Top 5 Facts About Eating Meat

VOICE OVER: Chris Masson
Script written by Nathan Sharp

Eating meat: I can't think of any one thing that over 90% of the people in the world do that is more controversial than that. Welcome to WatchMojo's top 5 facts. In today's installment, we're looking at the most interesting facts about the practice of meat eating, one of mankind's oldest traditions that is slowly being questioned.

Special thanks to our user christo for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest
Script written by Nathan Sharp

Top 5 Facts About Eating Meat

Eating meat: I can’t think of any one thing that over 90% of the people in the world do that is more controversial than that. Welcome to WatchMojo’s top 5 facts. In today's installment, we’re not trying to promote or discourage eating meat, nor can this one video possibly be a definitive look at the subject; instead, we’re simply counting down the five most interesting facts that we could find about eating meat.

#5: Even Plants Can't Stay Away from Meat

If you thought plants only got their nutrients through good old-fashioned sunlight, think again. As it turns out, the Botanical Society of America claims that there are over 600 species of carnivorous plants around the world. Many of these are called “insectivorous plants” because they get their nutrition from capturing and eating insects like flies. Some creepy plants are even able to digest frogs, mice, and other small mammals! Examples include sundews, the pitcher plant, Venus flytraps, which are aptly named and are probably available at your local flower shop, and of course piranha plants, which eat only Italian.

#4: Some People Swear by Eating Raw Meat

While it goes against understood dietary restrictions and probably your own common sense, the Primal Diet consists of eating entirely raw foods, including eggs, dairy, and meat. The founder was Aajonus Vonderplanitz, a man who was diagnosed with terminal cancer before resorting to raw meat, which he claimed saved his life. Another man, Derek Nance, who hasn’t eaten anything but raw meat for the past 7 years, claims that he is healthier than he's ever been. While raw meat may sound dangerous, cooked meat isn’t without its dangers too. Meat cooked at high temperatures actually creates chemical compounds that are associated with cancer, although scientists have stated that marinating beef with herbs, especially rosemary, can significantly negate these harmful effects. By some reports, there are thousands of people out there regularly dining on raw muscle and organ meat, although critics still contend that eating raw or undercooked meat makes you susceptible to a host of dangerous bacteria and parasites.

#3: Meat Needs More Water than Vegetables

Every living organism, be they plant or animal, need water to grow and survive. However, meat production uses up so much water that some experts say we may have to produce a lot less of it in the near future. Meat requires significantly more water to produce than vegetables, with a single pound of beef needing roughly 1,800 gallons, or 6800 litres of water. Compare that to 147 gallons for a pound of corn–which will probably be fed to the cow anyway! These numbers vary from crop to crop and animal to animal, and when measured in litres per calorie or per gram of protein, but the takeaway seems to be that plant-based food is a more efficient use of water. Some experts even claim that humanity may have to take on an almost entirely vegetarian diet by 2050 to avoid worldwide food and water shortages.

#2: Lab Grown Meat Is on the Way

While it may sound disgusting, we may eventually have no choice for the sake of sustainability. In fact, the technology is already well on its way, as an entirely lab-grown hamburger was created in 2013, although it apparently didn't taste that great and had a price tag of $300,000. It was created by assembling thousands of strands of cultured muscle tissue, and physiologist Mark Post from the University of Maastricht is now working on improving it by adding fat and iron. Some researchers are even experimenting with lab-grown chicken and fish, including NASA, who successfully produced artificial fish fillets in 2002. Estimates say that it’ll still be another 20 years before we have mass-produced stem cell meat, but once an economy of scale is achieved, its production will be far more sustainable than current meat farming practices.

#1: Eating Meat Might Be as Bad as Smoking

While scientists continue to debate the potential cancerous effects of meat, evidence continues to mount regarding the harmful effects of a protein-heavy diet. A study done at the University of Southern California concluded that a meat-heavy protein diet in your middles ages makes you four times more likely to die of cancer than someone with a low protein diet, which is roughly the same risk factors as being a cigarette smoker. The study was conducted over a 20-year period, and also showed that those who eat a lot of meat and dairy products were 74% more likely to die earlier, from any number of causes, than low-protein eaters. And how did they define “heavy” meat eaters? Those deriving at least 20% of their calories from meat products. Which really doesn’t seem that high. Not to this guy at least.

So, what did you think? Would you ever try a raw meat diet? If, like Venus Flytraps, you find the idea of dining on insects intriguing, check out our Top 5 Facts About Eating Bugs. It’ll blow your mind. For more lab grown top 10s and insect-eating top 5s published every day, be sure to subscribe to