Thursday, January 15, 2015

Don't Eat Beef?

Don’t eat beef.
Perhaps you’ve heard that message before. Now you’ll likely be hearing it again, albeit for a different reason. First, it was your health the government nannies were ostensibly concerned about. Now, that’s been trumped by their concern for the health of our mother the Earth. Yes, a government panel that advises the Agriculture Department will release its “recommendations” early this year. It will likely state, in part, that a dietary pattern higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods is “more health promoting and is associated with lesser environmental impact than is the current average U.S. diet.”
A 2014 study by the journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ said that compared with other popular animal proteins, beef produces more heat-trapping gases per calorie, puts out more water-polluting nitrogen, takes more water for irrigation and uses more land. There is “compatibility and overlap” between what’s good for health and good for the environment, according to the panel. Once the recommendations are made, the Agriculture and Health and Human Services departments will write the final  dietary guidelines, expected to be released roughly a year from now.
“We need to make sure our diets are in alignment with our natural resources and the need to reduce climate change,” stated Kari Hamerschlag of the advocacy group Friends of the Earth. (I have to admit, I’ve never thought of my diet in terms of climate change). Additionally, Michael Jacobson of the ‘Center for Science in the Public Interest’ (an entity that sounds like it should be based in a ‘People’s Republic’) opined, “You don’t want to recommend a diet that is going to poison the planet.”
What’s really behind the constant attack on Big (red) Meat? Maybe we are being steered in the wrong direction. What about the milk-cow? We know how bad for the environment they are, expelling all that methane, all those greenhouse gases. They roam around in broad pastures, as well. Why isn’t “Big Dairy” being targeted?  I know many people who are lactose intolerant. That can’t be good for them or the environment.
Perhaps lobbyists from Chick-fil-A and KFC are behind this. “Eat… more… chicken.”
Seriously, I have a beef with this. When the government tries to tell us what we can and can’t eat, especially when it’s tied to “climate change”, it’s time to get out the collective cattle prod, push  back and reclaim our (natural) rights.

We all have a stake in that.         


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