A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

High Protein, Low Carbon Diet

That's right, I said low carbon, not carb. In case you haven't heard, "low carbon" diets are all the rage with the food elitists -- those people who would starve half the world to death while insisting we should produce all food locally, organically and without the benefit of any modern technology.

Low carbon diets are based on the fanciful notion that the food we eat should have little or no impact on the environment. They blame agriculture, specifically livestock, for global climate change ("climate change" is the new term being substituted for global warming by the Chicken Little alarmists who aren't sure if the globe is warming or cooling...but are certain it's changing for the worse and human activity is to blame). They say cows are causing global warming. Really?

These nattering nabobs of negativism base their argument on a United Nations study that claims global livestock production contributes more to global warming than cars. What they won't tell you is that the same study says that deforestation in the Amazon accounts for one-third of the problem. News Flash: we are NOT deforesting to raise cattle or crops in the U.S. In fact, we have more forestland in the U.S. than we had a century ago. And we produce MORE food on LESS land today than ever before.

The hard truth is that all food production has an impact on the environment and unless we want to stop eating we need need to find a way to produce more food with less. And in the U.S. we are doing just that. But the truth is of little concern to the people spreading this propoganda because behind their veil of concern for the environment is their hidden agenda -- these are the same anti-fur, anti-leather, anti-meat, vegan activists who want you and me to stop eating meat entirely in favor of a tofu-laden, plant-based diet. By the way, much of the deforestation in the Amazon is to clear land to grow soybeans (used to make tofu). By the way, rice (a plant) is the number one agricultural contributor of methane to the environment.

As I prepare for Ride the Rockies I'm working hard at building lean muscle mass to power me and my bike over those 12,000+ ft. mountain passes. So I am eating plenty of lean protein -- beef, in particular -- as I train. Of course, I am also getting plenty of whole grains, eating lots of fruits and veggies and enjoying low and non-fat dairy products. It's a novel new diet called the Food Guide Pyramid based on the dietary guidelines for Americans.

Tonight's dinner is grilled beef tenderloin (one of the 29 lean cuts of beef) and sea bass (surf and turf!) with some red pepper and yellow squash (also grilled) and green beans. I just started the coals and put the tenderloin filet in a little Dale's. A little olive oil and sea salt on the sea bass and veggies and they'll go on the grill after I've seared the steak and moved it to the side (always sear steaks over direct heat for 3-5 mins per side to seal in the juices then move it off the coals and cook over indirect heat for 20-30 mins depending on thickness to get that perfect medium rare -- about 135F -- all the way through). In about 30 mins the whole meal will come of the grill just begging to be eaten. And it's low fat, high protein and high energy.

Oh, and by the way, this is also a low carbon meal. Beef has a very small carbon footprint, especially when you consider what you get -- a nutrient dense source of quality protein that helps fuel physical activity. It's nature's best tasting multivitamin!

Ride on!



  1. Daren --

    Not too sure about some of the points you make. Are you trying to
    say that the climate isn't changing or that beef production doesn't have a role in it? Whatever you are trying to say, your point(s) would be more convincing if you weren't so insulting to people who see the global situation differently than
    you do.

    I am open to learning new things, for example, the point about rice paddies producing such a large amount of methane. But cattle-raising does too. And both industries ARE doing a lot to try to reduce it. And they are doing it to reduce the SIGNIFICANT effect methane has on the warming of the planet ("climate change" has been adopted to deflect away from this being a weather issue -- I could get more into it but
    I don't want to get off my point).

    I am interested in reading the UN Study you referred to. Please provide a link the date of it or other identifiable information. In the mean time, check out
    this article I found:


    (who eats mass-produced, road-killed, organic, ranch-raised and hunted meat. And tofu)

  2. Patty -- Your points are well-taken. I guess I fell victim to being insulted on a daily basis by anti-meat activists who attack the hard-working Americans I am proud to work for -- the people who produce the food we eat every day -- and instead of turning the other cheek I fired back.

    My points are that there is significant evidence that man-made activity has very little to do with global climate change (warming or cooling) and that solar activity is the primary driver of our planet's atmospheric issues.

    And if methane actually has anything to do with whether our planet is warming or cooling, another fact you might be interested in is that the number one source of methane in the U.S. is solid waste landfills -- not rice OR cattle.

