In response to the article, “6 Reasons To Ignore The “Cowspiracy” And Eat A Burger” by Amanda Radke for Beef Magazine.

July 18, 2016

This blog post is in response to Amanda Radke’s rebuttal piece posted on Beef Magazine(http://beefmagazine.com/blog/6-reasons-ignore-cowspiracy-and-eat-burger), after I wrote an article (http://www.loghancall.org/?p=67) -fact checking- her original piece posted in June.

First and foremost…yes, I have been to a farm. I went to a school that was adjacent to a beautiful organic & biodynamic farm that produces some of the finest quality animal products on the East Coast. I spent my upbringing, working in nineteen gardens that dotted our five acre property in upstate New York. I know first-hand the difference between how a farm can look, and how a vast majority unfortunately do look.

Radke claims in her bio on Beef Magazine and in her first article, that she believes it’s important to engage with the opposition in discussion to make certain that her industry is heard. In fact, the title of her first piece encouraged readers to watch the film Cowspiracy, even though she couldn’t be bothered to watch it herself. I appreciated the fact that she wanted people to hear both sides because it’s a sentiment I share.

However, it would appear that it’s smoke & mirrors, as she penned her rebuttal piece “6 Reasons to Ignore ‘Cowspiracy’ And Eat A Burger Instead”.

So not only has she completely flip-flopped her position on seeing the film she never saw, she also pens a rebuttal piece, in which she never directly responds to anything I wrote.

Instead, she admits that her original article was off point and proceeds to criticize me for blaming the water crisis on beef cattle while failing to show me how I was wrong. Apparently, she feels there’s no room to argue with the facts & statistics that I outlined.

Radke proceeds to bullet point 6 reasons why you should eat a burger and ignore the factual evidence that clearly states we need to dramatically reduce our meat consumption. I want to highlight a few of the more outlandish claims and comparisons she makes:

“Cattle can utilize terrain that would simply have no productive use if we didn’t graze cattle on it.”FACT: while there might be a few select farms where this holds some truth, 78% of all cattle are raised in factory farms (CAFO’s)1. With current demands for meat, there is absolutely-zero possibility that we could get all of our meat from grass-fed locations that aren’t used for any other purposes2.

“their grazing supports wildlife, aerates the soil, and helps reduce wildfires.” FACT: animal agriculture is the leading cause of rainforest deprivation3 and species extinction4; while runoff from animal agriculture is the leading source of water quality degradation on rivers, lakes and oceans.5 While it is true that animals are a natural part of Earth’s ecosystem, our Western diet, that demands more animals than what is natural…is not.

“Consider the water usage needed to make synthetic replacements for all of the byproducts we get from beefPlease provide independent research that states synthetic replacements -as a whole- use less water, and are more environmentally friendly.

“Did Americans feel bad about participating in the ice bucket challenge, as they poured water over their heads to raise money for a cause? Are these effective uses of water? Does this water help feed the world and offer important byproducts? Hardly.”FACT: The average ALS challenge probably used about a gallon or two of water per person and as of September 16th, has raised over $114 million dollars for the ALS Association6 (and was a one time event). I remind you that one burger uses a minimum of 110 gallons of water and does not fund research or treatment.

“Water is essential to life, something we are in dire need of in many parts of the nation.(I agree!!!)California and parts of Texas continue to suffer from drought, so it’s important to be conscious of our water usage. (seems like you are arguing against your point no?)But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. To blame water waste on a cow when we have a growing population demanding more and more water for our personal use(that would include eating meat)is simply ridiculous. We must look internally in how we can reduce our water use.”(consuming less meat is number one!)

“This means shorter showers, skipping the coffee, turning off the water when we brush our teeth, washing dishes by hand instead of using the dishwasher, judicious watering of our lawns, and skip dumping water on our heads and just donating the money to our favorite cause.”

This last part, actually had me chuckle…is Radke seriously suggesting that instead of consuming less meat, that we instead stop drinking coffee altogether?

Listen, I’m all for water conservation across the board. I already take very short showers, wash my dishes by hand and don’t even have a yard that requires watering. But let me just break down a few numbers for you:

A pot of coffee is about 12 cups of water, or about .75 of a gallon of water.

An average shower according to the EPA, uses 2.5 gallons of water a minute.7

An average dishwasher will use around 4-6 gallons of water per load.8

 

So let’s say that in order to save water, you skip your coffee, your 8 minute shower and the use of your dishwasher.

You’d save around 25 gallons of water.

Or you could skip a hamburger and save at least 110 gallons of water.

Saving 25 gallons of water is great, don’t get me wrong. However, I did the math to show you that once again Radke fails to highlight one example of something within an typical American lifestyle, that is as unsustainable as consuming large quantities of meat.

 

And finally a few of Radke’s last points:

“today’s consumer is three generations removed from the family farm, it’s harder to understand where food comes from because most folks don’t get to see it being raised outside their backdoor.”Couldn’t agree more. If they weren’t so removed, they would realize that in the last half century, the typical meat producing farm was turned into a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (or Factory Farm)9. 78% of all beef comes from CAFO’s, and 98-99% of all other animal products come from CAFO sources1. They would also realize that these operations waste grain and water that could be used in far more sustainable and effective manners.10

“Unfortunately, all too often, the information found there is based on speculation”FACT: Couldn’t be further from the truth. While there are always cases of people stretching the truth on both sides of the fence…there is a massive amount of independent research out there to back up my points. Organizations and government agencies such as the EPA, World Health Organization and the United Nations have all released reports on the issue. To prove it, every fact I have put into this article is available for review in the footnotes. Apparently unlike Radke, I have researched and vetted everything I have presented.

