Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Getting to the Meat of the Matter

We’re big on beef in Texas and for that I'll make no apologies to the activists behind the Meatout movement. The Meatout campaign continues to encourage folks to refrain from eating meat claiming it’s unhealthy, bad for the environment and morally wrong to enjoy. Not only is there evidence and compelling opinions of the exact opposite, such as the one written here by Isabel Cowles for the Huffington Post, but as a Texan, I can't imagine a family barbecue in the Lone Star State without beef!

Another thing I can't imagine is city and state leaders in San Francisco and Michigan pushing the Meatout agenda on their citizens. In San Francisco, city officials passed a declaration to designate every Monday as "meat free." Similarly in Michigan, the governor recently proclaimed a one-day boycott of meat calling it "Michigan Meatout Day." At the risk of being frowned upon by these wannabe plate police, I'll continue to work hard at my job here in Texas and happily stick to my ribs - and for good reason.

Meat is part of a well-balanced, healthy diet. Packed with protein, nutrients, essential amino acids and disease-fighting enzymes, beef not only tastes good, but also provides many of the defenses and nutrients that keep us healthy and strong - such as iron and zinc. The American Council on Science and Health even notes that beef is part of an overall heart-healthy diet.

Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoy and highly encourage daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Not only are these foods delicious sources of vitamins and nutrients, they also contribute to a balanced diet and make terrific sides to a serving of steak, pork chops or chicken.

The fact of the matter is meat helps build a healthy body and its production and consumption are part of the natural order of our ecosystem. Lucky for us, Texas leads the nation in beef production thanks to our hardworking cattle producers who contribute $14.9 billion annually to our state's economy. That's great news for those of us who just can’t muster an appetite for veggie burgers or tofu.

If not eating meat suits your lifestyle, then that is certainly your choice - just be honest about your motives. Don't downplay the positives and don't preach to me about Meatout while there are so many good things you can be doing with your time. Remember, Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Looks like these leaders in California and Michigan should be focused on serving up jobs rather than worrying about what you are having for dinner.

1 comment:

Carmen Fenton said...

What is truly concerning in these states and cities is the effect this could have on school children. If the choice for beef, or other meat for that matter, is eliminated from school lunches, where will these children receive the daily nutrients they need to produce not only physical, but mental activity? Children need protein, zinc, iron, B6 and B12 in their diets to remain healthy. Each of these nutrients is found in lean beef. These folks need to understand the possible consequences of their decisions before they make them.