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OK, gang, let's find out what our task is this week.
The Gastronuts joining me on this week's show are...
Eating meat is good for a healthy diet.
If I became vegetarian,
I would miss my cheeseburger with beef and lots of cheese.
I think we should eat meat because meat does taste nice
and it's part of our everyday life.
It would be a disaster if I didn't have meat!
Coming up, we find out why cow poop
is causing such a stink amongst environmentalists.
We discover how many fire engines it takes to make a beefburger.
Wow! Everyone ready?
And the Gastronuts get pig sick when they see inside some swine.
All that's coming up later. First of all, why do you like eating meat?
-What's good about it?
-It tastes nice.
-It tastes nice?
-It helps me grow.
It's got lots of protein in. It's good for you.
So who likes roast chicken?
Yeah? You like roast chicken? Yeah?
Chicken's one of the world's most popular meats. Do you know why?
-Because it's very, very cheap.
But there's a reason for this, and I'd like to show you. Follow me!
'Many people stop eating meat because they think it's wrong
'to kill animals for food.
'Many more have a problem with the conditions in which animals live.
'The majority of chicken that we eat is raised in barns
'where tens of thousands of chickens are cramped together
'and never see daylight in their short lives.'
Now, which of these pens do you think you'd prefer to live in?
Which one would you like to go for?
-The bigger one.
-Well, it's a bit of a trick question, I'm afraid,
because it's neither of these two pens.
I'd like to introduce you to your new home.
'If the Gastronuts lived like barn-raised chickens,
'four of them would share a space this size, all day, every day.'
In you get!
There you go. Make like a chicken. Very good!
OK, I'll just close you up.
Imagine it's time for your morning run. Round we go!
'Barn-raised chickens only live for six weeks
'before they're slaughtered, and if we divided up their barn,
'they'd only have a space the size of an A4 piece of paper each
'to move around in.'
-Not very good.
-It's not very good, is it? It's a bit of a squeeze, isn't it?
In a normal barn, there'll be 20,000 of you squished in,
and that's how much space each of you would have.
-What do you think about that?
-I'd be very cramped and want to get out.
-Quite strange, isn't it?
After that, it might be time to go to the loo.
-Where are you going to go?
-Yeah, in the corner.
Right here, you're going to have to go, aren't you?
OK, do you want to find out what it's like
to have wee'd in your own house?
Not really, do you? Tough! I'm going to show you.
'To give the Gastronuts a clearer idea of what it's like
'to live in your own wee for six weeks,
'these tea towels have been soaked in the closest thing
'we could get to chicken urine.'
When chickens do a wee,
what they have is a lot of ammonia in their wee. That's ammonia.
-And that's the smell of it. Can anyone smell that?
You'll live with that for your whole life,
because usually they don't clean the barn you live in
until they take you off to slaughter.
That's terrible. I just got a smell!
And if there's too much wee, the chickens could faint.
Also, it's quite bad for you. It can burn your feet, as well.
But you have to live in that.
After you've done your wee, what's it time for?
-No, it's time to do a poo.
-Where are you going to do a poo?
'During their short lives, the floor of the barn
'gets filled with wee and poo, which the chickens have no choice
'but to move and sit around in.'
Have a little whiff of that.
-What does that smell like?
-Like your sister?!
-What else is in there?
-Yeah, they're maggots.
Maggots wouldn't live long, because you'd be pleased to eat them.
How's it going? You all happy?
-It's a bit stinky, isn't it?
-It's a bit mucky.
The one thing that you do have is constant access
to as much food as you want. Let's have a little look!
-Oh, my God!
-This is the food that you would have to eat.
It's very special stuff, this, because it's got masses of protein,
very, very high protein. They want you to grow as quickly as possible
so that you put on weight, so they can get more money for you.
If you grew at the same rate as a chicken over its six weeks of life,
you would be the size of a donkey by the age of two.
-So what do you think about the life of a chicken?
-It is, it's an unlucky life to be a chicken bred like this.
-You pleased to be out of there, guys?
Now it's time to see how chickens bred for their eggs are kept.
There we go.
