Topics covered in the book include critical discussions of epidemiological findings linking consumption of fresh and processed meats to human diseases, nutrient composition as affected by modern animal production practices, labeling policies of meat products and science-based recommendations on meat cooking and healthy consumption. The information is derived from recent studies and reviews conducted by top educational institutions and research centers in the United States and Latin America, including the Harvard University School of Public Health, Colorado State University, Universidad del Zulia (Venezuela), Mexican food and agricultural research institutes and the INCMNSZ.
“The book provides scientific information to assess recent, comprehensive epidemiological reports and counteract existing myths, prejudices and taboos on the consumption of red meats,” said Dr. Nelson Huerta, director of technical services for USMEF-Mexico, who served as coeditor and authored one of its chapters.
“This type of initiative is a key tool to help educate consumers about more healthy food practices, including the consumption of red meat,” said Dr. Huerta. “This is particularly important when Mexico is facing rampant epidemics of obesity and diabetes, and both media and health professionals are providing misinformation to consumers about beef and pork and their role in a healthy diet.”
According to INCMNSZ’s general director, Dr. Fernando Gabilondo-Navarro, producing “The Role of Red Meat in a Health Diet” is part of the institute’s commitment to the public.
“The Institute has an obligation to inform the public of the scientific basis behind consuming or not consuming specific foods,” said Dr. Gabilondo-Navarro. “This book is a compilation of the views of different national and foreign researchers with regard to the consumption of red meats.”
The book was unveiled by USMEF-Mexico and INCMNSZ at a press conference that drew media, health professionals and Mexico’s General Attorney of the Consumer. The book has received support from the Mexican Meat Science Association (AMEXITEC) as well as the presidents of the Mexican Meat Council, the National Cattlemen Confederation and the Association of Cattle Fatteners of Mexico.
“This is the first comprehensive step taken to effectively reach the local medical community in Mexico with scientifically-based information,” said Chad Russell, USMEF regional director for Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic. “This collaborative effort with INCMNSZ will help the medical community better understand the nutritional benefits of red meat and its role in meeting the goal of ensuring the health of all Mexicans.”
Funding for USMEF’s role in producing “The Role of Red Meat in a Healthy Diet” was provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program (MAP) and the Beef Checkoff.
Mexico is the top volume market for U.S. beef, pork and lamb exports. Through the first seven months of 2011, Mexico has imported 147,386 metric tons (324.9 million pounds) of U.S. beef valued at $552.7 million; 300,234 metric tons (661.9 million pounds) of U.S. pork valued at $561 million; and 6,361 metric tons (14 million pounds) of U.S. lamb valued at $7.9 million.