OT-Goodybye Red Meat You Were Adored.

Submitted by HAIL 2 VICTORS on May 27th, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Let me begin by sharing that I LOVE RED MEAT!  From hamburger to rib eye if it is cooked over an open flame I salivate like Pavlov’s dog just looking at my Weber grill.  About 6 months ago my wife starts reading articles about organic vs. non-organic food.  So we make a trip to Whole Foods and quickly learn that an organic diet will require Whole paycheck. 

I watched the movie Food Inc as well as The Beautiful Truth and after some further research I have made the decision to give up red meat.  Yesterday was my last red meat meal and I had my favorite dish from my favorite Kansas City BBQ the crown prime (huge beef ribs cooked over an 18 hour slow cook process) at Jack Stacks.

I ate the entire side of beef ribs, cheesy corn, baked beans and coleslaw and I am actually home sick today because of how I gorged myself.  I am not a fan of chicken (A tour of a Tyson production plant did me in some time ago with bird) so the only use my Weber will have now is for Veggie Burgers and grilled fish *sigh* :- (

Along with the red meat I am also ditching any form of high fructose corn syrup and most anything with triglycerides.  My motto in regards to food was once life is too short I want to enjoy.  Now 45 my motto remains life is too short having watched my Father die of diabetes. 

Have any of you made such changes in your diet and noticed an improved quality of life?  Any vegetarians or vegans care to weigh in?  Anyone recommend a quality veggie burger?

Comments

Fresh Meat

May 27th, 2010 at 12:35 PM ^

It's funny how those things change your habits instantly.  My mother in law had breast cancer and my wife started developing lumps which they say is just because she is fiberous but she has to get them checked every 3 months to make sure htey aren't growing.  It immediately changed our diet.  When you really do the research it is surprising how many chemicals we put in our body daily.  We try to eat organic as much as we can afford to and when I graduate law school and our budget expands that is one of the first things we are going to pay more for is food.  It's kinda gross to think about all the junk that gets put in your body from mass produced processed food.

Blue Ninja

May 27th, 2010 at 1:08 PM ^

Thank you for your concern. She is doing very well now, they caught it before it could develop into full blown cancer. Just has to get a mammogram and MRI every 6 months for a few years. Just had it removed 3 weeks ago and she is still pretty sore but getting better every day. I thank God every day for such a wonderful wife.

Wes Mantooth

May 27th, 2010 at 12:07 PM ^

This is why I don't investigate the foods I love.  I don't want to know about where my chicken, steak, fish, etc came from.  Only how good it tastes...

BlockM

May 27th, 2010 at 12:07 PM ^

I just try to eat relatively balanced. Every once in a while I'll go to the Pizza Hut Lunch Buffet or KFC or something of that nature, but most of the time I'm just eating sandwiches. There are enough healthy people out there that eat pretty much whatever they want in reasonable quantities that I don't worry too much about it. 

Monocle Smile

May 27th, 2010 at 12:15 PM ^

It's all about moderation when it comes to maintaining health. Most diet changes have nothing to do with maintaining health and everything to do with getting healthier (or not backsliding). Of course, sometimes they become permanent because what was given up is a personal pitfall. But I'm assuming that like myself, you're already in good health and are just looking to stay that way.

I've also always been of the mindset that diet changes have minimal impact on one's health without exercise...physical activity is tantamount to good health.

MaizeSombrero

May 27th, 2010 at 12:09 PM ^

I've swtiched my diet over to the Paleolithic diet, and since then I've lost 25 pounds in 5 months and seen my cholesterol and blood pressure drop. I feel like a million bucks. At that was with no exercise whatsoever. I've recently started to get more exercise, and its only made me feel better.

Additionally, I get to eat all the things I really love (meat, fruit, veggies), and I don't bother with crap that doesn't offer anything real tasty. (grains, beans, and potatoes).

Bryan

May 27th, 2010 at 12:12 PM ^

Giving up on meat is like giving up on America, but high fructose corn syrup is killing America. There is nothing wrong with the occasional red meat meal, but all in moderation.  

I've cut pop out of my diet and actually for the first time this year have made the effort to exercise, which I'm keeping up with quite well. At 24, I look at both of my parents that struggle with their weight, and I never want to get to that point. It's about making the effort now so you don't have the problems later on. I just wish healthy food was more affordable on a law school budget. 

I digress, best of luck to you, keep us posted on how things go. 

