Column #312 August 27, 2021
It’s an age-old debate and America’s health bureaucrats (CDC, FDA, and USDA), the medical profession, MSM, many politicians, the oligarchs, and animal rights warriors are all firmly planted on the vegetarian side of the argument.
They promote an anti-meat agenda based on their perceptions of agricultural practices, their flawed interpretations of today’s health outcomes, overblown global warming theories, exaggerated animal cruelty claims, mistaken water consumption projections, unscientific methane emission claims, alarmist food safety concerns, ignorance regarding land usage, and no common sense. Yes, they are way out of touch with reality.
Time and again, over many decades, I’ve addressed their arguments for a plant-based diet on a point by point basis. I have explained why their anti-meat and ranching arguments are based on myths, old wives’ tales, discredited theories of old, and science taken out of context. So it was a pleasure to watch Brian Sanders (a carnivore) speak out in a fifteen-minute video and explain why we should eat meat and be very cautious about consuming plant-based foods. What made his talk fun to watch was that it was given to a mostly plant-based-food-oriented audience.
Brian Sanders is the founder of SAPIEN, a health technology and media company. His brief video covers six important aspects of the debate. They are:1 2
● Bad Science
● New Science
● The Alternatives
Overall he did an outstanding job by condensing a lot of information into a brief presentation. It’s so condensed viewers should be prepared to hit the pause button in order to study his many screen shots. Since his presentation is so brief, he left out many important points in the debate such as why plants produce toxins which vary from inflammatory to deadly. But that point, and others dealing with chemistry and biology, are really tough for people to grasp in a short video.
There’s one point he referred to that I disagree with. He said that “the meat we have today, even conventionally grown in feedlots, is perfectly healthy and nutritious. It’s basically the same as we’ve always been eating.” That doesn’t make sense because we are what we eat and so are the animals.
The beef cattle feedlot industry, as we know it today, started up in the early 1950s. Before that it was only a few small farms that finished cattle on feed. In 1950 about half of the beef sold in America was still grass-fed and grain-fed beef was considered a luxury item. On average, cattle in the finishing phase spend at least 150 to 160 days (not 90) in a feedlot eating a ration that’s about 80% grain. Because it only takes 80 days to make significant changes in the nutritional profile of an animal’s body, a feedlot’s grain-based diet significantly degrades the nutritional characteristics of the cattle.
The foundation food for animal life is the green leaf. It ranges from one-celled plants in water to the leaves and grasses found on land. Green leaves are so important in the food chain that animals’ couldn’t move upon land until after the green plants got there first. Because of photosynthesis, green leaves use the sun’s energy to convert carbon dioxide and inorganic substances into organic material such as sugars, fats, and proteins. Therefore, by obtaining energy from the sun, plants have the power that’s required to take up and utilize the water and minerals that’s in water and/or soil. That makes plants self sustainable. Animals are incapable of absorbing energy from the sun. Therefore they are dependant on eating energy and other nutrients for survival.3
Green leaves have always been at the bottom of the animal kingdom’s food chain. There are animals that eat green leaves, animals that eat animals and green leaves, and animals that only eat other animals. That nutrient food chain has been the same for all of time as animals evolved on earth. That’s why the green-leaf based food chain provides complete nutrition every step of the way for man and beast. Animals are dependent on only one diet. Any nutrient deviation from the green leaves at the base requires numerous supplements to offset nutritional deficiencies which will ultimately cause animal bodies to fail.
The upshot of this is that comparing feedlot beef with grass-fed beef is like comparing iceberg lettuce with kale. I’ve written many articles and columns about this and have laid out the facts. One of my articles is “Grass-Fed vs. Grain-Fed.” Just like with humans, when animals such as cattle, goats, dogs, and cats are fed grain they develop nutritional deficiencies and excesses not in balance with their nutritional requirements. In time they get sick.4
Because of what they eat, the meats from feedlot beef and grass-fed beef are so different our dull senses can easily pick them out. It doesn’t take a chemical analysis.
● Grass-fed meats are darker colored versus bright red for grain-fed.
● The fat in grass-fed meat tends to be off-white versus white-as-a-ghost in grain-fed.
● Grass-fed meats are not as tender as grain-fed due to less intramuscular fat and being older.
● When cold, grass-fed meats are so soft the meat bunches up in front of the meat saw creating a wavy cut. Cutting steaks from refrigerated grain-fed meats is like sawing wood. The cuts are straight.
● The flavor and smell of grass-fed are interpreted as gamey, grassy, and fishy—probably due to the higher levels of vitamins and Omega-3. Grain-fed meats are bland in comparison.
● Grass-fed meats usually feel cleaner, while grain-fed meats feel sticky.
These physical differences reflect major underlying chemical differences. That’s why when we want to optimize our health, we do it by not eating grains, nuts, seeds, fruit, processed foods, vegetable oils, and grain-fed meats. Instead, we eat grass-fed animals, wild-caught seafood, Omega-3 meats, and “some” green leafy vegetables.5
Keep those points in mind as you watch Brian tell the rest of the story. Overall he did an excellent job.
To your health.
Ted Slanker has been reporting on the fundamentals of nutritional research in publications, television and radio appearances, and at conferences since 1999. He condenses complex studies into the basics required for health and well-being. His eBook, The Real Diet of Man, is available online.
Don't miss these links for additional reading:
2. The Scientific Reality of MEAT and Human Health - The Full Story in 15 Min! by Brian Sanders
3. Man Is an Extension of the Leafy, Green Plant by Ted Slanker
4. Grass-Fed vs Grain-Fed by Ted Slanker
5. Nutrient Diversity and Density by Ted Slanker