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Posts: 145
Location: B.C.
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I used to teach vegetarian and sometimes vegan cooking classes.
I had to warn a lot of the younger folks that just because your vegetarian it doesn't make you a saint or instantly a healthier individual. (There are a lot of chocolate chip cookie and french fry vegetarians out there.)

I used to advice them that a lot of meat eaters automatically feel cocky about their 'better, more complete' diet. Just because you happen to include meat in your diet it doesn't guarantee you have enough protein, enough iron or enough B 12. You are what you eat.

So, eat wisely if you go veg.
http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Vegetarian-Complete-Adopting-Healthy/dp/1570670137

Eat wisely if you eat meat.
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-mediterranean-diet
http://www.eatright.org/nutritiontipsheets/
 
Posts: 62
Location: Australia
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I find that I have a different omnivore's dilemma. I am an ex- raw food vegan who has now seen how wrong I was. Even now, 14 months on from my raw vegan days I still cannot get pregnant (although from measuring my body temperatures every day and charting my cycles I can see that my hormonal health has improved massively in that time so I can't be far off now). My first pregnancy, while I was a raw food vegan, but only six months after I had last eaten meat, sadly ended halfway with a placental abruption

I also had the most impaired digestion imaginable and I developed chronic fatigue. So, I committed to eating meat and FAT, bone broths, gelatin, lots of it. Three meaty meals a day. It worked in part, making me well again quickly but I had to turn to herbalism to fix up some loose ends. Now I'm well and i'm cruising on a two vegetarian meals with organic butter, and one meaty meal a day plan. But because I'm not earning money and my husband doesn't have a high wage, I can't afford organic most of the time (I stock up in my freezer when it's on sale though). Also because I can grow my own vegetables I want to eat vegetables - that way I know what's in them. I live in a small house in a residential suburb so I can't have livestock.

How can we eat enough animal meat and fats to keep us healthy, while living like a peasant on our own plots? That's my dilemma. I want to eat more of what is good for me, yet here I am with all of these vegetables!
 
Peony Jay
Posts: 145
Location: B.C.
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@ Petra.

I hear ya.

Am I the only person who feels guilty for loving tropical fruit so much? Or French cheeses? Or Italian wines?
Once I bought my dad a loaf of bread for his birthday...... from a Parisian bakery!!

I know I should eat more local but I'd get pretty tired of cabbage by mid winter.
 
Peta Schroder
Posts: 62
Location: Australia
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I'm trying to do something about this problem of being unable to afford organic meat. I have traded in our fridge/freezer for a larger second-hand model and while it cost us a little bit of money, the new one uses much less electricity and has a much larger freezer. My plan is to contact some organic farms and see if I can buy say a quarter of an organic cow. I'm hoping if I buy in bulk it will offset the costs. I keep an eye out for organic chickens in the half price section at our supermarket. I also buy conventional kangaroo, goat and lamb because they are almost always fed their native diet.

The hardest thing is buying organic fat and offal. I cannot find either; only organic butter The butter is delicious but I want to find some affordabe organic sources for liver especially, also animal feet for stocks.
 
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@peta

As your calling around for organic beef ask them which processor they use. They will probably sell or maybe even give you the liver you're looking for Andre it will probably come off the same cow. Also, if they won't sell you a quarter or half a cow try getting some friends to go in with you on a whole cow and then you can split it accordingly. As for finding organic chickens you should be able to find someone at your local feed store that will have them. I wish I could ship you some of mine. I'd love to trade you for some kangaroo. I've never had it. Happy hunting.
 
Posts: 5
Location: Adelaide, Australia - red clay, arid, warm temperate
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Once I went to the butcher asking for pigs feet and he said he throws them all out. There can't be much demand. Going to the processor is a good idea.
 
Travis Charlie
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When it comes to the more "adventurous" food choices like pigs feet I think it has a lot to do with where you live. I live in south Louisiana and its pretty common to see pigs feet, beef tripe, chicken gizzards and any number of organs for sale in small town meat markets. But I could drive an hour away to any major city like Baton Rouge or New Orleans and easily find a butcher that throws all that stuff out.
 
