Corned Beef Side Effects + Benefits

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 07/09/22 •  11 min read
corned beef benefits and side effects

What are corned beef side effects and benefits every ethical consumer must know? Here are corned beef pros and cons and how buying it will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

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 corned beef benefits and side effects.

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

After learning if corned beef 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 corned beef benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Corned Beef Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Corned beef side effects may include:

Corned beef is…

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Environment

Water footprint: high, it takes 23,799 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of cured bovine meats / 2,852 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of cured bovine meats

Carbon footprint: high, 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, corned 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

Corned beef 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 

Corned beef is…

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Laborers

Health and safety: hazardous, meat processing workers have some of the highest rates of occupational injury and illness in the USA, the work environment in processing plants is dirty, dangerous, at times machines that injure workers by crushing, amputating, burning and slicing them, workers use tools such as knives, hooks, scissors, and saws, injuries include cuts, stabs, infections, scars, scratches, missing fingers, swollen joints, working conditions are humid, slippery, loud, hot or below freezing resulting in respiratory problems, skin infections and falls, workers experience

Living conditions: poor, workers must process thousands of animals per day, they are pressured to work as fast as possible, rest breaks and bathroom breaks are discouraged or denied, many workers must wear diapers, they experience stress, physical and emotional pain

Wages: low, in the USA workers are poorly compensated and earn under $15 an hour, they are often pushed to work faster so companies can profit more

Corned beef has…

The United States and Brazil are the world’s largest beef producers followed by the European Union.

Corned beef is high in protein, iron and B-vitamins but also high in purines, cholesterol, sodium, saturated fat, antibiotics and growth hormones.

Processed meats like corned beef are categorized as potential carcinogens, which are highly dangerous.

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

corned beef is acidic. corned beef side effects include not fitting into an alkaline diet.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Is corned beef alkaline or acidic?

Corned beef is acidic.

What is the pH level of corned beef?

Corned beef and all beef has a 4.5 pH level, once digested.

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 found in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

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

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corned beef may or may not be gluten free.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Is corned beef gluten free?

Possibly. Processed meat and ground meat such as corned beef may or may not contain gluten.

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:

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

corned beef is not a common food allergen.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is corned beef a common food allergen?

No, corned beef is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to corned beef but it is uncommon.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

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

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corned beef has a high water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does corned beef have a high or low water footprint?

Corned beef has a high water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of corned beef?

It takes 23,799 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of cured bovine meats / 2,852 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of cured bovine meats.

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

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

We need to be aware of “water footprints”. 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

corned beef has a high carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does corned beef have a high or low carbon footprint?

Corned beef has a relatively high carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of corned 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 carbon emissions, some factors may include…

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

corned beef is unsustainable. corned beef side effects include environmental destruction.

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

Overall, is corned beef eco friendly? Is corned beef sustainable? Corned beef production is relatively unsustainable.

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.

corned beef is not vegan. corned beef side effects include killing cows for production.

benefits of vegan food to eat on a vegan diet which helps save animals

Is corned beef vegan?

No, corned beef is not vegan. Corned beef is meat, the product of a cow, therefore making it an animal-derived food. A cow must be killed in order to produce corned beef. 

Cows: An estimated 800,000 cows are killed for food around the world every day.

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

corned beef has labor issues and human rights concerns.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is corned beef a product that has known labor issues?

Yes, there are reports of worker mistreatment in the beef industry.

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

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.

This post was all about corned beef benefits and side effects.

Sources:

Beef, cured, corned beef, brisket, raw – FoodData Central

Red meat and the risk of bowel cancer

Studies on the growth and survival of Staphylococcus aureus in corned beef

Adriane Marie

Grocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.

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