Biltong Side Effects and Benefits

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 01/03/23 •  12 min read

What are biltong side effects and benefits? Is biltong vegan? Gluten free? Acidic or alkaline? Low fodmap? Good for you? Healthy? Sustainable? Here are biltong pros and cons: all the info on biltong that every ethical consumer wants to know…

biltong benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on biltong benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about biltong benefits and side effects. This will include biltong benefits for your health and potential risks, biltong water footprint and biltong carbon footprint, biltong sustainability, if biltong is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if biltong is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be prepared to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about biltong benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Biltong Benefits And Side Effects

HEALTH

Biltong side effects and health risks may include:

Biltong health benefits may include:

Additionally, biltong is…

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02/17/2024 05:23 pm GMT

ENVIRONMENT

Water footprint: high, it takes 15,414 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of beef / 1847 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef

Carbon footprint: high, 68.8 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of beef, a car driving equivalent of 158 miles or 254 kilometers | 44.92 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of ration-fed, fresh beef, a car driving equivalent of 103.25 miles or 166 kilometers | 27 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of beef, a car driving equivalent of 62.25 miles or 100.25 kilometers

Destruction: high, beef production is relatively destructive, land usage for pasture, grain and forage, solid waste (excrement/manure) runoff into soil and freshwater, deforestation for feed crops, animal agriculture leading cause of: species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction, responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction

Biltong is…

ANIMALS

Kills: cows, body parts often sliced, legs cut off and throats slit while still conscious, breathing and blinking and without pain relief

Harms: cows, branded, castrated and horns removed without painkillers, locked in tiny cages, genetically modified to grow so obese that many become lame (unable to walk) shocked with electric prods, shackled with chains and dragged, beaten, prods poked up rectums, live last few months in crowded feedlots with hundreds or thousands of others, without pasture, often without shelter, must stand in mud, ice and their own waste

Indirectly kills or harms: ecosystems and wildlife, habitat contamination (water and soil pollution), wildlife habitat destruction (deforestation/land clearing), wolves and coyotes killed to prevent predation on livestock 

Biltong is…

LABORERS

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Biltong…

What are some vegan substitutes?

Check out this Vegan Substitutes List to see alternatives for meat, dairy, eggs, fish and more.

Is biltong alkaline or acidic?

biltong side effects include being acidic

Biltong is acidic. Meat is an acidic food group.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

Is biltong gluten free?

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

Yes, biltong is gluten free when unseasoned. Biltong does not contain gluten. Biltong is a type of dried meat, therefore making it a gluten free food unless flavored or seasoned. 

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include: recurring abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, constipation, tingling, numbness in hands and feet, chronic fatigue, joint pain, unexplained infertility and low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis).

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

Is biltong a common food allergen?

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

No, biltong is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to biltong but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods is often referred to as the Big-8 and includes milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. 

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

Water footprint of biltong?

biltong side effects include having a high water footprint

Biltong has a relatively high water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of biltong?

Most commercially sold biltong is made from beef. It takes 15,415 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of beef / 1,847 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake….quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

Carbon footprint of biltong?

biltong side effects include having a high carbon footprint.

Biltong has a relatively high carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of biltong?

Most commercially sold biltong is made from beef. It takes around 27 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of beef, a car driving equivalent of 62.25 miles or 100.25 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating product emissions, some factors that may be included are… farm equipment, animal feed production, hothouses (greenhouses), food processing, packaging, transport, refrigeration, freezing, package waste, and more.

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

Is biltong sustainable?

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

No. Biltong production is relatively unsustainable due to its high carbon footprint and high water footprint. Additionally, beef production requires land usage for cow pasture, grain and forage. Cows’ solid waste (excrement/manure) runoff contaminates soil and freshwater. Consequently, deforestation occurs to produce feed crops for livestock. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of: species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction and is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.

Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’ 

Is biltong vegan?

vegan food to eat on a vegan diet

No, biltong is not vegan. Biltong is meat, often made from beef or game meat, therefore making it an animal-derived food. A cow or other animal must be killed in order to produce biltong. 

Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

Does biltong have human rights issues?

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Yes. At this time there are human rights concerns with biltong production. It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade

This post was all about biltong benefits and side effects.

Sources:

Biltong: All About This Popular South African Treat

Processing of Biltong (Dried Beef) to Achieve USDA

Role of micro-organisms in biltong flavour development

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

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