Meat is animal flesh that is eaten as food. Humans have hunted and killed animals for meat since prehistoric times. The advent of civilization allowed the domestication of animals such as chickens, sheep, rabbits, pigs and cattle. This eventually led to their use in meat production on an industrial scale with the aid of slaughterhouses.
Meat is mainly composed of water, protein, and fat. It is edible raw, but is normally eaten after it has been cooked and seasoned or processed in a variety of ways. Unprocessed meat will spoil or rot within hours or days as a result of infection with and decomposition by bacteria and fungi.
Meat is important in economy and culture, even though its mass production and consumption has been determined to pose risks for human health and the environment. Many religions have rules about which meat may or may not be eaten. Vegetarians may abstain from eating meat because of concerns about the ethics of eating meat, environmental effects of meat production or nutritional effects of consumption.
The word meat comes from the Old English word mete, which referred to food in general. The term is related to mad in Danish, mat in Swedish and Norwegian, and matur in Icelandic and Faroese, which also mean 'food'. The word mete also exists in Old Frisian (and to a lesser extent, modern West Frisian) to denote important food, differentiating it from swiets (sweets) and dierfied (animal feed).
Most often, meat refers to skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as offal.:1 Meat is sometimes also used in a more restrictive sense to mean the flesh of mammalian species (pigs, cattle, lambs, etc.) raised and prepared for human consumption, to the exclusion of fish, other seafood, insects, poultry, or other animals.
In the context of food, meat can also refer to "the edible part of something as distinguished from its covering (such as a husk or shell)", for example, coconut meat.
Paleontological evidence suggests that meat constituted a substantial proportion of the diet of the earliest humans.:2 Early hunter-gatherers depended on the organized hunting of large animals such as bison and deer.:2
The domestication of animals, of which we have evidence dating back to the end of the last glacial period (c. 10,000 BCE),:2 allowed the systematic production of meat and the breeding of animals with a view to improving meat production.:2 Animals that are now principal sources of meat were domesticated in conjunction with the development of early civilizations:
Other animals are or have been raised or hunted for their flesh. The type of meat consumed varies much between different cultures, changes over time, depending on factors such as tradition and the availability of the animals. The amount and kind of meat consumed also varies by income, both between countries and within a given country.
Modern agriculture employs a number of techniques, such as progeny testing, to speed artificial selection by breeding animals to rapidly acquire the qualities desired by meat producers.:10 For instance, in the wake of well-publicised health concerns associated with saturated fats in the 1980s, the fat content of United Kingdom beef, pork and lamb fell from 20–26 percent to 4–8 percent within a few decades, due to both selective breeding for leanness and changed methods of butchery.:10 Methods of genetic engineering aimed at improving the meat production qualities of animals are now also becoming available.:14
Even though it is a very old industry, meat production continues to be shaped strongly by the evolving demands of customers. The trend towards selling meat in pre-packaged cuts has increased the demand for larger breeds of cattle, which are better suited to producing such cuts.:11 Even more animals not previously exploited for their meat are now being farmed, especially the more agile and mobile species, whose muscles tend to be developed better than those of cattle, sheep or pigs.:11 Examples are the various antelope species, the zebra, water buffalo and camel,:11ff as well as non-mammals, such as the crocodile, emu and ostrich.:13 Another important trend in contemporary meat production is organic farming which, while providing no organoleptic benefit to meat so produced, meets an increasing demand for organic meat.
For most of human history, meat was a largely unquestioned part of the human diet.:1 Only in the 20th century did it begin to become a topic of discourse and contention in society, politics and wider culture.:11
The founders of Western philosophy disagreed about the ethics of eating meat. Plato's Republic has Socrates describe the ideal state as vegetarian. Pythagoras believed that humans and animals were equal and therefore disapproved of meat consumption, as did Plutarch, whereas Zeno and Epicurus were vegetarian but allowed meat-eating in their philosophy.:10 Conversely, Aristotle's Politics assert that animals, as inferior beings, exist to serve humans, including as food. Augustine drew on Aristotle to argue that the universe's natural hierarchy allows humans to eat animals, and animals to eat plants.:10 Enlightenment philosophers were likewise divided. Descartes wrote that animals are merely animated machines, and Kant considered them inferior beings for lack of discernment; means rather than ends.:11 But Voltaire and Rousseau disagreed. The latter argued that meat-eating is a social rather than a natural act, because children aren't interested in meat.:11
Later philosophers examined the changing practices of eating meat in the modern age as part of a process of detachment from animals as living beings. Norbert Elias, for instance, noted that in medieval times cooked animals were brought to the table whole, but that since the Renaissance only the edible parts are served, which are no longer recognizably part of an animal.:12 Modern eaters, according to Noëlie Vialles, demand an "ellipsis" between meat and dead animals; for instance, calves' eyes are no longer considered a delicacy as in the Middle Ages, but provoke disgust.:12 Even in the English language, distinctions emerged between animals and their meat, such as between cattle and beef, pigs and pork.:12 Fernand Braudel wrote that since the European diet of the 15th and 16th century was particularly heavy in meat, European colonialism helped export meat-eating across the globe, as colonized peoples took up the culinary habits of their colonizers, which they associated with wealth and power.:15
Meat consumption varies worldwide, depending on cultural or religious preferences, as well as economic conditions. Vegetarians choose not to eat meat because of ethical, economic, environmental, religious or health concerns that are associated with meat production and consumption.
According to the analysis of the FAO the overall consumption for white meat between 1990 and 2009 has dramatically increased. For example, poultry meat has increased by 76.6% per kilo per capita and pig meat by 19.7%. However, on the contrary, bovine meat has decreased from 10.4 kilograms (23 lb)/capita in 1990 to 9.6 kilograms (21 lb)/capita in 2009.
Overall, diets that include meat are the most common worldwide according to the results of a 2018 Ipsos MORI study of 16-64 years olds in 28 different countries. Ipsos states “An omnivorous diet is the most common diet globally, with non-meat diets (which can include fish) followed by over a tenth of the global population.” Approximately 87% of people include meat in their diet in some frequency. 73% of meat eaters included it in their diet regularly and 14% consumed meat only occasionally or infrequently. Estimates of the non-meat diets were also broken down. About 3% of people followed vegan diets; where consumption of meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy are abstained from. About 5% of people followed vegetarian diets; where consumption of meat and seafood are abstained from, but egg and/or dairy consumption isn’t strictly restricted. About 3% of people followed pescetarian diets; where consumption of meat is abstained from, seafood is consumed, and egg and/or dairy consumption may or may not be strictly restricted.
