The Meet Your Herdmates Sodcast

16 - Eric P. Berg, PhD

December 29, 2020

Eat LIke a Pig

Eric P. Berg grew up on a commercial cattle operation just outside of Kindred, ND. He received his BS degrees from NDSU in Animal Science and Ag Education and his MS degree from NDSU in Animal Science. He got his PhD degree from Purdue University., Postdoctoral fellowship at Texas A&M University. He joined the North Dakota State University Animal Sciences Department faculty in 2006.

Dr. Berg is currently researching the role of meat in the human diet as a means to optimize health and well being.  He is using female pigs as a biomedical model for human females. The National Institute of Health notes that pigs are the best model for studying how food influences physiology, as pigs and humans have the same physiological response to food - both are simple stomached omnivores. 

Dr. Berg has studied caloric intake, accumulation of fat, and cholesterol levels in pigs fed corn/soy based diets vs ground beef diets. Despite consuming more total feed/food and more calories, the ground beef fed gilts gained less body weight and deposited less subcutaneous fat over the 84 days on test.

Animal and human diets must contain essential fatty acids and essential amino acids; both of which are in a highly bio-available form in red meat. Lean high quality red mean can contribute to a low glycemic diet and provide essential proteins, and thus contribute to a healthy diet. Increasing consumer knowledge and awareness of the benefits will help the North Dakota livestock industry and human health. 

"Foods of Animal Origin: A Prescription for Global Health" https://academic.oup.com/af/article/9/4/NP/5579410

“Eating Like a Pig: The Role of Meat in the Human Diet“ https://youtu.be/p_TI4ofQmM4

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