Now, if you're kept for eggs,
the Gastronut-sized chicken, for four of you,
would have this much space to live in.
-It's a bit horrible, isn't it?
-What do you think it feels like to be inside that?
Cramped. Well, let's find out.
'Caged chickens can lay up to 250 eggs in a year.
'But when they start laying fewer eggs, they're slaughtered.
'The meat from these chickens is poor quality,
'so it's used in soups or cheap meat pies.'
Time for your morning exercise. And run around in there, guys!
It's like prison, only there's no prospect of getting out, is there?
-What does it feel like?
It's a bit strange, isn't it?
It's time to let you out, so that you can become free-range chickens.
'Free-range chickens have access to outside space.
'They grow much more slowly and lead more natural lives.
'But this good living comes at a price.'
The thing about free-range chickens is that they're much more expensive
than chickens that are kept in the small cage that you were in.
Free-range chickens and free-range eggs are about twice as expensive
as normal barn-kept chickens.
Do you think it's better to pay more and get a free-range chicken?
I would go for the barn chickens
because they're less than the free-range chickens
and they'll be easier to buy.
I know we're humans and not chickens, we lead different lives.
But it's still a shock to find out how they live.
And yet, the Gastronuts still didn't want to give up eating chicken.
I wonder if they could be convinced to get away from eating meat at all?
This table is full of food that is made of meat,
and then we've got its meat substitute.
I want you to guess which is which.
First of all, we have chicken and a chicken substitute.
Everyone jump in there. In you come.
Doesn't taste like chicken.
So do you reckon this is made of chicken or a vegetable?
-Let's try this one here.
-This is roast chicken!
-The real deal?
Next, shepherd's pie. Who likes shepherd's pie?
-Yeah? Let's guess which one's which. Start with this one here.
Does that taste any good?
-You reckon that's made out of vegetable?
OK, let's try this one.
-Which one do you prefer out of those two?
A bit split. So half and half.
OK. Do you like sausages?
Mm! That's definitely a sausage. This one's hard.
-I don't like my sausage roll.
-OK, everyone grab a bit of sandwich.
It's a sort of a bacony thing, isn't it?
I don't think this is the real one. I think this is vegetable.
Now let's try this fella here.
It's quite different, isn't it?
-Mm! So you all guessed correctly with the chicken.
This one here is made of soya protein. This is the real chicken.
With the shepherd's pie, you almost unanimously went for the meat one.
This is the meat one here.
But, Terrell, you preferred the vegetable one?
Yeah, it tasted all right.
The sausage, you all guessed right. This is the vegetable one.
-And this is the real sausage.
-What's in there? Is that apple?
Again, it's a few different vegetables, but it's mainly soy.
And over here, there was no question, was there?
From the moment you saw it, you knew that that was fake.
That's called "Facon".
And the real bacon, you just knew right... From miles away.
So do you think you can recreate the taste of meat, using vegetables?
-You can? Do you think you could cope without meat?
I'd be quite upset that I wouldn't have meat, and I'd miss it, actually.
-It's a tricky thing, isn't it?
'It's pretty hard to make fake meat
'with the same taste and texture as the real thing.
'But should we really bother trying?
'Andrew Darke is head chef of Vanilla Black,
'a restaurant that only serves vegetarian food.
'Will the Gastronuts be happy?'
I'm afraid, Andrew, you've got a bit of a task on your hands,
because the Gastronuts are dedicated meat eaters.
-What do you think you could do about that?
We can give them some interesting dishes.
We don't use any pretend meat, we just rely on vegetables.
Well, Andrew, the proof is in the eating. You'll have to convince us!
-Let's go for it.
OK, guys, come through and take a seat.
So Andrew's going to bring us food without any meat in it.
-Do you reckon there's going to be something missing there?
You'll be going, "OK, where's the meat course?"
Shall we guess what we're going to have for our main course?
-Vegetables? Could be!
'But Andrew isn't just serving some tofu mince and Facon sandwiches.
'This is high-end cuisine.
'The two meat-free mains he's tempting the Gastronuts with, are...
'What will they taste like and will the Gastronuts miss their meat?'
OK, guys, tuck in. Wow!