Agricultural science has identified several factors bearing on the growth and development of meat in animals.
Several economically important traits in meat animals are heritable to some degree (see the adjacent table) and can thus be selected for by animal breeding. In cattle, certain growth features are controlled by recessive genes which have not so far been controlled, complicating breeding.:18 One such trait is dwarfism; another is the doppelender or "double muscling" condition, which causes muscle hypertrophy and thereby increases the animal's commercial value.:18 Genetic analysis continues to reveal the genetic mechanisms that control numerous aspects of the endocrine system and, through it, meat growth and quality.:19
Genetic engineering techniques can shorten breeding programs significantly because they allow for the identification and isolation of genes coding for desired traits, and for the reincorporation of these genes into the animal genome.:21 To enable such manipulation, research is ongoing (as of 2006) to map the entire genome of sheep, cattle and pigs.:21 Some research has already seen commercial application. For instance, a recombinant bacterium has been developed which improves the digestion of grass in the rumen of cattle, and some specific features of muscle fibres have been genetically altered.:22
Experimental reproductive cloning of commercially important meat animals such as sheep, pig or cattle has been successful. Multiple asexual reproduction of animals bearing desirable traits is anticipated,:22 although this is not yet practical on a commercial scale.
Heat regulation in livestock is of great economic significance, because mammals attempt to maintain a constant optimal body temperature. Low temperatures tend to prolong animal development and high temperatures tend to retard it.:22 Depending on their size, body shape and insulation through tissue and fur, some animals have a relatively narrow zone of temperature tolerance and others (e.g. cattle) a broad one.:23 Static magnetic fields, for reasons still unknown, also retard animal development.:23
The quality and quantity of usable meat depends on the animal's plane of nutrition, i.e., whether it is over- or underfed. Scientists disagree, however, about how exactly the plane of nutrition influences carcase composition.:25
The composition of the diet, especially the amount of protein provided, is also an important factor regulating animal growth.:26 Ruminants, which may digest cellulose, are better adapted to poor-quality diets, but their ruminal microorganisms degrade high-quality protein if supplied in excess.:27 Because producing high-quality protein animal feed is expensive (see also Environmental impact below), several techniques are employed or experimented with to ensure maximum utilization of protein. These include the treatment of feed with formalin to protect amino acids during their passage through the rumen, the recycling of manure by feeding it back to cattle mixed with feed concentrates, or the partial conversion of petroleum hydrocarbons to protein through microbial action.:30
In plant feed, environmental factors influence the availability of crucial nutrients or micronutrients, a lack or excess of which can cause a great many ailments.:29 In Australia, for instance, where the soil contains limited phosphate, cattle are being fed additional phosphate to increase the efficiency of beef production.:28 Also in Australia, cattle and sheep in certain areas were often found losing their appetite and dying in the midst of rich pasture; this was at length found to be a result of cobalt deficiency in the soil.:29 Plant toxins are also a risk to grazing animals; for instance, sodium fluoroacetate, found in some African and Australian plants, kills by disrupting the cellular metabolism.:29 Certain man-made pollutants such as methylmercury and some pesticide residues present a particular hazard due to their tendency to bioaccumulate in meat, potentially poisoning consumers.:30
Meat producers may seek to improve the fertility of female animals through the administration of gonadotrophic or ovulation-inducing hormones.:31 In pig production, sow infertility is a common problem — possibly due to excessive fatness.:32 No methods currently exist to augment the fertility of male animals.:32 Artificial insemination is now routinely used to produce animals of the best possible genetic quality, and the efficiency of this method is improved through the administration of hormones that synchronize the ovulation cycles within groups of females.:33
Growth hormones, particularly anabolic agents such as steroids, are used in some countries to accelerate muscle growth in animals.:33 This practice has given rise to the beef hormone controversy, an international trade dispute. It may also decrease the tenderness of meat, although research on this is inconclusive,:35 and have other effects on the composition of the muscle flesh.:36ff Where castration is used to improve control over male animals, its side effects are also counteracted by the administration of hormones.:33
Sedatives may be administered to animals to counteract stress factors and increase weight gain.:39 The feeding of antibiotics to certain animals has been shown to improve growth rates also.:39 This practice is particularly prevalent in the USA, but has been banned in the EU, partly because it causes antimicrobial resistance in pathogenic microorganisms.:39
Numerous aspects of the biochemical composition of meat vary in complex ways depending on the species, breed, sex, age, plane of nutrition, training and exercise of the animal, as well as on the anatomical location of the musculature involved.:94–126 Even between animals of the same litter and sex there are considerable differences in such parameters as the percentage of intramuscular fat.:126
Adult mammalian muscle flesh consists of roughly 75 percent water, 19 percent protein, 2.5 percent intramuscular fat, 1.2 percent carbohydrates and 2.3 percent other soluble non-protein substances. These include nitrogenous compounds, such as amino acids, and inorganic substances such as minerals.:76
Muscle proteins are either soluble in water (sarcoplasmic proteins, about 11.5 percent of total muscle mass) or in concentrated salt solutions (myofibrillar proteins, about 5.5 percent of mass).:75 There are several hundred sarcoplasmic proteins.:77 Most of them – the glycolytic enzymes – are involved in the glycolytic pathway, i.e., the conversion of stored energy into muscle power.:78 The two most abundant myofibrillar proteins, myosin and actin,:79 are responsible for the muscle's overall structure. The remaining protein mass consists of connective tissue (collagen and elastin) as well as organelle tissue.:79
Fat in meat can be either adipose tissue, used by the animal to store energy and consisting of "true fats" (esters of glycerol with fatty acids),:82 or intramuscular fat, which contains considerable quantities of phospholipids and of unsaponifiable constituents such as cholesterol.:82
Meat can be broadly classified as "red" or "white" depending on the concentration of myoglobin in muscle fibre. When myoglobin is exposed to oxygen, reddish oxymyoglobin develops, making myoglobin-rich meat appear red. The redness of meat depends on species, animal age, and fibre type: Red meat contains more narrow muscle fibres that tend to operate over long periods without rest,:93 while white meat contains more broad fibres that tend to work in short fast bursts.:93
|fish.||110–140||20–25 g||0 g||1–5 g|
|chicken breast||160||28 g||0 g||7 g|
|lamb||250||30 g||0 g||14 g|
|steak (beef top round)||210||36 g||0 g||7 g|
|steak (beef T-bone)||450||25 g||0 g||35 g|
All muscle tissue is very high in protein, containing all of the essential amino acids, and in most cases is a good source of zinc, vitamin B12, selenium, phosphorus, niacin, vitamin B6, choline, riboflavin and iron. Several forms of meat are also high in vitamin K. Muscle tissue is very low in carbohydrates and does not contain dietary fiber. While taste quality may vary between meats, the proteins, vitamins, and minerals available from meats are generally consistent.
