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Let’s hear it for meat

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Despite what you might have heard, meat is definitely good for us. Poor old flesh gets a regular kicking; we’re often told that eating meat will kill us in the end, and probably destroy the planet too. Is there any truth in these rather extreme allegations?

I regard them as very unfair. Meat, as part of a balanced, healthy diet, has much to commend it. It’s rich in essential fatty acids (omega 3) and a natural source of essential amino acids. The key message is, buy good quality meat rather than cheap meat products.

As for claims that meat-eating is contributing to climate change, if you eat meat produced locally, the environmental impact is kept to the minimum. Since meat has natural satiety benefits – that is, it gives the eater a feeling of satisfaction – we tend to eat less of it. Again, with positive implications for the environment.

And let’s not forget that the meat industry is an integral part of the dairy industry. Our steaks, mince and chops are by-products of milk, cream, butter and cheese production.

As with most things, meat eating is all about balance , quality and consideration. But it can be a great move, both for your body and your conscience.

22 September 2008

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