Trebor

May 27th, 2010 at 12:55 PM ^

Props to cutting pop out of your diet. I decided to do that after seeing Super Size Me back in 2007, and haven't had any pop since, except for bits here and there in mixed drinks, which I don't drink very often anyway. I've also never been a fan of fast food in general, which makes it easier to avoid pop as it's not getting shoved in my face at every turn. Now only if beer didn't taste so goddamn good...

The girlfriend and I decided to start a weight loss competition at the beginning of this year since neither of us were happy with our situations, and it's been a great idea. We are competitive at everything, so I've never had so much fun trying to be healthy. I just need to start exercising more, since hockey 3 times a week isn't cutting it as far as getting in shape.

PurpleStuff

May 27th, 2010 at 1:56 PM ^

I made the switch to Diet a few years ago and it did/has paid huge dividends.  The tipping point was when my buddy pointed out that switching to a zero calorie drink meant I could eat another taco at every meal without adding calories while getting some actual food/nutrients for my effort.  I eventually got used to the taste difference and losing those empty calories made a huge difference.  I may still get brain cancer from all the chemicals in the diet pop, but I look fantastic.

French fries are another thing that can be easily limited and possibly cut out entirely.  Check out the nutrition info on them some time and you'll see that they are just big balls of fat, often with as many calories as the burger you are eating with them.  Going to a smaller size, avoiding/sharing fries, or just replacing them with another burger or something that has at least some nutritional value can make a big difference.

tk47

May 27th, 2010 at 2:14 PM ^

I'm in the same boat as far as beer goes.  I've mostly given up pop, sweets, deep fried foods, and red meat ... but beer will always be my vice.  If I couldn't have beer I don't know what the hell I'd be living for anyway.

Blazefire

May 27th, 2010 at 12:15 PM ^

is how they're processed, then learn to hunt and get wild game. Mmm... Venison.

Also, keep in mind that those "documentaries" are designed purposely to make meat and processed foods look as bad as possible. Not to say they're WRONG... just maybe not totally truthful.

Finally, if you want a fantastic veggie burger in Toledo, OH, (Not that you would, but whatever) go to Maxwell's Brew by the university and get the Health Ed burger with Swiss.

NomadicBlue

May 27th, 2010 at 12:38 PM ^

haven't been back to Toledo since I graduated in '02 and wasn't sure if Maxwell's was still around. 

Kudos to the OP on quitting red meat cold turkey.  I'll never do it but I also don't sonsume massive amounts or it.  I prescribe more to the moderation state of mind.  your body can handle a little bit of a bad thing.  the closest thing I have come to totally eliminating is pop.  After a couple kidney stones at an early age, that was the first thing to go.  I now drink water like a fish and a twelve pack of sprite lasts me well over a month.  this will be my trend until the day they announce water causes cancer.  Not sure what I'll do after that. 

dosleches

May 27th, 2010 at 12:17 PM ^

There is actually competing researching re: red meat right now.  Check out this article in the wall street journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527487043149045752505709438354…

According to new research, it might just be processed red meats that cause health problems.  In other words, if you eat pricier, organic grass-fed beef your chances of having health problems wouldn't be the same as if you're eating the ground chuck McDonald's all the time.

I still eat low quality red meat when I cook at home just because I can't afford to pay almost double for the grass-fed stuff.

MI Expat NY

May 27th, 2010 at 12:42 PM ^

You're misreading that report.  It's not the "cheap" red meat you buy at your local supermarket that is bad for you, it's the meat processed after the animal has been killed.  That's why they specifically state bacon, sausage, and deli meats; all meats that go through heavy processing AFTER the meat has been cut from the bone.

So pass on that organic/grass fed crap that Whole Foods so desperately wants you to buy, and relish the cheaper selections (as long as you can still get a good cut of steak, that is) available at your local store.

MaizeSombrero

May 27th, 2010 at 2:01 PM ^

You are incorrect if you think that cows, who have evolved for thousands of years eating grass, aren't negatively affected by a wholesale flip in their diet to grains and corn. The fat profile of grassfed cattle is much more like the fat profile of the beef our ancestors evolved eating, and in turn, our bodies process it better.

Also, the naturally occuring toxins in grains get absorbed into grain fed cattle, while they do not in grass fed cattle, because they are not eating grains.

Now, as for organic, that's a slightly different story. Giving calfs an antibiotic shot at birth can increase their chance of survival threefold, but that renders them "inorganic."

