Meats Place in our Daily Diet

Jul 27, 2018

Pork2018Meats Place in our Daily Diet 

Recently, “Meatless Monday’s” and meat-free diets have risen in popularity.  Companies are cutting meat from the menu and even refusing to provide reimbursement for red meat and poultry when traveling on business.  These campaigns are gaining participants with the hopes of decreasing the individual’s greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, only 3.4 percent of greenhouse gas emissions can be contributed to the livestock industry.  From that, only 1.4 percent is due to beef production.  Based on this information, if all Americans were to cut beef from their diet once a week, we as a country would only reduce our carbon footprint by 0.2 percent.  However, other sources of greenhouse gas emission such as energy production and transportation account for 31 and 26 percent, respectively.  Therefore, decreasing our individual energy usage and transportation can have a much more significant impact.

Cutting meat from your diet also can have a negative impact on health.  Red meat and poultry may not be essential in your diet, but many of it’s components are, such as protein, B vitamins, zinc, and iron.  These nutrients that are found in meat are hard to make up with fruits and vegetables.  Alternative protein sources are unable to provide a complete protein to the consumer.  Proteins provided by animal products have similar amino acid makeup to what our body needs, and therefore these sources of protein meet more of our bodies requirements.  Research has shown that higher percentages of calories from protein, including meat protein, are associated with cardiovascular health, maintaining a healthy body weight, and improving vitality and stamina.


Photo Courtesy of Nebraska Pork Producers Association

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