Meat, including beef, can be source of nitrosamines (see also here), PCBs, DDT and dioxins, arsenic, and heavy metals, although many of these are higher in fish than in beef. PBDE, a flame retardant, is a contaminant in meat that is now found in human breast milk. U.S. beef may contain anabolic steroids; infertility may be linked to the hormones in meat. Copper in beef may also contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.

Fecal bacteria are a common contaminant in beef and chicken skin. 47% of retail meat has been found to be contaminated with staph. Superbugs such as MRSA are also now contaminating the retail meat supply. Sarcocystis parasites are extremely common in U.S. beef. Potentially deadly strains of E. coli bacteria have been found in burgers and sprouts.

Meat consumption appears to increase the risk of lymphoma, breast cancer, blood cancers and pancreatic cancer. Carcinogens are particularly high in grilled or smoked meats and in cured meats such as hot dogs, bacon and cold cuts. Surprisingly, hot dogs and fast food burgers actually contain little actual muscle tissue.

Bean eating is preferable to beef eating. Soy products, for example, are a source of waistline slimming phytoestrogens, while beef, eggs and brains are major sources of cholesterol, saturated fats, trans fats and AGEs (glycotoxins). Because of these drawbacks, vitamin B12 supplements may be the safest source of the vitamin. Another advantage to more plant-centered eating is improved mood.

Topic summary contributed by Mahnoosh Assadi and Bob.
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