I’m about 10 minutes away from firing up the grill and slapping on a couple choice Iowa pork chops. And, of course, football tailgating season is now in full swing. At the same time, my neighbor Gary is on a meatless diet to try to lose a little weight. It’s not like he really needs to….heck, he bikes 40 miles every week, goes to the Y, and rode his bike across the U.S. a few years ago. He says if he like the results, he might stay meatless. He cites a study of the Chinese diet and cancer rates, The China Study, which has generated a ton of discussion, although there may be many holes in that research.
But as I’m getting the charcoal ready, I’m pondering the role of meat in immune health. Is meat essential? Who knows? A lot of long-standing, quality guidance shows that meat is a very efficient way to get a lot of essential nutrients: protein, iron, B vitamins, etc. plus zinc, which support the immune system. The guidance, of course, is qualified with directives that tell us to keep meat intake moderate (no 24 oz prime rib every day), lean, and balanced with plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, etc. (Funny how that balance thing always pops up in diet and other facets of living a quality life). And, of course, people under doctor’s care with special health conditions must, for sure, abide by any dietary restrictions. However, I do remember reading in the Steve Jobs biography how his doctors pleaded with him, during the severe phases of his cancer, to eat. Eat anything with “quality” protein, they said, so he could regain some strength. That could have included, dairy, meat, etc. But he refused.
I also keep wondering why the Creator endowed us humans with flesh-tearing incisors. And, why does meat taste so good?