The Price of Red Meat


Eva Sévigny, Journalist

    Red meat can be good for you, but it can also have a pretty bad impact on the environment and people’s health.

    Some people don’t realise it, but the thing that impacts the environment the most is our meat consumption. All together, it is responsible for 51% of the greenhouse gas emissions, more than all of the world’s circulation and vehicules. 

    It is also responsible for the bigger part of rainforests’ deforestation to grow farms and cow raising. By doing that, we reduce our chances of getting rid of many toxic gases that the rainforest used to absorb in bigger quantities. 

    Our high meat consumption is also the cause of extreme water waste. According to the Cowspiracy documentary, eating one burger is the equivalent as if someone was to shower for two whole months. 

    This is why eating less meat and going into a more plant-based alimentation is one of the best ways we can help the planet’s health. Not necessarily becoming vegan or vegetarian, which could be a good way too if you want, but just taking away a few meat meals per week would have a huge impact. The meat could be replaced by beans, tofu, peas and nuts which are actually a great source of protein.

    In general, red meat isn’t bad for you because it is full of important minerals, vitamins and nutrients. 

    But having a high red meat consumption on a daily basis can actually cause, or at least increase your chances of contracting different diseases like type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and different cancers, especially if it is processed meat. 

    “Many studies have shown that vegetarians seem to have a lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and some forms of cancer,” The AHA (American Heart Association) said. 

    Processed meat is treated with different chemicals, nitrates and preservatives which makes it very toxic for people to consume in high quantities. According to The World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), red meat servings should be limited to 3 per week and unprocessed meat would be the best option.

    “Red meat is high in cholesterol, saturated fats and sodium. It should be eaten in a limited fashion,” Stephen Hu, a cardiologist mentions.

    So reducing our meat consumption would have a huge impact and would be very advantageous in order to get a more sustainable planet and health.