Just a few days ago I wrote:
We need the meat industry to be the only people in this debate who are full of shit.
The Center for Consumer Freedom’s David Martosko wasted no time doing his very best to oblige. He just wrote a piece for Florida’s Sun Sentinel headlined, “Celebrity food activists nauseating, unhelpful.” Among its claims:
Promoting the health benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle may seem intuitive, but it shouldn’t be. A 2006 Oxford University study found that vegetarians are just as likely as omnivores to die from strokes and colon, breast and prostate cancer.
He’s citing one study? Give me a break. How many hundreds of studies showing strong health risks associated with various animal products has he ignored? Martosko continues:
And research has repeatedly shown that organic produce is no healthier than its conventionally grown counterpart. The organic label, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirms, is no more than a “marketing program.” So buy organic if it soothes your conscience, but you’re not getting a health benefit to justify those $6 carrots.
Martosko doesn’t link to this research, but it’s a pretty big leap of faith to think a study can accurately capture the health benefits associated with consuming fewer pesticides. Do you really need a study to tell you that reducing your pesticide intake is a good thing?
Likewise, proposals to convert more farmland to organic operations may feel good. But organic farms produce less food with every acre. If today’s cattlemen reverted to the agriculture of 60 years ago, they would need an additional 165 million acres — an extra land mass roughly the size of Texas — to produce the same amount of beef. That land would have to come from somewhere. How enthusiastic is Hollywood about clear-cutting forests to make room for “free range” animals?
Martosko doesn’t provide a link for his claim, but even if he’s correct, notice that he doesn’t suggest that you can respond by eating less meat from animals raised with better welfare.
Just another example of the ineptly written propaganda spewed by the Center for Consumer Freedom. (Via Alison.) Link.