The Expanding Circle

…health, the environment, and social justice…

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Meta

Utah Beef Council Helpfully Defends Beef

This page was copied without change from the Utah Beef site to save it for posterity, and mercilessly mocked at Expanding Circle.

Myths and Facts about Beef

  1. Americans eat too much meat.
  2. Meat contributes the majority of fat to the American diet.
  3. Meat has too much fat, saturated fat and calories.
  4. A meatless diet is more healthful.
  5. Health organizations recommend eating chicken and fish, but not red meat.
  6. Beef is hard to digest.
  7. Growth hormones used in beef production are unsafe.
  8. Beef cattle are given a large amount of antibiotics on a regular basis.
  9. High levels of pesticides & residues have been found in beef and beef products.
  10. There are good foods and bad foods.

1. Myth: Americans eat too much meat.

Fact: On average, Americans consume only 4.9 ounces of foods from the meat group per day while the USDA’s Food Guide recommends 5.5 ounces, based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Studies show that 72 percent of adult females and 37 percent of adult males are not getting the minimum number of servings from the meat group.

In addition, 87 percent of girls ages 6-11, 74 percent of girls ages 12-19, 76 percent of boys 6-11 and 45 percent of boys ages 12-19 are eating less than the recommended servings from the meat group, which can lead to serious consequences for their physical and cognitive development. Just one 3-ounce serving of lean beef is an excellent source of protein, zinc, vitamin B12, selenium and phosphorous, and a good source of niacin, vitamin B6, iron and riboflavin.

source:  1998 Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals

2 . Myth: Meat contributes the majority of fat to the American diet.

Fact: While fat intake from meat is declining, fat intake from other sources is increasing. Hidden fats that are in the bread and vegetable groups contribute more fat to American diets than do red meats and processed meats.

3. MythMeat has too much fat, saturated fat, and calories.

Fact: Today’s beef is leaner than ever before and fits within the guidelines for a healthy diet that is low in saturated fat. Beef is 20 percent leaner than USDA indicated just 14 years ago, and there are at least 29 cuts of beef , including many favorites, that meet government guidelines for lean. Thirteen of the 29 lean beef cuts have, on average, only one more gram of saturated fat than a skinless chicken breast per 3-ounce serving. Yet, beef’s leanest cuts have eight times more vitamin B12, six times more zinc and three times more iron than a skinless chicken breast.

3-ounce Top Sirloin Steak 3-ounce Eye of Round 3-ounce Skinless Chicken Breast 1.55-ounce Milk Chocolate Bar
Total Calories 176 144 141 235
Protein grams 25 25 26.5 3.4
Total Fat grams 4.9 4 3 13
Saturated Fat grams 1.9 1.4 0.9 6.3
Zinc mg 4.6 4.2 .85 .88
Iron mg 1.6 2 .89 1
Vitamin B12 mcg 1.3 1.3 .29 .27
Source: USDA’s Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 18

4. Myth: A meatless diet is more healthful.

Fact: Naturally nutrient-rich foods, like lean beef, help people get more essential nutrients in fewer calories. A 3-ounce serving of lean beef contributes less than 10 percent of calories to a 2,000-calorie daily diet, yet it’s an excellent source of protein, zinc, vitamin B12, selenium and phosphorus; and a good source of niacin, vitamin B6, iron and riboflavin.

A 3-ounce serving of lean beef provides about the same amount of protein as 1-1/2 cups of legumes, but in half the calories. Unlike plant proteins, lean beef is a source of high quality protein and is the food supply’s most readily available and easily absorbed source of iron and zinc. Beef also is an excellent source of vitamin B12, an essential nutrient that is not readily available in plant protein sources.

