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Switch to Forum Live View Red Meat and Early Death
2 years ago  ::  Mar 14, 2012 - 3:51PM #1
solfeggio
Posts: 8,933

A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, shows that the more red meat, either processed or unprocessed, that you eat, the better your chances of dying before your time.


www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/14/healt...


It's a really huge study, covering more than 100,000 people over decades, and it demonstrated that the saturated fat and cholesterol found in red meat was a significant factor in the development of arterial plaque, which could lead to heart attack and stroke.  As well, other studies have shown that cooked meat was a factor in kidney cancer.
As summed up in the study, the researchers advised that red meat should only be an occasional part of the diet, and not eaten on a regular basis.  And, of course, we know that they say this because they are well aware that, if they advised people not to eat any red meat at all, nobody would pay any attention to their study.


People can be very stubborn when it comes to their long-held and much-cherished dietary habits.


But, haven't people 'always' eaten meat in large quantities?  Well, maybe so, and maybe not.  Substituting cultural practises for scientific facts can get confusing, and the bottom line is that nobody really knows.  But the fact is that since we did not evolve as biological omnivores, we do not have to eat flesh in order to survive or be healthy.  
How do we know we're not true omnivores?   Actually, there is no taxonomical classification known as 'omnivore.'  However, humans don't have the teeth or jaws of animals that can rend and tear the flesh of a freshly-killed prey animal, nor do we have the digestion to process that kill, as do omnivores and carnivores.


But, to get back to the Harvard study -


Will the average person, reading about it in the newspapers or online, or seeing it discussed on TV, take it seriously?  Will the average person really think seriously about cutting down his/her red meat consumption?  Will people think back about some relative or friend who died of a heart attack or cancer and wonder if that person's eating of large quantities of red meat really have something to do with that death?


Finally, will the average person who reads about this study start actually considering just what 'moderation' means in terms of meat-eating?      

Moderated by Merope on Mar 25, 2012 - 03:57PM
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 14, 2012 - 4:01PM #2
mountain_man
Posts: 38,758

Mar 14, 2012 -- 3:51PM, solfeggio wrote:

A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, shows that the more red meat, either processed or unprocessed, that you eat, the better your chances of dying.


Living increases your chance of dying. The study concludes that one should REDUCE the amount of red meat and eliminate processed meat products. A healthy diet can include meat.


How do we know we're not true omnivores?....


Humans are omnivorous. Our dention and digestion show that we are.


From Wikipedia: Omnivores (from Latin: omni, meaning "all, everything"; vorare, "to devour") are species that eat both plants and animal material as their primary food source. They often are opportunistic, general feeders not specifically adapted to eating and digesting either meat or plant material primarily. Many depend on a suitable mix of animal and plant food for long-term good health and reproduction.


Note the highlighted phrases.


Here's something from North Western University. Note the omnivores wearing blue coveralls.


Here's something from that awful, horrible, despicable, (shudder) public television; NatureWorks.:


What did you have to eat today? If you are like most humans, you probably had meat and plants! Humans are omnivores too! Our teeth are designed to eat both meat and plants. Our front teeth help us rip into meat and bite into fruits and vegetables. Our molars help us grind up meat and chew fruits and vegetables. Many omnivorous animals also have teeth that help them eat both plants and animals.


So, the jury is in; the term 'omnivore' has been defined and the finding is that humans are omnivorous.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 14, 2012 - 4:04PM #3
teilhard
Posts: 50,082

Yup ... Any Human Being who would choose to eat ONLY, say, "Apples," is NOT going to live as long or as well as another Person who eats a healthy balanced varied Diet ...

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 14, 2012 - 4:07PM #4
farragut
Posts: 3,939

Found an interesting site that comments lucidly and with an open mind on some of these dietary questions that keep coming up here, particularly the unsupported claim that humans developed as herbivores. I would urge Solfeggio and her fellow travelers to take a look. And Dave, I think you will enjoy it as much as I did. www.beyondveg.com/nicholson-w/hb/hb-inte...


Have fun.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 14, 2012 - 4:11PM #5
Roodog
Posts: 10,168

We are going to die anyway.


Length of days is less important than the ability to enjoy those days.


Eat, drink and be merry; for tomorrow we die. 

For those who have faith, no explanation is neccessary.
For those who have no faith, no explanation is possible.

St. Thomas Aquinas

If one turns his ear from hearing the Law, even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 28:9
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 14, 2012 - 4:17PM #6
BDboy
Posts: 5,159

Mar 14, 2012 -- 4:11PM, Roodog wrote:


We are going to die anyway.


Length of days is less important than the ability to enjoy those days.


Eat, drink and be merry; for tomorrow we die. 






 


Smile


 


I am sure some "New study" will say things a little different in coming days. Moderation is the key......

