Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Beef...it's not for dinner anymore!

Yesterday, in the Austin American Statesman, I read an article about a research scientist at A&M(a strong Ag school) called Aggie Finds Healthy Fatty Acids in Brisket.


I was appalled to see a biased school touting more reasons to consume beef. I wrote a letter to the editor.


As a Registered Dietitian working in the field of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, I am appalled and concerned of the implication of this story. In the midst of energy, food, and global warming crises, finding more reasons to eat beef is dangerous and irresponsible at best.
Americans have started the trend of eating meat at every meal and the movement has now spread to China and India. We are growing more corn to feed cows and cars, than to nourish starving humans in order to supplement our overly extravagant and calorie dense habits. People need to realize that eating lower on the food chain (grains, fruits and vegetables) is the answer to better health and to our food and energy crisis.
If you are going to eat beef, make sure it is certified organic and grass fed. Raising cattle on pasture, improves animal health, and reduces antibiotic usage, and lessens environmental damage. If you are concerned about human nutrition, Greener Pastures, a scientific literature review has shown that grass-fed beef is higher in “good fats,” lower in “bad fats,” beta carotene and Vitamin E.

The grass-fed concept is a step toward environmental stewardship: it doesn’t rely on petroleum-guzzling corn fields, it helps sustain the ecosystem and clean water, and it forces us to eat mindful and in season. Even still, beef should only be eaten once a week, if at all.

Ashley Colpaart, RD LD

Along the same lines, Amanda gave me a link that is super neat, where you can score your diet on its environmentalism. Enjoy!


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