MI Expat NY

May 27th, 2010 at 2:53 PM ^

My point is that corn fed isn't a new phenomenon, nor is treating animals like crap before they're slaughtered.  This has been going on since the large slaughterhouses took over, what, 100+ years ago?  As a country, we are much fatter than we were 50 years ago, and we haven't just started eating grain fed beef. 

Sure, grass fed beef might be slightly healthier, but it also doesn't taste as good.  Why sacrifice taste for minimal health benefits if you're eating beef once a week or less?  It's easier, cheaper and healthier, to actually control your portions, mix in healthy dinners two or three nights a week, eat salads for lunch, sleep well, exercise and cut out that one or two extra beers a week you don't need.  If you have a well balanced diet, grain fed beef isn't really a problem. 

Paly33

May 27th, 2010 at 12:18 PM ^

That movie changed my way of thinking as well.  But in my case I can never give up read meat.  There is nothing better that a think cut steak or a juicy burger!  Though I switched from purchasing anything from a supermarket, to local Organic/Farmers Markets.  Where most of the live stock is grass fed, not corn fed.

I just couldn't believe how bad our food system has become.  Thank the big corporations for sacrificing our general health for bigger profits.

wigeon

May 27th, 2010 at 12:20 PM ^

I'll be grilling  big double-cut NY strips over the weekend.  If you're jonesin', stop in.

Rather than conventional organic/whole stuff, I like to cut out the middleman. I buy a couple dressed chickens once a month from a buddy who raises and slaughters his own, shoot a deer or two every fall, make sausage/salami out of duck and goose meat, catch enough fish on a regular basis that it's on our menu once or twice a week.

We said it would be this year,  (it's Memorial weekend and I haven't lifted a finger), but we are going to do some raised-bed gardening. Peas, beans mostly.

Like another poster said, DON'T put away the grill just because you gave up meat.  Grill baskets of chopped squash, mixed with colored peppers and green beans are an everyday staple at out house, weekends especially. Over a real wood fire, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic, dressed with some fresh-chopped herbs. 

 

Don

May 27th, 2010 at 12:25 PM ^

After watching both my parents live to 90 or beyond and end up horribly miserable because of the inevitable infirmities that accompany getting that old, I decided that I'd much rather check out a few years earlier if that's a byproduct of eating and drinking the things that I like. Yes, you can extend your life by several years through abstemious avoidance of meat, sugar, alcohol, and the other bad things for you, but the painful fact is that those additional years are probably not added to your 20s or 40s or even your 60s. Unless you're in immediate mortal danger at the age of 57 because of a lifetime of 2 packs a day, heavily marbled roast beef and three martini lunches, the extra years you gain are going to be added to the very end of your life, when you're progressively less able to enjoy them. I imagine all of you will think I'm nuts, and my only response is:

Skol, and pass the mayo.

jvick9006

May 27th, 2010 at 12:37 PM ^

If you live around Ann Arbor you should go to Plum Market to get grass-fed, natural meats. They have Piedmontese Beef which is a very lean, very good tasting red meat. It's about $6.99 per pound but I think it tastes a lot better than lean sirloin beef. Also, they have some very good ground turkey that doesn't taste a whole lot different than beef. I know Plum Market is a little less pricey than Whole Foods.

turbo cool

May 27th, 2010 at 12:54 PM ^

I don't eat much red meat anymore either but it hasn't been as difficult as it seems. If you really want to make some changes, eliminate dairy from your diet. That has been hardest for me but it has helped a lot.

And with all this stuff, it's hardest at first but then once you get used to it you'll be more likely to make many, many more positive changes to all aspects of your life, not just diet choices.

OHbornUMfan

May 27th, 2010 at 12:54 PM ^

I heard Mike Martin will be eating only opposing QBs and RBs.  No processing will be involved, he will just devour their mangled carcasses in the backfield.  While this is not expected to cause any weight fluctuations for him, it will greatly benefit the mental health of hundreds of thousands.

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

May 27th, 2010 at 12:55 PM ^

I really don't think there's anything that's edible that anyone ever needs to give up entirely in order to live healthy.  The latest scare is, apparently, bacon and hot dogs.  Well, I loooooove me some bacon.  But I don't spend every morning cramming bacon down my throat.  Whatever I end up dying of, I bet you it won't be bacon-related.