Monday, February 18, 2008

Let Me Dust Off My Soapbox...

I'm going to stray from my normal hilarity for a moment, and step up onto my soapbox.

I only get this out for special occassions and today is one of them.

In the wake of the largest recall of US beef, I feel the need to share some facts with those of you who may not be aware of them.

First of all, this is a Class II recall, which means it is happening, out of an abundance of caution, because the company did not follow regulations for handling non-ambulatory cattle. To be clear, this recall does not mean that there is BSE in the product. This disease is extremely rare in the US and the beef industry has taken all of the necessary steps to produce beef in a way that ensures that this disease does not enter the food chain.

Second of all, while I, in no way, support the way that these animals were treated, I find it very disheartening that we, as Americans, have put a higher value on animal life than on human life. Last year, 3 million children were abused. Did you see that on the news? Every day, 3 children die at the hands of an abuser. Where are the people protesting that? Yet, twelve animals were treated poorly in a packing plant in California, and the whole world is up in arms. Where are our priorities, people?

Let me take a second to educate you on some facts about beef:

- Are you concerned about hormones being implanted into beef?
  • One half pound of beef from an implanted animal has 1.9 nanograms of estrogen equivalent.
  • In comparison, one half pound of potato has 245 nanograms.
  • One pound of beef from an implanted animal has 15,000 times less estrogen equivalent than the amount produced by an average man, daily.
  • In fact, young women in America may be reaching puberty 18 months earlier than their mothers and 24 months earlier than their grandmothers, but DID YOU KNOW - that in the European Union, where they do not allow hormone implants in beef, young women are reaching puberty 18 months earlier than their mothers did, and 24 months earlier than their grandmothers?
- Are you concerned about beef production's effect on the environment?
  • Beef production accounts for just over 2% of total Green House Gas emissions.
  • Compared to organic grass fed beef, conventionally raised beef uses 1/3 the land and produces only 2/3 the amount of Green House gasses.
- Some nutritional information for you:
  • There are 29 cuts of lean beef - each of these cuts has less total fat than a skinless chicken thigh.
  • It would take 13.5 servings of salmon to provide the same amount of zinc as in 1 serving of beef.
  • It would take 7.5 servings of skinless chicken breast to provide the same amount of Vitamin B12 as 1 serving of beef.
  • It would take 2.75 cups of raw spinach to provide the same amount of iron and 6.5 cups to provide the same amount of Vitamin B6 as one serving of beef.
  • A 3 oz. serving of beef contributes less than 10% of calories to a 2000-calorie diet, yet it supplies 51% of the Daily Protein Requirement.
I encourage each of you to visit and visit some of the websites that are funded by the Beef Checkoff (you can find them on the left side of the page.) Educate yourself on the nutritional values of beef. Use these websites as a resource, debunk the myths you hear. Use the recipes.
Discover the Power of Protein in the Land of Lean Beef!
(Thank you to those of you who gave me some of the statistics that are found in this blog.)