Lamb Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 11/03/22 •  11 min read

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

lamb benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day. 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 lamb benefits and side effects.

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

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

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

Top Lamb Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Lamb side effects may include:

Lamb benefits may include:

Additionally, lamb is…

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Environment

Water footprint: high, 5,301 liters of water used to produce 1 kilogram of lamb carcasses and half carcasses, fresh or chilled / 635 gallons of water used to produce 1 pound of lamb carcasses and half carcasses, fresh or chilled

Carbon footprint: high, 39.2 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of lamb, a car driving equivalent of 90.25 miles or 145.25 kilometers

Destruction: high, lamb 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, sheep hooves can cause land degradation

Lamb is…

Animals

Kills: lambs must be killed in order to produce lamb meat

Harms: lambs and sheep must be used in order to produce lamb meat

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 

Lamb is…

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

Lamb has…

The world’s top lamb producer is China, followed by Australia and New Zealand. The world’s top lamb exporter is New Zealand, followed by Australia, Spain, UK, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Chile, Argentina and China.

Lamb is high in protein and iron but also cholesterol, saturated fat and purines.

Lamb substitutes for vegans can include seitan, soy lamb and more. Check out this Vegan Substitutes List to see alternatives for meat, dairy, eggs, fish and more.

lamb is acidic.

acidic foods and alkaline diet to improve ph levels

Is lamb alkaline or acidic?

Lamb is acidic.

What is the pH level of lamb?

Lamb has a 5.5 pH level once digested. Meat is an acidic food group.

When you eat food, it is broken 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

lamb is gluten free.

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

Is lamb gluten free?

Yes, lamb is gluten free. Lamb does not contain gluten when unseasoned and unbreaded. Lamb is a type of meat, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food. 

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

lamb is not a common food allergen.

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

Is lamb a common food allergen?

No, lamb is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to lamb 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

lamb has a high water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does lamb have a high or low water footprint?

Lamb has a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of lamb?

It takes 5,301 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of lamb / 635 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of lamb.

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 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

lamb has a high carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does lamb have a high or low carbon footprint?

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

What is the carbon footprint of lamb?

It takes around high, 39.2 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of lamb, a car driving equivalent of 90.25 miles or 145.25 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

lamb is unsustainable.

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

Overall, is lamb eco friendly? Is lamb sustainable?

Lamb 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.

lamb is not vegan.

Is lamb vegan?

No, lamb is not vegan. Lamb is meat, the product of a baby sheep, therefore making it an animal-derived food. A baby sheep must be killed in order to produce lamb. 

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

lamb has labor issues and human rights concerns.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is lamb a product with labor concerns?

At this time there are major human rights concerns with lamb production.

It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

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. 

Sources:

Sheep and Lamb | Agricultural Marketing Service

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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