It’s New Year again, and time to make lots of resolutions, only to see them fall by the wayside :-)

I was thinking about cutting down on meat and switching to more healthy kinds.

In general, I think we ought to avoid red meat in favo(u)r of white and avoid that in favo(u)r of fish.

However, that gets complicated by the amount of mercury being found in fish, plus the amount of steroids, etc being fed to animals, chicken factory farming, and the like.

I am currently based in the UK for a year or so, and this morning when driving to work someone on the radio mentioned USA using chlorine on chicken, which is not allowed in the UK.

So, in general, are questions about the comparative (un)healthiness of beef, pork, lamb, chicken, various kinds of fish, on topic?

I obviously wouldn’t ask anything blatantly opinion based, or use leading and vague words like “best”, but is there any way to ask an on-topic question about UK based animal products and their health (dis)advantages at all?

If off-topic, is there an S.E site where it might be on topic?

1 Answer 1


It is very much off topic, in fact anything health related is our foremost off topic reason, and I don't know of a site willing to touch that. Basically, when asking what you should eat for optimal health, you are requesting information which nobody in the world has (and may not even exist objectively), but everyone has an opinion about. Asking it would be like going into a multireligious city around 1000 AD and asking what rituals you should follow in your daily life to make sure you get into paradise. The result will be somewhere on the spectrum between creating utter confusion and starting a war.

You can keep gathering information from sources you trust, and base your food decisions on that, but don't expect to find "the truth".

  • I quite see your point, which is why I asked on Meta, but I suspect that there are certainly guidelines which would help. Do you think it worthwhile asking on lifehacks.stackexchange.com ?
    – Mawg
    Jan 3, 2019 at 12:42
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    I appreciate you asking here instead of creating the question first. I have no idea about the scope of lifehacks, maybe asking on their Meta would be the way to go. As for "there are certainly guidelines" - yes, there are, tons of them, mostly contradicting each other. And each has very good and convincing reasons why it is correct.
    – rumtscho Mod
    Jan 3, 2019 at 12:51
  • Would there be any way to reword it to use the food-safety tag on the main site? Even if so, I expect that I would need one question for each type of meat.
    – Mawg
    Jan 3, 2019 at 13:02
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    Food safety is very strictly limited to telling you when the FDA (or a comparable regulatory body) is willing to promise you that you won't keel from bacterial infection within the next 72 hours of eating a given portion of food. There is no way on the site to ask something which gives you the answers you want, and in the unlikely case that you find such a way which does not yet fall under a closure rule, we would be quick to close the loophole. We are serious about not allowing this kind of discussion/answers to happen here.
    – rumtscho Mod
    Jan 3, 2019 at 13:09
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    Also, as you seem very intent on finding out more on the subject, may I suggest a good book? If you read books.google.de/…, especially the introductory chapter, you will understand better the meaning of claims of food being healthy/unhealthy and why people insist on making them. Also, as an example of how good such claims are: recently, Science had a nutrition-topic issue. It contained a great article from a respected nutritional scientist who happened to review the "high carb diets are great"...
    – rumtscho Mod
    Jan 3, 2019 at 13:16
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    ... vs the "low carb diets are great" evidence, in a fair and balanced way (because he himself was in the "carb ratio doesn't matter, it is the saturated vs. unsaturated fat ratio that matters). He listed about 40 highly powered, good quality studies which find that high carb has tons of advantages over high fat, and about 40 good quality studies which find that high fat has tons of advantages over high carb. So: you can keep seeking advice, and you will certainly find it, but you will not be able to decide which one is right and which is wrong.
    – rumtscho Mod
    Jan 3, 2019 at 13:21
  • I was actually more interested in avoiding the "pollutants" which are now part of the "the food manufacturing process". We no longer go out to the garden and kill a chicken to eat it, Big Chicken, Inc does a lot that is not for our health benefit, but for the benefit of their profits. And laws in USA are far different from those in Germany - or Britain, post-Brexit. I realize that's not a topic for this site, and doubt that S.E has a good site for such questions. I will Google for some reportable authority and take their words with a pinch of salt ;-)
    – Mawg
    Jan 3, 2019 at 13:35
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    @Mawg definetively not on topic for lifehacks, sorry.
    – Stephie Mod
    Jan 3, 2019 at 14:23
  • Hokey cokey! Google it is, then. Thanks for all the help everyone.
    – Mawg
    Jan 3, 2019 at 14:40

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