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 14, 2012 - 4:19PM #7
Girlchristian
Posts: 11,035

Mar 14, 2012 -- 3:51PM, solfeggio wrote:


A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, shows that the more red meat, either processed or unprocessed, that you eat, the better your chances of dying before your time.

www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/14/healt...

It's a really huge study, covering more than 100,000 people over decades, and it demonstrated that the saturated fat and cholesterol found in red meat was a significant factor in the development of arterial plaque, which could lead to heart attack and stroke.  As well, other studies have shown that cooked meat was a factor in kidney cancer.

As summed up in the study, the researchers advised that red meat should only be an occasional part of the diet, and not eaten on a regular basis.  And, of course, we know that they say this because they are well aware that, if they advised people not to eat any red meat at all, nobody would pay any attention to their study.


That, IMO, is an assumption. In the article I read, the lead author of the study, Pan, even acknowledged that he still eats red meat and if what he really meant to say was "don't eat any red meat" then it stands to reason that he would follow that advice. What he did say was to keep red meat at 2 to 3 times/week and cut out all or most processed red meats. Which, is the definition of moderation.


People can be very stubborn when it comes to their long-held and much-cherished dietary habits. 


Of course they can, but that's not just in regards to eat 'unhealthy.'


But, haven't people 'always' eaten meat in large quantities?  Well, maybe so, and maybe not.  Substituting cultural practises for scientific facts can get confusing, and the bottom line is that nobody really knows.  But the fact is that since we did not evolve as biological omnivores, we do not have to eat flesh in order to survive or be healthy.  

How do we know we're not true omnivores?   Actually, there is no taxonomical classification known as 'omnivore.'  However, humans don't have the teeth or jaws of animals that can rend and tear the flesh of a freshly-killed prey animal, nor do we have the digestion to process that kill, as do omnivores and carnivores.


But, to get back to the Harvard study -


Will the average person, reading about it in the newspapers or online, or seeing it discussed on TV, take it seriously?  Will the average person really think seriously about cutting down his/her red meat consumption?  Will people think back about some relative or friend who died of a heart attack or cancer and wonder if that person's eating of large quantities of red meat really have something to do with that death?


Maybe, maybe not. As I said on the other thread, if someone doesn't deem the risk big enough to forego the enjoyment they get from eating meat then probably not. Some simply may not care that they might die earlier if they eat meat. We see it with smokers too. The dangers of smoking are ALL over the place and yet people choose not only to continue smoking, but to also start smoking despite the warnings. For some, it simply is a matter of living their life with certain pleasures rather than living a long life. 


Add to that cost and convenience (it takes more money and more time to get the same amount of nutrients from a plant-based diet as one gets from a meat diet) and some people may simply choose to take the risk.


Finally, will the average person who reads about this study start actually considering just what 'moderation' means in terms of meat-eating?      





"No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible." George Chakiris

“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible.” Stuart Chase
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 14, 2012 - 4:23PM #8
mountain_man
Posts: 38,758

Mar 14, 2012 -- 4:07PM, farragut wrote:

Found an interesting site that comments lucidly and with an open mind on some of these dietary questions that keep coming up here, particularly the unsupported claim that humans developed as herbivores. I would urge Solfeggio and her fellow travelers to take a look. And Dave, I think you will enjoy it as much as I did. www.beyondveg.com/nicholson-w/hb/hb-inte...


Have fun.


Thanks. From that website:

Prior to the evidence from these earliest stone tools, going back even further (2-3 million years) is chemical evidence showing from strontium/calcium ratios in fossilized bone that some of the diet from earlier hominids was also coming from animal flesh. (Strontium/calcium ratios in bone indicate relative amounts of plant vs. animal foods in the diet. Scanning electron microscope studies of the microwear of fossil teeth from various periods well back into human prehistory show wear patterns indicating the use of flesh in the diet.



Humans evolved as omnivores.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 14, 2012 - 4:25PM #9
mountain_man
Posts: 38,758

Mar 14, 2012 -- 4:20PM, solfeggio wrote:

Sorry, mm, but your links don't say anything substantive; ...


They proved your claims to be wrong.


But the point is that we may be BEHAVIOURAL omnivores, but we're not true omnivores.


The websites I posted prove that to be wrong. We are "true" omnivores."

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 14, 2012 - 4:29PM #10
mountain_man
Posts: 38,758

Mar 14, 2012 -- 4:25PM, solfeggio wrote:

....In any case, you'd have to be crazy to willingly take the chance of developing cancer just for a five-minute taste experience of a hamburger or sausage or steak, wouldn't you?


The statistics are on the side of the carnivores. Eating a hamburger will not cause cancer. Those that eat a lot of meat, and a lot of hamburgers, also have other unhealthy habits such as a sedentary life style. Again, moderation is the key.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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