Is this the sort of thing you would choose at a restaurant?
No. Not really.
-I'd choose burgers!
-I'd choose pizza!
-You're a pizza kind of chick?
Do you miss the fact that there's no meat on here?
-No, not really.
-No, not really.
The mushroom tart does taste a little bit like it has meat in it.
I just wondered if you felt differently about it,
because nothing's had to be killed to go on our plate here.
Does that change how you think about eating?
Yeah! I think I could go for these meals,
because now I find that I don't really care
if there's no meat on my plate.
I thought there was meat in there, in the mushroom thing.
-I still want my burger!
-You still want your burger?!
What we've discovered is that we have a natural expectation
to see meat on our plate, especially in a posh restaurant.
But, if you've got a chef who can really play with the flavours,
you don't notice when it's not there.
'We're asking whether we should eat meat.
'So far, the Gastronuts have been cooped up like chickens...'
-There we go.
-Have a little whiff of that!
-What does that smell like?
'..and tried spotting which dishes have got meat in them
'and which ones are porky pies.'
'And later on, the Gastros show they've got guts
'by getting entwined in some pigs' intestines.
'But first, we're going to find out the surprising effects
'eating meat can have on the environment.'
So, Gastronuts, what causes global warming?
-The use of fuels is a big problem, isn't it?
It creates greenhouse gases,
and that's part of the big problem with global warming.
However, there is one other surprising thing
that causes a lot of global warming problems.
And I'd like to introduce you to a friend of mine.
This is Gary, and Gary's holding Decanter.
'Animals provide us with meat, dairy and eggs,
'but what they eat, and what comes out the other end,
'produces more greenhouse gases
'than all the world's planes, trains and cars put together.'
-It's poo! OK, let's see what it feels like.
Here you go, pop some of them on.
-It stinks! Now, to create poo,
lots of things have to happen inside the cow, in the digestion.
-What do you associate with poo?
Gas. OK. Let's go and have a look at some gas.
'So, we've all seen cow poo before,
'but when you see how much gas is made by a cow,
'it will blow your mind.'
OK, guys, it's time to talk about farts. How many farts do you do?
-About nine farts? OK.
On a daily basis, most people will create...this much gas.
That is two litres of gas.
-However, you're a bit smaller than a cow, aren't you?
How much do you reckon a cow produces every day?
How many litres do you reckon a cow produces?
-Ten litres? OK. Well, let's have a little look.
There you go, hold on to that for me, Terrell.
-OK, how much gas do you reckon's in here?
That, my friends, is 500 litres of gas produced every day.
And a lot of that will be methane and carbon dioxide,
which are greenhouse gases.
-It is disgusting. It's crazy.
-It's quite damaging to the environment, isn't it?
So when you eat meat, you're kind of bringing a lot
of greenhouse gases into the world.
'So cows produce a lot of gas.
'But the amount of energy, water and food required to feed them
'also creates a huge drain on resources.'
-OK, what's this, guys?
-Do you like burgers?
Yeah! They're great, aren't they?
Now, I want to take a look at how much food a cow is given
to be able to create one burger.
So, using that cup, put into that bowl the amount of cattle feed
you reckon it takes to create Billy the beefburger.
-How many cups?
-The whole bowl.
I'd say about half.
-No, three quarters.
-Three quarters? Well, you're nearly there.
I'll show you how much food it really takes.
It takes seven and a half kilos of cattle feed to create one burger.
-Oh, my God!
-Wow, that's a lot.
-Do you think that's a lot?
So what's the alternative to a meat burger?
-A veggie burger?
-A veggie burger!
Let's have a look at a veggie burger.
The thing is... Your veggie burger still uses up resources.
How much water do you think has to go into creating a veggie burger?
-You reckon two litres?
-I thought, four.
-Four litres? Two of those?
-No, one and a half of those.
It's a little more than that.
In there are 302 litres of water,
and that is what goes into making one of those little veggie burgers.
That is wrong!
So if it takes this much water to create one veggie burger,
how much water do you reckon it takes to create one beefburger?
-How many litres do you reckon?
-About 700... 704?
Well, I think I'd better show you.
OK, Michael, bring in Flora.
