Michael F. Jacobson holds a Ph.D. in microbiology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a school with a justifiably great reputation for turning out great engineers. He proves that microbiology is not engineering.
According to Wikipedia, Jacobson co-founded the Center for Science in the Public Interest in 1971, along with two fellow scientists he met while working at the Center for the Study of Responsive Law. He has been a national leader in the movement to require nutrition labels on all foods and most beverages to help consumers make informed decisions about what to consume. Jacobson's main claim to fame is he gave our media the now widely over-used phrases "junk food" and "empty calorie".
In the interest of full disclosure and transparency Jacobson sits on the National Council of the Great American Meatout, a bizarre annual event patterned after the very successful Great American Smokeout. Meatout is sponsored by the also bizarre Farm Animal Rights Movement. Jacobson and his organization, probably under the mistaken belief that all foods consumed should be pre-approved by the health cops, created a hit list of 'bad' foods and beverages.
Jacobson calls for punitive taxes on this hit list of unhealthy foods, warning labels (think cigarette packs) on packaging for evil foods and beverages, and highly restrictive rules and regs on advertising and marketing junk foods. He has also asked that lawsuits be filed against food producers and retailers whose food products are 'detrimental to public health.'
Proving that M.I.T. is a great engineering school but maybe not so hot in other areas, Jacobson just wrote a 'memo' headlined "Hoofing it Away from Beef.' If only the academic requirements behind M.I.T's microbiology degrees were as strenuous as those behind their engineering degrees, we might not have been subjugated to such 'light- my-hair-on-fire-and-let-me-run-naked-down-the-highway' food theology.
"Deciding between steak and chicken tonight?" he asked. "Corn-fed beef is by far the worse choice, not just for you, but for the environment and for the welfare of the animals."
We won't let the similarity in the nutritional value of the two protein resources negate his 'far worse choice' line will we?
He bullet points his arguments (I shoot back in italics after each credibility-free point)
■ Health. Today, most cattle end up in feedlots, where high-calorie grains fatten them up quickly. The extra fat eventually zeroes in on human arteries. And red meat—especially hot dogs, sausages, and other processed meats—promotes colon cancer.