Once it was a luxury. Too bad for us it didn’t stay that way-

Paying a Price for Loving Red Meat. By Jane E. Brody. New York Times.

Tagged with:
About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

12 Responses to Paying a Price for Loving Red Meat

  1. fenriswolfr says:

    this study is full of bad science… I understand that Cattle and grazing practices have led to serious environmental degradation and people need to look into other methods than factory farming/agriculture for food, but not that the answer is vegetarianism or only eating fat-free skinless chicken breast which no one in the history of human kind has probably ever had to succumb too.

    Here’s a link to an article about Meat and Mortality that talks about this (or related study)


  2. JB says:

    “…this study is full of bad science…”

    Really? And you’ve come to that conclusion by reading the blog “www.proteinpower.com”? Hmm…I wonder who is more biased about red meat consumption, the reviewers of the scientific articles published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition or the guy who blogs at “proteinpower”?

    The author of the blog attempts to discredit the article by calling it “observational”. All that means is the analyses conducted are correlational, (i.e. people who ate more red meat have an increased risk of X), as opposed to experimental. A lot of very good research is based on correlations; you don’t need a case-control study to tell you (for example) watching TV makes you fat (more precisely, watching TV = inactivity = weight gain).

    Here’s the idiot’s guide to red meat: Everything in moderation, including moderation; that is, red meat is fine, just don’t eat it all the time. 🙂

  3. bob jackson says:

    What is ‘moderation’ when it comes to red meat? Depends on the meat. If it is agricultures meat then moderation seems to be best only if red meat has to be endured at all.

    If it is natures meat there is no moderation needed. Plains Indians would eat 4-6 pounds of bison per day in times of plenty. They also drank 4-6 bowls worth of bison broth per day. Same went for the Mt. Man.

    What is natures red meat? For example, bison; Natures bison then was a lot different than todays “organic” and “natural” bison. There is a world of difference for the meat of an animal raised dysfunctionally as compared to what this animal had in it pre Whiteman. Stress is lots higher in animals today and what this labeled herbivore knows to eat where there is no training from ancestors means what is inside this animals body is also a lot different than what was provided in the way of nutrition long ago. Grazers today are Grassivores, not Herbivores!!!!

    I don’t usually pitch our own bison herd but since we have had thirty years of raising the only herd in the world managed for social order (the same as elephants) we can speak from experience what those differences are.

    We see the same similarities as what history has recorded. Indians said bison gave them lots of power. And explorers such as Cabeza da Vaca noted physical attributes of bison red meat eaters as much better than those natives with little red meat consumption.

    Does it do the same for people today? Not unless you eat from animals like nature raised them. We have had long time Golds Gym advocates raise their sqats from 600 to 900 lbs. after only two months of bison diets. One MMA black belt type went from 12 chin ups to 20 after only 2 1/2 weeks of bison. No training differences.

    Fertility wise we are 3 for 3 in couples unable to conceive previously. One had a husband with so low of a count the docs said it was no use trying anymore. 2 weeks after bison meat and the wife was pregnant. The energy folks have 6-8 hours after eating meat from a mature healthy social order raised bison is easy to detect. It is viagra without the cost of the pill.

    Yes, red meat in its ORIGINAL form is good for the body. It was for thousands of years, but since there are no comparisons out there (Ted Turners …as well as all other herds but Yellowstones…. are dysfunctional) no foods and nutrition researcher has a way to study these differences.

    Yes, red meat in moderation is the way it must be today. For those few who have GOOD red meat it is license to GORGE. No feelings of the need to lay on the couch after either. Of course there is a down side. It means you have to help with the dishes, doesn’t it?

  4. outsider says:

    wow bob whens the infomercial, I can’t wait to “see it” on TV ;).

  5. Dewey says:

    Just a couple of offhand comments from someone who has no science background in nutrition. I would offer that humans propensity for red meat is clearly demonstrated in its physiology…those two canid teeth on either side of your front incisors. Those evolved to process fresh red raw bloody meat. Look at any modern chimpanzee or the several former species of hominids back a few million years. Meat was in the diet mix , for sure. ( It’s been stated that cooking the meat is where the detriment comes in , but that is way beyond my knowledge base)

    But then again , life expectancy of olde was somewhat diminished…living to 40 years old was positively ancient. Even as recent as a few centuries ago. And what was that silly appendix used for , anyway ? Hominids also can live entirely on plant foods , everything from fruits and nuts to leaves and fibrous tuberous selections from the endless salad bar. There are some mighty impressive bodybuilders out there who are solid vegetarians. And some very old folks in great shape who are mostly vegan. Is it a matter of choosing a shorter life with more body mass and greater strength , or a longer life with a leaner frame ? Source of Proteins is not the end all- be all. Quien sabe ?

