My article is in today’s JEP 😊
It was written in response to the scary and misinformed headlines of ‘red meat causes cancer’.
A meat eater myself, I have pescetarian hubby and vege and vegan friends, and this is not about whether we should eat meat or not, but I do think we should all be united in the messages of ‘eat real food’, ‘eat for health’ and similar.
JEP – 400 words – Taxing Red Meat – 14 November 2018 – Jacqui Carrel
Last week we had another mainstream media misinformation round of ‘red meat causes cancer’ along with the UK government’s wish to tax it in order to save £700m in healthcare costs and 6,000 deaths a year. Really? What are all these claims based on? Not much, if scrutiny of the studies quoted are anything to go by.
They did not differentiate between processed and non-processed meat (or what the animals had been fed on); nor did they show what else people ate and did. For example, how many ate good quality meat, along with vegetables, and how many had them served up with fillers, plastic bread, wheat-encrusted fries and sugary shakes? Did they smoke/drink/exercise or not? What were their gut flora and stress levels like? Were they subject to environmental toxins? We don’t know.
I cannot believe the delicious, rich, wholesome beef stew I enjoyed last week at the Farming Conference is in the same league as the burger from a well-known store that I binned because it was so disgusting, but the NHS also does not differentiate between good meat and poor meat products; they are still stuck on the disproven ideology of high carb, low saturated fat ideas… and the rate of type 2 diabetes and obesity and their associated problems are still increasing. Sadly, where they go, we follow.
In a baffling contradiction of the NHS’s Eatwell Guide recommendations, the latest UK government document ‘The Family Food Survey’ reports that the NHS’s meal ideas don’t deliver enough calcium or the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K… all of which are found in red meat.
What to do? If you like meat, eat it. To get the best nutrient return: go for animals that have been fed mainly or wholly on pasture; eat all the cuts (fatty bits, tail, tongue, organs); use the juices to make the gravy, cook slowly at lower heats; use the bones to make stock; and serve with vegetables rather than bread or pasta. If you want processed meats, go for naturally cured cuts and avoid the cheap ones, which ARE full of nasties.
And what of taxing red meat? Well, in Jersey we already do. Instead, we should be looking at why foods that are good for us are more expensive than those that harm us, what the associated future medical costs could be, and what to do as a result.
Jacqui Carrel is a nutritional therapist; you can contact her here.