The fat content of meat can vary widely depending on the species and breed of animal, the way in which the animal was raised, including what it was fed, the anatomical part of the body, and the methods of butchering and cooking. Wild animals such as deer are typically leaner than farm animals, leading those concerned about fat content to choose game such as venison. Decades of breeding meat animals for fatness is being reversed by consumer demand for meat with less fat. The fatty deposits that exist with the muscle fibers in meats soften meat when it is cooked and improve the flavor through chemical changes initiated through heat that allow the protein and fat molecules to interact. The fat, when cooked with meat, also makes the meat seem juicier. However, the nutritional contribution of the fat is mainly calories as opposed to protein. As fat content rises, the meat's contribution to nutrition declines. In addition, there is cholesterol associated with fat surrounding the meat. The cholesterol is a lipid associated with the kind of saturated fat found in meat. The increase in meat consumption after 1960 is associated with, though not definitively the cause of, significant imbalances of fat and cholesterol in the human diet.
The table in this section compares the nutritional content of several types of meat. While each kind of meat has about the same content of protein and carbohydrates, there is a very wide range of fat content.
Meat is produced by killing an animal and cutting flesh out of it. These procedures are called slaughter and butchery, respectively. There is ongoing research into producing meat in vitro, that is, outside of animals.
Upon reaching a predetermined age or weight, livestock are usually transported en masse to the slaughterhouse. Depending on its length and circumstances, this may exert stress and injuries on the animals, and some may die en route.:129 Unnecessary stress in transport may adversely affect the quality of the meat.:129 In particular, the muscles of stressed animals are low in water and glycogen, and their pH fails to attain acidic values, all of which results in poor meat quality.:130 Consequently, and also due to campaigning by animal welfare groups, laws and industry practices in several countries tend to become more restrictive with respect to the duration and other circumstances of livestock transports.
Animals are usually slaughtered by being first stunned and then exsanguinated (bled out). Death results from the one or the other procedure, depending on the methods employed. Stunning can be effected through asphyxiating the animals with carbon dioxide, shooting them with a gun or a captive bolt pistol, or shocking them with electric current.:134ff In most forms of ritual slaughter, stunning is not allowed.
Draining as much blood as possible from the carcass is necessary because blood causes the meat to have an unappealing appearance and is a breeding ground for microorganisms.:1340 The exsanguination is accomplished by severing the carotid artery and the jugular vein in cattle and sheep, and the anterior vena cava in pigs.:137
The act of slaughtering animals for meat, or of raising or transporting animals for slaughter, may engender both psychological stress and physical trauma in the people involved. In 2010, Human Rights Watch described slaughterhouse line work in the United States as a human rights crime. In a 2018 study in the Italian Journal of Food Safety, slaughterhouse workers are instructed to wear ear protectors to protect their hearing from the constant screams of animals being killed.
After exsanguination, the carcass is dressed; that is, the head, feet, hide (except hogs and some veal), excess fat, viscera and offal are removed, leaving only bones and edible muscle.:138 Cattle and pig carcases, but not those of sheep, are then split in half along the mid ventral axis, and the carcase is cut into wholesale pieces.:138 The dressing and cutting sequence, long a province of manual labor, is progressively being fully automated.:138
Under hygienic conditions and without other treatment, meat can be stored at above its freezing point (–1.5 °C) for about six weeks without spoilage, during which time it undergoes an aging process that increases its tenderness and flavor.:141
During the first day after death, glycolysis continues until the accumulation of lactic acid causes the pH to reach about 5.5. The remaining glycogen, about 18 g per kg, is believed to increase the water-holding capacity and tenderness of the flesh when cooked.:87 Rigor mortis sets in a few hours after death as ATP is used up, causing actin and myosin to combine into rigid actomyosin and lowering the meat's water-holding capacity,:90 causing it to lose water ("weep").:146 In muscles that enter rigor in a contracted position, actin and myosin filaments overlap and cross-bond, resulting in meat that is tough on cooking:144 – hence again the need to prevent pre-slaughter stress in the animal.
Over time, the muscle proteins denature in varying degree, with the exception of the collagen and elastin of connective tissue,:142 and rigor mortis resolves. Because of these changes, the meat is tender and pliable when cooked just after death or after the resolution of rigor, but tough when cooked during rigor.:142 As the muscle pigment myoglobin denatures, its iron oxidates, which may cause a brown discoloration near the surface of the meat.:146 Ongoing proteolysis also contributes to conditioning. Hypoxanthine, a breakdown product of ATP, contributes to the meat's flavor and odor, as do other products of the decomposition of muscle fat and protein.:155
When meat is industrially processed in preparation of consumption, it may be enriched with additives to protect or modify its flavor or color, to improve its tenderness, juiciness or cohesiveness, or to aid with its preservation. Meat additives include the following:
With the rise of complex supply chains, including cold chains, in developed economies, the distance between the farmer or fisherman and customer has grown, increasing the possibility for intentional and unintentional misidentification of meat at various points in the supply chain.
In 2013, reports emerged across Europe that products labelled as containing beef actually contained horse meat. In February 2013 a study was published showing that about one-third of raw fish are misidentified across the United States.
Various forms of imitation meat have been created for people who wish not to eat meat but still want to taste its flavor and texture. Meat imitates are typically some form of processed soybean (tofu, tempeh), but they can also be based on wheat gluten, pea protein isolate, or even fungi (quorn).
Various environmental effects are associated with meat production. Among these are greenhouse gas emissions, fossil energy use, water use, water quality changes, and effects on grazed ecosystems.
The livestock sector may be the largest source of water pollution (due to animal wastes, fertilizers, pesticides), and it contributes to emergence of antibiotic resistance. It accounts for over 8% of global human water use. It is by far the biggest cause of land use, as it accounts for nearly 40% of the global land surface. It is a significant driver of biodiversity loss, as it causes deforestation, ocean dead zones, land degradation, pollution, and overfishing.
The occurrence, nature and significance of environmental effects varies among livestock production systems. Grazing of livestock can be beneficial for some wildlife species, but not for others. Targeted grazing of livestock is used as a food-producing alternative to herbicide use in some vegetation management.
