Popeye may have gotten his super strength and machismo from a can of spinach, but “real men” do not eat veggies, according to report published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
Instead, they boost their virility with masculine foods: steak and burgers.
Several experiments about how and why people associate food with gender were conducted by experts from 4 universities: Cornell, Louisiana State, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. They found that men and women perceived meat and meat-eaters as being more masculine than veggies and vegetarians, which could explain why few men choose to live a meat-free lifestyle.
“To the strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, All-American male, red meat is a strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing All-American food,” the study authors write. “Soy is not. To eat it, [men] would have to give up a food they saw as strong and powerful like themselves for a food they saw as weak and wimpy.”
Man’s love affair with meat dates back to the Stone Age, when people hunted for their meals. Today, the average American consumes approximately 195 pounds of meat annually, according to statistics from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“Meat is a major commodity and a very important aspect of human existence,” the authors write. “Perhaps more than any other food, meat is laden with meanings because of its association with higher status and the killing of animals.”
To further investigate these meanings, the researchers recruited college students and adults in the United States and Great Britain for 6 separate psychological, linguistic, and demographic studies.
In1 participants were asked to rate the “maleness” and “femaleness” of various foods, from blood to rabbit to fish to milk. The Top 4 most masculine choices were medium-rare steak (I like my meat blood rare aka Black & Blu, hamburger, well-done steak, and beef chili; the most feminine were chocolate, peaches, chicken salad, and sushi.
In another experiment, subjects read a short passage describing the lifestyle and diet habits of a guy or a girl and then judged the person on 16 attributes, including how passive, feminine, strong, kind, and liberal they appeared. Characters who ate meat were deemed significantly more “masculine” than those who ate fish or vegetables.
Male participants in the study were more likely than female participants to report liking beef and other meat products; the opposite was true for salads and vegetables.
According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, regular red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality.
Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health observed more than 37,000 men and 83,000 women and found that 1 daily serving of unprocessed red meat was associated with a 13% higher risk of death; a daily serving of processed red meat was associated with a 20% higher risk. Replacing that serving with a healthier protein such as fish, poultry, nuts, or legumes, conversely, was associated with a lower risk.
Other research suggests that meat especially grilled, well-done meat may be a carcinogen. In a study from the University of California-San Francisco, men who ate around two servings of hamburger or meatloaf a week were more than 2X as likely to be diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer as men who ate none.
Some experts argue that eating at least some meat is good for us.
Beef and pork, considered red meat by the USDA, are high in protein, which can help you maintain a healthy weight, increase your lean muscle mass, and keep you feeling fuller, longer. They are also rich in important nutrients like iron, zinc, vitamins B6 and B12, niacin, and riboflavin. These may improve memory, protect against vision problems, and promote a healthier immune system.
The Key is Organic grass fed meat only, and in moderation, I have cut out the sides, with a glass for fine red wine!
By Allison Takeda
Paul Ebeling, Editor
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live Lively