Here we go again…

Yet again we’ve got the ‘red meat is bad for you’ media circus about a new Harvard study that’s been published.

There’s one thing for sure – it’ll sell papers, be on the telly, get hits on news sites and basically be scaring the bejesus out of people.   I’m pretty sure this ‘news story’ is going viral as I type due to the amount of links suggested by Zemanta.   I’ve also just searched ‘red meat’ on Twitter and yup – quite a few tweets about it (100+ new ones in the past minute) – some are hilarious actually  (I’m going to retweet some of them 🙂 )    I’m also readying myself for comments from people (which can be pretty much ‘in your face’ ) when I put certain foods in my shopping trolley / on my plate / in my mouth over the next few weeks… (I’m actually quite thankful I’m NOT working at the moment as I would have stopped eating my lunch in public based on the types of statements I’ve been the receiver of in the past, let alone after this media frenzy!)

There’s just one thing I’d like to say though – what I eat and what others eat are personal choices – I don’t tell folks who eat differently from me they’re wrong.  Ok, I might get a bit passionate about ‘fast food’ and how much refined sugar is put into things that really don’t need it but I hope I’m never seen as confrontational or dictatorial…!

Yes, I may well discuss my choices with others, share the personal benefits me and Mike have experienced from those choices, and generally show how the world how happy I am that I eat the way I do.

I’m pretty sure I don’t want to see headlines like ‘Red Meat Kills’ (The Sun),  ‘All Red Meat Is Bad For You…’ (LA Times).  In my opinion it’s alarmist, inflammatory, irresponsible and unbalanced reporting.  (I long for the day similar front page headlines, column inches and prime-time network minutes are given to the perils of smoking tobacco – we’ve buried three of our parents from smoking-related cancers and the fourth from smoking-related vascular disease – two in their mid to late 60’s and two in their early 70’s – none of them from eating too much red meat…)  I’m obviously not holding my breath though – that would be unfair reporting right and damaging to the industry?  Don’t I realise how much revenue comes from the sale of tobacco? Silly girl…)

There’s enough information out there relating to just about every study ever done regarding what effect certain diets (noun not verb) and specific foods do to the human body, accessible to anyone who wants to read up on the subjects and make an informed decision that ultimately works for them.

We can then all make our own personal choices based on what we take from that information, or not as the case may be.

And that’s the critical thing here – choice.

So, me and Tess are off to our local market later this week to buy a leg of lamb for our family dinner this weekend, plus pork chops, lamb steak, sausages and various mince to refill our freezer, as well as lots of lovely fresh veggies  🙂  We’re also looking forwards to our pressies of fresh black pudding and faggots from our visitors 🙂

See ya!

All bloggers appreciate comments – good or bad – so please feel free to make a comment in the ‘Reply’ box below!

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11 Comments on “Here we go again…”

  1. I reblogged on the same topic. And obviously from a different perspective.

    Did you go right to the original link to read the findings of the study? To be fair, there were a lot of people involved, over 28 years, so it wasn’t unreasonable in terms of findings.

    I think you being told what you eat is ‘wrong’ is exactly the same as people telling me that what I eat is ‘wrong’. It’s ironic, coming from the other end of the spectrum that we both receive the same treatment 😀

    Of course, if we are talking refined sugar and fast food, I am right in there with you 🙂

    Yes, the headlines are wrong. You’ve got a reporter, summarising a scientific report, who then sends it to the news ed, and the subs etc etc etc and someone slaps a sensational headline on it. I would probably have hedged on the side of caution and gone for ‘Red Meat Scare’ for example. But that still hits the inflammatory button.

    It’s hard to say what all the causes of death are. We’ve both mentioned the smoking thing before. It’s not just the tobacco industry that has a vested interest in revenue though, so does the Meat and Livestock Commission – or whatever it is called nowadays. Sometimes smoking does make the headlines. But the truth is, everyone knows it kills. Whether they choose to ignore it is another matter. The red meat case is less clear, and, for that reason, bigger news. Tobacco is old news. Does red meat kill? Yes – according to this study – so therefore it is much bigger news. I’m justifying the journalism here.