Meat production is responsible for 14.5% and possibly up to 51% of the world's anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. However, greenhouse gas emission depends on the economy and country: animal products (meat, fish, and dairy) account for 22%, 65%, and 70% of emissions in the diets of lower-middle–, upper-middle–, and high-income nations, respectively. Some nations show very different impacts to counterparts within the same group, with Brazil and Australia having emissions over 200% higher than the average of their respective income groups and driven by meat consumption.
According to a report produced by United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) international panel for sustainable resource management, a worldwide transition in the direction of a meat and dairy free diet is indispensable if adverse global climate change were to be prevented. A 2019 report in The Lancet recommended that global meat (and sugar) consumption be reduced by 50 percent to mitigate climate change. Meat consumption in Western societies needs to be reduced by up to 90% according to a 2018 study published in Nature.
Meat consumption is considered one of the primary contributors of the sixth mass extinction. A 2017 study by the World Wildlife Fund found that 60% of global biodiversity loss is attributable to meat-based diets, in particular from the vast scale of feed crop cultivation needed to rear tens of billions of farm animals for human consumption puts an enormous strain on natural resources resulting in a wide-scale loss of lands and species. Currently, livestock make up 60% of the biomass of all mammals on earth, followed by humans (36%) and wild mammals (4%). In November 2017, 15,364 world scientists signed a Warning to Humanity calling for, among other things, drastically diminishing our per capita consumption of meat and "dietary shifts towards mostly plant-based foods". The 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, released by IPBES, also recommended reductions meat consumption in order to mitigate biodiversity loss.
A July 2018 study in Science says that meat consumption is set to rise as the human population increases along with affluence, which will increase greenhouse gas emissions and further reduce biodiversity.
Meat-producing livestock can provide environmental benefits through waste reduction, e.g. conversion of human-inedible residues of food crops. Manure from meat-producing livestock is used as fertilizer; it may be composted before application to food crops. Substitution of animal manures for synthetic fertilizers in crop production can be environmentally significant, as between 43 and 88 MJ of fossil fuel energy are used per kg of nitrogen in manufacture of synthetic nitrogenous fertilizers.
The spoilage of meat occurs, if untreated, in a matter of hours or days and results in the meat becoming unappetizing, poisonous or infectious. Spoilage is caused by the practically unavoidable infection and subsequent decomposition of meat by bacteria and fungi, which are borne by the animal itself, by the people handling the meat, and by their implements. Meat can be kept edible for a much longer time – though not indefinitely – if proper hygiene is observed during production and processing, and if appropriate food safety, food preservation and food storage procedures are applied. Without the application of preservatives and stabilizers, the fats in meat may also begin to rapidly decompose after cooking or processing, leading to an objectionable taste known as warmed over flavor.
Fresh meat can be cooked for immediate consumption, or be processed, that is, treated for longer-term preservation and later consumption, possibly after further preparation. Fresh meat cuts or processed cuts may produce iridescence, commonly thought to be due to spoilage but actually caused by structural coloration and diffraction of the light. A common additive to processed meats, both for preservation and because it prevents discoloring, is sodium nitrite, which, however, is also a source of health concerns, because it may form carcinogenic nitrosamines when heated.
Meat is prepared in many ways, as steaks, in stews, fondue, or as dried meat like beef jerky. It may be ground then formed into patties (as hamburgers or croquettes), loaves, or sausages, or used in loose form (as in "sloppy joe" or Bolognese sauce).
Some meat is cured by smoking, which is the process of flavoring, cooking, or preserving food by exposing it to the smoke from burning or smoldering plant materials, most often wood. In Europe, alder is the traditional smoking wood, but oak is more often used now, and beech to a lesser extent. In North America, hickory, mesquite, oak, pecan, alder, maple, and fruit-tree woods are commonly used for smoking. Meat can also be cured by pickling, preserving in salt or brine (see salted meat and other curing methods). Other kinds of meat are marinated and barbecued, or simply boiled, roasted, or fried.
Meat is generally eaten cooked, but many recipes call for raw beef, veal or fish (tartare). Steak tartare is a meat dish made from finely chopped or minced raw beef or horse meat. Meat is often spiced or seasoned, particularly with meat products such as sausages. Meat dishes are usually described by their source (animal and part of body) and method of preparation (e.g., a beef rib).
Meat is a typical base for making sandwiches. Popular varieties of sandwich meat include ham, pork, salami and other sausages, and beef, such as steak, roast beef, corned beef, pepperoni, and pastrami. Meat can also be molded or pressed (common for products that include offal, such as haggis and scrapple) and canned.
There is concern and debate regarding the potential association of meat, in particular red and processed meat, with a variety of health risks. A study of 400,000 subjects conducted by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition and published in 2013 showed "a moderate positive association between processed meat consumption and mortality, in particular due to cardiovascular diseases, but also to cancer."
A 1999 metastudy combined data from five studies from western countries. The metastudy reported mortality ratios, where lower numbers indicated fewer deaths, for fish eaters to be 0.82, vegetarians to be 0.84, occasional meat eaters to be 0.84. Regular meat eaters and vegans shared the highest mortality ratio of 1.00.
In response to changing prices as well as health concerns about saturated fat and cholesterol, consumers have altered their consumption of various meats. A USDA report points out that consumption of beef in the United States between 1970–1974 and 1990–1994 dropped by 21%, while consumption of chicken increased by 90%. During the same period of time, the price of chicken dropped by 14% relative to the price of beef. From 1995–1996, beef consumption increased due to higher supplies and lower prices.
The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans asked men and teenage boys to increase their consumption of vegetables or other underconsumed foods because they eat too much protein.
Various toxic compounds can contaminate meat, including heavy metals, mycotoxins, pesticide residues, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Often, these compounds can be metabolized in the body to form harmful by-products. Negative effects depend on the individual genome, diet, and history of the consumer.
Meat and meat products may contain substances such as dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), and cooked meat may contain carcinogens, that are toxic to the consumer, although any chemical's toxicity is dependent on the dose and timing of exposure. Toxins may be introduced to meat as part of animal feed, as veterinary drug residues, or during processing and cooking.
There are concerns about a relationship between the consumption of meat, in particular processed and red meat, and increased cancer risk. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a specialized agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), classified processed meat (e.g., bacon, ham, hot dogs, sausages) as, "carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer." IARC also classified red meat as "probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A), based on limited evidence that the consumption of red meat causes cancer in humans and strong mechanistic evidence supporting a carcinogenic effect."