    My conclusion is I don’t think anyone can win the Meat-No Meat argument. There are physiological tradeoffs in both directions, and a vast middle ground. I would only suggest that you order a nice garden salad as the side dish to that juicy half pound burger instead of fries…

  6. wyogreeny says:

    Eating grass fed red meat is what we do. I think that makes a big difference. Once cattle are fattened it changes the makeup of their meat, in essence they are being poisoned by the grain they are fed in the feedlot. You cannot kill a steer feeding it all the grass it wants…but you can sure kill it with grain. We eat bison, not feedlot bison, which sadly is becoming popular…from a commercial bison ranch locally.

  7. Kathy says:

    I gave up red meat Jan. 1, 2009, prior to, perfered bison over cattle, but loved the occasional flame broiled junior burger from BK. Five months later my HDL, LDL are where they should be. I don’t miss BK burgers, but do miss a bison burger.

  8. Brian Ertz says:

    I gave up beef December 31, 2007 but if I’m at a dinner party I eat a small portion of what was prepared on my behalf. I eat wild elk though. I used to think I liked beef, that it’d be difficult to give up – it’s really not, there was no shakes, no hallucinations, no withdrawal, not really any craving. Now it feels heavy, greasy, foreign – not good.

  9. Ken Cole says:

    I gave up beef in December of 2001. I’ve never looked back.

  10. Linda Hunter says:

    One day I was driving to Colorado by myself a few years ago. It was a warm spring day and I was making good time cutting through a corner of Wyoming and didn’t want to stop to eat. . I stopped at a truck stop and grabbed some beef jerky thinking that would do it. . I opened the package just as the road crested a ridge and swooped down into a valley full of cows. The smell of the beef jerky hit me first, and then the smell of the concentrated cattle. Interestingly, they hadn’t changed all that much from the field to the package I had open. I believe my brother’s dog got to eat the jerky when I got to his house. I won’t forget that smell.

  11. Virginia says:

    In 1985, Jane Brody published one of her many cookbooks, Jane Brody’s Good Food Book, a book on good nutrition and living sensibly, with an emphasis on vegetables, fruits and grains, and healthy, wholesome eating. She has always been an advocate for avoiding beef and other forms of fat, and I have followed her advice for all these years. There are many reasons, in my opinion, for not consuming these feedlot foods, and I have done that since I bought her book.

  12. bob jackson says:

    It’s a sad day when an omnivore, such as humans, have to swear off red meat. It is especially so when one realizes what makes us an omnivore is the training it takes to eat vegetation. Animal food is a given. Humans and bears can eat all of an animal with no training. But the bears in Yellowstone have to stay with their mothers two years to learn enough of vegetaion food sources to be able to survive on their own. There just isn’t enough animal foods available in this mountainous country to maintain a bear.

    Evolution made humans omnivores but the sadness is the situation modern agriculture has put us in …where people, to go against evolution, have to extend beyond the simple facts that food from industry is unhealthy ….to go to religous conversion from red meats….in order not to follow those evolutionary urges to eat animals.

    In our bison meat business we have a fair number of folks who eat only our bison as a red meat supply. Some were vegetarians and then advanced to vegans for a decade or more. The decision to switch back to red meat for all had to do with a lot of ethical as well as nutritional considerations.

    In the end it was the way we “raised” our animals, the philosophical attitude of life that matched with their concerns with nutrition that gave them peace of mind.

    I think all those on this site know the damages concentrated grazers do to the landscape, but I doubt few who secure their meat from the “wild” know what their hunting via state G & F regulations is doing for damage to the landscape. The regulations say to kill males but males graze a lot coarser vegetation than females. One form of grazing complements the other. Coarse vegetation eaten means young shoots coming up for the females and dependents.

    A lot of natures old males would stay in herd winter grounds during the summer, protecting this site from overgrazing by other grazers …and graze tops of vegetation so it is more palatable for the young in the winter. This is impossible with todays hunting regulations. So many states end up with 2-3 mature elk males left per 100 females it is an ecological disaster not much different than cattle overgrazed public lands. We just don’t see the results as easily and the creep degradation happening over decades.

    Of course, all those cattle out there on public lands are Grassivores, not Herbivores. They have had no training from ancestors of what broadleaves and seeds they can eat. Yes, just as humans are omnivores by training, all grazers are Herbivores ONLY if they are taught what Herbs they can eat. This means even greater degradation that present range guidelines for healthy landscapes because these guidelines call for only “green”.

    In reality natures pastures are slowly being species desertized because seeds, needing to go through grazers bodies, are not being distributed ….and many forbe plants can’t stay vital without grazing.

    Yes, it is spectacular to see photos of how stream beds are becoming mucked up and eroded by cattle but there is so much happening we don’t even see. We, as humans, are impacting so much more and don’t even know it. This includes the mature male elk we justify killing every year for a source of healthy food and also showing our rejection of feedlotted animals.

    Until all grazers are allowed to teach offspring what to eat, and until G&F departments start thinking of the needs of social order herd infrastructure, most environmentally caring humans, hunters and consumers, end up being pawns to an ecological disaster they do not know they are contributing to.



‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey