This is another special guest post from our favorite study-dismantler, Denise Minger. Read all of her previous Mark’s Daily Apple articles here, here, here and here, pay her website a visit, and stay tuned for her upcoming book “Death by Food Pyramid” due out later this year.
We’re already 74 days into the new year, which can only mean one thing: it’s high time for our latest episode of Science Says Meat Will Kill You, complete with a brand new study and commercial-free viral media coverage! Have a seat and tune in (or at least set your DVR for later viewing).
If you haven’t had at least one family member, coworker, or soon-to-be-unfriended Facebook acquaintance send you this study as a reminder that you’re killing yourself, you’re either really lucky or your inbox is broken. Thanks to an observational study called Red Meat Consumption and Mortality freshly pressed in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a slew of bold headlines exploded across every conceivable media outlet this week:
If you already eat Primal, your email inboxes are most likely filling up with links to the story. Concerned mothers clutching the local paper’s “Health” section are calling (or, if they’re hip, texting). Smug vegetarian Facebook friends are posting the story on your wall, sans commentary. Yes, it’s about that time again. It’s another week, it’s another observational study by data-mining researchers hoping to establish a solid link between red meat and some chronic, horrific illness. So, what’s killing us this time? Well, considering that they’ve already done studies linking red meat to colorectal cancer, heart disease, and outright death, type 2 diabetes is next.
The issue of meal timing is a dense thicket of conflicting advice, a mix of conventional wisdom dispensed from USA Today articles, broscience on Internet forums, and confusing physiological feedback from a dysfunctional metabolism. How can one wade through it all and stay sane? You’ve been told your entire life that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but then you hear about intermittent fasting, Warrior Diets, and skipping breakfast while thriving. The buff/cut/shredded/ripped/insert-increasingly-violent-adjective-to-describe-one’s-leanness-here (what’s next, “flayed”?) dudes at the gym insist you should break up your eating into at least six small meals (and if possible, maintain a steady IV-drip of Muscle Milk throughout the day) to “boost” your metabolism. Some say three meals a day works just as well, while others say it’s even superior. Others try to simplify things. They suggest listening to your own body, to eat when hungry and fast when not, which makes sense, but what if you’re overweight and hungry all the time – can your body’s metabolic signaling really be trusted?
Folks can’t help but vilify meat. I mean, it has large amounts of animal fat, especially saturated fat. It requires the death of cute, fuzzy animals. It tastes good, almost offensively so. It’s “immodest” and “indulgent.” Oh, and even the good stuff – pasture-raised meat – displaces the local corn and soy populations and comes from animals that have the audacity to fart (enough, apparently, to bring about a global climate catastrophe). At least it gives people a nice opportunity to be smugly satisfied with themselves while displaying modest levels of indignation. Plus, it gives them a chance to talk about that Jonathan Safran Foer book. That’s always a good move at parties.
We Primal and paleo people, conversely, find meat to be an absolute delight, and most of us eat a decent amount of it. But questions do arise, as they will with any divisive subject:
People love shrimp. Its taut, delicate, firm, sweet flesh pops in the mouth and provides meaty texture to dishes, and, despite its distinctive taste, shrimp works with every cuisine. Rich Indian curries? Check. Intensely zesty Cajun stews? Definitely. Heck, even just a light sautee in garlic, butter, and white wine is a masterful way to prepare shrimp. Partly for those reasons, shrimp is the most eaten seafood in the United States – by far – and the most valuable aquaculture crop in the world. Intensive shrimp farming in Latin America and Asia supplies the world with plenty of inexpensive shrimp which we readily gobble up, because, like I said, people love the little critters. As of 2008, each American plowed through 4.1 pounds of shrimp a year, on average.
But is shrimp healthy? Is shrimp good for the environment? Are there certain kinds of shrimp you should be avoiding? Should you eat wild caught or farmed? Imported or domestic? Head on or peeled? So many questions. Let’s dig in…
© 2013 Mark's Daily Apple | Design By The Blog Studio