Red Meat Impacts Both the Environment and Our Health.

Professor Jule Ann Henstenburg is the director of the Nutrition Program at La Salle University. The program is part of the school of nursing and health sciences.

Henstenburg recently discussed the new dietary guidelines for Americans in 2015 to an audience of college students. These guidelines are the basis for all of the nutrition and dietary guidelines for American citizens. By law, these guidelines have to be updated every 5 years. The group who makes the guidelines consists of academics and researchers across the United States. But, many people see controversy in these guidelines because they are believed to be influenced by the food industry. The report goes into the federal register where the public can comment on the report.

The report states that diets should be low in red and processed meats, but due to the public comment space people who work for the meat industry commented that Americans need to have meat on their tables.

Henstenburg also discussed the Meatless Mondays Movement. She also discussed the different ways that meat production impacts the environment. Some of the impacts she discussed was that meat production produces more greenhouse gasses than the world’s transportation. She also stated that just by eating a burger you can contribute to the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest because burgers are made from cows and cows are fed soy; soy is grown in the Amazon Rainforest. By making one burger, approximately 55 percent of rainforest is destroyed. Henstenburg stated that the slides she used in her presentation were from Johns Hopkins University and that they were not sensationalized. Henstenburg also emphasized that these were warnings against red meat not whit meat.

Henstenburg emphasized that people can reduce their carbon footprint by eating less red meat and also by opting for grass fed meat as opposed to soy fed meat.

Overall, while eating meat can cause many environmental impacts, it can also impact your health in ways such as heart disease and diabetes.


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