The correlation of consumption to increased risk of heart disease is controversial. Some studies fail to find a link between red meat consumption and heart disease (although the same study found statistically significant correlation between the consumption of processed meat and coronary heart disease). A large cohort study of Seventh-Day Adventists in California found that the risk of heart disease is three times greater for 45-64-year-old men who eat meat daily, versus those who did not eat meat. This study compared adventists to the general population and not other Seventh Day Adventists who ate meat and did not specifically distinguish red and processed meat in its assessment.
A major Harvard University study in 2010 involving over one million people who ate meat found that only processed meat had an adverse risk in relation to coronary heart disease. The study suggests that eating 50 g (less than 2 ounces) of processed meat per day increases risk of coronary heart disease by 42%, and diabetes by 19%. Equivalent levels of fat, including saturated fats, in unprocessed meat (even when eating twice as much per day) did not show any deleterious effects, leading the researchers to suggest that "differences in salt and preservatives, rather than fats, might explain the higher risk of heart disease and diabetes seen with processed meats, but not with unprocessed red meats." A 2017 meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials found that eating more than 0.5 servings of meat per-day does not increase lipids, blood pressure, lipoproteins, or other heart disease risk factors.
Prospective analysis suggests that meat consumption is positively associated with weight gain in men and women. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association countered by stating that meat consumption may not be associated with fat gain. In response, the authors of the original study controlled for just abdominal fat across a sample of 91,214 people and found that even when controlling for calories and lifestyle factors, meat consumption is linked with obesity. Additional studies and reviews have confirmed the finding that greater meat consumption is positively linked with greater weight gain even when controlling for calories, and lifestyle factors.
Bacterial contamination has been seen with meat products. A 2011 study by the Translational Genomics Research Institute showed that nearly half (47%) of the meat and poultry in U.S. grocery stores were contaminated with S. aureus, with more than half (52%) of those bacteria resistant to antibiotics. A 2018 investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and The Guardian found that around 15 percent of the US population suffers from foodborne illnesses every year. The investigation also highlighted unsanitary conditions in US-based meat plants, which included meat products covered in excrement and abscesses "filled with pus".
Several studies published since 1990 indicate that cooking muscle meat creates heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which are thought to increase cancer risk in humans. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute published results of a study which found that human subjects who ate beef rare or medium-rare had less than one third the risk of stomach cancer than those who ate beef medium-well or well-done. While eating muscle meat raw may be the only way to avoid HCAs fully, the National Cancer Institute states that cooking meat below 212 °F (100 °C) creates "negligible amounts" of HCAs. Also, microwaving meat before cooking may reduce HCAs by 90%.
Nitrosamines, present in processed and cooked foods, have been noted as being carcinogenic, being linked to colon cancer. Also, toxic compounds called PAHs, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, present in processed, smoked and cooked foods, are known to be carcinogenic.
Meat is part of the human diet in most cultures, where it often has symbolic meaning and important social functions. Many people, however, choose not to eat meat (this is referred to as vegetarianism) or any food made from animals (veganism). The reasons for not eating all or some meat may include ethical objections to killing animals for food, health concerns, environmental concerns or religious dietary laws.
Ethical issues regarding the consumption of meat include objecting to the act of killing animals or to the agricultural practices used in meat production. Reasons for objecting to killing animals for consumption may include animal rights, environmental ethics, or an aversion to inflicting pain or harm on other sentient creatures. Some people, while not vegetarians, refuse to eat the flesh of certain animals (such as cows, pigs, cats, dogs, horses, or rabbits) due to cultural or religious traditions.
Some people eat only the flesh of animals that they believe have not been mistreated, and abstain from the flesh of animals raised in factory farms or else abstain from particular products, such as foie gras and veal.
Some techniques of intensive agriculture may be cruel to animals: foie gras is a food product made from the liver of ducks or geese that have been force fed corn to fatten the organ; veal is criticised because the veal calves may be highly restricted in movement, have unsuitable flooring, spend their entire lives indoors, experience prolonged deprivation (sensory, social, and exploratory), and be more susceptible to high amounts of stress and disease.
The religion of Jainism has always opposed eating meat, and there are also schools of Buddhism and Hinduism that condemn the eating of meat. Jewish dietary rules (Kashrut) allow certain (kosher) meat and forbid other (treif). The rules include prohibitions on the consumption of unclean animals (such as pork, shellfish including mollusca and crustacea, and most insects), and mixtures of meat and milk. Similar rules apply in Islamic dietary laws: The Quran explicitly forbids meat from animals that die naturally, blood, the meat of swine (porcine animals, pigs), and animals dedicated to other than Allah (either undedicated or dedicated to idols) which are haram as opposed to halal. Sikhism forbids meat of slowly slaughtered animals ("kutha") and prescribes killing animals with a single strike ("jhatka"), but some Sikh groups oppose eating any meat.
Research in applied psychology has investigated practices of meat eating in relation to morality, emotions, cognition, and personality characteristics. Psychological research suggests meat eating is correlated with masculinity, support for social hierarchy, and reduced openness to experience. Research into the consumer psychology of meat is relevant both to meat industry marketing and to advocates of reduced meat consumption.
Unlike most other food, meat is not perceived as gender-neutral, and is particularly associated with men and masculinity. Sociological research, ranging from African tribal societies to contemporary barbecues, indicates that men are much more likely to participate in preparing meat than other food.:15 This has been attributed to the influence of traditional male gender roles, in view of a "male familiarity with killing" or roasting being more violent as opposed to boiling.:15 By and large, at least in modern societies, men also tend to consume more meat than women, and men often prefer red meat whereas women tend to prefer chicken and fish.:16
Over the past week, representatives from the world’s governments have fine-tuned the summary for policymakers, which includes remedial scenarios, such as “transformative change” across all areas of government, revised trade rules, massive investments in forests and other green infrastructure, and changes in individual behaviour such as lower consumption of meat and material goods.
