Upon learning the results of a new, large-scale study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute showing that eating beef and processed meats sharply increases the risk of colon, lung, and other cancers, Cattlemen launched press releases touting the benefits of regular meat consumption.
Some people just can’t take a hint. Consider, for example, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Upon learning the results of a brand new, large-scale study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute showing that eating beef and processed meats sharply increases the risk of colon, lung, and other cancers, the Cattlemen launched some perky press releases touting the benefits of regular meat consumption. Not surprisingly, their pro-beef blitz dismissed the study results. “It’s difficult to draw strong conclusions based on the limitations of this type of research,” Mary K. Young, VP of Nutrition and the Cattleman’s spokesperson, says.
Hold your horses! “Difficult to draw strong conclusions?” That’s like saying that it’s difficult to determine who raided the cookies when your kid has chocolate smeared all over his chin. This so-called inconclusive study followed 500,000 steak-loving men and women between the ages of 50-71 over a period of 20 years. Results indicated that subjects who consumed hearty amounts of beef had a 25 percent greater chance of being diagnosed with bowel, liver, lung and esophageal cancers.
Is half a million subjects too limited a sample size for the big-sky Cattlemen? Is a 25 percent increased risk factor a mere trifle?
It’s not exactly breaking news that beef makes the body unhappy. Within the past year, I’ve commented on breaking research linking low sperm count throughout a man’s life to heavy beef consumption by his mother, as well as on studies linking beef to breast cancer. Myriad other studies make clear that gorging on beef leads to trouble, but the Cattlemen, apparently, don’t see eye to eye with the medical establishment. In spite of the avalanche of evidence, their newest press release insists that eating 5½ ounces of lean protein each and every day is important to a healthy diet — while reminding us that 29 different cuts of beef fit the bill.
A few years ago, when the USDA undertook an update of the food pyramid, heavy lobbying from the Cattlemen insured that beef retained its glorified position in the pack. Experts suggested distinguishing red meat consumption from poultry and lean proteins, but at the time, Mary Young (yes, the same Mary Young cited above who finds today’s study “inconclusive”) said that any changes to the meat group “would concern me. I don’t think the science would support minimizing the meat group that everybody needs, in particular kids.”
And so the dance continues. Once again, when there’s profit to be made, the truth becomes a malleable commodity. But then again, this has been true since the beginning of recorded history. Remember, it was the ancient Romans who coined the phrase, “Caveat emptor” — buyer beware!
One thing we have to keep in mind: Processed meat is not the same as the meat you might purchase from your butcher. And feedlot meat is not the same as free range, grass-fed meat. Grass-fed meats are rich in all the fats now proven to be health-enhancing (i.e. Omega-3s), but low in the fats that have been linked with disease (i.e. Omega-6s).
btw, While we are on the subject of fats, main stream media is now reporting on the unfair treatment of unsaturated fats. Oh my my…and the truth shall set you free!
Yes, absolutey, as I’ve discussed in several newsletters and blogs, grass fed beef bypasses a number of problems such as:
antibiotics in the beef
high omega-6 content
synthetic growth hormones
But it does not compensate for two other issues. Regular meat consumption is acid forming in the body and lowers body pH. And regular consumption of meat drastically changes the balance of bacteria in the intestinal tract, significantly lowering the count of beneficial bacteria, while promoting the growth of bad bacteria.
But that's why we have you,
But that's why we have you, Jon. Digestive Enzymes with every major meal and Probiotics daily to maintain the beneficial bacteria balance.
Is the turkey or chicken you get sliced at a Kroger Deli considered “processed”?
I would say yes — unless
I would say yes — unless Kroger has nitrite and nitrate free, organic and grass fed turkey breast don’t buy it. I would splurge and buy an organic turkey from a grass fed purveyor like Tropical Traditions or US Wellness Meats (grasslandbeef.com) and roast your own turkey and then slice it up and freeze it for sandwiches.
It all depends on your definition of processed. In general, though, the answer is yes. With most of the turkey or chicken you buy in the deli, you have no idea what parts of the turkey or chicken are in it since it’s all different parts ground up and molded into a loaf. In addition, preservatives and other interesting things are added. Bottom line, is that like most things, the better the company making it, the “safer” it tends to be. For example: organic turkey breast at the Whole Foods deli is likely to be cleaner.
Thanks, Eugene. But you missed the most important link. Check out the audio file, Cancer, The Big Lie
Thanks Jon, I have listened to the audio file more than once. The same goes for your book, which I read a couple of times a year. btw Any panes for a new book?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t eat much meat, and the meat that I eat is local, organic and grass-fed.
However, in the past year I stumbled on a few people “”promoting””* meat consumption. The most recent and more interesting person was Jerry Brunetti and his lecture called “Food as Medicine”.
By no means will I start “”chugging”” down tons of beef daily. I’m simply of the view that balanced diet is beneficial and some meat consumption could be healthy.
*By promoting I mean it shouldn’t be excluded (e.g. vegetarian diet).
John, always makes excellent points! If you eat meat it should be the smallest part of the meal and should be certified organic, free range (however the usda definition is 2 ft of roaming space per animal)never feed hormones, or antibiotics (usda organic can be injected or fed antibiotics as long as it hasn’t in the last 6 weeks before processing)and vegetarian fed,(no soy or corn. It should be accompanied by alot of fresh organic vegetables and or fruit and no grains. It is the grain fed diet of the animal that causes acidity in the animal and causes cancer in us.
Eating any meat in large quantities is unhealthy and unbalanced. Some people cannot be vegetarians but can fallow a much healthier lifestyle. Also just because Wild Oats/ Whole Foods sells something; it does not make it healthy. You must be a wise consumer and read labels. It is wisest to stay away from all packaged meat.
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Hi there.. Thank you for
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