What's Your Beef?

The debate over eating beef and its impact on your health persists as a hot wellness topic. However, in Argentina, a country that traditionally consumes beef everyday, the rates of heart disease, Alzheimer, and colon cancer are consistently lower than in the United States. This is due in part because the majority of cows in Argentina, especially cattle raised and grazed in the Humid Pampa, eat grass from open pastures instead of cows in North America which subsist on meal from feedlots.

Grass-fed cattle exercise more in large open pastures which equates to less saturated fat on their bodies and in their meat, and therefore does not elevate cholesterol levels in humans. Furthermore, cows raised on grazing land live under more organic conditions, and have no need for excess hormone implants and antibiotics. Farm raised animals live together in large stocks and are consistently fed antibiotics to prevent the spread of disease throughout the herd; however, the effects of these medicines and hormones on our health arise much debate. The World Health Organization suggests significantly restricting the  use of antibiotics in the cattle that we consume. They declared their intention by a public statement stating, “reduce the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in food animals for the protection of human health.”

The health of a specific country is a multi-layer facit that does not point to one specific reason. However, countries, such as the United States, can take clues from nations with longer life spans and lower rates of preventable food-related diseases. For example, Argentina has a lower rate of heart disease, but they also lead less stressful lives, are more active, partake in smaller portion sizes, and moderately drink red wine with meals.