Posted by: beyonddinner | February 16, 2009

Meat diets

My post on Middle Ground attracted this comment:

Hi, I've been searching the web looking for people to comment on the extreme diet I am enjoying, nothing but meat and eggs for six weeks.  You seem like you would have an opinion and I would appreciate hearing it.  Thanks!  Matthew
http://curiousfarmer.wordpress.com/meat-diet/

So I obliged and posted this comment back:

Thank you, curiousfarmer, for asking me to visit and express an opinion on the extreme diet you are trying – nothing but meat and eggs for six weeks.

Yes, I do have an opinion, and it appears that I hold a minority view on your site :-), so I thank you for seeking out other viewpoints. First a disclaimer – I’m not a doctor or a scientist, just a regular person trying to unravel the mysteries of a healthy diet and food system.

My opinion is that an extreme diet of this nature, followed over the long term, would have negative health impacts. But over six weeks? Who knows? I’ll be curious to see what results you have. I wouldn’t be surprised if you feel good for awhile.

I know that the Inuits and Masai are often held up as examples of cultures that were healthy on diets heavily dependent on animal products. But what about all of the other cultures in the world that are/were healthy that never depended much on animal products? I believe that it’s incredibly difficult to reduce the cause of those cultures’ alleged health to only the significance of animal products in their diet. From what I’ve been reading the preponderance of evidence for a healthy diet falls on the side of eating a whole food, plant-based diet where meat is a part, but not the focus of the diet.

One thing I’m sure of is that the typical American diet of processed food and factory raised meat is destroying our health. If we took all of that out and concentrated on sustainably-raised organic whole foods and meat I suspect we’d all be healthier, almost irrespective of what the percentage of plant versus animal foods was.

Good luck with your experiment!

This is fun to be approached in this way and get a chance to comment on other people’s blogs.  It’s part of my goal through having a blog to become more engaged in a dialog with a community that cares about food.  While curious farmer’s diet doesn’t inspire me to emulate him, I am very happy to learn about his blog and to learn more about swine farming.

Now I’d love to have a vegetable farmer comment :-).

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Responses

  1. The lassez faire perspective on this meat diet is frightening. People can seriously injure themselves if they maintain a pure animal-based diet.

    Please, read http://www.atkinsexposed.org/ to see what bodily and mental damage occurs when one lives on that diet.

    I wrote a review on Carbophobia, a book that questions the health science behind such a diet. See it at http://www.foodbubbles.com/blog/2008/11/21/carbophobia-a-fulfilling-romp-into-the-science-of-atkins-and-other-fad-diets/

  2. Thanks for the additional information about meat-based diets – it’s very informative and I will use it to counter overly favorable meat views in the future. You are right that I was laissez-faire with my comment on the meat diet. I really am not qualified to express a judgment of the diet and felt only qualified to comment in the way I did. I do know people who have tried Atkins-like diets and who did feel very good after a short amount of time – so I didn’t think I could validly say that he would feel terrible or would suffer bad effects after 6 weeks. It’s certainly not a diet I would ever try and just looking at his diet journal made me feel sick to my stomach! I’m still working on mastering my facts about effects of various diets and as I do so I’m sure I’ll feel more comfortable with confronting situations like this. Thanks again for calling me on this!


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