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I have switched to a more vegetarian diet and feel so much better. I rarely get sick now. I don't eat pasta or many potatoes either. I'm sure that helps.
 
pollinator
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paul wheaton wrote:why would you eat a pig and not a person? 



Maybe we should not eat pig...
I am not a vegetarian, but I do not eat pig anymore.

I stopped it when I learnt it might for some persons be a cause of some health concerns, including especially auto-immune disease, because we share something like 97% of our genetics.

Pork insuline can be used by humans...
Heart valvulas are transplanted from pork without rejection.

The body seems to be bewildered, especially the immune system, when we eat pork meat.
At least I think it would be better to abstain when weak, tired or ill.
 
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im an omnivore and this book definately looks like it could be interesting to read but the thing i want to add is that an omnivore COULD technically kill more animals than a vegatarian, just because a farmer raises organic meat does not mean that the vegetables you eat aren't also tilled
now if everything is raised in a permaculture system you kill the same amount of animals in vegetable production, and animals add maybe one or two animals here and there, considering the MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of animals every square foot of the soil though, its not a huge difference
also it has to be remembered that animals naturally die, that is part of life natural cycle, every animal, even microscopic ones have free agency and the ability to think and act for themselves individually(for instance, water as a whole flows down hill, but if you look at water on a small enough scale, even when flowing directly downhill, you will see some molecules going uphill, some going left, some right, and so on and so forth, each individual molecule decides for itself what to do, but like humans, there are general laws that still apply to the group of molecules as a whole, requiring water to flow downhill). Which leads to the same question, what is the difference between the ten thousand micor-organisms killed when you harvest a potato and the cow killed for beef? the human killed for cannibilistic consumtion? the point is that everything has its own life and therefore unequivical value, and you cannot survive without killing other creatures, the best thing then, is to make certain that whatever you eat, involves RESPECTFUL harvest of your food, rather than just harvest for profit or other means
this could mean quickly re-mulching a spot after harvesting a root crop, or making sure an animal is comfortable and content with the last second of life that it lives.
 
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Peta Schroder wrote:Also because I can grow my own vegetables I want to eat vegetables - that way I know what's in them. I live in a small house in a residential suburb so I can't have livestock.

How can we eat enough animal meat and fats to keep us healthy, while living like a peasant on our own plots? That's my dilemma. I want to eat more of what is good for me, yet here I am with all of these vegetables!



Eat the normal amount of vegetables with your meals, feed the surplus to stealth rabbits [who also provide excellent fertilizer for that garden.] Well-fed domesticated rabbits have plenty of healthy fat, unlike their wild brethren.

EDIT: wow that was one heck of a thread necro, note to self- pay more attention to post dates.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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I also think something else, that the dilemma is "what part of the animal are we eating?"
When I read about butcher throwing away pig's feet for example....

Vegetarians are right, we eat too much MEAT,
But they are more wrong if you think taht we eat too much MUSCLE.
Stop or reduce meat does not mean to stop animal products, just to find the good ones.

Same for the source of fat, unsaturated fats were meant for paints and varnish, but when pettrol came, they had to convince people to eat them.

About sugar, the "bad" boy, why did nature give us a sweet tongue if this is bad for us to eat?
I eat fruits and some good sugar, not white,
and I stopped cereals and potatoes.
So I have fructose, not only glucose, and with fiber to slow it down.

Just think about the bad corn and soya do to vegetarian animals as goats or cows.
Why shuld it do sometning better to us?

About the bad idea about fructose, it comes from high fructose corn syrup, and this is not fructose alone, this is mainly starch, that is glucose.... From corn again.

So the dilemma is to find good quality products,
and supermarkets seem to me full of poisons!
Herre I have to buy frozen lamb from new zealand if I want to eat sheep.
I am just so happy when I find a cow tail for soup...
 
Posts: 519
Location: Wisconsin
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Price's work on nutrition should be of interest to anyone attempting a vegetarian or vegan diet. of all the non industrialized people who were reproducing healthy offspring generation after generation with absence of cavities and beautiful wide dental arches and plenty of room for wisdom teeth and lack of obesity and many of the industrialized chronic illnesses, many living well past the age of 100, none were vegetarians or vegans. The idea that vegetarianism or veganism is some sort of optimal diet is ridiculous, they have an entire list of diseases and deficiencies that are reserved only to vegetarians and vegans.
 
