Not quite the newsflash but a very apparent observation – man loves meat! Women too, of course. Humans have hunted and killed animals for meat since the pre-historic ages, forming a significant element of their diet. The earliest evidence of meat-eating indicates that early humans were consuming not only small animals but also animals many times larger than their own body size. The image of a caveman chomping on a good old leg of mammoth comes to mind, no?
On a serious note, the diets of mankind in those ages typically consisted of anything they could find and consume from the Earth. This included seeds, vegetables, nuts, fruits, fish and of course, lean meat. It’s what we call the “Paleo diet” today taking its name from the Palaeolithic era, also known as the Old Stone Age, so we’re going back a very long time here; approximately 2.5 million years.
It was about this time there was a major climate shift. As the temperature rose, the lush forests shrank and great grasslands thrived. As green plants became scarcer, evolutionary pressure forced early humans to find new sources of energy. Once they shifted to even occasional meat eating, it didn’t take long to make it a major part of their diet and subsequently, ours.
But why do we love meat so much?
Even today, 70% of men say they would rather cut their life expectancy than ditch meat. Data commissioned by No Meat May shows that 1 in 10 British men would rather go to jail than stop eating meat. It’s a “real men eat meat” attitude. However, physiological research indicates that it is actually a subconscious decision and is more a status symbol.
Dr Natalina Zlatevska of the University of Technology, Sydney issued a statement after conducting research saying “There is a symbolic association between eating meat and strength, power and masculinity.” She continues, "It is traditionally a high-status food, brought out for guests or as the centrepiece of festive occasions, so we wanted to better understand this link to status.”
Immediately, we think of the popular Sunday roast or Christmas dinner which would be traditionally celebrated with a rare purchase of good meat just for the occasion.
This is all well, however times have changed tremendously, and meat is ever more accessible. It’s no longer unattainable or overpriced, nor consumed only occasionally. Meat or protein has become a staple element in the majority of meals and with growing awareness for our well-being and of our regular diet, the health benefits of consuming meat as part of a healthy one are more and more appreciated.
The healthy bits
Meat carries nine essential amino acids that are crucial to rebuilding the cells in your body. It’s high protein content and levels of vitamin B12 not only provide much needed energy to the body and immunity support but also help build lean muscle. Meat eaters may also notice a reduced appetite and increased metabolism which is ideal for weight loss programmes and general health. As well as this, it promotes fullness, keeping you fuller for longer.
Our bones benefit massively from meat consumption as animal protein may help improve bone density and strength. A study carried out by the National Institutes of Health showed that older women with the highest intake of animal protein had a 69% decreased risk of hip fractures.
How M-EAT! can help
Did you know that our colourful packets of M-EAT! biltong contain on average 54g of protein per 100g ? Or that the nutrients found in premium beef meat is the same as in our M-EAT!, if not better? We’re big on health and promoting the health benefits of biltong because it’s so good overall, but don’t just take our word for it.