'To create a beefburger, a cow obviously has to drink some water.
'But water's also needed to grow the enormous amount of food
'the cow eats.'
Gastronuts, this is Flora. Let's go and have a look.
Have you ever fired a fire hose before?
-No? Would you like to try?
'It takes 2,400 litres of water to create just one beefburger.
'Flora the fire engine only holds 1,600 litres of water,
'so you'd need one and a half Floras to create just one burger.'
See if you can you get all the way across the field.
-Now, a normal cow will create 1,133 burgers.
OK? But to get a cow from birth all the way to slaughter,
it takes 1,500 fire engines' worth of water...
..and 135 sacks of cattle feed, a huge amount.
So what else do you reckon you could use those resources for?
You could use the fields for farming.
So instead of growing beef,
you could use it for vegetables and just eat vegetables instead.
But would you be able to cope with that?
With just eating vegetables and giving up the meat?
-You're big meat eaters, aren't you?
I always knew that cows needed food and they needed water,
but actually seeing the amount required
to create one beefburger is a huge shock.
Why does meat shrink when you cook it?
Let me show you.
What we have here are two identical steaks,
and what I'm going to do,
is drop one of them into this frying pan and see what happens.
The pan is really hot,
and it's making the water boil away out of the steak.
And that's the first thing that's going to start to shrink it.
But there's something else. Meat, as you know,
is made of protein, and protein are wonderful long snake-like molecules.
And as you cook them, what these are doing is they're coiling up
and they're shrinking down,
So gradually the entire steak is going to pull together.
I'm sure you've seen this.
If you're cooking thin slices of something like bacon or of chicken,
they curl up as they start to cook.
They start... The technical word is to "denature".
And if you look at the steak, you can already see
the way the front face has actually contracted down, it's shrunk.
And now the same is happening to the back side. So my steak is done.
Let's go and compare it with the original. Have a look.
And you can see that it's actually gotten an awful lot smaller
than what we started with.
That's because the protein contracts, the water leaves
and the meat shrinks.
Some people say that we eat meat because our bodies were designed to,
that we have to do it.
Now, is that true?
I've got somebody who can tell us all about it.
But first, you all need to put on some of these.
-OK, let's go!
-So, Gastronuts, this is Stephanie.
Stephanie is a brilliant nutritionist.
-She knows what goes on in our body after we've eaten food.
So, we've got a question for you.
-Are we designed to eat meat?
-That's a good question.
We're going to start by thinking about teeth,
because that gives us a good idea whether we were meant to eat meat.
Look what I've got under here.
-What do you think these are?
Skulls, that's right. Two different skulls from two different creatures.
-Now, what do you think this is from?
-Yeah, what kind?
Yeah. It's actually a sheep.
And look at the shape of the teeth.
What about this? You'll probably recognise this.
-A human skull, that's right.
It's a human skull. Now, what interests me
is the shape of the teeth of a human skull
-compared to the shape of the sheep. Now, what do sheep eat?
-Do they eat anything else?
Which is dried grass. And their teeth reflect that.
Look, they have lots of big, wide teeth for grinding up the grass,
and these little sharp teeth here,
they're for nipping off the grass when they first eat it.
When we look at a human skull... Who wants to hold this and have a look?
At the back, we have these flat teeth, just like the sheep.
And we know that we're designed to eat vegetation like the sheep,
because we have these flat teeth for grinding up grasses and vegetables.
What about these front teeth? They're sharp and very strong.
These teeth are like carnivores' teeth,
like meat eaters' teeth, like dogs and cats.
So we're definitely designed to eat meat, as well as vegetation.
Why do we need these big ones at the front? What do we do with them?
We tear the meat off the bone.
These days, of course, we have a knife and fork to do that.
That's what goes on in our mouths.
But is there a big difference between our intestines,
-between the human and a vegetable eater?
-Very much so.
You can tell from the sheep's teeth that he's supposed to eat grass.
You can also tell from their stomach,
and from our stomachs, we're supposed to eat meat.
All the way through our intestinal tract,
there are things to digest meat in our bodies
and not in sheep's bodies.