                      
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The following series of videos seems pretty logic-based.

 
pollinator
Posts: 358
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they have an entire list of diseases and deficiencies that are reserved only to vegetarians and vegans



I'm not vegan or vegetarian, and I'd agree with you that an optimal diet is probably not veg(etari)an, but I am aware of no disease or deficiency that is only present in vegetarians or vegans, although some (such as B12 deficiency) are more common in vegetarians/vegans (especially vegans).
 
John Master
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for those interested, here is a great list, the wapf is well renowned, Price's work is an epic masterpiece. They are even posted in the banner of this webpage...food as medicine.

http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/abcs-of-nutrition/myths-of-vegetarianism/
 
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I have been a long time reader but never felt the need to post. However I just could not pass this thread by. Just like the rest of my life - a day late and a dollar short - but here goes.

I became a vegan because of concerns about the inhumane treatment of animals in the meat/egg/milk industries. In my small way I am not willing to contribute to the pain and suffering those animals go through.

Since going vegan I have learned other things that make me upset with myself for waiting so long. Dr. Greger has a website about the harm that consuming animal products can cause. And he is by no means by himself. Do with it what you will, I just pass it along in the interest of information sharing.

http://www.nutritionfacts.org

And there is a lot of information about climate change out there. Many are saying that the biggest thing we can do to halt climate change is to change our diet. I know this does not apply to the people here who are farming animals but the majority of people in the USA are not farming.

http://whatsyourimpact.org/greenhouse-gas-sources

"There are 2 ways that greenhouse gases enters our atmosphere. One of them is through natural processes like animal and plant respiration. The other is through human activities. The main human sources of greenhouse gas emissions are: fossil fuel use, deforestation, intensive livestock farming, use of synthetic fertilizers and industrial processes."

All things being equal:

some of the fossil fuel is used to cultivate, fertilize, plant, harvest, water large fields of animal feed

other water use: "At 50 degrees, a cow may consume about five to seven gallons per day, but the amount increases by 0.4 gallons per day for every one-degree increase in air temperature. At 95 degrees, the same cow will drink an average of twenty-four gallons per day."

http://www.noble.org/ag/livestock/waterconcerns/

some of the fossil fuel is used to take the feed to the animals, harvest the animals and take to slaughter houses, take the meat for processing if not done right there in the slaughter house, distribution out in a chain -> large companies -> smaller warehouses -> grocery stores -> our fuel to pick that meat (and produce) up

paul wheaton wrote:And then he did some math and exploration of a vegetarian diet eating conventional (non-organic) food. Just for the pesticides sprayed on wheat, millions of birds are killed. The author makes an issue of the number of lives taken by pesticides alone, that a vegetarian kills more animals than an omnivore.

So then you go to organic. The author spends a lot of time in the book exploring organic factory farms. Tilling is done far more often to fight weeds. Tilling kills all sorts of little furry creatures in the soil. Based on the tilling alone, the organic omnivore kills fewer animals than the organic vegetarian.



some of the synthetic fertilizers are used to grow their food also, and don't omnivores eat wheat products?

a lot of the deforestation, especially in the Amazon is for animal grazing

some of those industrial processes have to be the big factory farming operations, synthetic fertilizer production, and whatever other chemicals used (not to mention the billions of dollars spent in PR to make you think you need their products)

cows and pigs produce a lot of methane - respiration and flatus

China is the biggest producer of meat and who knows what kind of regulations they have in place. I don't trust the USDA, how am I going to be confident about meat coming from another country.

I may be misunderstanding the point. If that is the case, please excuse me for jumping to conclusions.


 
steward
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I found an interesting article that chronicles one man's journey from standard crappy Western diet, to vegetarianism, to "freeganism," to veganism, to raising livestock for his own consumption.

