Revue Française de la recherche
en viandes et produits carnés

ISSN  2555-8560

The consumption of red meat is the subject of recurrent criticism

The consumption of red meat (beef, mutton, pork) is the subject of recurrent criticism. However, while it increases the risk of cancer in big eaters, the nutritional benefits of its incorporation into the weekly diet are numerous: intake of high-quality proteins, highly digestible iron and vitamin B12. The consumption of water taken from aquatic resources (600 liters per kilo of steak) is far from the 15,000 liters often claimed which is a value that includes rainwater. It is inaccurate to assert that cattle farming leads to an "unacceptable" waste of plant proteins: in France, it sometimes produces more proteins consumable by humans than it consumes. By enhancing the value of grasslands, which they are able to transform into meat and milk, cattle and sheep contribute to biodiversity, soil carbon sequestration, groundwater recharge with good quality water, land use planning. However, there is one criticism that must be made of livestock farming: it is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Geneticists, animal feed specialists and farmers must work together to reduce this impact. Finally, animal welfare must be guaranteed. Otherwise, consumers could turn to foods with lower impact on the climate: pulses, plant-based mince and even cultured meat.

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