The results of our analysis support a moderate positive association between processed meat consumption and mortality, in particular due to cardiovascular diseases, but also to cancer.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
Beef is the culinary name for meat from cattle, particularly skeletal muscle. Humans have been eating beef since prehistoric times. Beef is a source of high-quality protein and nutrients.Most beef skeletal muscle meat can be used as is by merely cutting into certain parts, such as roasts, short ribs or steak (filet mignon, sirloin steak, rump steak, rib steak, rib eye steak, hanger steak, etc.), while other cuts are processed (corned beef or beef jerky). Trimmings, on the other hand, are usually mixed with meat from older, leaner (therefore tougher) cattle, are ground, minced or used in sausages. The blood is used in some varieties called blood sausage. Other parts that are eaten include other muscles and offal, such as the oxtail, liver, tongue, tripe from the reticulum or rumen, glands (particularly the pancreas and thymus, referred to as sweetbread), the heart, the brain (although forbidden where there is a danger of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE, commonly referred to as mad cow disease), the kidneys, and the tender testicles of the bull (known in the United States as calf fries, prairie oysters, or Rocky Mountain oysters). Some intestines are cooked and eaten as is, but are more often cleaned and used as natural sausage casings. The bones are used for making beef stock.
Beef from steers and heifers is similar. Depending on economics, the number of heifers kept for breeding varies. The meat from older bulls, because it is usually tougher, is frequently used for mince (known as ground beef in the United States). Cattle raised for beef may be allowed to roam free on grasslands, or may be confined at some stage in pens as part of a large feeding operation called a feedlot (or concentrated animal feeding operation), where they are usually fed a ration of grain, protein, roughage and a vitamin/mineral preblend.
Beef is the third most widely consumed meat in the world, accounting for about 25% of meat production worldwide, after pork and poultry at 38% and 30% respectively. In absolute numbers, the United States, Brazil, and the People's Republic of China are the world's three largest consumers of beef; Uruguay, however, has the highest beef and veal consumption per capita, followed by Argentina and Brazil. According to the data from OECD, the average Uruguayan ate over 42 kg (93 lb) of beef or veal in 2014, representing the highest beef/veal consumption per capita in the world. In comparison, the average American consumed only about 24 kg (53 lb) beef or veal in the same year, while African countries, such as Mozambique, Ghana, and Nigeria, consumed the least beef or veal per capita.
In 2015, the world's largest exporters of beef were India, Brazil and Australia. Beef production is also important to the economies of Uruguay, Canada, Paraguay, Mexico, Argentina, Belarus and Nicaragua.
Beef production has a high environmental impact per gram of protein.Biryani
Biryani (pronounced [bɪr.jaːniː]), also known as biriyani, biriani, birani or briyani, is a mixed rice dish with its origins among the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. This dish is especially popular throughout the Indian subcontinent, as well as among the diaspora from the region. It is also prepared in other regions such as Iraqi Kurdistan. It is made with Indian spices, rice, meat (chicken, goat, beef, prawn, or fish), vegetables or eggs.Carnivore
A carnivore , meaning "meat eater" (Latin, caro, genitive carnis, meaning "meat" or "flesh" and vorare meaning "to devour"), is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of animal tissue, whether through predation or scavenging. Animals that depend solely on animal flesh for their nutrient requirements are called obligate carnivores while those that also consume non-animal food are called facultative carnivores. Omnivores also consume both animal and non-animal food, and, apart from the more general definition, there is no clearly defined ratio of plant to animal material that would distinguish a facultative carnivore from an omnivore. A carnivore at the top of the food chain, not preyed upon by other animals, is termed an apex predator.
"Carnivore" also may refer to the mammalian order Carnivora, but this is somewhat misleading: many, but not all, Carnivora are meat eaters, and even fewer are true obligate carnivores (see below). For example, while the Arctic polar bear eats meat almost exclusively (more than 90% of its diet is meat), most species of bears are actually omnivorous, and the giant panda is exclusively herbivorous. There are also many carnivorous species that are not members of Carnivora.
Outside the animal kingdom, there are several genera containing carnivorous plants (predominantly insectivores) and several phyla containing carnivorous fungi (preying mostly on microscopic invertebrates such as nematodes, amoebae and springtails).
Carnivores are sometimes characterized by their type of prey. For example, animals that eat mainly insects and similar invertebrates are called insectivores, while those that eat mainly fish are called piscivores. The first tetrapods, or land-dwelling vertebrates, were piscivorous amphibians known as labyrinthodonts. They gave rise to insectivorous vertebrates and, later, to predators of other tetrapods.Carnivores may alternatively be classified according to the percentage of meat in their diet. The diet of a hypercarnivore consists of more than 70% meat, that of a mesocarnivore 30–70%, and that of a hypocarnivore less than 30%, with the balance consisting of non-animal foods such as fruits, other plant material, or fungi.Chicken as food
Chicken is the most common type of poultry in the world. Owing to the relative ease and low cost of raising them in comparison to animals such as cattle or hogs, chickens have become prevalent throughout the cuisine of cultures around the world, and their meat has been variously adapted to regional tastes.
Chicken can be prepared in a vast range of ways, including baking, grilling, barbecuing, frying, and boiling, among many others, depending on its purpose. Since the latter half of the 20th century, prepared chicken has become a staple of fast food. Chicken is sometimes cited as being more healthful than red meat, with lower concentrations of cholesterol and saturated fat.The poultry farming industry that accounts for chicken production takes on a range of forms across different parts of the world. In developed countries, chickens are typically subject to intensive farming methods, while less-developed areas raise chickens using more traditional farming techniques. The United Nations estimates there to be 19 billion chickens on Earth today, making them outnumber humans more than two to one.Dog meat
Dog meat is the flesh and other edible parts derived from dogs. Historically, human consumption of dog meat has been recorded in many parts of the world. In the 21st century, dog meat is consumed in some regions of China, South Korea, Vietnam, and Nigeria and it is still eaten or is legal to be eaten in other countries throughout the world. Some cultures view the consumption of dog meat as part of their traditional, ritualistic, or day-to-day cuisine, while other cultures consider consumption of dog meat a taboo, even where it had been consumed in the past. It was estimated in 2014 that worldwide, 25 million dogs are eaten each year by humans.Doner kebab
Doner kebab (also döner kebab) (UK: , US: ; Turkish: döner or döner kebap [dœˈnæɾ ˈcebap]) is a type of kebab, made of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie. Seasoned meat stacked in the shape of an inverted cone is turned slowly on the rotisserie, next to a vertical cooking element. The outer layer is sliced into thin shavings as it cooks. The vertical rotisserie was invented in the 19th-century Ottoman Empire, and doner kebab inspired similar dishes such as the Arab shawarma, Greek gyros, and Mexican al pastor.
