Let’s eat beef: Red meat isn’t horrible, nor is it the enemy

July 13, 2016

4 Min Read
Let’s eat beef: Red meat isn’t horrible, nor is it the enemy

Last week, I posted a rebuttal to a Washington Post article simply titled, “Meat is horrible,” and you can probably imagine the vegans who came out of the woodwork to email us at BEEF about my blog post.

READ: 4 facts to debunk “Meat is horrible” article

Some accused me of cherry-picking my sources since I included a few beef industry research and studies to back up my points. Perhaps this is somewhat true. After all, I write for a magazine called “BEEF,” so naturally my bias will lean toward positive beef information. Moreover, bloggers are allowed opinions where journalists are charged to simply report the facts without bias, so one should know what to expect from someone like me, a cattle producer, beef lover, and blogger for a leading cattle industry publication.

However, I still try my best to reach consumers on a level they can relate to, or at least drum up information that other beef producers can share with folks in their own communities. On social media, I try to write from the vantage point of a mom, wife, daughter, cook or runner, and I believe that I have a unique position to blog about the cattle industry from the viewpoint of the average consumer, as well.

To balance out the conversation from last week’s blog post, I thought it would be beneficial to share an article I read recently from the New York Times. Although it was published in the spring of 2015, it’s making the rounds again on social media, and I think it’s worth a second read. Titled, “Red meat is not the enemy,” the article was written by Aaron E. Carroll and talks about how red meat has been the unnecessary target for our health concerns for a long time.

READ: Red meat is not the enemy

While I don’t 100% agree with every point made in the article, it’s a balanced, well-written article that doesn’t just attack red meat for the sake of drumming up clicks and page views. For example, he makes the case that we eat less red meat today and more grains and vegetables as recommended by the USDA; however, he fails to make the connection that it’s in that reduction of red meat and the uptick in carbohydrates that obesity rates have also escalated in the U.S.

Nevertheless, here are a few excerpts from the piece:

Carroll writes, “It’s possible that no food has been attacked as widely or as loudly in the past few decades as red meat. As with other bad guys in the food wars, the warnings against red meat are louder and more forceful than they need to be.

“This is the real problem: We eat more calories than we need. But in much of our discussion about diet, we seek a singular nutritional guilty party. We also tend to cast everyone in the same light as ‘eating too much.’

“It’s hard to find a take-home message better than this: The best diet is the one that you’re likely to keep. What isn’t helpful is picking a nutritional culprit of bad health and proclaiming that everyone else is eating wrong. There’s remarkably little evidence that that’s true anytime anyone does it.”

To the naysayers of this blog coming from the vegan activist crowd, I apologize for not changing my livelihood and my belief system while also ditching the nutritional powerhouse beef from my diet based on what you write in your comments and emails. (Although you didn’t really think I would, did you?) I know you’re passionate about what you say and the lifestyle you practice, but I believe science is on my side. Beef is a superfood, rich in essential nutrients and healthy fats, and it’s an important part of a healthy diet. But that’s probably my bias showing again, right?

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.


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