Every few weeks or so, someone publishes a study “proving” that eating red meat does something horrible to us. I consider all these studies to be invalid, especially when it comes to eating grassfed meat.
Because none of them, not even one of them, ever considers the immense difference between eating grassfed meat, the natural food of nature, and factory meat, which comes from animals eating an unnatural diet. Factory animals have been made to grow at an unnaturally fast rate by growth hormones, antibiotics, steroids, and other unnatural methods.
All studies on the effect of eating red meat which do not differentiate between grassfed meat and factory meat are invalid, as to grassfed meat. The latest study purporting to show that red meat is bad for us has many flaws, and proves nothing.
Grassfed Meat Is Very Different than Factory Meat
Grassfed Meat is perhaps the oldest food of humankind, and is ideal for our bodies. This is the meat you get from herbivorous animals eating nothing but their natural food, green living grass, though they may need to eat hay, which is dried grass, in the winter.
Factory meat is the meat you get from animals who start out on grass, but are finished with a stay in the feedlot, a stay that usually lasts at least 120 days. While in the feedlot, the animals eat no grass and do not graze. They are fed grains like GMO corn and GMO soy. Neither one of these substances are the natural feed of cattle. Other items are often fed to these cattle, including candy bars, restaurant plate waste, bakery waste, the sludge left over from making alcohol and ethanol, and many other substances which are not the natural food of cattle. In addition to the unnatural feed, factory cattle are usually given growth hormones, antibiotics, steroids, and other chemicals which cause them to grow much faster than normal.
The difference in diet creates a great difference in the meat. Grassfed meat is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and CLA, but these nutrients are reduced by each day spent in the feedlot. See Health Benefits of Grass-fed Products.
The meat of grassfed animals is much less watery than factory meat, and should be cooked differently, as described in my cookbook, Tender Grassfed Meat.
Well over 98% of the meat sold in this country is factory meat.
Because of these differences, no study that does not differentiate between grassfed meat and factory meat means anything, when it comes to the effect of grassfed meat.
This Study Does Not Prove that Eating More Red Meat Increases the Risk of Diabetes
First of all, the author of the study admits that it does not prove that eating more red meat increases the risk of diabetes! (Eating Red Meat Tied to Higher Diabetes Risk)
Second, the study has many flaws:
- It only cover doctors and nurses, not the general public.
- It asks the participants to remember how much red meat they ate over several four year periods. This is very unreliable. Do you remember each time you ate red meat over the last four years and what the size of the serving was? Of course not.
- The difference found by this questionable data was insignificant, and means nothing.
- 2 in 300 of the participants who reported increasing their consumption of red meat got Type 2 Diabetes.
- 1 in 300 of the participants who reported not increasing their consumption of red meat got Type2 Diabetes.
- The risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes for those who reported increasing red meat consumption was 2/3rds of one percent.
- The risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes for those who did not report increasing red meat consumption was 1/3 of one percent.
- The difference was an increase in risk of 1/3 of one percent. This is the real, absolute risk.
- By the rules of statistics, this difference is so far within the margin of error that it means nothing.
- The study did not differentiate between grassfed and factory meat.
- So contrary to the news headlines, this study does not prove that increasing red meat consumption increases the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Especially when it comes to grassfed meat.
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