We’re all aware of the dangers of processed meat, which has been linked to colorectal cancer for some time, with the World Health Organisation urging people to moderate their consumption back in 2015. Since then, red meat—even the fresh, natural kind—has come under fire too.
Despite its prominence in a few hardcore Low Carb regimes (and the carnivorous diet’s alleged ability to ease the symptoms of autoimmune diseases), others have taken the World Health Organisation literally, written red meat off as a carcinogen, and started avoiding it altogether.
In light of this, more people than ever are considering a vegan diet. Last year, for instance, sales of vegan food (in the US) rose 10 times faster than food sales as a whole, MacDonalds started selling vegan burgers, and Big Meat companies started investing in “fake meat” technologies.
Oh and in 2019 alone, experts predict that nearly 3 million people will go vegan.
However, as Max Lugavere, a health and science journalist, nutrition guru and New York Times bestselling author pointed out in his latest Instagram post, vegan meats may not be as healthy as you would think.
In a post entitled, “Which side are you on? (Asking without judgement),” Lugavere accidentally-on-purpose triggered the vegan population of Instagram, by laying out the Ingredient List Gap behind a quality pack of beef mince and a vegan patty.
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Which side are you? (Asking without judgement.) 🤗 . The left side is an ultra-processed attempt to recreate meat, loaded with questionable ingredients like canola oil. It also contains very little nutritional value other than protein which comes from the pea protein isolate. . The right side is organic, 100% grass fed beef. It contains protein but is also loaded with vitamin B12, vitamin E, heme iron, creatine, zinc, omega-3 and 6 fats, and others. . Personally I would pick the right side any day, and avoid the left side, but I understand that people have different views on this topic. From the standpoint of nutrition, however, it seems pretty clear which is the winner. . What do you think? 🙏🏼 Max • • • • • #lchf #keto #lowcarb #ketogenic #lowcarbhighfat #paleo #ketosis #primal #ketodiet #paleodiet #carnivore #beef #meat #bge #paleolifestyle #favoritemeal #beefitswhatsfordinner #atkins #glutenfree #grainfree #ketogenicdiet #whole30 #castironcooking #sugarfree #meatporn #culinaryarts #chefstagram #castiron #jerf #steak
“The left side is an ultra-processed attempt to recreate meat, loaded with questionable ingredients like canola oil. It also contains very little nutritional value other than protein which comes from the pea protein isolate,” Lugavere wrote.
“The right side is organic, 100% grass-fed beef. It contains protein but is also loaded with vitamin B12, vitamin E, heme iron, creatine, zinc, omega-3 and 6 fats, and others,” he continued.
“From the standpoint of nutrition, however, it seems pretty clear which is the winner.”
A fight between vegans and non-vegans immediately broke out in the comments, with many people forgetting two key ‘ingredients’. Firstly, Max Lugavere is not talking about morals. He is referring specifically to nutrition and—even more specifically—to two specific products, rather than the nutritional merits of the vegan vs. omnivorous diet as a whole.
One vegan spectacularly missed the point, leaving a comment that he felt more accurately represented the beef patty’s ingredient list.
“Ingredients: Ground Beef that live ass to ass and are injected with 50+ different concoctions to stay alive and stay hungry 24/7 to grow as fast as possible. Each patty consisting of over 50+ different cows to speed up any cross contamination in the process. NOT to mention leave a huge carbon footprint on our already decimating planet.”
To which Mr. Lugavere responded, “k.”
Another wrote: “MAYBE you should be preaching more of balance & education instead of playing sides like a 3 yr old. (Without Judgement)… Both products have their pros and cons.”
While yet another pointed out that to be a vegan you don’t have to eat vegan patties: “For my plant-based friends, a homemade black bean burger would be a much better option or stick to natural sources of plant protein—there’s a reason why impossible burger is called impossible burger – you need processed junk to create it.”
This was backed up by comments like, “I think if one became a vegan or vegetarian by choice, I don’t see the need for ‘imitation’ meats. Nature has provided us with so much,” and, “I’m team ‘no meat’. But I haven’t consumed any processed foods in years.”
The conclusion—there’s no (conclusive) proof either diet as a whole is better than the other (it’s more to do with your personalised version of said diet), but—although he framed it in a way he knew would spark controversy (or, in his eyes, debate)—it’s certainly true that organic, grass-fed beef is better for you than a highly processed vegan patty.