Demand for healthful meat, poultry and fish products

  • D. A. T. Southgate
Part of the Advances in Meat Research book series (ADMERE, volume 11)


Animal foods have been major components of the human diet for most of human evolutionary history. While it is not entirely clear whether man first scavenged meat or killed animals by hunting, the central role of meat in the diet is borne out by the large accumulations of animal bones with clear evidence of butchering marks on them. Leakey (1994) argues that the consumption of meat marked a key part in human evolutionary development since it provided a protein and energy-dense food and, thus, relieved the early humanoids of the continuous search for food in which the plant eater must engage. Estimates of the energy needs of primates show that the consumption of animal foods and the fats and proteins which they contain is critically important in determining the bulk of foods required in the diet (Southgate, 1991). The early human settlements, based around streams and lakes, would analogously have eaten fish as an important component of their diets. Thus, for early man the consumption of animal foods was a significant factor in the development of human society. The concept that these products constitute a health risk is, therefore, at odds with their role in the diet during development of human society.


Meat Product Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Fish Product Animal Food Meat Consumption 
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  • D. A. T. Southgate

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