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Why we should DITCH plant-based diets and eat more offal, former vegan argues in new book

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An ex-vegan is calling for people to ditch plant-based diets and eat more offal, arguing meat is environmentally friendly provided it’s sustainably sourced.

Former research biochemist Robb Wolf, who lives in Texas, who co-authored the book Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat with dietitian Diana Rodgers, suffered from ulcerative colitis, a long-term condition where the colon and rectum become inflamed, while following a vegan diet.

He was due for a bowel resection and was on statins, blood pressure medications and antidepressants, but then switched to a high protein paleo diet, which includes lean meats and fish as well as fruit and vegetables, and his problems resolved within months.

He and Diana, who also improved her digestive issues provoked by coeliac disease by swapping from gluten-free packaged food to ‘whatever meat and vegetables I have in the house’, argue eating well-raised meat can be good for you and the planet.

Robb Wolf, who lives in Texas, suffered from ulcerative colitis, a long-term condition where the colon and rectum become inflamed, while following a vegan diet

Robb Wolf, who lives in Texas, suffered from ulcerative colitis, a long-term condition where the colon and rectum become inflamed, while following a vegan diet

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, they explained that humans ‘did not evolve to be vegan’ and animal protein is ‘healthy and needs to be consumed’.

Our teeth are able to break down meat, while we also have smaller colons – the section of the gut which breaks down fibre – than other primates. 

Cutting meat from our diet can result in iron deficiencies, with the pair pointing out that a woman would need to consume two whole tins of cooked chickpeas (510g) a day to satisfy their RDA. By contrast, they could eat just 80g of pork liver.  

Additionally, the body absorbs up to 20 per cent of the iron in red meat, compared to a maximum of 4.7 per cent in plants.  

Robb was due for a bowel resection and was on statins, blood pressure medications and antidepressants, but then switched to a high protein paleo diet, which includes lean meats and fish as well as fruit and vegetables, and his problems resolved within months

Robb was due for a bowel resection and was on statins, blood pressure medications and antidepressants, but then switched to a high protein paleo diet, which includes lean meats and fish as well as fruit and vegetables, and his problems resolved within months

Dietitian Diana Rodgers says humans 'did not evolve to be vegan' and argues animal protein is healthy and 'needs to be consumed'

Dietitian Diana Rodgers says humans ‘did not evolve to be vegan’ and argues animal protein is healthy and ‘needs to be consumed’

Robb and Diana also pointed out that plant foods also don’t contain as much protein per calorie as meat; to get 30g of protein, you’d need to consume 640 calories worth of beans compared to 137 calories of fish.

According to government guidelines, your protein consumption should be 0.8g per kilogram of body weight. For an average sedentary woman, this is around 46g of protein per day (56g for men).

Protein is essential for your body to retain muscle mass, especially if you exercise regularly, and helps keep your immune system, hormone production, hair and nails healthy. 

While Robb and Diana are very worried about climate change, they feel issues such as fast fashion and single-use culture are more to blame than well-raised meat consumption

While Robb and Diana are very worried about climate change, they feel issues such as fast fashion and single-use culture are more to blame than well-raised meat consumption 

Although they acknowledge that turning vegan can be good for some people’s diets, particularly if they ate a lot of processed food before, they advocate consuming sustainably sourced meat and suggest eating more offal, which it nutritious and cheap.

Robb and Diana's book argues well-raised meat is good for you

Robb and Diana’s book argues well-raised meat is good for you

Both support a traditional husbandry practices when it comes to raising animals such as pigs and cattle.

Diana adopts ‘regenerative agriculture’ – farming and grazing practices that claim to reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – on her organic vegetable farm in Massachusetts.

Urine and faeces of grazing sheep, goats and chickens add nutrients and microbes to the soil and ‘fertility’ for plants such as kale, while the animals also clear leftovers once the crops have been harvested.

‘Soil needs blood and guts,’ she told the Daily Telegraph, adding that a return to using kitchen leftovers to feed livestock would reduce the need for land to grow grain for this purpose.

The pair also highlighted a 2018 study which claimed cows that spend their whole life on pasture offset their carbon emissions thanks to the carbon they help put into the soil. 

While Robb and Diana are very worried about climate change, they feel issues such as fast fashion and single-use culture are more to blame than well-raised meat consumption. 

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