It's a weird idea to look at our digestive system, it's inside us.
Only one way to do it... Look at a digestive system. I've got one here.
'If you don't like seeing pigs' guts laid out on a table,
'then this might be a good time to pop out and make a cup of tea.
'And rethink your career as a butcher.'
This, my friends, is the entire digestive system
of a pig.
'Like us, pigs are omnivores,
'they eat meat and vegetables,
'meaning we have very similar digestive systems.'
-Pass it along.
-Get in there!
-I'll go first.
-Go on, then.
No, no, Anda needs to pass it along to Terrell.
-Go on, get it along there.
-Come on, it won't bite you!
What do you think all these bits are?
-All of these bits are part of the digestive system.
Let's have a look what we've got.
Now, look at all these amazing long tubes.
Look, it goes on and on and on and on.
Do you know what? We have seven metres of this inside our tummies.
This is the small intestine. So when the food is passed from the stomach,
passes into the small intestine, it travels through all these metres
of small intestine, lots of wiggly, wiggly bits of small intestine.
And during this time, the food is being broken down
and absorbed into our bloodstream, so all the goodness from the food
can go into our bodies to nourish us.
What do you think this bit is? Look at this long, big, fat tube.
-The large intestine?
-Very good! It's the large intestine.
It's called "large",
even though it's shorter than the small intestine, it's much wider.
So once all the food has travelled through the small intestine,
it goes to the large intestine, then where?
-That's a bit of a clue.
-What have we got there, guys?
Now, think of a pig.
-At one end you've got its snout...
-It's kind of a tail.
-Its tail would be about here.
-What did you say, Olivia?
-Its bum! That's his bum.
It's an amazing, amazing system, and ours is very similar to this.
And so, is there a particular area where the meat is dealt with?
The meat starts to be broken down in the stomach,
where the hydrochloric acid, a very strong acid,
starts to break down the meat, also digestive enzymes break it down.
But the digestion of meat continues
all the way through the small intestine.
It takes a long, long time to break down meat.
What's the difference between the digestive system
of something that eats everything and one that just eats vegetables?
The biggest difference is in the stomach.
An animal that only eats grass, like a sheep or a cow,
they have four separate compartments. Instead of the food
just passing straight from the stomach into the small intestine,
the food gets pushed back up into the mouth,
after it's been chewed a bit, for some more chewing.
This is all designed to eat meat,
-so what would happen if we don't eat meat?
-That's a very good question.
We need protein and that's what meat provides.
You can get good-quality protein from non-meat sources.
You've got to be much more careful about where you get that food from.
If you look at the history of mankind,
-have we always been designed to eat meat?
-We think so.
If you look at monkeys and how they eat, they're omnivores like us,
they have meat-eating and grass-eating teeth,
and we've developed from monkeys,
and our digestive systems haven't changed much.
So in the history of mankind,
we would have been eating meat and vegetables for a very long time.
'We share a common ancestor with monkeys,
'so what better way to show how similar we are
'than by sharing lunch with one?'
So, Sam, who have you got there?
This is Dougie,
he's a squirrel monkey from South America.
-Does he eat meat?
-He does, yes, he eats meat.
He eats lizards and young birds, and he'll also eat insects.
-What's he eating there, Sam?
That's a little bit of minced beef,
which we don't give him too often, but a couple of times a week
-we give him a bit of minced beef.
-Does he need it?
Well, he needs quite a lot of protein in his diet.
Doug's eating some beef. Why don't we join him?
We've got some Bolognese here.
You're eating like a monkey!
How about that?
There's the proof. We were designed to eat meat, but don't have to.
Now we've seen the whole story, the journey from the farm to our plate.
The decision's yours. Should you eat meat?
I will feel differently about eating meat,
because animals are getting killed just for human purpose,
and we don't need to always have meat.
I was surprised about the way chickens live their life
in cages and in barns.
And smelling the chicken poo was really horrible and bad.
The most shocking thing was when I had to touch the pig's organs.
And I didn't really know that a monkey could eat the same things
as humans could eat, as well.
Being a Gastronut has made me think about food a bit differently.
And I think I could try vegetarian options instead of meat.
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