Sources of Nutrients

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Sources of Nutrients

Posted By Christina Rosales     April 15, 2020    

Body

The rise in the prevalence of lifestyle diseases such as cancers, cardiovascular conditions, and the epidemic of obesity calls for the scrutiny of feeding habits in America. Meat forms a crucial part of everyday meal for many people. Sadly, meat consumption is threatened by the increased health awareness as well as animal activism not to mention prices. This does not mean that lettuce and other vegetables are the leading items in the menus of Americans. By far, meat remains a delight for many Americans. This paper investigates and compares two main types of foods for the American families - meat and lettuce with the help of writers at https://prime-essay.net/. The following paper will analyze the nutritional contents of meat and lettuce as well as offer a critique of modern and traditional methods of meat and lettuce production, including their effect on the consumption patterns.

Meat

Meat is a major source of food for many families around the world. There has been a growth in the global demand for meat. This growth has become possible despite the decline in the demand for meat in the USA where most of the meat is consumed. An average American consumes 71.2 pounds of red meat, or meat from beef, veal, pork, and lamb while consuming 54.1 Pounds of poultry i.e. meat from chicken and turkey. The leading causes of decline in meat consumption are health concerns and the increased meat prices.

Lettuce

Lettuce is a leading source of plant nutrients for the US families. Sadly, Macmillan (2015) has noted in her article that vegetables are in short supply in the USA. According to the US Department of Agriculture, 50% of all vegetable consumption in the USA involved legumes and tomatoes. It is sad that rich source of plant nutrients are missing in the American diet. Thus, Busch (n.d) notes that the average American eats 33 pound of lettuce daily. 

Nutrients Composition in Lettuce and Meat

Lettuce

All lettuce is different. However, romaine lettuce is rich in texture and flavor, thus making it ideal for salads. Additionally, the diverse texture and flavor of lettuce also represent high nutritional value. Romaine lettuce is rich in vitamins K at 107%, Vitamin A 45%, Folate 32%, and Molybdenum 13%.

Meat Nutrients Composition

Meat has been a dietary companion for the humans since evolution times. As such, meat occupies a central part in the human diet. This explains why meat is the leading commodity of consumption within the USA as compared to other sources of nutrients such as plants. Consumers mostly buy red meat and white meat, or mostly poultry and fish. Red meat is rich in high value nutrients such as proteins that support important biological functions for a good and healthy life. Red meat also contains fats such as omega-3. However, the nutrition content of red meat varies in accordance with breed, meat cut, feeding regime, and season. Thus, lean red meat usually has high contents of fats, proteins, essential vitamins and other minerals.

Production Methods

Lettuce

In the age of environmental activism, the increased uptake of lettuce has faced major setbacks due to the environmentally harmful methods used in its production. Traditionally, lettuce farming utilized soil farming; however, this method was wasteful because it was labor intensive, it required great amounts of water, consumed huge space, and depended on the environment. Today, many people utilize greenhouse farming and a technique called hydrophonics. The latter offers numerous advantages contrary to the traditional soil farming. Similarly, green house farming also offers control because the farmer can control the environment accordingly. Sadly, the increased greenhouse farming has been pitted as the leading contributor to the emissions of greenhouse gases. A higher demand in the vegetable-based nutrient sources would require the increased use of energy, water and the increase in greenhouse gas emission. This puts the sustainability of lettuce production in jeopardy, thus affecting its demand.

Meat

While the scientific methods have aided in the production of stronger and healthy animal breeds, the production methods still involve the tradition farm rearing of animals. However, animal feed, which is largely of plant origin, must be grown on farms. The modern method of animal feed production involves the use of pesticides that affect the environment in general. Meat production, therefore, seems less harmful to the environment as compared to lettuce. Additionally, many farmers rear their animals free of antibiotics after the concern that the use of antibiotics leads to the increased bacterial resistance to antibiotic treatment among humans.

Interviews at Farmer’s Markets

Visits to Washington DC Farmer’s Market and Downtown Cumberland Farmers’ Market in Maryland have revealed that factors such as price have led to the decline of meat consumption. However, this does not mean that plants are the main source of nutrients for Americans. Two farmers interviewed have observed that meat remains an integral part of the American diet while plant foods only play complementary and supplementary role. The two farmers, one a meat seller, and another a grocery owner have observed that many people still consume meat and buy it in large quantities.

The above analysis recognizes that healthy feeding remains a concern in the USA. The analysis compares two major sources of nutrients: plant and animal-based food. The analysis reveals that while lettuce is comparatively a rich source of nutrients, the modern methods of production may hinder its demand. Similarly, the analysis observes that the increased global demand for meat has not been observed in America because of high prices for meat. Additionally, an increase in the demand for meat has made farmers revert to the traditional antibiotics-free animal rearing. Finally, the analysis holds that meat is not sufficient as a source of nutrients. Consequently, vegetables should complement it for optimal health outcomes.

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