    Anyway, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten black pudding. Even in my meatarian days. Sends a shudder down my spine. Not dissimilar to tripe – utterly vile!!

    But to end on an agreeing note, of course choice is paramount. Especially based on research and personal preference. And I think I am glad I’m not tweeting. Another good choice 😀

  2. I did funnily enough – it was your reblog that started me off writing this one 🙂

    (I think the funniest comment I’ve seen on Twitter so far was that eating chicken supposedly reduces chances of death by 19% so if we carnivores split our meat eating 50/50 they’ll cancel each other out surely ROFL…)

    Seriously though, I think it bothers me because it’s just so one sided. It’s a US study to start with – their beef is absolutely laden with hormones and is fed on a cereal / grain diet (which is bad for them compared to being grass-fed) and the amounts of it they eat are so much greater than consumers outside of the US.

    Also, you know what it’s like – there are so many studies, many of which have also been done multiple years over years, which could easily act as a counterpoint for this one.

    I’m still not convinced that red meat kills full stop – if that were the case then they all would have died from eating it – the human body is one very VERY complicated construct – so many chemical reactions happening millions of times a second. Their ‘assessment of covariates’ just shows how many other ‘factors’ were all potentially in the mix during the study (that study was tough reading…far too many big words for me 🙂 ) I’m also still a sceptic when it comes to statistics and their associated ‘summaries – stats can be ‘spun’ to prove ANYTHING…. 🙂

    At the end of the day, it’s going to be doing so much damage to the entire industry from the high street right down to the farmers at a time where everyone is struggling.

    Thanks as always for taking time to comment – much appreciated 🙂

    J

  3. alijayd says:

    We eat red meat – but not so much these days. Not that we are avoiding it’s just that we seem to eat a lot of fish and chicken. I think a high fat diet is more damaging.

    Everything in moderation has got to be my motto.

  4. sophie king says:

    I think changing your diet is bad for you… breaking the habits that you have always had, causes your body to go a bit nuts. My mom didn’t have high cholestrol at all, but shortly after going on a diet to lose weight, her cholestrol shot up! and my Granddad used to smoke, not experiencing any chest/lung problems until he quit them for good.

    Anyway, life is too short to eat a lettuce leaf. People should just eat the hell they want to eat!

    Eat, drink, and be merry is my family motto, hehe. And with a father who is a butcher, there is no shortage of sausages, bacon, black pud, pate, and beef, etc, in my household 🙂

    • Oooo you lucky daughter you….! (I bet you can bone,roll and tie a leg of lamb in no time!)

      If only mine would go the kinda ‘lose half your body weight’ nuts that would be fine LOL. It did for a bit then got lazy – think I have to break my long-term laziness habit next…(sigh) 🙂

      Ta for the joining in with the comments 🙂

      J

  5. I saw this too over at http://www.marksdailyapple.com which does a pretty good (and convincing) rebuttal.

    I don’t even bother to read the headlines about food/dieting/health any more. Do it long enough and you’ll see contradictions everywhere.

    In my opinion, if you are looking to the government/mainstream media to spoon feed you the ‘perfect diet’ then you’re not taking responsibility for your own health.

    Oh and I eat a TONNE of saturated fat every day (full fat milk, cheese, cream!) and feel great 🙂

    • I got that in my inbox as well – very well written! 🙂

      I also eat alot of the same things and love it – unlike when I used to eat alot of wheat / rice based things – definitely didn’t love THAT! 🙂

      Thanks for the reply – great to get lots of different folk’s point of view on this definitely emotive subject! 🙂

      J

  6. Moderation is a good thing….”research” isn’t always that….One thought about meat – maybe it’s the way it’s raised and fed / treated by antibiotics / even slaughtered that’s causing some of the problems….with meat – and veggies(dose of pesticides anyone, tainted water?) And if you eat fish…have you investigated what the fish farms feed those guys and where /what conditions the fish farms are? pretty ugly, too. All you can do is try to choose wisely – (and realize what may trigger disease in one person, may not in another) Nice post

    • I think you’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head there with all your points!

      Thanks for reading and look forwards to hearing your thoughts on any other posts that catch your eye! 🙂

      J


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