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It’s All Good

 It is always interesting to read about studies of food coming off the internet and other newspapers, and you always look around and see who funded it. They are good for discussion and, as you know, for writing columns about.  

We have all heard about the movement to not eat meat on Mondays. It started with a little steam and then kind of fizzled out. Now we hear a little bit more about it, and some are even calling it a “international movement,” but I think that is most likely a couple of washed up movie stars who go to Europe once a year talking. I read where the movement really died out in the school systems that tried it, as the students didn’t go for the celery sticks as the main course.

Reading an article last week from Drovers CattleNetworks that was titled “Could America ever be a meat-free nation?  Not likely,” the question I first thought of is, why would we want to?  But it does bring out some good points.  

The main one I hadn’t thought of is if we all stopped eating meat, there just wouldn’t be enough food for everyone.  

Marco Plama, assistant professor and Extension economist at Texas A&M University, said, “If we were to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables immediately today, we would probably not have the infrastructure to grow all of those products and hence some of those products would have to come from overseas.”  

The article went on to say that today Americans are barely eating half of the USDA’s daily recommended servings of vegetables and fruits. An extra 100 billion pounds of fruits and 136 billion pounds of vegetables would need to be imported just to get the nation to these recommended levels. You know, it would help out if we saved all the millions of pounds of fruits and vegetables that are thrown out from school lunches.  

The article said that besides the loss of essential minerals and vitamins we get from meat, going vegetarian wouldn’t necessarily help Americans lose weight, either. In a country where two-thirds of adults and nearly one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese, going vegetarian could only add to our waistlines. Well, there you go. That is reason enough for me. How about you?

The most interesting part of the article was when it mentioned that maintaining a vegetarian diet could potentially eliminate our entire species, as research studies consider what may have happened to prehistoric cavemen. According to researchers, our most successful ancestors likely had diverse diets rather than that consisted largely of meat or largely of fruit and nuts. That makes sense. It went on to say, according to the Washington Post, more research shows eating meat and cooking food even helped enable the brains of our pre-human ancestors to grow dramatically over several million years. Just imagine, all that took place before beer was labeled a food group.

Seriously, if you have a diverse diet with all in moderation, along with hard work or exercise, that’s the way to go. We’ve heard that all our lives, and it works.