Post Three on Meat: Got beef with Meat?

2 05 2011

Okay, so here is the beef industry’s perspective on meat and going meatless on Mondays.

“Looking At It from a One-Sided Beef Position”

The Meatless Monday campaign puts beef in the same category as tobacco, said Trevor Toland, president of the Illinois Beef Association and producer of 41 years.

There is a heavy negative connotation associated with beef, Toland said. “The publicity shouts to the public that something is wrong with meat,” Toland said.

Beef has 29 lean cuts, Toland said. “You don’t have to consume large amounts of fat to enjoy beef,” Toland said. “Everyone needs a balanced diet, but beef should definitely be a part of that.”

A 154-calorie, three-ounce serving of lean beef has 51 percent of the recommended daily value of protein, 38 percent of zinc, 37 percent of vitamin B12, 26 percent of selenium, 14 percent of iron, Toland said. “There is a lot of value in a simple three-ounce serving of lean beef.”

To equal amount of zinc in a three ounce serving of steak, one would have to eat 13 three-ounce servings of salmon, Toland said. Likewise, Toland said, one would have to eat seven skinless chicken breasts to equal the amount of B12.

“Beef is this potent package of those nutrients,” Toland said.

Practices like Meatless Mondays cost the family “considerably more” than a three ounce serving of beef with nutritious side dishes, Toland said.

Toland said he does not foresee the Meatless Mondays campaign as a threat to the beef industry—however, if the negative press and influential Meatless Monday testimonials continue then the industry would be damaged and that is “very unfair.”

“Thankfully many people enjoy the taste of beef,” Toland said.

A lot of land is used to produce beef cattle, a valuable protein source, which could not be used for anything else, Toland said.

“I just want people to know that cattleman really care about this country and the food we provide,” Toland said. “We really care about our land because that is what makes it possible for us to make a living and we really care about our product—a safe, wholesome, nutritious product we are really proud of.”

Are you proud of the meat product you produce or are you proud that you limit your consumption of meat? We should all be proud that we are doing what is best for our bodies, minds, and hearts. That includes eating healthy, knowing you are doing what’s right, and helping others to do the same.

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