I love meat, big meat, but usually it's attached and swinging between a set of legs..
When it come to food we're going to take a journey through my personal choice of vegetarianism, underpinned by facts and findings that may just nudge you to look differently at your dinner plate.
To start off, let's clarify a common misconception: it's not animal protein I'm against. Our bodies can utilize animal protein efficiently, and it often comes with necessary nutrients. Instead, my issue lies with the current state of meat processing and meat standards in the United States.
Here's a hypothetical situation: you're living in a forest in Alaska, surviving on a diet of daily fresh-caught or hunted meat. Chances are, you'll lead a robust, healthy life. Flip the scenario to consuming meat daily from an average American grocery store, and a darker picture emerges. You're suddenly at risk for severe, even fatal health complications. But why is there such a stark difference?
Meat At The Grocery Store
To answer that, let's delve into the nature of supermarket meat. The meat found in most grocery stores undergoes significant processing to increase its shelf life, maintain its appealing color, and make it cheaper to produce. This process often involves using preservatives like nitrates, linked to health problems such as cancer and heart disease, according to the World Health Organization.
Even when you're buying meat labeled "Free-Range" or "Organic", you might not be getting what you think. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines for these labels are often loose and open to interpretation. For example, "free-range" merely requires "access to the outdoors," which could be a small door to a concrete patio in a crowded poultry house. Similarly, "organic" doesn't necessarily mean "healthy" or "natural"; it simply means the animal was fed organic feed and had outdoor access.
The Joe Rogan Diet
Contrast this with someone like Joe Rogan, known for his all-meat diet. His meat is not the average grocery store fare. It is hunted, fresh, and sent directly to him, bypassing the harmful processing stages that supermarket meat undergoes.
Farm To Table
This brings us to the benefits of farm-to-table eating, a practice promoting direct sourcing of food from local producers. The advantages are twofold: it bolsters local economies, and it circumvents the issues with industrial processing. Research published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture states that grass-fed beef, for example, contains up to five times the omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for human brain health, compared to grain-fed beef.
Personally, I would relish a salmon caught fresh on a camping trip or wild elk in Montana. But unless meat is direct from nature or a trusted, ethical source, you won't see me consuming it. That's why I've chosen the vegetarian route. It's my response to the complex maze of meat processing and labeling, a stand for my health and ethical standards.
Remember, it's not just about being vegetarian or a carnivore, it's about making conscious, informed choices about what we put into our bodies. In an age where information is at our fingertips, we owe it to ourselves to eat mindfully, understanding the journey our food takes before it reaches our plate.
Here's to living and eating consciously,