Electronic Journal of Polish Agricultural Universities (EJPAU) founded by all Polish Agriculture Universities presents original papers and review articles relevant to all aspects of agricultural sciences. It is target for persons working both in science and industry,regulatory agencies or teaching in agricultural sector. Covered by IFIS Publishing (Food Science and Technology Abstracts), ELSEVIER Science - Food Science and Technology Program, CAS USA (Chemical Abstracts), CABI Publishing UK and ALPSP (Association of Learned and Professional Society Publisher - full membership). Presented in the Master List of Thomson ISI.
Volume 10
Issue 4
Food Science and Technology
Borowski J. 2007. MEAT IN HUMAN NUTRITION, EJPAU 10(4), #02.
Available Online: http://www.ejpau.media.pl/volume10/issue4/abs-02.html


Jerzy Borowski
Department of Human Nutrition, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland



Food has been one of the basis of existence of Homo sapiens from the moment our species appeared on the face of the earth. Primitive man gathered leaves, roots, grubs, eggs of birds as well as pieces of raw meat left behind by bigger and stronger animals. The discovery of fire proved to be a major step in the way people lived and ate. The necessity of having the diet of meat and vegetables was discovered in the ancient times. The acquisition of the ability to hunt and later grow vegetables and rare animals was a crucial point in the further development of man. The consumption of meat was one of the factors that differentiated the society of antiquity. Cultural and religious aspects have played a major role in the processing of meat products and their consumption. In different cultures pigs, cows, horses, poultry, dogs, camels, deer, cats or rats can be accepted or not as providers of meat. From the beginning of 19th century a human being has had more and more meat products at his disposal. Consequently, the food pyramid has appeared which classifies products of animal origin and points to the frequency of their consumption. In the 90s of the 20th century dangerous diseases spread, BSE, which caused Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in humans and later bird flue, which have caused changes in meat consumption. In many developed countries meat containing little fat and low in cholesterol has become popular. At the same time when the pace of modern life is increasing fast food businesses have prospered considerably.

The first mention of meat in the diet of our society dates back to the beginning of our statehood. In the 9 and 10th centuries meat was in plenty. People preferred pork, at the same time the pouring of fat, mainly melted lard on top of meat was considered to be healthy. Besides, meat was salted, smoked and dried. Bona Sforza can be credited with the introduction of vegetables into our fatty, meat diet. The reign of kings from the Saxon dynasty in Poland was a period of excessive drinking and eating. The 18 and 19th centuries brought about enormous social changes in our country. The bigos, borsch, dumplings, roulades became immensely popular. After World War II meat in Poland became a kind of food of political importance. Instead of buying meat and its rational use in a diet, people were forced to acquire it at all costs. Fortunately nowadays, we have plenty of meat and meat products. Meat will surely remain the main ingredient in our diet. We might witness the progressing animal husbandry as well as the increase in organically grown foods. With the acquiescence of the society, we will also experience considerable changes in the rearing of farm animals which, in all likelihood, may be subjected to genetic engineering. Subsequently, there will be more demand for convenience food and nutraceuticals. The EU having taken into consideration the preservation of cultural identity, including culinary preferences has introduced the system of protecting regional and traditional dishes. Three categories have come into existence: Protected designations of origin, Protected geographical indication, Traditional Speciality Guaranteed. In Poland, in accordance with the law the special list of Traditional Polish Dishes has been made. Upon recapitulation, it must be stated that in meat consumption the instructions of Prof. S. Berger should be seriously considered. A diet needs to be connected with the following features: Variety, Moderation, Temperance, Balance, Regularity of having meals, Exercising, Smiling. Reduction of stress level and Moderate Consumption of certain drinks in a Good company can only be added to this list.

Key words: meat, nutrition, tradition, consumption.

Jerzy Borowski
Department of Human Nutrition,
University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
Plac Cieszynski 1, 10-726 Olsztyn, Poland
phone: (+48 89) 523 37 60
email: jerzy.borowski@uwm.edu.pl

Responses to this article, comments are invited and should be submitted within three months of the publication of the article. If accepted for publication, they will be published in the chapter headed 'Discussions' and hyperlinked to the article.