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Distant reader with axe to grind claims irresponsible journalism

Ron Walter addresses criticism of an earlier article
Trading Thoughts by Ron Walter

A late June article in the Moose Jaw Express about beef belonging on the plate in the new Canada Food Guide drew an angry response from a distant reader.

The reader, one Amanda Lakhanpal accused us of irresponsible journalism in reporting an Ontario dietitian’s talk to the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association in Moose Jaw.

The talk by Carol Harrison pointed out that nowhere does the Canada Food Guide say Canadians should eat less beef. We should be eating all the proteins, grains and fruit/vegetables suggested in the guide, but protein content is now higher at one-quarter of the plate.

The guide does suggest getting more protein from sources other than beef.

Lakhanpal claims Harrison has a factually flawed perspective because thousands of peer-reviewed studies “support a plant-based diet as optimal human nutrition, disease prevention and longevity.”

She continued, suggesting This Scribbler review talks from a plant-based nutrition conference in Toronto. One imagines the objective perspective of meat eating at this conference was about as objective as at a convention of meat packers.

The Google button on the computer settled the wondering about who this anti-beef eater is, and what she represents.

Her online presence shows she is an Ontario hockey mom who writes a hockey blog, and lists herself as an office manager with no other details about that job.

Her online postings show a strong opposition to any killing of animals for food.

In short, she is a propagandist for the ethical use of animals. It is doubtful that this Ontario resident regularly reads The Moose Jaw Express. More likely, she uses her religious-like zeal against killing of animals to present her views any time she can find a pro-meat/pro-beef article.

The PETA organization, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, wants its 6.5 million members to preach the PETA gospel.

This type of voluminous propaganda is what beef and other red meat producers are up against in maintaining beef consumption. Battling that will not be an easy job.

Perhaps this woman was also upset at Harrison’s discussion of the plant-based Beyond Meat burger.

Reminding her audience that the Canada Food Guide suggests eating less processed food she pointed out Beyond Meat is a highly processed food with 22 ingredients and 11 added nutrients.

The additives in processed foods are unhealthy.

Once reasonable buyers of Beyond Meat figure out how highly processed this plant-based meat is they will reduce use of the product.

The real threat to the beef industry will come from cultured beef. Grown in a lab from a culture of beef cells this product will claim a low environmental footprint, involve no killing of animals and still be real beef.

Today producing one pound of cultured beef costs $2,400 US. But advocates expect the cost at $5 a pound in 2021.

Ron Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.

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