Meat consumption predicts risk of several chronic diseases. The authors validate the accuracy of meat consumption reported by food frequency questionnaires and the mean of eight 24-hour recalls, using urinary methylhistidine excretion, in 55 Black and 71 White Adventist subjects in Los Angeles and San Diego, California, in 1994-1997. 1-Methylhistidine excretion predicts vegetarian status in Black (p = 0.02) and in White (p = 0.005) subjects. Spearman's correlation coefficients between 1-methylhistidine and estimated meat consumption were usually between 0.4 and 0.6 for both food frequency questionnaires and 24-hour recall data. This is despite the chance collection of dietary recalls and urines from omnivores on meatless days.