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Sunday, January 4, 2015

IS IT SAFE TO EAT STEAK?

On 16June2014 my posting was entitled:


To quote:

Of course, fats from fish and nuts have long been accepted as diet worthy.  There are many kinds of these fats:  saturated, mono saturated, polyunsaturated and trans fats.  This is complicated, but there are good trans fats (in beef) and bad trans fats (chemically produced in a factory when liquid fats are made solid, like sticks of margarine, which are terrible for your health--avoid these with a passion). 

I then went on to say that it is now okay to consume beef fat.  Essentially, the medical profession was switching gears, learning that the fear about consuming steak persuaded people to eat more white rice and white bread.  Turns out that these carbohydrates are immediately converted to sugars in your blood, and some of them become fructose, which is a terrible sugar.

So I further quote from that above posting:

Like the Atkins Diet (low carbs and optimal protein), this big fat surprise will be controversial.  However, it makes some sense, and until I receive compellingly contradictory medical findings, I will now better enjoy my medium rare Japanese wagyu beef (while this posting essentially exonerates saturated fat, it is true that the Japanese beef fat actually has more monounsaturated fat than any American beef, and really, truly, tastes a lot better--but the best ones cost $250/pound* at your standard department store basement there--I took this photo in Mitsukoshi across from my hotel, the Tokyo Westin) meal with a large salad topped with blue cheese dressing


Well, our Federal Government is now close to saying, again, that beef is bad, not necessarily for your body, but for Planet Earth.  At least that is what a panel will be advising our Department of Agriculture:  the bottom line is that, first, there are better things to eat than beef, but, when you consider the environment, beef should be avoided.

Here is the evidence--compared to chicken and pork, beef produces more (per calorie):
  • carbon dioxide (and methane) and
  • water polluting nitrogen,
  • while requiring more water.
In other words, sustainability has become a factor in determining what you eat.  I knew about this problem, of course, and continued to consume steak, mostly because I do what I can for Planet Earth, but draw the line at steak.  I only have a few short years left, and, horrors, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I, personally, am too insignificant to matter.  

For essentially the same reason, as my around the world adventures indicate, my carbon footprint is outrageous.  My justification?  On balance, my books, blog and other publications, which purport to Save Planet Earth and Humanity, outweigh the  more than picayune greenhouse gases for which I am responsible.  Life is not perfect, and Al Gore travels more than I do.


So what do you think will happen to beef?  First, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association will educate the U.S. Congress.  Republicans are not as thrilled about the secondary factors regarding the environment.  Second, that Ag panel will still need to write that report.  Then, the various Ag departments will discuss what to do, and, after much deliberation, perhaps craft some new guidelines.  This will all take time.  Beginning this month both houses of Congress will be Republican.  It might take forever for a sustainable food pyramid to become an official Department of Agriculture position.  Mind you, as a meat-lover, even I am now wavering.   Anyway, for now, keep following something like the following:


Those running and walking feet will be the topic of my blog tomorrow.

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