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Cattle at Lick Creek Beef in Southern Illinois. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Cattle at Lick Creek Beef in Southern Illinois. Photo by: Matthew McGuire

A Pop Culture Trend Raises Concern on Healthy Dieting

Cow Appreciation Day is taking place today with the main purpose attempts to shift people away for overeating red meat.

Recently, I cut out fast food from my diet. My body started showing signs of early aging at the age of 33, and I knew it was time for me to start focusing on my health if I wanted to add years to my life.

During my diet transition I cut out all red meat for two weeks. I found that my body did not react well to the lack of red meat in my diet. I have started eating red meat again, but have continued to phase out fast food from my diet.

Cattle at Lick Creek Beef in Southern Illinois. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Cattle at Lick Creek Beef in Southern Illinois. Photo by: Matthew McGuire

When I thought about how Cow Appreciation Day could be best presented to our audience; the concept of showing data behind both sides of the argument of having red meat within a diet was an idea I wanted to explore.

The first video below showcases the debate from the BBC and the EPIC point of view. They surveyed close to a half of a million people, and found that eating a small amount of red meat is okay for people to consume.

On an opposing point of view; the second video shows data from research conducted at Harvard University. Their data shows that eating red meat can cause health problems.

Environmental Impact

Another piece to over-consuming red meat is the impact it has on the environment.

The EPA reported that in 2015 methane made up 10 percent of all greenhouse gases. Cows that produced methane make up a fraction of the 10 percent. The EPA shows that manure makes up 10 percent of the 10 percent. The EPA released these points on methane:

  • Methane emissions in the United States decreased by 16 percent between 1990 and 2015.
  • Methane’s lifetime in the atmosphere is much shorter than carbon dioxide (CO2), but CH4 is more efficient at trapping radiation than CO2. Pound for pound, the comparative impact of CH4 is more than 25 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period.

Overall, I find it important to eat small amounts of red meat during the week. I suggest having a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables.

Automobiles create the most greenhouse gases that can lead to climate change around the globe. Methane from cows make up a small percentage of greenhouse gases, but methane also compounds the problem at a much larger rate in comparison to CO2.

Watch over the two YouTube videos to learn more about how red meat works within a diet.

Is Red Meat Good For You? - Should I Eat Meat? - BBC

Harvard's Meat and Mortality Studies