WTF- Meat is the new tobacco!?! Continued…
So yesterday I just couldn’t stop thinking about that article claiming that meat is as bad, if not worse, than tobacco for you.
I came up with a bazillion more reasons why that article is just plain old wrong, but there was one reason in particular that I felt the need to post about today because her claim really pissed me off since it was inaccurate.
In the article, the author claims that the meat industry is powerful because there is as much money in it as in big tobacco.
Actually, a VEGETARIAN advocacy group is closer to having the same power as big tobacco. There are actually no meat-eaters advocacy groups with near the power that the vegetarian group CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) has.
Masquerading as a group that is supposed to be the “organized voice of the American public on nutrition, food safety, health and other issues,” CSPI is actually pushing their own agenda…And it’s a vegetarian one. They are actually even part of the reason why the American public fears saturated fat so much!
The Center for Science in the Public Interest(CSPI) ran with the lipid hypothesis and deemed the term “artery-clogging” fat. The CSPI has been advocating a plant-based diet since they were formed in 1971…One of the founders, Michael Jacobson who is also the executive director is a vegetarian and sits on the national board of the animal-rights oriented “Great American Meatout.” On the CSPI website they have a section called Eating Green, which advocates consuming more plant-based foods and less meat and dairy to extend you health. All though the CSPI considers themselves to provide useful, objective information on food, alcohol and health I feel their main goal is to spread their vegetarian agenda. (Healing through Nutrition)
And guess what one of the “healthy” changes CSPI has caused is….
In 1989, they got major hamburger chains to stop using animal fats for frying french fries. Guess what these restaurant chains then started using?
Uhm aren’t trans-fats bad for you? YEP!
CSPI later changes its stance and fights to eliminate trans-fats from restaurants and asks the FDA to label all foods that contain cholesterol-raising trans-fats.
Great job CSPI!
So next time you try to claim that the meat industry has SOOOO much influence, check your facts. CSPI has way more influence and it looks like it’s definitely using it to make us healthier.
Posted on March 8, 2012, in Diet, Uhm?, Uncategorized and tagged center for science in the public interest, CSPI, Lipid Hypothesis. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.
I agree with you on a lot of things, but I wanted to make a few points of clarification in this debate. I’m not a full vegetarian, I eat meat on occasion, but limit animal products due to their high carbon footprints (the debate over grass-fed vs. grain when it comes to CO2 is not settled).
The first has to do with the health claims around eating meat. While I will definitely agree that the increase in packaged, processed food is at the centre of the rise in obesity rates, there are other health effects that are quite probable from eating lots of animal products. These are mostly related to toxin bioaccumulation in the fatty tissues of animals. While eating lean meats can reduce this, fish and eggs are particularly bad sources.
Second, while there are no purely pro-meat advocacy organizations, there are plenty of lobby groups along similar lines to CPSI, that are supported by the agricultural and processed food and beverage industries. These organizations are arguably just as bad with dubious information on a variety of foods. Examples include the International Food Information Council and the American Council on Science and Health.
I think ultimately, there is a lot of misinformation about nutrition and fitness that does no favour to the general public in terms of living healthy lifestyles, especially those that are not inclined to spend their time doing the background research.
So I get that response a lot…that people won’t eat meat because of it’s environmental impact. But what people don’t realize is how hard on the environment our monocrop farming culture is. More pesticides and chemicals have to be used because of a weaker crop created by monocrop farming…so what is worse…a cow grazing naturally and fertilizing the soil or a crop that needs pesticides to survive?
Just something to consider when you discuss the environmental impact of animals…
A monocrop culture is genetically weaker than traditional farming and has less biodiversity. It is therefore more vulnerable to being wiped out by disease and pests – requiring more chemical pesticides in attempt to compensate for this risk. Following the economic model of specialization, industrial monocrop farming may be more profitable, yet is also more dependent on trade, globalization, transportation and mass production, whereas traditional polyculture farming evolved to serve the entire nutritional needs of a local population.
Alex Roslin’s article claims that taste and nutritional value in produce has suffered due to monocropping and the amount of chemical pesticides and fertilizers used in the system, as well as the water intensity required, have been environmentally disastrous. Furthermore, countless small independent family farms have been squeezed out by large corporate agriculture.
The BBC World News program Earth Report explores the problems of monoculture vs. the biodiversity of traditional crops in India. The report cites figures from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization stating that the last 100 years have seen the disappearance of 75% of the world’s crop varieties and that wheat, rice and maize (corn) now account for 60% of our calories. Poorer countries depend twice as much on these crops as wealthier ones.
A traditional food source, millet is hardy, nutritious and better adapted to some local soil and water supplies than wheat and rice, yet it largely disappeared in India during the Green Revolution. It can feed a local population well and is dependable, but not yet a cash crop. Millet is also more labor intensive than what is currently being grown in most of the country. There are efforts to reintroduce it to India, but government funding for research and development, plus subsidies and distribution are all far more focused on rice and wheat, giving millet very little chance for resurgence as a popular food source.
So is there a “good old days” of farming that the world should return to, before monocultures and the Green Revolution? A time of clean water, healthy soil, genetic variety and biodiversity? I’m not sure. It certainly doesn’t fit in with the direction in which the majority of the world is heading. But it’s obvious that we’ve gone too far and have sacrificed much on the alter of convenience and economic growth. Perhaps, armed with technology and a knowledge of history, future farmers can employ more polyculture models and work in harmony with nature instead of fighting and ultimately hurting it. Some organic farmers are already doing this today. From greenfudge.org
Yes, I would agree with everything you just wrote and am well aware of the impacts of traditional and industrial agricultural methods. I think it is very important to promote models such as permaculture and agroecological farming models, in which we work with nature rather than against it. There is some very interesting stuff going on with the Campesino a Campesino movement in Latin America. Worth checking out if you’re interested in this stuff.
Thanks! Will do! 🙂