The sliced meat of a doner kebab may be served on a plate with various accompaniments, stuffed into a pita or other type of bread as a sandwich, or wrapped in a thin flatbread such as lavash or yufka, known as a dürüm (literally meaning roll or wrap in Turkish). Since the early 1970s, the sandwich or wrap form has become popular around the world as a fast food dish sold by kebab shops, and is often called simply a "kebab". The sandwich generally contains salad or vegetables, which may include tomato, lettuce, cabbage, onion with sumac, fresh or pickled cucumber, or chili, and various types of sauces.Halal
Halal (; Arabic: حلال ḥalāl), also spelled hallal or halaal, is an Arabic word that translates as "permissible" into English.
In the Quran, the word halal is contrasted with haram (forbidden). This binary opposition was elaborated into a more complex classification known as "the five decisions": mandatory, recommended, neutral, reprehensible, and forbidden. Islamic jurists disagree on whether the term halal covers the first three or the first four of these categories. In recent times, Islamic movements seeking to mobilize the masses and authors writing for a popular audience have emphasized the simpler distinction of halal and haram.The term halal is particularly associated with Islamic dietary laws, and especially meat processed and prepared in accordance with those requirements.Ham
Ham is pork from a leg cut that has been preserved by wet or dry curing, with or without smoking. As a processed meat, the term "ham" includes both whole cuts of meat and ones that have been mechanically formed.
Ham is made around the world, including a number of regional specialties, such as Westphalian ham and some varieties of Spanish jamón. In addition, numerous ham products have specific geographical naming protection, such as Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto Toscano in Europe, and Smithfield ham in the US.Lamb and mutton
Lamb, hogget and mutton are the meat of domestic sheep (species Ovis aries) at different ages.
In general, a sheep in its first year is called a lamb, and its meat is also called lamb. The meat of a juvenile sheep older than one year is hogget; outside the United States this is also a term for the living animal. The meat of an adult sheep is mutton, a term only used for the meat, not the living animals. In the Indian subcontinent, the term mutton is also used to refer to goat meat.Lamb is the most expensive of the three types, and in recent decades sheep meat is increasingly only retailed as "lamb", sometimes stretching the accepted distinctions given above. The stronger-tasting mutton is now hard to find in many areas, despite the efforts of the Mutton Renaissance Campaign in the UK. In Australia, the term prime lamb is often used to refer to lambs raised for meat. Other languages, for example French, Spanish, Italian and Arabic, make similar, or even more detailed, distinctions among sheep meats by age and sometimes by sex and diet, though these languages do not always use different words to refer to the animal and its meat — for example, lechazo in Spanish refers to meat from milk-fed (unweaned) lambs.Livestock
Livestock is commonly defined as domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce labor and commodities such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, leather, and wool. The term is sometimes used to refer solely to those that are bred for consumption, while other times it refers only to farmed ruminants, such as cattle and goats. Horses are considered livestock in the United States. The USDA uses livestock similarly to some uses of the term “red meat”, in which it specifically refers to all the mammal animals kept in this setting to be used as commodities. The USDA mentions pork, veal, beef, and lamb are all classified as livestock and all livestock is considered to be red meats. Poultry and fish are not included in the category.The breeding, maintenance, and slaughter of livestock, known as animal husbandry, is a component of modern agriculture that has been practiced in many cultures since humanity's transition to farming from hunter-gatherer lifestyles. Animal husbandry practices have varied widely across cultures and time periods. Originally, livestock were not confined by fences or enclosures, but these practices have largely shifted to intensive animal farming, sometimes referred to as "factory farming". Now, over 99% of livestock are raised on factory farms. These practices increase yield of the various commercial outputs, but have also led to negative impacts on animal welfare and the environment. Livestock production continues to play a major economic and cultural role in numerous rural communities.Meat Loaf
Michael Lee Aday (born Marvin Lee Aday; September 27, 1947), known professionally as Meat Loaf, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actor. He is noted for his wide-ranging operatic voice and theatrical live shows.
His Bat Out of Hell trilogy of albums—Bat Out of Hell, Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, and Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose—have sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. More than 40 years after its release, Bat Out of Hell still sells an estimated 200,000 copies annually and stayed on the charts for over nine years, making it one of the best selling albums in history.After the commercial success of Bat Out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell and earning a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for the song "I'd Do Anything for Love", Meat Loaf experienced some initial difficulty establishing a steady career within the United States. However, he has retained iconic status and popularity in Europe, especially the United Kingdom, where he received the 1994 Brit Award for best-selling album and single, appeared in the 1997 film Spice World, and ranks 23rd for the number of weeks spent on the UK charts as of 2006. He ranked 96th on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock".He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with worldwide sales of more than 80 million records. He has also appeared in over 50 movies and television shows, sometimes as himself or as characters resembling his stage persona. His most notable roles include Eddie in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Robert "Bob" Paulson in Fight Club (1999), and "The Lizard" in The 51st State (2002). He has also appeared as a guest actor in television shows such as Monk, Glee, South Park, House, and Tales from the Crypt.Pescetarianism
Pescetarianism or pescatarianism () is the practice of adhering to a diet that incorporates seafood as the only source of meat in an otherwise vegetarian diet. Most pescetarians are ovo-lacto vegetarians who eat seafood along with dairy products and eggs, often colloquially defined as "fish but no other meat". Vegetarian groups have had to clarify that pescetarian diets fall outside of the range of vegetarianism.Pork
Pork is the culinary name for meat from a domestic pig (Sus scrofa domesticus). It is the most commonly consumed meat worldwide, with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC.
Pork is eaten both freshly cooked and preserved. Curing extends the shelf life of the pork products. Ham, smoked pork, gammon, bacon and sausage are examples of preserved pork. Charcuterie is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, many from pork.
Pork is the most popular meat in Eastern and Southeastern Asia, and is also very common in the Western world, especially in Central Europe. It is highly prized in Asian cuisines for its fat content and pleasant texture. Consumption of pork is forbidden by Jewish, Muslim, and Rastafarian dietary law, for religious reasons, with several suggested possible causes.Poultry
Poultry () are domesticated birds kept by humans for their eggs, their meat or their feathers. These birds are most typically members of the superorder Galloanserae (fowl), especially the order Galliformes (which includes chickens, quails, and turkeys).
Poultry also includes other birds that are killed for their meat, such as the young of pigeons (known as squabs) but does not include similar wild birds hunted for sport or food and known as game. The word "poultry" comes from the French/Norman word poule, itself derived from the Latin word pullus, which means small animal.
