Month: March 2014

Why I’m Not Dismissing the Latest “Animal Protein is Bad” Study (But Not Losing Sleep Over It, Either)

I keep doing this thing where I stand in the shower writing blog posts in my head, emerging from the suds giddy and prune-fingered, feeling strangely accomplished about the words I have not yet typed. And then I squeegee the fog off the bathroom mirror and tell myself you can do it Denise! and think about how awesome it will be to actually update my blog after so much horrible silence. And then I load WordPress and think I’m blogging, I’m blogging, I’m finally blogging, it’s really happening.

And then suddenly it’s three hours later and I’ve opened 800 new browser tabs in Firefox and have become distracted by something shiny, Facebooky, or delicious, at which point all hope is lost.

This madness must end. Today, we blog.

So now I stand before you here in Cyberland, up on my soapbox, rantin’ muscles ready to flex. In case you haven’t heard, the world just got slammed with a new “meat is bad” tsunami—and it’s a doozy. We’ve got the familiar swirl of headlines designed to strike fear in our hearts (“That chicken wing you’re eating could be as deadly as a cigarette!” – The Financial Express), and pretty much every mainstream outlet caught it on their radar (hello ABC, Fox, The Guardian, Scientific American, Washington Post, and any other big-hitters I left out). The actual study, which is decidedly less popular than the press releases heralding its existence, is available here: Low Protein Intake Is Associated with a Major Reduction in IGF-1, Cancer, and Overall Mortality in the 65 and Younger but Not Older Population. Go take a gander. The gist is that animal protein will (purportedly) shorten your life and increase your risk of chronic disease—at least if you’re eating a bunch of it before you turn 66. (Once you’re in your golden years, though, the study implies animal protein is a good thing. Tricky, eh?)

So what’s really going on here? Should we all go vegan until we retire?

(more…)