I've written about food safety in the past and most people can agree that they really don't want to get sick from the food they eat. According to the CDC, each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. What is interesting to me is that out of the top 9 foods to get one sick 6 out of 9 are related to animal bi-products like meats, milks and cheeses.
It seems that more and more meat is being eaten by Americans and more animal bi-products. In fact, Global Agriculture reports:
Americans are set to eat more meat in 2018 than ever before. According to data published by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), consumers are expected to eat 222.2 pounds (100.8 kilo) of red meat and poultry this year, up from 216.9 pounds per person in 2017. That will surpass the previous record of 221.9 pounds per person, set in 2004, Bloomberg reports.
Are we just becoming more carnivorous or are we being socially led to the meat market and is it good for our health?
The Mother Nature Network explains that:
"Beef. It's What's For Dinner." If that slogan sounds familiar to you, you're not alone. Eighty-eight percent of Americans instantly recognize it, making it one of the most iconic taglines in advertising history. If you know that tagline and you were born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, then the beef industry's marketing team is doing its job because you are the target market. In fact, these marketers have been trying to persuade you to eat burgers and rib eyes since before you could drive.
If we are being marketed more meat and animal bi-products like cheese and foodborne illness from these products is a leading source of foodborne illness as a whole, don't we have a public health problem? Not to mention the affect it is having on the global environment from deforestation to water run-off, to outright contamination? Now, I'm not big on eating meat in the first place; I believe that we are able to rise above the thoughtless, mass slaughter of animals, but even if you are okay with eating meat shouldn't this alarm you?
If you are going to eat meat and animal byproducts at least be safe. Here are some great ways prescribed by the UK National Health Society (NHS):
- Wash your hands
- Wash worktops
- Wash dishcloths
- Use separate chopping boards
- Keep raw meat separate
- Store raw meat on the bottom shelf
- Cook food thoroughly
- Keep your fridge below 5°C
- Cool leftovers quickly
- Respect 'use-by' dates
Reality Changing Observations:
Q1. With all of the adverse health affects of eating meat, why eat it?
Q2. What can you do to be safe about foodborne illnesses in your house?
Q3. Do you know someone that has stopped eating meat? Why did they do it?