If you know me, you know that I haven’t always had the most healthy habits around food. For the better part of my life, growing up in the 70s and 80s, I ate processed foods as well as highly refined sugars in the form of really tasty stuff. Yes, I admit it, I enjoy desserts! But where it has left me is very overweight. And the recommendations from the government and “changing in the wind” medical advice haven’t helped either. The latest “fad” is the thought that we should completely eschew any animal product because “we are going to destroy the planet.” It is no longer whether we are putting the right things into our bodies, it is all about replacing a single-ingredient product such as beef or chicken with factory and lab-created food with chemicals and unpronounceable ingredients. More and more we are being pushed to put junk into our bodies. And what you put into your body in the form of sustenance will dictate where you are in 5 years.
Enter Diana Rodgers, RD, a licensed dietitian and “author, filmmaker, speaker and advocate for sustainable, nutritious and equitable food systems.” For years, while many have tried to destroy the cycle that our Creator God set up so long ago of stewarding the renewable natural resources around us, she has been trying to bring a light back to the idea that the best way to avert disease, reduce obesity, and improve overall health is to eat foods that either originate with the land AND are fed by the land. That is, reduce factory farming and fake meat and return to a “meat forward” (including red meat) diet. The data is astounding, but what is more astounding is the big names that are squarely opposed to her. Studies have shown that people that remove meat-based proteins from their diet have up to 15% less brain mass than meat eaters.
I tell my kiddos that the minute a politician, a tech businessman, and a media personality line up on the other side of your idea or position, it isn’t about concern or “betterment” but simple control. If you don’t believe me, try to Google “animal meat-positive studies” and see what you get:
Matter-of-fact, regardless of how you search you will be faced with anti-meat content.
What it is about stating that we should have a “meat forward” diet and not eat chemically created food that is so controversial? With any issue, there are generally 3 answers – one physical, one mental/emotional, and one spiritual – don’t forget this simple truth. Physically, there is a fear of losing creature comforts and people in power want to protect that for themselves. Mentally/Emotionally, there is a fear of losing power and control and without that, they have no audience. But spiritually, this is the interesting one. Whether you believe so or not, we were created to be an in-sync “triune” being. Our body, soul, and spirit must be fed correctly to be able to do what we were created to do. A fake diet, or even a vegan/vegetarian diet, does not improve our body’s health. This is the plan of the enemy.
Changing our thoughts on meat
I’ve always considered myself someone who understands both our food supply chain and what it takes to accomplish feeding 300m people. Since a young age, I’ve been around harvesting – whether vegetables grown in one of my relatives’ many gardens or harvesting meat through home farm-raised animals or hunting. Notice what I said – harvesting. Regardless of whether you pluck a carrot from the ground or cull a chicken, both entities die. It is a natural understanding and order of life. That being said, several years ago I was fortunate to be introduced to two different organizations in two very different ways. My brother was telling me about a TV show called “Meat Eater” in which a gentleman by the name of Steve Rinella not only hunted but talked at length about conservation, public land rights, philosophy, history, anthropology, and poetry; in other words, a really smart guy doing a really smart show (and he is a Michigander to boot). He spoke of how we have been disconnected from not only our food source but what it means in nature to be involved in our food. The ideas of “snout to tail,” of conservation, readiness, ability, and health that he talked about, and by extension, his group at Meat Eater, is not something to balk at. Second, around the same time, my wife and I began visiting our local farmers’ market. I was re-introduced to the struggles of what it meant to provide food [and more vividly] animal protein to a community. The hoops that farmers had to jump through to make mere cents were astounding, but the love and care and concern for not just their animals but for people’s health and wellness were put back center stage.
What steps can I take?
First, I encourage everyone reading not just to say, “yeah, I know that my meat does not originate at Walmart” (which by the way in a recent online poll, nearly 31% of people did not know that hamburger came from bovine/cows) but also to understand how animals improve the land and co-exist and benefit not only the land but us. To become knowledgeable about the nutrition of meat, dairy, eggs, and animal fats. And, if you dare, dig into to politics behind veganism, manufactured ‘meat’, and the latest bug craze.
Second, as much as possible, increase your animal protein intake. As many including Diana Rodgers have studied, “high protein intake is great for weight loss and provides several additional benefits.” One of the studies discussed caloric restriction in addition, and this is a great place to start.
Finally, don’t start a diet, change small things. One thing I haven’t talked about is my own weight journey. While I fail daily, I am committed to improving my lifestyle through higher protein and lower (not nonexistent) grain and carbohydrate intake. Along with some additional help, I’ve lost nearly 50 pounds in 6 months. That isn’t the amazing part, honestly. If you were to calculate my BMI only with height/weight (don’t get me started on this one!) it is 39%, however, due to my lean body mass and muscle density, it is actually measured at 34%. This means that a bigger amount of my overall mass is muscle due to increased protein.
So rethink food. Rethink your approach to what you consume. Don’t get pulled in by the politics and general hysteria around a global crisis.