My patient, a young Mexican woman, had a new diagnosis of mild iron-deficiency anemia. I reviewed dietary sources of iron, and enquired about her eating habits. "Do you eat red meat?" I asked.
"No!" she replied, carefully selecting the English words. "No meat for two years. My husband, he has gout, so we eat no meat." She went on to describe their healthy Mexican diet of tortillas, tomatoes and beans.
"No beef?" I confirmed.
"No beef. No chicken. No steak. No pork. No meat!" she replied firmly. She hesitated, and then added, as if it were a given, "Except for ribs from Costco."