Meat Overconsumption in America
In America we eat. A lot. Our favorite is meat. Americans eat more meat than
any population on earth. Certainly this nation's food habits have led us to be the fattest, unhealthiest, yet least starving country in history. Overconsumption of meat in the last few decades has led to unavoidable environmental changes. Mass production is now the dominant farming system for such high demands, with attention on profit not nutrition. With over production, yet limited land, vast areas have been over cultivated and left forever unusable. The question lays on why American attention is not appropriated to such dire an issue. All Americans are impacted by the meat industry, but merely few are aware due to how readily and common meat has become. America needs to help itself before it is too late. Rapidly deteriorating health and climbing appropriation of land has engulfed the nation. America, once a superpower, will soon deplete its irreplaceable lives and resources to national demise if change is not enacted soon.
Human beings biologically are adept to meat consumption. However, the amount consumed by the average American has exceeded the needed dietary intake. By year 2000, Americans average almost 200 pounds of meat a person every year, which is about 60 pounds more than in 1950 (U.S. Census). Meat being once the highest priced food commodity was before a specialty. Now meat is readily on every dining table at every meal and its price has dropped drastically following technological innovations for mass production. Americans can afford meat nowadays, but cannot afford health. In modern times, its problems are plaguing American health and environment.
When Americans are asked why they believe meat is beneficial to a healthy diet, the answer repeatedly is for a source of protein. Yes, meat contains a high percentage of protein. Yet, other foods contain as significant or higher concentration of protein than meat. Plant based diets can easily avoid lack of protein just as meat diets claim to do. American culture has used protein intake as an excuse to keep readily eating meat beyond natural human limitations for generations. Subconsciously ignoring plant sources for this nutrition, self-validation convinces culture to avoid obvious consequences from over consumption. The USDA measures about 20 percent of Americans eat over the dietary recommendation of meat daily (U.S. Census). Outcomes are evident. Science has found links between too much red meat intake and increasing cancer rates, especially pancreatic cancer. High levels of cholesterol, preservatives, hormones, and saturated fats come with meat purchased in modern society. The list of health detriments is quite limitless: celiac disease, obesity, ulcers, heart disease, memory loss, and ulcers (Craig, Mangels). All these life-threatening conditions have been tested to result from excessive meat intake. The most popular health concern in American society is...