Red meat had been getting a lot of bad press lately. The main culprits seem to point to the vendors and traders who all want to make a fast buck. At present, there are now several kinds of “red meat” in the market today.
There’s the red meat from animals that were raised and grass-fed, grown naturally, and sold as unprocessed meat. Then, there’s red meat of grain-fed animals that were pumped with hormones (for faster growth) and antibiotics (against diseases).
An offshoot to this is another group of red meat that had been processed, smoked and cured and with preservatives, nitrates and other chemicals and processed into bacon and sausages and other products.
Which red meat would you want to eat? Would it be good or bad for you and your health?
Food for ages
Red meat had been eaten by humans for ages since the first time we evolved into an omnivorous animal. Yet, red meat carries with it the longest controversy in nutrition history. The alleged “harm” that it does is further mired with the entry of many types of meat sold in the market today.
Older tribes other than ours (the Masai and the Inuits) had their people consuming red meat for hundreds and hundreds of years since and yet are counted as among the healthiest in terms of nutrition.
Today’s red meat comes from animals that had been raised in a cow factory, and had been fed with grain-based processed feeds, and are injected with antibiotics and hormones.
The meat from these animals is full of vitamins and minerals and other nutrients that may have some effects on the health of the consumer. A 100-gram portion of this beef has 10% fat and contains vitamin B3 (niacin) vitamin b12, and vitamin b6.
It also packs some iron, zinc, selenium, plus a host of other vitamins and minerals in lesser amounts. The calorie count is 176 plus the presence of important nutrients creatine and carnosine.
Grass-fed beef has plenty of fatty acids like the omega 3 and CLA, together with vitamins A and E.
Kinds of meat
As consumers, it is vital that we examine and know the kinds of meat there are in the market today. As informed buyers, we would know which to patronize for our consumption.
The processed meats are those coming from regularly raised cows and undergoing through several processing methods with products that include sausages and bacon.
The red meats termed conventional are those that are unprocessed, although the cows are factory-farmed. Raw meat from these cows is usually red (thus the term). These days, red meat includes meat from lamb, beef, pork and others.
White meat is usually poultry meat, like those of turkey and chicken. Grass-fed organic meat comes from animals that are grass-fed, organically raised and with no drugs or hormones pumped into them.
Going back to the first question: Is eating red meat good or bad for you?
There hasn’t been any major case involving the hazards of the chemicals and the hormones from the red meat that we know of. The organic red meat seems better and safer, though.