Meat/Mental Health Story Latest in Fake Nutritional Science

Photograph Source: Mike Mozart – CC BY 2.0

“Meat Improves Mental Health” mainstream media blasted out this week, without mentioning the “study,” published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, was funded by an “unrestricted research grant from the Beef Checkoff, through the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.” Such fake science from the meat industry is becoming more common as people drop meat.

Whereas only 1 percent of baby boomers were vegetarian and 4 percent of Generation X, 12 percent of millennials are vegetarian and 60 percent of Gen Z is trying to go meat-free.

The meat industry needs a “scientific” boost, too, as the U.S.’s biggest slaughterhouses close and at least 3,300 U.S. meatpacking workers have been stricken with COVID-19. The public may be having second thoughts about the safety of the meat. Could the workers shed the virus onto the meat? Are the animals themselves sick? Has the China bat-based coronavirus called SADS-CoV which lives in pork hit the U.S. yet?

Late last year another meat-industry generated “study,” this one published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, proclaimed that meat was not harmful but desirable. Yet the lead author, Bradley Johnston, neglected to mention his grant that funded “investigator-driven research about saturated and polyunsatured fats” from Texas A&M AgriLife Research. Oops.

Big Ag products clearly need promotion. Whether non-dairy milks like soy, rice, oat, coconut, pea, almond, cashew, hemp, flax, hazelnut and quinoa, egg substitutes or plant-based meat, Americans are clearly rejecting Big Ag offerings. A full half of Americans surveyed said they would support a ban on slaughterhouses and would prefer slaughter-free meat (such as “lab-grown”) and animal-free meat. Sixty percent of U.S. consumers claim to be reducing their consumption of meat-based products. Of those cutting back, 55 percent say the change is permanent.

Aside from worker and animal cruelty (thrown in high relief as workers die from COVID-19 and livestock are buried alive) animal based agriculture is a blight on the environment. It takes 2,500 gallons of water, 12 pounds of grain, 35 pounds of topsoil and the energy equivalent of one gallon of gasoline to produce one pound of feedlot beef.

Five million acres of rainforest are destroyed every year in South and Central America alone to create cattle pasture, along with the greenhouse gases and water pollution caused by beef production.

Fake nutritional science is not new. A few years ago, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) admitted that authors of an article arguing for a higher recommended dietary allowance of protein were, in fact, industry operatives. Sharon L. Miller was “formerly employed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association,” and author Robert R. Wolfe, PhD, received money from the Egg Nutrition Center, the National Dairy Council, the National Pork Board, and the Beef Checkoff through the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, said a correction.

Miller’s email address had been, in fact, smiller@beef.org. Good fact checking, JAMA!

Miller and Wolfe wrote many papers promoting animal protein for strength, endurance and weight control. Nor did Wolfe limit his promotions to feed lots and battery hen operations–he also dabbled in the lab.

Wolfe presided over the infusion with endotoxin of 18 laboratory pigs–“until the pulmonary arterial pressure reached a pressure similar to that found in trauma victims”–to reach the conclusion, after killing them and removing their lungs, “that the common practice of providing calories in the form of polyunsaturated [non red meat] fatty acids to critically ill patients carries the risk of being detrimental to lung function.” Yes, the animals died from a saturated fat deficiency says Wolfe.

It has often been said if an offer sounds too good to be true it is. The same can be said about academic papers that claim meat, milk, eggs and cholesterol are good for you. Reader beware.

More articles by:

Martha Rosenberg is an investigative health reporter. She is the author of  Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health (Prometheus).

Weekend Edition
August 14, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Matthew Hoh
Lights! Camera! Kill! Hollywood, the Pentagon and Imperial Ambitions.
Joseph Grosso
Bloody Chicken: Inside the American Poultry Industry During the Time of COVID
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: It Had to be You
H. Bruce Franklin
August 12-22, 1945: Washington Starts the Korean and Vietnam Wars
Pete Dolack
Business as Usual Equals Many Extra Deaths from Global Warming
Paul Street
Whispers in the Asylum (Seven Days in August)
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Predatory Capitalism and the Nuclear Threat in the Age of Trump
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
‘Magical Thinking’ has Always Guided the US Role in Afghanistan
Ramzy Baroud
The Politics of War: What is Israel’s Endgame in Lebanon and Syria?
Ron Jacobs
It’s a Sick Country
Eve Ottenberg
Trump’s Plan: Gut Social Security, Bankrupt the States
Richard C. Gross
Trump’s Fake News
Jonathan Cook
How the Guardian Betrayed Not Only Corbyn But the Last Vestiges of British Democracy
Joseph Natoli
What Trump and the Republican Party Teach Us
Robert Fisk
Can Lebanon be Saved?
Brian Cloughley
Will Biden be Less Belligerent Than Trump?
Kenn Orphan
We Do Not Live in the World of Before
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Compromise & the Status Quo
Andrew Bacevich
Biden Wins, Then What?
Thomas Klikauer – Nadine Campbell
The Criminology of Global Warming
Michael Welton
Toppled Monuments and the Struggle For Symbolic Space
Prabir Purkayastha
Why 5G is the First Stage of a Tech War Between the U.S. and China
Daniel Beaumont
The Reign of Error
Adrian Treves – John Laundré
Science Does Not Support the Claims About Grizzly Hunting, Lethal Removal
David Rosen
A Moment of Social Crisis: Recalling the 1970s
Maximilian Werner
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf: Textual Manipulations in Anti-wolf Rhetoric
Pritha Chandra
Online Education and the Struggle over Disposable Time
Robert Koehler
Learning from the Hibakushas
Seth Sandronsky
Teaching in a Pandemic: an Interview With Mercedes K. Schneider
Dean Baker
Financing Drug Development: What the Pandemic Has Taught Us
Greta Anderson
Blaming Mexican Wolves for Livestock Kills
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Meaning of the Battle of Salamis
Mel Gurtov
The World Bank’s Poverty Illusion
Paul Gilk
The Great Question
Rev. Susan K. Williams Smith
Trump Doesn’t Want Law and Order
Martin Cherniack
Neo-conservatism: The Seductive Lure of Lying About History
Nicky Reid
Pick a Cold War, Any Cold War!
George Wuerthner
Zombie Legislation: the Latest Misguided Wildfire Bill
Lee Camp
The Execution of Elephants and Americans
Christopher Brauchli
I Read the News Today, Oh Boy…
Tony McKenna
The Truth About Prince Philip
Louis Proyect
MarxMail 2.0
Sidney Miralao
Get Military Recruiters Out of Our High Schools
Jon Hochschartner
Okra of Time
David Yearsley
Bringing Landscapes to Life: the Music of Johann Christian Bach