The domestication of poultry took place several thousand years ago. This may have originally been as a result of people hatching and rearing young birds from eggs collected from the wild, but later involved keeping the birds permanently in captivity. Domesticated chickens may have been used for cockfighting at first and quail kept for their songs, but soon it was realised how useful it was having a captive-bred source of food.
Selective breeding for fast growth, egg-laying ability, conformation, plumage and docility took place over the centuries, and modern breeds often look very different from their wild ancestors. Although some birds are still kept in small flocks in extensive systems, most birds available in the market today are reared in intensive commercial enterprises.
Together with pig meat, poultry is one of the two most widely eaten types of meat globally, with over 70% of the meat supply in 2012 between them; poultry provides nutritionally beneficial food containing high-quality protein accompanied by a low proportion of fat. All poultry meat should be properly handled and sufficiently cooked in order to reduce the risk of food poisoning.
The word "poultry" comes from the West & English "pultrie", from Old French pouletrie, from pouletier, poultry dealer, from poulet, pullet. The word "pullet" itself comes from Middle English pulet, from Old French polet, both from Latin pullus, a young fowl, young animal or chicken. The word "fowl" is of Germanic origin (cf. Old English Fugol, German Vogel, Danish Fugl).Rabbit
Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha (along with the hare and the pika). Oryctolagus cuniculus includes the European rabbit species and its descendants, the world's 305 breeds of domestic rabbit. Sylvilagus includes 13 wild rabbit species, among them the 7 types of cottontail. The European rabbit, which has been introduced on every continent except Antarctica, is familiar throughout the world as a wild prey animal and as a domesticated form of livestock and pet. With its widespread effect on ecologies and cultures, the rabbit (or bunny) is, in many areas of the world, a part of daily life—as food, clothing, a companion, and as a source of artistic inspiration.Sausage
A sausage is a cylindrical meat product usually made from ground meat, often pork, beef, or veal, along with salt, spices and other flavourings, and breadcrumbs, encased by a skin. Typically, a sausage is formed in a casing traditionally made from intestine, but sometimes from synthetic materials. Sausages that are sold raw are cooked in many ways, including pan-frying, broiling and barbecuing. Some sausages are cooked during processing and the casing may then be removed.
Sausage making is a traditional food preservation technique. Sausages may be preserved by curing, drying (often in association with fermentation or culturing, which can contribute to preservation), smoking, or freezing. Some cured or smoked sausages can be stored without refrigeration. Most fresh sausages must be refrigerated or frozen until they are cooked.
Sausages come in a huge range of national and regional varieties, which differ by their flavouring or spicing ingredients (garlic, peppers, wine, etc.), the meat(s) used in them and their manner of preparation.Spam (food)
Spam (stylized as SPAM) is a brand of canned cooked pork made by Hormel Foods Corporation, based out of Minnesota. It was first introduced in 1937 and gained popularity worldwide after its use during World War II. By 2003, Spam was sold in 41 countries on six continents and trademarked in over 100 countries (not including the Middle East and North Africa). Spam's basic ingredients are pork with ham meat added, salt, water, modified potato starch (as a binder), sugar, and sodium nitrite (as a preservative). Natural gelatin is formed during cooking in its tins on the production line. Many have raised concerns over Spam's nutritional attributes, in large part due to its high content of fat, sodium, and preservatives.By the early 1970s the name "spam" had become a genericized trademark used to describe any canned meat product containing pork, such as pork luncheon meat. With an expansion in communications technology, it became the subject of urban legends about mystery meat and made other appearances in pop culture. The most notable was a Monty Python sketch which led to its name being borrowed for unsolicited electronic messages, especially email.Steak
A steak () is a meat generally sliced across the muscle fibers, potentially including a bone. Exceptions, in which the meat is sliced parallel to the fibers, include the skirt steak cut from the plate, the flank steak cut from the abdominal muscles, and the silverfinger steak cut from the loin and includes three rib bones. In a larger sense, fish steaks, ground meat steaks, pork steak, and many more varieties of steak are known.
Steak is usually grilled, but can be pan-fried. It is often grilled in an attempt to replicate the flavor of steak cooked over the glowing coals of an open fire. Steak can also be cooked in sauce, such as in steak and kidney pie, or minced and formed into patties, such as hamburgers.
Steaks are often cut from grazing animals, usually farmed, other than cattle, including bison, camel, goat, horse, kangaroo, sheep, ostrich, pigs, reindeer, turkey, deer, and zebu, as well as various types of fish, especially salmon and large pelagic fish such as swordfish, shark, and marlin. For some meats, such as pork, lamb and mutton, chevon, and veal, these cuts are often referred to as chops. Some cured meat, such as gammon, is commonly served as steak.
Grilled portobello mushroom may be called mushroom steak, and similarly for other vegetarian dishes. Imitation steak is a food product that is formed into a steak shape from various pieces of meat. Grilled fruits such as watermelon have been used as vegetarian steak alternatives.Vegetarianism
Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat (red meat, poultry, seafood, and the flesh of any other animal), and may also include abstention from by-products of animals processed for food.Vegetarianism may be adopted for various reasons. Many people object to eating meat out of respect for sentient life. Such ethical motivations have been codified under various religious beliefs, as well as animal rights advocacy. Other motivations for vegetarianism are health-related, political, environmental, cultural, aesthetic, economic, or personal preference. There are variations of the diet as well: an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products, an ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products, and a lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but not eggs. A strict vegetarian diet – referred to as vegan – excludes all animal products, including eggs and dairy. Avoidance of animal products may require dietary supplements to prevent deficiencies such as vitamin B12 deficiency, which leads to pernicious anemia.Packaged and processed foods, such as cakes, cookies, candies, chocolate, yogurt, and marshmallows, often contain unfamiliar animal ingredients, and so may be a special concern for vegetarians due to the likelihood of such additives. Feelings among vegetarians may vary concerning these ingredients. Some vegetarians scrutinize product labels for animal-derived ingredients while others do not object to consuming cheese made with animal-derived rennet. Some vegetarians are unaware of animal-derived rennet being used in the production of cheese.Semi-vegetarian diets consist largely of vegetarian foods but may include fish or poultry, or sometimes other meats, on an infrequent basis. Those with diets containing fish or poultry may define meat only as mammalian flesh and may identify with vegetarianism. A pescetarian diet has been described as "fish but no other meat". The common-use association between such diets and vegetarianism has led vegetarian groups such as the Vegetarian Society to state that diets containing these ingredients are not vegetarian, because fish and birds are also animals.
|Livestock and |
|Cuts and preparation|