MEAT—PROTEIN EVALUATION & SUMMARY
Meat protein values are often considered to be the only source of the essential amino acids or what is commonly termed ‘complete protein’.
This is certainly not true. Apart from the main groups of seafood, poultry and dairy foods, numerous other main food groups such as nuts, seeds, grains and legumes also provide the eight essential amino acids or complete protein. Refer to Chart 4 for numerous natural foods that provides the ‘facts and figures’, and verifies that complete protein is available from numerous foods.
Chart 9 and Chart 10 provides a guide to the average amino acid supply of the main food groups, plus the amount of each amino acid required per day for different body weights. It is obvious from the charts that meat/beef is not the best protein food. In Chart 3 the question of ‘what are the best protein foods?’ is answered in a complete evaluation of all protein factors.
Apart from the numerous possible detrimental factors detailed in the previous pages on meat, the protein from meat is complete and it provides a fair supply of the essential amino acids. The protein value of meat, however, can be considerably less than the ‘ideal lean beef ’ value given on the charts.
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Excess cooking of meat is common and that reduces the protein (amino acid) value plus increases the risk factors. Also many of the nutrients are ‘leached out’ during excess cooking, via the juices. The added fats greatly decrease the protein value as they retard and reduce proper protein digestion in the stomach, resulting in poorly prepared proteoses and peptides. Animal protein foods, especially meat, require considerable digestive energy to convert the food into useable protein. Primary proteins —nuts, seeds, grains and legumes—require half the digestive time and energy compared to meat. Primary proteins do not have a list of possible detrimental factors.
Vitamin B12 is often a bone of contention when the requirement for meat is discussed. Meat is not the only source of vitamin B12 (refer to section entitled as Vitamin B12).
The countryside is cleared for meat production and in some places it has become desolate due to overgrazing. Consequently, the major problem of soil salination occurs with a huge expense (in the form of reforestation) required to rectify the problem As mentioned before, meat is also overconsumed and results in health problems.
Meat takes the place of numerous other meals as people become less able to ‘cook’. The basic meal of ‘meat and three vegies’ every night is ‘overkill’!
It takes just as much time to prepare any of the hundreds of meatless meals. The ‘habit’ of eating meat can be so compelling that people say ‘they can’t live without meat’. That is because it has been the major food in their diet for years and without meat their plate would be empty.
There are over 100 complete protein meals apart from meat, and many of them have supported civilisations for centuries. See if you can get a piece of the action from a properly prepared meatless meal and give it a go to discover new recipes. Don’t let the habit of daily meat eating take over your health, weekly food budget and life.