Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Other Red Meat

   Today I made dinner and I used shiritaki noodles.  They are made from tofu, are a good source of calcium.  Shiritaki noodles are very low in calories.  You can use the search feature on my You Tube Channel to get ideas of how to cook with them.  They can be used like other noodles or pasta, and they absorb the flavor that is in the accompanying ingredients. 
   For our dinners tonight, I stir fried onion and mushrooms, added a little left over kale and in one I used soy crumbles as protein and the other, pork.
   It was the idea that I used something that my Mother isn't used to eating with something that I won't eat, meat, that got me thinking.  I thought oh yes, "pork, the other white meat."
   And recalling that little slogan gave me an aha moment.  In the last month I have read a lot of articles about the US food supply and some of them included discussions of agricultural policies.  You may not be aware, but at one time the government subsidized generic advertising for some of our commodities.  A small percentage of money in the agriculture budget was set aside each year for advertising a commodity but not a brand.  The intent was to raise consumer demand which would benefit farmers who produced beef, pork and milk.
   This is exactly why leading food policy and nutrition experts have questioned the behind the doors meetings that result in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  The USDA takes part in those meetings and we end up with some contradictory policies. The Department of Agriculture wants to sell its commodities but the 
Department of Health and Human Services wants to improve our health. We should limit the very ones the other advertises.  I.e. red meat and dairy which are high in saturated fat.  Recall the output of some of those ad campaigns
"Beef. Its What's for Dinner." 
"Milk.  It Does a Body Good." and 
"Pork. The other White Meat."  
     Pork is NOT the other white meat... what a clever little add that was.  Red meat is red or pink when raw and pork is red meat. 
   To learn more about the benefits of limiting red meat, click here to go to the HSPH website for the latest research.
  BTW, Mom really enjoyed her shiritaki stir fry!


Day Old Coffee said...
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Anonymous said...

You are beginning to sound like the conspiracy theorist I am... I've never felt that the USDA guidelines represented the healthiest guidelines we could follow - they seem ancient in many of their recommendations. I prefer the other guideline you've talked about - I don't remember the man who said it, but it's something like "eat often, not too much, mostly vegetables". Sounds best to me.

Deirdre Dingman, MPH, CTTS, CHES, PAPHS said...

Ah well, yes. I won't go so far as to say conspiracy but I agree that there is a conflict of interest involved.
I think that the best dietary pattern advice comes from the nutritionists at Harvard School of Public Health - which fits into the Alternative Healthy Eating Index that I have recently written about. Thank you so much for your comments!