Beef 2021 Preview

Red meat more than just protein: the science proves it

Beef Central, 27/04/2021

An important seminar at Beef Australia 2021 in Rockhampton next week is set to explore the small but developing trend among health-conscious consumers to include red meat and healthy fats as part of a balanced, nutrient-rich diet.

AgForce’s ‘Red meat under attack: the history, vested interests, and the real science’ seminar includes keynote speaker  Dr Gary Fettke. Dr Fettke says the negative publicity surrounding red meat in recent years was the result of clever marketing by anti-farming lobby groups and big business seizing the opportunity to fill supermarket shelves with mass-produced products at the expense of an important food source that has sustained people for thousands of years.

Gary Fettke

“There are companies out there lining their pockets at the expense of the facts and the real science,” Dr Fettke said.

“There hasn’t been a single randomised controlled trial – the gold standard of science – carried out that proves the link between red meat and an increase in the types of diseases many health practitioners and many governments would have you believe.

“All the studies professing to support a link between red meat and health problems are low-quality, observational studies that make for good headlines and fuel the desires of anti-farming lobbyists and corporations with an interest in undermining the benefits of red meat.

“Instead, they want consumers to survive on products that come out of a packet. This is “food” with absolutely no nutritional value, that contributes to a wide range of diseases, including type 2 diabetes.

“Look at the ingredients list on a plant-based protein source, then look at the ingredients of a steak.

“It is only by consuming truly nutrient-dense food, like red-meat, which contains many more vitamins and minerals than protein alone, some in fact that you can’t find in other food sources, including in vegetables, that we can turn around the rampant rise in type 2 diabetes and other modern diseases affecting the lives of so many.”

According to beef producer and AgForce Cattle Board director Adam Coffey, it hasn’t only been the health benefits of red meat being falsely called into question – the sustainability of red meat and cattle production has also been targeted by misinformed social and environmental activists in recent years.

“The problem we have in agriculture is that we’re light years behind when it comes to engaging directly with the public,” Mr Coffey said.

“Traditionally, not for profit organisations like AgForce lobby governments to try and ensure producers are given a fair go in the formulation of policy. We don’t target our messaging at consumers the way anti-farming groups and big businesses do.

“We haven’t got the resources and, to be honest, most farmers just want to farm. We want to produce for everyone else, we don’t want to get involved in that sort of fight.

“That doesn’t mean we aren’t making changes. The red meat sector and almost every individual producer I know is already investing heavily into ensuring our industry is carbon neutral by 2030.

“On my own property we are constantly investing in and working on reducing erosion and runoff, sequestering carbon, conserving soil moisture, and increasing bio-diversity.

“We’re doing everything we can to not only protect, but actually improve the land. And we believe we can have positive environmental impacts on everything we do.”


  • The Agforce seminar runs from 1:30pm to 3pm on Tuesday 4 May, in the Paterson Room, Rockhampton State High School. Limited tickets are available here.






















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