My current position (and that of foodnetindia), is that red meat is safe for consumption. This is despite my vegetarianism and personal beliefs.
I write about food safety. I am not an activist environmentalist. If I touch on environmental issues, it’s when they already affect the safety/security of air, water and food for humans. I am also a Lacto-Ovo vegetarian by choice because of my strong anti-animal cruelty beliefs. I do not eat meat.
Whatever my practices and beliefs, I must be impartial and scientific on food safety and security issues. That’s my commitment to my readers, and that’s why I am sticking my neck out here for environmentalists, vegetarians and vegans to have a field day taking potshots at me.
Red meat has been on the menu for as long as humans have existed. Smoked and preserved meats have also existed for many thousands of years.
I do not see any strong evidence that there are safety concerns for human health in any of the safety studies of the last 50 years. There is some correlation but no causation. Besides, none of the studies eliminate or account for other foods or risky lifestyle practices amongst the study subjects. We have no idea what caused the deaths, or cancers, or heart disease, or whatever.
My views are echoed in this article in the Wall Street Journal – https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-red-meat-rethink-11570056572.
I also do not believe that red meat poses health risks even if it is the primary source of protein and energy in the diet, and is consumed at much higher levels than the recommended upper limit of current health and wellness guidelines. I am, of course, talking about animals that are not reared in unnatural ways and not pumped up with hormones, un-natural feeds and antibiotics. I am also not accounting for “rabbit starvation”, which is a real problem if the diet only has lean protein and no fats.
Modern meat processing techniques and factory-farmed animals are a different issue. I am not saying such meat is unsafe or safe. I am merely saying that, in the absence of historical and evolutionary evidence, we need functional, high quality studies to determine this.