Diet & Health

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1993:

Men who eat a lot of animal fat,
especially the fat from red meat, have more
than two and a half times the risk of develop-
ing prostate cancer than men who eat little or
none, a team of Harvard University and
Mayo Clinic researchers reported in the
October Journal of the National Cancer
Institute. The study investigated the eating
habits of 47,855 men. Over 165,000
American men develop prostate cancer each
year, often losing their sexual function in
consequence; 35,000 American men per year
die of prostate cancer.

The September 29 introduction of
a vegetarian field ration for U.S. troops and
foreign refugees who have religious scruples
against eating meat became a public relations
fiasco just a week later when a fruit snack
included in it proved to contain gelatin made
from the hooves of pigs. The manufacturer,
Brock Candy of Chatanooga, Tennessee,
said it had never been told not to use meat
byproducts. The discovery came after
160,000 of the civilian version of the ration
were dispatched for distribution to starving
Bosnians and 55,000 were promised to India
in the wake of the disastrous September 31
earthquake, which killed more than 10,000
people. Most of the recipients in Bosnia
were to be Moslems, whose religion forbids
eating pigs, while those in India were to be
both Moslems and strictly vegetarian Hindus.
Federal district judge James
Nowlin of Austin, Texas, on October 14
blocked the USDA’s attempt to require labels
explaining safe cooking on all packages of
uncooked meat. The requirement was initial-
ly to take effect one day later, but on October
8 the USDA extended the deadline for com-
pliance to April 15. Saying the USDA did not
follow proper procedures in imposing the
safety labeling, Nowlin ruled on behalf of the
National American Wholesale Grocers
Association, the National Grocers
Association, and the Texas Food Industry
Association. The labeling was not contested
by the American Meat Institute. The USDA
immediately appealed Nowlin’s verdict.
Archer Daniels Midland Co. and
the Green Giant division of the Pillsbury
Co. have teamed up to produce a new vege-
tarian burger, the Green Giant Harvest
Burger, to be introduced in mainstream
supermarkets nationwide this month. ADM
and Pillsbury expect to sell $100 million
worth of the vegetarian burgers a year, more
than the total sales of all meat substitutes now
on the market. Right now the fastest growing
meat substitute maker may be Yves Veggie
Cuisine of Vancouver, British Columbia,
begun 10 years ago by Yves Potvin, a 27-
year-old Quebecois chef who bicycled across
Canada in 55 days and didn’t go home until he
became a success. Now 37, Potvin employs
65 people, has sales of $6.2 million a year,
and has increased sales an average of 50% per
year for the past nine years.
U.S. district judge Benson Legg
on October 4 followed a precedent set last
year by the New Jersey Supreme Court in
striking down the Baltimore city kosher food
ordinance. Legg ruled that the employment of
rabbis to form the Bureau of Kosher Meat and
Food Control violates the constitutional
requirement that church and state be separat-
ed. The ruling reversed a fine of $400
imposed on vendor George Bargout, 57, in
1990, for selling “kosher” hot dogs that had
been contaminated with grease from non-
kosher meat products.
Those who maintain “Meat is
murder” may be cheered slightly to know the
Baltimore homicide unit investigated the
September 2 police shooting of a bull who
escaped from the Charles J. Schmidt & Co.
slaughterhouse. Explained the Baltimore Sun,
“The unit looks into all incidents in which
police officers fire their weapons.”
A USDA-sponsored survey of 545
schools released on October 25 found that
38% of the calories in the federally subsidized
school lunches came from fat, 25% more
than the dietary guidelines jointly published
by the USDA and the Department of Health
and Human Services. Fifteen percent of the
calories came from saturated fat, 50% more
than recommended––and the lunches con-
tained two-thirds of the total recommended
daily sodium intake. The excess fat and sodi-
um comes largely from animal products sup-
plied to the schools by the USDA. The
research was done in 1992 by Mathematica
Policy Research, of Princeton, New Jersey.
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