|David Gazda, GCA President-Elect|
Below is the letter by Georgia Cattlemen's Association President-Elect David Gazda that appeared in the Athens Banner-Herald on May 29, 2012.
As a local cattleman, I’d like to offer a few facts that the writer of a May 23 letter to the editor headlined “To eat meat or not” may not have understood.
The latest research on heart health and lean beef, by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, presents a new way of thinking: lean beef can be part of a solution to one of America’s greatest health challenges. The Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD) clinical study showed that when included as part of a healthy diet, lean choices — such as top sirloin, tenderloin, T-bone steak and 95-percent lean ground beef — can reduce risk of heart disease.
Additionally, a Cancer Detection and Prevention meta-analysis published in February 2009 concluded that there is “no epidemiologic evidence to support a causal association between consumption of red meat or processed meat and kidney cancer.”
And, raising beef is environmentally sustainable. New research published in the Journal of Animal Science shows beef’s environmental footprint is shrinking. Each pound of beef raised in 2007, as compared to 1977, used 19 percent less feed; 33 percent less land, 12 percent less water and 9 percent less fossil fuel energy.
The carbon footprint of beef was reduced by more than 16 percent from 1977 to 2007. This year, more corn was used in ethanol production than for livestock feed. More beef from fewer animals maximizes resources like land and water, while providing essential nutrients for the human diet.
As a local cattlemen, I take pride each day in providing excellent care for my animals so that consumers in Georgia and around the world can enjoy beef that is safe, affordable, healthy and delicious.
David Gazda, Athens
Gazda is a local producer and president-elect of the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association.