The Omnivore’s Delight: Reasons to Enjoy Meat

Check out this great post by Paul Bergner regarding the wonderfulness of eating meat, and here’s a quote to whet your appetite:

A very large trial showed that meat eating was protective against heart disease, and a large and growing body of evidence shows that meat eating is protective against osteoporosis and its worst endpoint.  This is in stark contradition to the neo-naturopathic theory that it causes the bones to melt down in acidified blood. I say neo-naturopathic, because in the history of naturopathy, starting in Germany and up until the 1970′s, among several dozen major figures and teachers, we find only two vegetarian advocates, both of whom died 15-20 years before the meat eaters.

For arachidonic acid (an oft-maligned component of beef), several researchers have looked at the biochemical pathways and tried to supplement arachidonic acid as a possible treatment for immune deficiency. Even with a 3 month intervention at six times the average American intake, they could not alter the clinic immune picture. As it turns out, arachidonic acid is now considered an essential nutrient and required in infant formulas in Europe and Japan, and it also has a protective effect against insulin resistance.  And a final note on arachidonic acid. The primary source of cellular level AA in the body of modern Americans is refined omega-6 oils (such as corn oil), not meat.

I was a vegetarian advocate for many years, and adhered to the “meat as poison” theory, but now, personally, clinically, and also looking at the science and human anthropology honestly, I have to say that for most people, meat, even if it’s modern meat, and abundant protein in the diet is essential for abundant health. By now I have case files on several hundred individuals with chronic fatigue, insulin-resistance, allergy, mixed anxiety/depression, neurosis, delusional thinking, and/or sugar addiction or worse who got rid of every one of these by introducing meat and fish into the diet in abundance and making a few other changes.

5 Comments

  1. Elizabeth
    May 4, 2008

    Argh! I’ve been reading more and more about the benefits of eating good meat, and it scares me. I’ve been a vegetarian for about fifteen years (since I was eleven years old), and for a long time have had a sneaking suspicion of missing a valuable aspect of nutrition (dry skin and scalp, trouble keeping weight up, hard swollen glands, and myriad other minor symptoms that may or may not be related to the lack of meat, but I’ve mostly attributed it to that). I don’t eat many seeds/nuts/beans, because in too large a quantity they make me feel sick. I do eat tons of organic green produce and wild greens etc. and a smaller amount of apples and berries, grains, oils, root vegetables like carrots and potatoes and burdock. I’ve never had any problem with energy (I have a lot of it) or major health problems (yet). But I do have some symptoms mentioned in the excerpt, like anxiety, depression, neurosis, and maybe even delusional thinking (my friends say so, anyway).

    Anyway, this post is one factor of many that makes me want to read more and perhaps start to incorporate a little bit of meat into my diet (even though I don’t like it, which is why I stopped eating it in the first place!).

  2. Kiva Rose
    May 4, 2008

    Hi Elizabeth, the emotional/mental symptoms can stem from B vit deficiency among other things, which is certainly far more bioavailable in animal meat and organs.

    Have you tried grass fed meats or wild meats or meat like bison? Some people just don’t like the taste of beef but love bison or elk.

    And some people just don’t love eating meat much or have ethical issues but know their bodies need it, so use meat as a sacred medicine and eat it separate from other foods.

    If I could suggest one thing for you, it would be wild fatty fish (if you can’t do fish because of taste or some other reason, then fish oil for sure) and some amount of high quality grass-fed red meat of some kind. Oops, that’s two things, but I expect they’d both be helpful.

    Take it slow though, sometimes reintroducing meat after a long period of abstaining can be hard for the gut to readjust to at first (it certainly was for me after seven years as a vegetarian).

    Do you eat butter? Butter, or ghee, is a very good thing as well.

  3. Elizabeth
    May 5, 2008

    Thanks, I think I will read more (probably beginning with Nourishing Traditions) and start to add a little bit of meat here and there in small amounts. Yes, I do eat some butter, but not too much because it affects my skin if I eat too much.

    Thanks for the advice!

  4. wifemothermaniac
    May 8, 2008

    An easy way to get some meat stuff into your diet is to use broths, with my babies barley cooked in organic beef broth was their first solid food because it’s very high in iron, which breast milk is low in after about 6 months, and the broth form is fairly easy to digest. It’s easy to simmer greens, or rice or whatever in broth too, without having to actually chew on hunks o’ meat, so it might be easier on the palate. Hope it’s ok to post that advice here Kiva, now back to quietly enjoying your wonderful generous blog :)

  5. Bill
    Sep 16, 2008

    On German TV, a Born Again Carnivore, who had been on the show 15 or so years before as a strict vegetarian, bemoaned her previous belief in vegetarianism, that cost her half a life time in good tasting food.
    I did a litttle happy dance, being too old to do back flips.

    Moderation is a key to most things in life.

    I will pay more for a piece of meat that is slow grown and is well marbled, in that fat is the taste enhancer. If it is slow grown (naturally) there is less chance that hormones and other additives are in the meat.

    I am wary of Bio. Too many claim to be Bio and are not.
    If the meat is fat free, first, it is tasteless, and second how can it be naturally grown, if it is fat free.
    If you eat “Farmers” choice, it will cost more so one eats less, but it tastes good. A nice marbled pork chop should not shrink when cooked under slow heat.

    Much meat is cooked at too high a temperature. Seal it and reduce the heat, and flip once. Constant flipping does nothing good to the meat.

    I have been very upset to find out MSG in so many products, including the hamburger joints. There are other additives, that are even more harmful, legally in the food chain. Much of the fat problem in the USA comes from MSG in the food. MSG hits the happy center in the brain. So you can not eat just one Lay’s potato chip, which is loaded with MSG, it also explains why folks eat a second McDonalds hamburger which is basicly tasteless.
    Bill

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