Thanks to our generous Buhler parents, we have a freezer full of meat. We have stuff from cows and elk and a few cuts of deer for Richard's brother steven. This is good news to the creature growing inside of me because she increases my iron needs by about 10 milligrams per day. Menstruating women need 18 mg/day, Prego's need 27 mg/day, men and women who don't lose blood monthly need 8 mg/day.
Meat is the best source of iron for 2 reasons. #1 Meat contains the most mg of iron per serving and #2 15-35% of the iron in meat is absorbed. While tofu and lentils may have high amounts of iron (2.8 mg and 3 mg respectively per Bowes and Churches), only 2-20% of that is absorbed due to the phytates and different proteins.
As you can see in the chart above (created during naptime, thank you for the 2 hour nap anna). Red meat is also a great source of zinc - which is also important during pregnancy. Similar to iron, zinc from meat is more readily absorbed than that from plant foods, which is why it is important that women who are vegan and pregnant be careful about their food choices.
Something I was not aware of previously is the high content of MUFA in red meat. Monunsaturated fat (MUFA) is good for you (or so we think at this time). This is why olive oil is preached as the holy grail. For reference, olive oil has 10grams per tablespoon, canola oil has 8 grams per tablespoon. From the chart above you can see that 80/20 has 6.5 grams. Interesting. However, 80/20 ground beef (meaning 80% muscle and 20% fat) also has 5.7g of saturated fat.....you need about 12 grams per day.......so I suppose its better to get your MUFA from plant oils.
Getting to the point - red meat is NOT BAD FOR YOU. It's only bad for you if you eat too much. Just like everything else. This may be gross to some people - but have you heard the term don't reinvent the wheel? Eating vegetarian could be thought of in a similar manner. Animals eat ALL day to make the meat the on their bones. Eating a small portion of animal muscle provides our bodies with the nutrients they took ALL DAY to create. While it is possible to get all those nutrients from plants and supplements - it's a lot easier to just find a way to fit in a little meat.
Now that you are utterly disgusted with the thought processes I go through before cooking a meal - here is a yummy recipe for meatballs (without any "healthy" additions, hence the unadulterated) that I made out of some cow from our freezer:
1 package of ground beef (? possible 3 pounds - any input joyce?) - pulled out of the deep freeze and defrosted in the microwave for 10 minutes
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
some soy sauce (probably about 1/2 T)
some Worcestershire sauce ( probably about 1 T)
basil, oregano, parsley (probably 1 t each)
1 onion, fine dice browned without any oil in a skillet
I preheated the oven to 400, mixed it all up with my hands, and formed it into balls and placed on a cookie sheet lined with foil. I baked them for about 20 minutes - checked the temp with a thermometer (it was like 180, only needs to be 160 for ultimate safety). They were really good. Anna couldn't get enough. And we put them on top of spaghetti squash (you know to get some fiber vitamin A, I'm not going to continue that thought process today- delectable!)