How Meat Consumption May Affect You

Did you know that the United States consumes 60 percent more meat than European countries do? Even though meat can be a good source of vitamins and proteins, it is our overconsumption that is problematic, according to a recent report by the Environmental Working Group. A good amount of this meat is processed or red meat.

The National Cancer Institute claims in a 2009 report that those persons consuming the most red meat were more likely to die of cancer and heart disease (20% and 27% more likely, respectively) compared to those who ate the least amount. However, it must be kept in mind that this effect is possibly due, in part at least, to saturated fat in the cuts, nitrates added to the meat, or chemicals produced from cooking meat at higher temperatures.

Some researchers caution that this link between consumption of red meat and processed meat and rates of cancer and heart disease is not really clear. However, there does seem to be a consistent association with colon cancer.

Do you think that these meat products are good for the nation’s health? How has having access to plenty of meat products benefitted Americans’ health? Is the environment being impacted by this meat consumption? How about the ozone layer or the rain forests of the world?

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