The Farmer's Wife: Book defends meat consumption


I had 3.5 inches of wet stuff in the rain gauge on Sunday, and it came down hard, all at once, even cleaning the gutters of the little things the Linden trees give off in the fall.  I'm told there have been combine fires in Wayne county; I know of at least two in Lancaster county.  Hopefully, if this dries off enough to continue harvest, it will also have settled the dust.

In my continuing effort to provide book reviews, I must tell you about the one I pick up and read for a while, and then put it back down because it gets very technical. There is a lot to think about in it, and I will only be able to do some bullet points.

The writers, registered dietitian Diana Rodgers and research biochemist Robb Wolf are exploring the problems beef producers face in the continuing onslaught to their business. The name of the book is Sacred Cow, the most maligned of farm animals.

They point out:  meat and animal fat are essential for our bodies.

 A sustainable food system cannot exist without animals.

A vegan diet may destroy more life than sustainable cattle farming.

Regenerative cattle ranching is one of our best tools for mitigating climate change.

In the reviews alone, it is pointed out that current war against meat eaters promises ethical, ecological, and health benefits from fake lab meat and plant only diets. This book debunks every promise.

“The shift in agriculture from one based in biology to one based on chemistry, and the resulting shift in our diets from whole foods to highly processed foods have resulted in nutrition-related disease, obesity, and environmental destruction.”

Some of the things I have highlighted start with the fact that red meat is one of the most nutrient rich foods available. It says that on a calorie by calorie basis, animal products provide far more nutrients than any plant material. Furthermore, meat has the perfect balance of amino acids plants don't have.

They point out something that really gets my goat. The pet food industry uses quite a large percentage of meat. In fact, they rank fifth in meat consumption. When I see ads for real beef in dog food and salmon for cats, I have a huge problem with that.  I think they eat better than many folks who are having trouble affording good meat these days. And I won't bother you with what the totals are for spending on pets in this country!

Another point the authors make is about the raising of almonds.  Almond milk has become quite popular.. I do order it at Scooter's in my lattes. BUT, it takes thousands of gallons of irrigation to raise almonds, and in the towns nearby, drinking water arrives in plastic bottles. Because of severe drought in California, the almond trees are done for this year.  

Finally, and I'm only to page 46, it has been found that there is NO connection between dietary cholesterol and fat intake and heart disease. This did not make many headlines, but it should have interested us all.  Especially those who are taking statins. And that leads to another subject this column is too short to tackle; the side effects of those statins.  

Hopefully, you will get hold of the book or of the film by the same name, Sacred Cow.