“If you want to dodge obesity, avoid chemicals, and reawaken your taste buds, take a pass on industrial food and think flavorful free-range chicken; lean grass-fed beef…” That’s how an article titled “A delicious revolution” begins in the September 2008 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. Author Celia Barbour encourages the magazine’s readers to join the “food movement” by shopping at farmers’ markets, buying local and organic food, or participating in a Community Supported Agriculture program, “where, in exchange for paying a portion of a farmer’s costs each season, you’ll receive a portion of his harvest.” Or as many farmers know, they'll experience the reality of weather, pest and disease issues on crop yield, and that's not a totally bad thing.

Barbour goes on to identify six ways that O readers can “save the world.” No. 5 on that list: “eat less meat.” About the recommendation to avoid meat, Barbour says: “Corn-fed cattle require 8 to 10 pounds of grain to produce a pound of edible beef — a staggeringly poor return on investment. Moreover, grain-fed, pen-raised animals consume half of all the antibiotics used in America, and livestock is a bigger source of greenhouse gases that the transportation sector. Opt for grass-fed, pasture-raised beef, lamb, pork and poultry, and make it a biweekly dish, not a nightly one. And if you worry that your health will suffer, consider this: According to the National Institutes of Health, most Americans already get more than enough animal protein — a single 7-ounce serving is as much as a woman needs in a day.”

The article's incomplete presentation is nothing new in the argument that pits natural, organic, local food as the only healthy option and "industrial" food as truly unhealthy option. The real concern here is that a large segment of the population does whatever Oprah and her many media vehicles suggest them to do.

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