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Thread: "Americans Eat Too Much Meat" page

  1. #1
    KimchiNinja's Avatar
    KimchiNinja is offline Senior Member
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    "Americans Eat Too Much Meat"

    It's amazing how many times I've heard this: "Americans eat too much meat".

    Celebrities, the media, vegans, and the average Joe repeating back what they've heard. When you actually get off your lazy butt and read the table in the USDA report on the American aggregate food supply you realize it is not true.

    Americans eat a mostly grain based diet; meaning grains, grain oils ("vegetable" oil, margarine, etc), and sugar from grains (high fructose corn syrup, and sugar cane which is a grass/grain). They eat very little meat and almost no fish. Animal fat (lard, butter, etc) has been replaced by processed grain oil fat. Very little plants.

    Here are the numbers dropped into broad buckets:

    US Aggregate Food Supply (by Calories)
    Meat 15%
    Fish <1%
    Plants 8%
    ---------------
    Grains 26%
    Processed Oil 21%
    Sugar 17%
    Dairy 11%
    Misc 1%

    That's only 23% of their calories from foods which could be considered paleolithic (animals and plants).

    A massive 64% of their calories come from grains, processed grain oils, and sugar.

    Here's a quick chart I made to visualize...

    american aggregate food supply.png

  2. #2
    KimchiNinja's Avatar
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    To contrast here is a chart on the mean hunter gatherer diet, by calorie.

    hunter gatherers.png

    Created from the Ethnographic Atlas data, 229 hunter gatherer societies, with a mean of 68% animal foods.

    Methods: I used Cordain's model for estimating the calorie density of the foods, which assumed a fairly high calorie-density of plant foods (fruits, nuts, tubers). Assumes animals have 15% body fat (H/G ate the fat parts first, and at times threw away the dry muscle meat). Downloaded the atlas in Excel and checked the math to make sure I agreed with Cordain's model (I get paid big bucks building complex financial models and ripping apart the competitor's models). The numbers all made sense, and they also agreed with bone analysis from the upper paleolithic which also showed humans behaving like top level carnivores.

    Looking at the variance between hunter gatherers and Americans, is it any wonder why the developed world is so fat and sick???
    Last edited by KimchiNinja; 10-11-2013 at 07:56 PM.

  3. #3
    SteveRB's Avatar
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    Food supply and consumption are two different things.

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    They eat too much in that it takes intensive factory farming to meet the demand.

  5. #5
    KimchiNinja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveRB View Post
    Food supply and consumption are two different things.
    Oh stop splitting hairs.

    The aggregate food supply numbers are then hit with a "waste/spoilage" assumption of x%. It's not that relevant unless you assume most of the spoilage is a specific food group like meat & plants, in which case Americans eat even *more* processed grains and grain oils which don't spoil easily.

    Either way Americans eat very little meat, especially compared to the mean H/G diet.

  6. #6
    KimchiNinja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forgotmylastusername View Post
    They eat too much in that it takes intensive factory farming to meet the demand.
    Sure, this is the same societal push since the Neolithic period 10,000 years ago to get the villagers to eat their grains; because their numbers no longer make hunting/gathering possible.

  7. #7
    henwoqiji's Avatar
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    To contrast here is a chart on the mean hunter gatherer diet, by calorie.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for putting out that info, KimchiNinja.

    The only thing I ever have to remember when I read government recommendations or whatever, is that they have nothing to do with health. Monsanto has a revolving door to the FDA and USDA, and other Agribusinesses have tons of pull. Therefore, it behooves the PTB to push a veggie/grain agenda.

    Americans don't eat too much meat per se, we eat too much unhealthy food. Even when trying to eat healthy, CAFO meats fall short in comparison to well raised meats, farmed fish fall short in comparison to wild, and vegetables/fruits that are grown with pesticides and shipped an average of 1500 miles to be sold fall short of produce with no pesticide that's driven 100 miles to the nearest farmers market. So even those trying to eat healthfully are being cheated if they can't afford to avoid food raised by BigFood.

    Add to that an entire generation or two for whom processed foods have become a way of life, and Americans don't eat too much meat, they eat too much crap.

    Everyone needs to do due diligence. Because everyone offering advice has an agenda. Find what works for you. Research to see if that's healthy in the long run. Then turn off the noise.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

    B*tch-lite

    Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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    The recommendations for protein are pretty low. I think it's something like 50g of protein is the RDA. You combine that with all the vegetarian propaganda that you can get protein from broccoli and nobody needs very much of it and you end up with someone like me who didn't eat much protein at all for their entire early adult life. By vegetarian propaganda, I mean I started with Francis Moore Lappe Diet for a Small Planet, went on to John Robbins Diet for a New America, read tons of hippie back-to-the-land food and farm politics magazines and books. The thing is, I don't disagree with any of the base ideas. Population is a problem, factory farming is a problem and food and farm politics issues are important. But my interest has also led me to Wendel Berry, Michael Pollan, Joel Salatin and all the paleo and strength training stuff out there and now I see that the issue is not so clear. Protein from animals is not only necessary for health but for the health of the planet. Whose interest does it serve for me to eat fewer than 50g of protein a day?
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    I can squat 180lbs, press 72.5lbs and deadlift 185lbs

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    The protein offered by popular chain restaurant meals and barcoded packages is actually pretty stingy. A non-vegetarian will happily choose the beef or chicken option but it's seldom more than 2~3 oz. after subtracting fillers. When I snoop in my office kitchen it's a lot of soups and frozen pasta with 10g-15g protein, I have to wonder if that plays a role in appetite and snacking behavior.
    35//6'3"/180

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