    I am very familiar with the Chicago Tribune article you cite. I could go on and on about how the media reports on this issue but I don't want to get off my point :)

    So here's my point: rather than taking the easy road and blaming cows for global warming, we should recognize beef producers for the everyday contributions they make in preserving the environment for future generations. These are people who get up everyday and work from sun up to sundown to improve the environment for future generations -- that's their job!

    Your friend(I hope!),


    P.S. I don't have a link to the UN report. Not sure if it's available online. It's a massive tome. I can link you to an article that provides a different perspective on the report than the Chicago Tribune article -- http://www.consumerfreedom.com/news_detail.cfm/headline/3742

  3. That link got cut off. The full URL is...


  4. I get your point, and I agree that farmers/ranchers are a major backbone of our nation, but that doesn't mean that they or anyone can ignore the environment. You can't continue to destroy the environment just because it keeps people employed in the short run. This problem is so huge that it has to be addressed from every angle. Cars, coal plants, landfills, cows, rice . . . on and on. People can only afford to have their heads buried in the sand (or manure:) for so long. The rate at which the planet is warming is so rapid we are already seeing changes that affect growing seasons, coastlines, etc. Think about the impact that has on every agricultural endeavor.


  5. Patty -- Now who is insulting who? To suggest that farmers and ranchers are ignoring in the environment insulting to the hard working Americans who get up everyday to care for the land while all the city dwellers get in our cars and SUVs and drive to work. They are truly everyday environmentalists.

    The truth is farmers and ranchers have been improving the environment for generations -- improving the soil, improving the quality of the forage, planting trees, improving practices to protect water quality like no-till farming.

    Every farmer/rancher I know has the goal of leaving the land to future generations in better shape that it was given to them. If you are intersted in the facts, you can read more at BeefFromPasturetoPlate.org.

  6. Daren --

    I am sorry if what I said seemed insulting. But that was far from my intention. Here is the passage from your blog post I was trying to address:

    "Low carbon diets are based on the fanciful notion that the food we eat should have little or no impact on the environment. They blame agriculture, specifically livestock, for global climate change ("climate change" is the new term being substituted for global warming by the Chicken Little alarmists who aren't sure if the globe is warming or cooling...but are certain it's changing for the worse and human activity is to blame). They say cows are causing global warming. Really?"

    I have read that farmers and ranchers and agricultural leaders are taking steps to change your industry. It's discussed in the Chicago Tribune article I referenced. I just wonder why you seem to be saying that this call for change is being heralded by "chicken little alarmists?" Are the farmers and ranchers only adapting because they are reactionary? I doubt it.

    Perhaps you hear criticisms of the beef industry the loudest because it's your field (no pun intended). As someone who enjoys eating meat, but is more concerned about the environment, I would welcome more information/publicity about how your industry is progressing on the environmental front. . . rather than defense of the status quo, or attacks on everyone else. My point is that every one of us must accept responsibility before real changes can occur.

    Peace, my friend,


  7. Thanks for your clarification, Patty. To clarify my point, the "chicken little alarmists" I refer to are the people who claim cows are causing global warming. More often than not the people spreading that misinformation are PETA and other vegan activists who want you to stop eating meat. They are not true environmentalists like you. They want you to believe that eating one less burger per week is all you need to do to save the planet.

    I say that's an "easy out" for people who don't want to make the tough choices like taking public transportation or riding their bike to work!

    I want to assure you that American farmers and ranchers are making tangible efforts to reduce the environemntal impact of food production by producing more with less. Unfortunately the media (the "nattering nabobs of negativism" I referred to in the original post) have very little interest in sharing the positive stories. We are trying, every day, to get this information out via websites (BeefFromPasturetoPlate.org), blogs (see links from my blog to sites like Raising the Steaks and Beef Matters), YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=hth4e5TVjBk) and traditional media (when they'll listen).

    As you know, I love a good debate and am glad you are willing to listen as well as stand up for your position. We certainly agree that everyone must do their part. Reduce, reuse, recycle, as the old Schoolhouse Rock song (recently made popular again by Jack Johnson) says. That what we do in my family and that's what American farmers do every day:

    Reduce -- we're making more beef with fewer inputs (water, land, feed, etc) than ever before.

    Reuse -- manure is used as a natural fertilizer for crops and even makes its way into lawns and gardens right here in Denver and other big cities.

    Recycle -- Every part of a beef animal is used in some way (none of it ends up in a landfill!).

    Bottom-line: you can feel good about enjoying the beef you love knowing that beef producers are working hard every day to care for the land. We know that's our obligation, not an option!



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