Nothing says summer like a burger fresh off the grill, char marks and all. But feeing too much beef can have some pretty rough consequences on your health and the environment.
If merely there were a style to eat less red meat without feeling like you’re eating less red meat.
Turns out there is, and it’s called The Blend. Here’s what you need to know about constructing the switching.
Red Meat And Your Health
Red meat — an umbrella word for any meat that looks red when raw( yes, that means bacon and lamb, too) — gets its color from its high concentration of a protein called myoglobin.
It has plenty of nutrients, but it’s also high in calories and fat, which the American Heart Association says puts you at higher risk for heart disease. Frequent consumption has also been linked to cancer, obesity and an increased risk of premature death.
Eating more plants is the ultimate way to help prevent these diet-related sickness, said Sydney Greene, a registered dietitian at Middleberg Nutrition in New York City. She recommends sticking to a palm-sized portion of red meat every other week and preferring grass-fed to ensure optimal levels of essential nutrients like iron and omega–3 fatty acids.
Red Meat And The Earth’s Health
Americans eat a lot of red meat: Consumption in the U.S. averaged 216.9 pounds per capita in 2017, according to data from the Department of Agriculture. The agency expects 2018 consumption to reach 222.2 pounds per capita, violating a record set in 2004.
Producing all that meat is taking a toll on our planet.
Beyond fossil fuel-guzzling farms and mills, the U.S. meat industry only flourishes with massive amounts of pesticides, fertilizer, feed and water. In turn, it spews out greenhouse gases, manure and toxic waste.
Greenhouse gas emissions for red meat are 10 to 40 times more than those of grains and vegetables, according to a lifecycle analysis from the Environmental Working Group that looked at the production and distribution of 20 common agricultural products.
Growing U.S. livestock feed alone involves 149 million acres of land, 167 million pounds of pesticides and 17 billion pounds of nitrogen fertilizer. Their care contributes to air and water pollution, soil degradation and climate change.
Sustainable ranching methods entail red meat production has eco-friendly potential, and organizations like the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef are working toward an environmentally sound industry. Still, reducing your consumption of fabricated red meat is a very green lifestyle change.
Enter The Blend
Going vegetarian isn’t the only option. An innovative cooking technique lets omnivores have their cake and eat it, too.
And by cake, we entail red meat.
The Blend is essentially a beef-mushroom hybrid. It was created as an educational initiative of culinary leaders called The Healthy Menus R& D Collaborative, the result of a partnership between the Culinary Institute of America and the Mushroom Council.
It incorporates finely chopped, potassium-packed mushrooms with ground meat to attain flavorful dishes — guess extra-juicy burgers and savory tacos. By cut red meat with hearty veggies, you’ll simultaneously shrink your carbon footprint and improve your health.
A number of chefs have hopped on board with The Blend’s unique flavor, and Menus of Change, an initiative focused on public health, has voiced its support of the technique. Fast food chain Sonic even added a mixed burger to its menu, calling it a healthy option that savours “like you’re getting away with something.”