Over Consumption and Under Nutrition

When we examine the human body, and in particular our digestive tracts, it is clear that we have evolved to consume both plant and animal products.  Our digestive tracts happen to be shorter than animals that are complete vegetarians, but longer than animals who are complete meat eaters.  Meat is loaded with high-quality protein and is a good source of B-12, iron and selenium, and research shows that children raised with some animal products in their diets are taller as adults than children brought up as total vegetarians.  The problem is that although we are capable of handling both animal and vegetable goods, science is constantly reminding us that we were not designed to eat the quantities of animal foods we are now eating.  People whose diet consists of large quantities of animal-based foods have a much higher incidence of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and gastrointestinal disorders such as constipation.  They also have higher colesterol, higher blood pressure, and higher body fat, all of which can lead to other health problems.


Our nutritional knowledge is continuing to grow and it is becoming clear that there is no diet which is optimal for everyone, however one thing is very clear, in developed countries such as our own, over consumption and under nutrition is a big problem.  People in our culture are consuming too many calories from animal products and processed foods, and are not eatinig enough fresh fruits and vegetables.  By shifting to a more plant-based diet we could not only prevent many unnecessary diseases, but also protect our environment.  Seventy percent of the grain produced in North America, and forty percent of the world’s grain is fed to livestock.  One third of the world’s marine catch is used for feed and fertilizer.  It takes 2500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, enough to supply a family of four for month.


In the midst of an information explosion, it isn’t hard to find contradictory or conflicting information, but researchers in this field continue to find a single common thread.  People who eat diets rich in fruits and vegetables have lower incidences of many types of cancer including bladder, colon, esophageal, larynx, lung, mouth, as well as stomach.


A food guide which says that we need two to three servings of animal products per day (including dairy) is based on the needs of big industry and their powerful lobbying ability, not on actual human health needs.  You can have your meat and eat it too – just keep your consumption moderate (three to five servings per week).  We probably all know someone who has or had some form of cancer or health disease.  More and more researchers are linking these devastating diseases back to our diets and only you can take the necessary action to help prevent ourselves from becoming one of these statistics.

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