A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Give the Cow Prod to the USDA and Support Meatless Monday!

Have you heard about the USDA retracting its statement referencing "Meatless Monday"?  It seems the Cattlemen's Beef Association flexed its "beefy" bicep when the Ag Dept posted a message to its employees about helping to reduce the environmental impact of eating meat by skipping it one day of the week.
Uh oh, the beef industry might be knocking at my door soon...
But what would the "cow people" association do if more people helped the health of the Earth and their bodies by abstaining from meat for one day?! They can't have that, so I can only imagine their well-paid lobbyists made sure the posting was removed promptly.  And it was......only hours after being posted.

I know I'm on a blogger break (I took only a few pics this weekend!), but I had to just make a quick post about this.  A huge reason America lives in a constantly confused state on what's healthy and what's not is because of the big industries and their money (aka power).

I know very little on the inner-workings of lobbying and getting messages out to the public, but I figure money is the biggest concern; not public health.  When I see/hear any sort of "this is good for you" promotion from the government or any big business, I raise a mental red flag and proceed with caution.

Just ask yourself these 2 questions when you see claims on packages, the television, magazines, billboards, etc:

Who or What will reap the most benefits of this statement? - It says it's healthy, but the 50 ingredients in this pretty package don't seem very good or natural.

How much money was spent so people like me can see this claim? - Only the big industries have great power to push their products for all to see. Small, local companies producing small batch, whole food goods, don't have the funding to really advertise as well.

I like all types of meat and fish, but I eat red meat sparingly and only grass-fed...preferably local too.  The economic cost of producing beef is just not worth it to me.  Just think of all the cheap, junky beef products fast food chains are rolling out to so many people each day; it's crazy! Sure, the $1 menu "deals" seem appealing to those who are ignorant to health and are short on cash; sadly, this is a common correlation.
Costs associated to produce a quarter pound of beef.

But consider other costs; the cost to get the meat wrapped in a paper package and handed to you through the window of a drive-thru...mmm. Producing just a half pound of beef requires 7.40 pounds of CO2, that's equivalent to driving 9.81 miles. Now take into account that in 2009 the U.S. consumed 14 million tons of beef; and 72 million tons for the world.  That's a lot of gas! (Source for this info.)

I will happily choose my meatless meals for Monday and other days of the week to help reduce emissions just a little bit. If more of us did this, our little changes will have a big impact on the health of our economy and bodies. So give the USDA and Beef Industry the finger a carrot, and enjoy a meal like spicy black bean patties along with a green pistachio and carrot smoothie for dessert! Check out wannaveg.com for a list of 10 reasons to go vegetarian one day each week.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! It was hot (not surprising) here in Texas, but I prefer the heat to the cold, so fine with me!

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