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2 hoaxes about meat: let's clarify

Two false myths about red meat

We are used to hearing so many rumors about red meat that we no longer pay attention to it, or some people have become radicalized and decided to eliminate it from their diet. But where is the line between rumor and truth to be taken with a grain of salt? Let's discover together the truth about 2 famous hoaxes about beef.

1 - Red meat causes cancer

False! In reality it is a "half truth" because the World Health Organization has analyzed the risk of developing some types of cancer in relation to a very high rate of meat consumption (much above what we Italians consume). We've all heard this news: it's 2016 and the WHO releases a study that talks about the relationship between consumption of red meat and the possibility of developing cancer. However, IARC, the agency that deals with classifying carcinogenic substances, immediately decided to evaluate the study and classified some red meat as "possibly carcinogenic" and some processed meat as "carcinogenic".

A half-truth therefore, because we are not talking about red meat consumed appropriately and in the right quantities but we are stating that only a disproportionate consumption of some types of processed red meat can contribute to the risk of only one type of cancer: that of the intestinal tract. We are therefore talking about "excess consumption", and not about home-made and dosed consumption. Furthermore, according to the IARC study, the risk factors that can arise from meat do not depend on the meat itself, but are also mainly due to the methods of conservation, distribution, preparation and cooking of meat and meat derivatives; from which the proliferation of reactions, modifications of the beneficial properties and possible bacteriological alterations of the meat can arise.

2 - Cattle farms pollute more than SMOG

False! We've been hearing this statement for years and we often say it ourselves without having real data at hand. According to the FAO study " Tackling climate change through livestock ", the entire livestock sector in the world has an impact of 14.6% on the total emissions of gases that cause the greenhouse effect. In Europe the agricultural sector is responsible for 10.2%. In particular, in Italy the impact is very efficient: ISPRA has estimated that the livestock sector has an impact of 4.6% (less than a Rome-Sofia plane trip). As always, when talking about news and rumors we must always understand and evaluate the situations and contexts.

More precisely, we remember that intensive farming obviously impacts the climate and our world but we always try to evaluate and reason with data in hand; since everything taken “to the extreme” is negative. However, it is good to remember that the main causes of greenhouse gases are the presence of gases such as carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere; all waste from the combustion processes of oil, coal and wood. As much as nature tries to regenerate itself - or heal itself - through the development of oxygen and consumption of CO2, we remember that on our earth there are balances that have persisted for millions of years and that the impact of industrialization and overpopulation is well higher level of livestock activities.


In short, as we have understood, the consumption of beef is not strictly linked to the onset of fatal diseases nor directly involved in the increase in greenhouse gases - at least to a minimal extent -. The truth lies in the middle because, as far as health is concerned, we must always evaluate the quantity and quality of the red meat we ingest; as far as the climate is concerned, we always think about which types of livestock farming we are pointing the finger at.

The fundamental point for conscious consumption is to always inform ourselves about the origin of the cuts of meat we are purchasing from the online butcher or the local butcher, to keep the ethics of healthy eating intact for us and the planet. At Carne Genuina, we work with passion to offer a better future to our children and to people like you, who put themselves on the line to make the right choices. The need to put farmers and consumers in contact arose from the desire to avoid any unnecessary intermediate step of large-scale distribution. Offering our products directly to customers allows us to eliminate waste and reduce environmental pollution. Avoiding industrial production processes allows us to enhance the activities of all farmers, producers, artisans and breeders who work well, respecting animal welfare and respecting the environment. We are trying hard to be part of the change!