Is red meat bad for you?

As meat-free lifestyles have grown in popularity, It feels like meat has been getting more bad press in recent times. Whilst concerns about animal welfare fuel some to a meat-free lifestyle, health concerns are the other. So the question is, how much meat is too much meat?
Should we eat less meat?
Let’s tackle the first part, animal welfare. As meat-eaters, we have got to take responsibility for where our meat comes from, how it lived and how it was slaughtered. The reality is, in the west, there is sometimes a disconnect between the meat we find in our Bolognese and the life of the cow that provided the meat. Growing up in the Southern Hemisphere, a lot of people had a smallholding of some description at home. Chickens, both egg-laying hens and meat-producing broilers were the most common ‘livestock’ found in urban areas. However, by age five, most people have met their first cow, goat, pig or sheep. Hence from an early age, witnessing the slaughter of livestock was an inevitable part of growing up around animals. However, there was nothing morbid about this process, it was the understanding that this was an inseparable part of consuming an animal. Another inseparable element of eating our livestock was their welfare. It was criminal and unthinkable that livestock was treated inhumanely. It is therefore important that we not just care about how animals are reared and slaughtered. We have got to demand this and vote with our wallets if animal welfare is not met.
Free-range cow
About health, we have heard so many times how red meat is bad for us. However, one needs to make a distinction that not all red meat is the same. Grass-fed, organic beef that has not been pumped with hormones, is far different from grain-fed, intensively reared, hormone boosted beef. We are fortunate that British beef is reared to some of the highest welfare standards in the world. What you aren’t always told is red meat is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. It is high in protein, vitamins, iron zinc and other essential minerals.
This is a discussion that needs much deeper minds, however, what we will say is if you eat red meat, do it as part of a balanced diet and everything in moderation. The same goes for meat snacks like Biltong, enjoy them responsibly.
You have successfully subscribed!