 

And finally, I would like to add a closing note.

Being vegan has been a recent change for me11. I have consumed dairy products nearly my entire life, and spent a decent portion looking forward to a good burger. I am not some crazy hippie that is hell-bent on making others wrong. Instead, I have spent the last two years of my life researching the topic of sustainable agriculture for the future…and there is one, simple, inescapable truth, we simply cannot continue to consume animal products at our current, and ever increasing rate.

I am surrounded by family and friends who consume meat and dairy products. I am never in their face about what they eat. Instead, I encourage them to educate themselves and make sure they are buying local, sustainable meat and dairy products. While I have no illusions that we will stop eating meat anytime soon, I have zero tolerance for CAFO’s. No living being should ever be submitted to that type of torture.

For those ranchers and farmers who are reading this article and are doing everything they can do to treat their animals with respect and without the use of growth hormones and other drugs…I give my heart felt thanks. While I may no longer personally support the killing of animals for food, I do appreciate those who are making a conscious effort to work with nature and their animals.

The simple fact, and the point I have continued to make, and the point that Radke cannot disprove…is that our current Western-meat eating-diet is simply unsustainable.12 Earth cannot support this type of animal agriculture moving forward.

We’re currently eating & drinking more animal products than anytime in recorded history13…while continuing to explode as a human population. In the last half century or so, CAFO’s have skyrocketed to meet the demand, and in the process the industry has completely ignored the horrific animal welfare and environmental issues created in its wake.

We must dramatically reduce our meat consumption, eliminate CAFO facilities and demand that meat we do consume, comes from far more sustainable and humane sources.

And to those who wonder where our food would come if we didn’t eat meat (or far less)…please realize that, everyone, including the world’s hungry population would be fed.10 If you’re interested in reducing your meat consumption, please check out:
www.ameatfreemonth.org.

Best regards,

Loghan

Controlling The Meat. Try a Vegetable Pizza Instead.

July 11, 2016

healthy-pizza-restaurant

Pizza is a delicious meal that is increasingly popular among people who are looking for something quick and easy to have for dinner. Pizza is attractive to people because of how easy it is to order it for delivery or to buy the ready-to-make pizza crusts or frozen pizzas from the store. But, pizza is not a healthy meal because of all of the carbs and starch in the crust, the high-fat in the cheese and all of the toppings that you can get. Vegetable pizza is a great alternative for pizza-lovers who also want to make sure they are eating healthy every night. Continue reading to find out why pizza is so unhealthy for you, how to make it healthier using vegetables and a recipe for a healthy vegetable pizza.

Why Pizza is Unhealthy

Traditional pizza can be unhealthy because of the amount of saturated fats that are present in the crust and toppings. In a regular pizza, the majority of the fats are saturated fats, which can increase your risk of heart disease. Pizzas with a lot of meat toppings, like sausage and pepperoni, contain higher amounts of saturated fats than plain cheese pizzas or pizzas with a lot of vegetable toppings. In addition, the sauce can contain a lot of sodium, so eating really saucy pizzas can cause you to consume more sodium than is healthy for you. Pizzas from delivery restaurants and frozen pizzas from the grocery store are the ones most likely to be unhealthy for you because you don’t have control over what ingredients are used. If you are searching for a healthy alternative start your search on a directory of pizza restaurants like Pizza Near Me Directory to locate a healthy pizza restaurant. They exist if you search hard enough.

Making a Healthier Vegetable Pizza

Making pizza yourself at home is a good way to control the ingredients going into the pizza and to make sure that the pizza you are making is a healthy one for you and your family. Replacing the beef and the traditional white flour crust with 100% whole wheat crust or even a vegetable crust (like cauliflower) would make the pizza healthier for you. You can buy whole wheat crusts at the grocery store or you can take it up a notch by making a whole wheat crust yourself at home. You should also make sure to avoid meat toppings, because they are high in saturated fats, and instead use a lot of vegetable based toppings. A homemade pizza that has a whole wheat crust, does not have a lot of sauce or cheese and has a large amount of vegetable toppings would be a lot healthier than something from delivery or a frozen pizza at the store.

Healthy Pizza Recipe:

Directions:

Spread a light layer of low-sodium tomato sauce on whole wheat crust. Top lightly with cheese. Add lots of mushrooms, spinach and black olives. Bake at 400F (or according to pizza crust package instructions) until crust browns and cheese is bubbly. Let cool for 5min before slicing.

Conclusion

Pizza is delicious and the fact that it could potentially be unhealthy is no reason to eliminate it from your diet completely. There are plenty of ways to make pizza healthier so that you can continue to enjoy it as a meal. Avoid delivery or frozen pizzas from the grocery store as these are more likely to be unhealthy and have high levels of saturated fats. Eliminate meat toppings and add lots of vegetables to make your pizza healthier. With these small and simple changes you can continue to enjoy the delicious taste of pizza for dinner.