by Marion Nestle

Currently browsing posts about: Meat

Apr 12 2018

The fuss over kangaroo meat in Australia

I was fascinated to read in Global Meat News that the Australian agriculture department has had to come to the defense of eating kangaroo meat.

Australian animal welfare advocates oppose eating kangaroos, and some retailers are refusing to sell it.

Why eat kangaroos?

Last year, an increase in the kangaroo population in Australia led to industry experts’ encouraging consumers to eat more of the protein.  Government data revealed the kangaroo population grew from 27 million to under 45 million.

Kangaroo meat was also deemed a healthier choice for consumers by the Kangaroo Industries Association of Australia…who said that it was a nutritionally-rich and low-fat meat choice for consumers.

All of this reminded me of my experience with kangaroos in Australia a couple of years ago.

  • They are ubiquitous in the countryside and fun to watch, especially when sparring.
  • Restaurants serve kangaroo meat frequently.  I particularly enjoyed a Chinese restaurant that served Kung Pao Kangaroo.
  • I once tried to bring small (110-gram) cans of kangaroo (and emu) meat back to the US, but New Zealand customs officers confiscated them for exceeding 3 ounces.
Apr 5 2018

Global Meat News Focus on Brazil

One of the ways I keep up with current issues is through daily newsletters focused on the food industry.  This example comes from

Global Meat News: Focus on Brazil

One of the major players of the global meat industry comes under the spotlight. Brazil is always near the top of the list when it comes to production and exports, and it’s a nation that other countries pay close attention to. This special focus on Brazil looks at some of the top news stories to come out of the country’s meat sector over the past few weeks.

Oct 26 2017

Meat on the agenda: Bacon and Fast Food antibiotics

I’m collecting reports about meat.

The first is The Bacon Report from


And here’s Restaurant Report Card: What’s in your fast food meat?

Sep 6 2017

What’s up with meat substitutes?

I’ve never understood why people who do not want to eat meat for reasons of health, animal welfare, environmental protection, or religion want to eat meat substitutes when vegetarian and vegan diets can be delicious on their own.

Because one of my food rules is “never eat anything artificial,” meat substitutes are not on my food radar.

Nevertheless, I am fascinated by the intense interest of venture capitalist investors—and many eaters—in plant-based or lab-based concoctions that look and more-or-less taste like meat (I’ve tried as many of them as I can, but find them all too salty).

Global Meat News

The industry newsletter,, is a great place to keep up with what’s happening with meat substitutes.  From it, I learn:

Impossible Burger

And then, there is the fuss over this lab-based substitute so realistic that it appears to “bleed.”  It has had some difficulty with the FDA over the safety of this ingredient.

Impossible Burger FOIA documents

On-line searchable database of synthetic biology derived ingredients, including Impossible Food’s “heme”.

–FOE website on the risks of synthetic biology to health and environment.

My opinion (for what it’s worth)

If people would rather eat these things than real meat, that’s fine for them.  I’m not concerned about the safety issues; the probability of this protein’s being unsafe seems small.  

  • Should we all be eating less meat?  Yes, for reasons of health and environment.
  • Will these products help us do that?  Maybe.
  • Will they make lots of money for investors?  It sure looks that way. 

I will be following this topic with great interest.  Stay tuned.

Jun 16 2017

Weekend viewing: Civil Eats’ Infographic on Meat

I love Civil Eats’ Infographic explaining the global meat situation.  Here’s how it begins.  Click on the link to see the rest of it.   Definitely worth a look.

May 5 2017

Weekend reading: What’s the Matter with Meat?

Katy Keiffer. What’s the Matter with Meat?  Reaktion Books, 2017.

 Image result for what's the matter with meat?

Katy has a terrific show on Heritage Radio that I’ve been on several times and I was happy to do a blurb for her new book:

Katy Keiffer has produced a thorough and well researched analysis of everything that’s wrong with industrial meat production.  Her book is worth reading for its focus on animal welfare, antibiotic resistance, and worker safety, but even more for its critique of the effects of animal feed production on international trade and land grabs.  This book is for everyone who cares about how meat-eating affects our planet.

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Apr 5 2017

The Brazil meat scandal: A Global Meal News roundup

Global Meat News is another one of those industry newsletters I follow closely.  It’s been tracking what’s been happening with meat in Brazil.  This is a great place to find out about this quickly.

Feb 2 2017

USDA’s latest data on food trends

The USDA has just issued a report on trends in per capita food availability from 1970 to 2014.

Here’s my favorite figure:

The inner ring represents calories from those food groups in 1970. The outer ring includes data from 2014.

The bottom line: calories from all food groups increased, fats and oils and the meat group most of all, dairy and fruits and vegetables the least.

The sugar data are also interesting:

Total sugars (blue) peaked at about 1999 in parallel with high fructose corn syrup (orange).  Table sugar, sucrose, has been flat since the 1980s (green).

Eat your veggies!