too. Despite what the populace would tell us otherwise, the facts and the science are on our side; it’s just been swept under the rug for the last 40 years.
Thank you, Dr. Hsieh, for being willing to stick your neck out and share an unpopular truth. We appreciate your experience, wisdom and expertise in this arena!
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.