Beef/Meat Containing Diets vs. Vegetarian Diets for Health pdf

5. Myth: Health organizations recommend eating chicken and fish, but not red meat.

Fact: An expert panel of the National Cholesterol Education Program, in a published report on its finding, says 5-6 ounces of lean meat per day are an appropriate part of low-fat diets designed to lower blood cholesterol. The report, approved by the American Heart Association and 26 other major health organizations, says, ” It is not necessary to eliminate or drastically reduce lean red meat consumption. Lean meat contains highly absorbable iron and is a good source of zinc and vitamin B-12.”

6. Myth: Beef is hard to digest.

Fact: Digestibility refers to the proportion of a food that becomes available to the body as absorbed nutrients. Beef is highly digestible- in fact, 97% of beef is digestible, in comparison to 89% of flour and 65% of most vegetables. However, many people equate digestibility with the length of time a food remains in the stomach. Beef and other protein foods remain in the stomach longer than fruits and vegetables- and consequently provide a feeling of fullness for a longer period of time.

7. Myth: Growth hormones used in beef production are unsafe.

Fact: The beef industry continually strives to improve the efficiency of producing high-quality products to meet consumer demand. “Growth-promoting hormones” have been used in recent years to improve the animal’s ability to more efficiently utilize the nutrients that it consumes in order to produce more muscle and less fat. The hormones are administered by placing an implant (about the size of a pencil eraser) under the skin in the middle of the animals ear. This location is used because the ears are not offered for human consumption.

Animals that are implanted with these hormones grow as much as 15 to 20 percent faster than untreated animal. In addition, the cattle produce more lean meat and less fat than cattle raised without hormones. But is the beef safe for human consumption? The scientific evidence worldwide overwhelmingly indicates there is no hazard to human health resulting from the consumption of beef from animals implanted with growth-promoting hormones.

A Primer On Beef Hormones

Daily Human Estrogen Production Graph (PDF)

Estrogen In Commonly Consumed Foods (PDF)

8. Myth: Beef cattle are given large amounts of antibiotics on a regular basis.

Fact: In reality, antibiotics are used very sparingly by cattlemen. Antibiotics are used to treat animals that are sick, but those animals are not permitted to be marketed until the antibiotic residue has been reduced to safe levels in the animal’s system (as determined by requirements of the Food and Drug Administration [FDA]).

In addition the cattle industry does not feed penicillin to cattle as it has never been proven to be effective, and has also never been approved by the FDA for use as a cattle feed additive. Tetracycline, on the other hand, is approved by the FDA and was widely used in the past. Since 1985, the use of tetracycline as a routine feed additive has been discontinued even though volumes of data available from USDA and FDA clearly show that the use of antibiotics in feed does not result in residues of antibiotics in meat.

9. Myth: High levels of pesticides & residues have been found in beef and beef products.

Fact: Pesticide residues have not been found to be a problem in the beef industry. Pesticides are of great concern to consumers, but these substances pose little risk to human health. Although most pesticides are used on crops and lawns, it is possible for small amounts of pesticide residues to be on grains eaten by livestock. If this should happen, any possible residues in meat would be far below those levels deemed unsafe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization.

The FDA closely monitors the safety of any drugs used by the livestock industry. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service inspects the animals to ensure that the meat supply is safe and wholesome. Under FDA regulations, the amount of residues in meat from cattle implanted with hormones cannot exceed 1% of the average amount of hormone produced by a person in the most sensitive segment of the human population. For example, a healthy pre-pubescent boy who produces 41,500 mg of estrogen each day (assuming 10% of the estrogen digested is absorbed) would have to consume more than 2,180 three-ounce servings of beef per day to equal the FDA’s 1% limit.

10. Myth: There are good foods and bad foods.

Fact: There is no such thing as a good food and a bad food in appropriate amounts. Foods should not be singled out, but the whole diet should be examined. There are healthy diets and there are junk diets. Variety and balance are the keys to a healthful diet.

Home/About Us / Contact Info / Nutrition / Food Safety / Teacher Resources / Recipes / Links

Utah Beef Council
150 South 600 East #10B
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
(801) 355-0063     FAX (801) 532-1669

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: