It was here in this prosperous New England town that America’s love affair with beef started to lose its sizzle.

It was here a half century ago that obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels were all identified as risk factors for heart disease.

Indeed, it was here that scientists coined the term “risk factor,” triggering the deluge of nutrition research that keeps beef from being “what’s for dinner” in many households.

The study’s impact has been profound for Big Beef over the last few decades. As consumption has fallen, Big Beef has fought back, winning some and losing some.

The industry has funneled millions into a public relations campaign to cast steaks and burgers as something akin to health food — something you can eat every day, even twice a day.
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