Health advisory: eat less than 10 servings of raw beef per day

A huge decade-long study of 500,000 Americans has come to the conclusion that red meat is bad for you (cancer, heart disease, scabies, etc.). The news prompted Dr. Barry Popkin to offer the following advice:

> People should eat a hamburger only once or twice a week instead of every day, a small steak once a week instead of every other day, and a hot dog every month and a half instead of once a week.

Um…yeah. Setting aside the health and environmental consequences of a hamburger-a-day habit, that is one seriously boring way to eat. And all of this is just to say that I think I’ll start blogging some more recipes.

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adam

14 Comments

  1. Woody - May 6, 2009

    Boring without beef? It’s all a matter of habit, actually. With the endless number of ways of preparing every other food under the sun, I see beef as the big snore here. A meal with beef is a missed opportunity for enjoying something really good!

  2. G - May 6, 2009

    I think the idea of the post is that eating that much beef is in fact the boring thing…

  3. Anonymous - May 6, 2009

    @Woody
    I think you missed the point; the article was stating that eating beef every day was boring

  4. Monica Reinagel - May 6, 2009

    Point taken on the monotony. But your headline is a bit misleading. Ten servings a day? I think Popkin’s quote adds up to ten servings a week. And who said anything about raw?
    Finally, some additional perspective on the “Red Meat Kills” study: http://blog.nutritiondata.com/ndblog/2009/04/meat-and-mortal.html

  5. Paul S - May 6, 2009

    Normally, I’m all for making the effort to do things that combat climate change, but I’m a serious meat-and-potatoes guy, and I suspect I’m not alone.
    I’ve tried many times to reduce meat consumption. The problem is:
    a) I really like red meat!
    b) It’s so available in so many forms in the supermarket.
    c) I don’t like poultry (actually I like free-range chicken, but it’s expensive).
    d) Fish is expensive.
    I’m open to suggestions.

  6. Samantha - May 6, 2009

    I think it’s interesting that you like free-range chicken but not regular chicken. Have you considered trying organic beef, you may find that the beef is also more flavorful. If the expense is your issue eat less meat with your meal and more potatoes. Even a reduction in serving size at each meal would have an impact. Most Americans consume way to much meat in a day anyway.

  7. paul - May 6, 2009

    do earth a favor and go veg! so many people seem to be afraid of it but w/ all the great meat alternatives today there is no reason for us humans to be doing so much harm to earth and it’s animals.

  8. Waldo K - May 6, 2009

    I stopped eating meat 16 years ago primarily because I always hated the way meat tasted (although I still do eat some eggs and cheese and milk products) . Over the years, the main thing I’ve learned is that a lot of people don’t realize how amazing vegetarian food can be because:
    a) most major restaurants don’t offer very interesting vegetarian dishes (I find myself getting bored with restaurant options often, and if I’m getting bored, do you really think a non-vegetarian is going to want to try it?).
    b) the meat and potatoes diet is still widely enforced by older generations.
    c) school food programs fall in the same trap as restaurants (how many of you actually had appetizing vegetarian lunches being sold at your schools if they were even offered at all?).
    d) a lot of recipes don’t offer ideas for substituting something instead of meat.
    There’s a whole world of food out there, but it seems that we are being kept out of that world no matter how much we hear about the food pyramid and to eat more vegetables. What would be more effective is for people to be just a little more creative in the kitchen at home. Cook with your kids (my parents did). Try new things and encourage your kids to do the same. You don’t always have to make it exotic, as long as it’s something different. Teach your kids that it doesn’t always have to have meat in it to taste good. If you do eat meat, try using just a little bit less and a little more of everything else. If you really like meat, then don’t stop eating it, but don’t ignore non-meat options just on principle. Eating less meat is being proven to be better for the body and better for the environment, and it definitely doesn’t have to be boring and unappetizing if you just open yourself up to the possibilities.

  9. Celeste - May 6, 2009

    I grew up having steak at least 3times per week (and my mom was a home dc teacher!) not good for the cholesterol. We have been getting locally grown produce for the past year, while living in LA, and now I actually want to eat salad. + now have no cholesterol issues. Try a salad where your potato and meat are actually part of the dish–it was a great transition for me. Hope this helps

  10. Shirlee - May 6, 2009

    Try bison. It’s not cheap but it’s delicious.

  11. Methinks - May 6, 2009

    Actually, regarding the lack of vegetarian options in restaurants, I have found that if I go to (say) a fish restaurant, I simply tell the server that I am vegan and what ever the chef decides to create using NO animal products, I will happily eat. This has worked successfully for a few years now, and although not infallible, I have found that most chefs are quite happy to oblige and often see it as a challenge and a break from their regular prep of meat/fish/fowl etc.
    I have given up proselytizing about my diet and let others (hopefully) arrive at the sane conclusion that meat is bad for themselves and the planet. If you want to eat meat, fine – do the Ted Nugent thing and go kill it, gut it and prepare it yourselves. I’ll have a lot of respect for you if you do that, but the sanitized packs you buy in the store give you no hint of the harm and pain caused by the consumption of meat.
    There. Mild rant over. I hear a soy pattie calling my name…

  12. landsnark - May 7, 2009

    Still red though.

  13. your nagging conscience - May 7, 2009

    “I really like it” isn’t responsible as the sole way to make dietary choices, whether for the sake of your own health or that of the planet. It isn’t for that matter, a very conscientious way to make a decision about anything.

  14. Rose - May 14, 2009

    Paul,
    Try looking for a CSA (community supported agriculture) program in your area that offers meat. I also love meat, but not all the chemicals and junk in meat from the grocery store. I joined a CSA in my area last year, which gave me a monthly supply of locally grown, organic and/or naturally raised meat, for not much more than it would cost at the grocery store. Plus I know where my meat comes from, how fresh it is, that it was raised sustainably on a small family farm. Now I’m so spoiled I won’t touch grocery store meat — I hate the way it tastes!
    For me, this is the best option for those who don’t want to give up meat, but want to lessen the negative impact of a meat-containing diet (both on the environment and on your body).
    There are a number of CSA databases to look into. Localharvest.org seems to have one of the best, and I use them a lot.
    Hope this helps!
    Rose.