Letters: On Encyclopaedia Britannica And Red Meat Melissa Block and Robert Siegel read emails from listeners about segments on the Encyclopaedia Britannica and red meat.
NPR logo

Letters: On Encyclopaedia Britannica And Red Meat

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/148698288/148700799" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Letters: On Encyclopaedia Britannica And Red Meat

Letters: On Encyclopaedia Britannica And Red Meat

Letters: On Encyclopaedia Britannica And Red Meat

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/148698288/148700799" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Melissa Block and Robert Siegel read emails from listeners about segments on the Encyclopaedia Britannica and red meat.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's time now for your emails and we received several digital missives about the last print edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

As we heard yesterday, that Encyclopaedia will, henceforth, only be available online. Jorge Cauz, president of Encyclopaedia Britannica argued that there is still reason to pay for his product rather than rely on Wikipedia.

JORGE CAUZ: Well, we get updated very, very promptly, as well. You know, I have to point out, also, that, you know, Wikipedia also tends to kill people, so to speak, before they die. So, you know, we tend to wait for a reliable source to really verify that the person actually died or not.

SIEGEL: Well, when it comes to accuracy about the Encyclopaedia Britannica, we can report Wikipedia got this one right, at least. It says Britannica's final print edition was in 2010, a 32 volume set.

BLOCK: Peter Burrows(ph) of Commerce City, Colorado, heard our interview with Mr. Cauz and was reminded of his elementary school days. He writes this: In fifth grade, I had a near zero attention span for the classroom and was not well-behaved. The teacher didn't give up on me, but instead had me sit in the back of the room and read encyclopedias and return when I was ready.

Over the school year, I paged through the entirety of not just the Britannica, but every volume of World Book, Compton's, Collier's and Funk and Wagnall's, stopping wherever I found interest. Confounding my teacher's understanding, but not to her dismay, I passed all of my tests and graduated to sixth grade and beyond.

SIEGEL: And now to a story that we reported on Monday about meat, lots of it. A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health shows that people who eat red meat every day have significantly higher risks of cancer, heart disease and premature death, especially if that meat is processed.

BLOCK: But, as we heard in that story, Betsy Booren of the American Meat Institute Foundation disagrees with the findings.

BETSY BOOREN: I don't think there are a lot of risks associated with those processes. First of all, they're all made from meat, which is needed in the body.

BLOCK: Well, Katie Myer(ph) of Seattle appreciates our report, but takes issue with Ms. Booren's statement. She writes this: I would like to point out that there are plenty of extremely healthy vegetarian and vegan people in this country, my husband included. He has been a vegetarian since early childhood, is now 33 and training for his first body building competition, all without the use of meat. He is, in my opinion, the hottest beefcake around - pun intended - and an inspiration to those looking to make their daily eating habits more healthy.

SIEGEL: As for listener Linda Bollage(ph) of Buffalo, New York, she takes a more fatalistic approach. She writes this: Death by bacon? Not a bad way to go. Everything is better with a little bacon.

BLOCK: I agree. And Helmet Shoemaker(ph) of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, splits the difference with this comment. Everything in moderation, even food studies.

SIEGEL: But not with your letters. Keep them coming. Go to NPR.org and click on Contact Us at the bottom of the page.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.