Beyond Vegetarian: One Man's Journey From Tofu to Tallow In Search of the Moral Meal

Don’t get me wrong, I like folks who eat vegan diets because at least they care enough to want to do less harm, but most of their food is heavily processed, most is from unknown origin, and a large portion of the calories vegans consume are soy based. And growing soybeans in a way that minimizes suffering is tough. Most, I would say 99.9% of soy beans grown, are grown in a monoculture, and they rely on outside inputs for fertilizer, and unless they are organic they rely on lots of toxic chemicals to be sprayed on for insecticides, fungicides, herbicides… more and more they’re GMO in the seed. So it’s all kinds of bad. If you’re eating stuff that contains palm oil grown in once-rainforests or anything with corn or soy beans, anything that’s grown in the absence of a functioning ecosystem by industrial farmers…to me, the misery is just more spread out.

I mean, I grew up with cows, and I love cows more than most people I know, but why is their right to live more than the right for a whippoorwill to live or a snake to live or a mouse to live? Why is it that their rights trump the thousands of species that die in monocropped, industrial agricultural fields every year? Why does it trump all the species that have damn near gone extinct, or have gone extinct, since industrial agriculture has plowed up millions and millions and millions of acres of prairie in this country and destroyed their habit? Why do their rights not exist?


OK, one more quote:

There is no magic bullet. There is no one way to eat that is going to be devoid of guilt or devoid of suffering. There is no way to exist in this world without taking the life of other beings. And that complex truth was missing for me, and it’s still missing for a lot of people… They just go to this magical place called the supermarket, and these magical trucks come in the middle of the night, and magical ferries put all this stuff on eye level shelves, where you just go in there and give this magical money to somebody, and they give you all the things you need to survive. Well, that’s all really convenient, but it’s really disconnecting. And as long as you’re doing that, you can believe this myth that you can eat and survive without doing any harm to anybody else. That myth was shattered when I read that book. [The Omnivore's Dilemma]



It reminds me of a farmer I heard interviewed who said "my plants are carnivores."  I liked that.  Most of the nutrients that plants take in come from the bodies of critters in the soil. Hmmmm.
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Ann Sessoms wrote:I may be misunderstanding the point. If that is the case, please excuse me for jumping to conclusions.


While the post I'm responding to is nearly a year old, since this thread was resurrected it seems like a good opportunity to express a summary of 'the point' as I see it.

The point is that all conventional, massive farms [where one draws the line at 'massive' depends on their own perspective, sense of scale and the product(s) being grown on said farm] are horrible for the environment and the person consuming from them.

A rancher who raises livestock on clean [not necessarily officially Organic] pasture is doing infinitely less damage than a farmer growing monocrops [including Organic monocrops] of Wheat or Soy or Corn [unless he's supplementing them with significant quantities of the above, and if he is he's not the type of Rancher I'm referencing here.]

Lastly, many people [many in my own family included] require saturated fat to live. Saturated fat doesn't grow in plants outside a certain band of latitude [except perhaps in climate controlled environments.] If you want a plant-based diet, your most-environmentally-sensitive option may be to move to where all of your needs will grow.
 
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Hi, I am vegetarian since 2009 and I never felt so good in my life, peace of mind and healty body.

Sometimes I eat some eggs or some cow milk, but just not too much, and I am trying with almond milk (from our trees) or other alternatives.

I grow food forests and believe that is tecnically possible to feed yourself almost just from the trees (chachafruto, moringa, baobab, quebrachillo, macadamia and other nuts play a very important role)

Cheers
 
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I give this book 10 out of 10 acorns!

I finished reading this book, as required reading for my Food and Culture class.

Overall, it was a good book, and it accomplished its mission well, which was to describe three different types of food chains (conventional/industrial corn based foods, organic [industrial organic and beyond organic], and forests) and follow them from their inception to their completion as a meal. I did not think the book necessarily advocated one particular way of eating versus another. I think it did a good job of doing deep investigative journalism of how food gets from the field to the table in each of these food chains. I may not have necessarily agreed with some of the conclusions that Michael Pollan came to some sections and subsections of each chapter, but that is not how I am rating the book. I am rating the book on how well it did what the author set out to do. The detail and organization of the book is done well, and it creates a good narrative for all of the research and work he has done on each of these food chains. The book paints a good and fairly well-balanced overview of each food chain and tries to sufcciciently explain the logic, reasoning, and motives for how each food chain came to be where it is right now, the people inside each group, and where each food chain can go from here. I appreciated the interviews and discussions with people inside of each food chain, because it humanized them. Sometimes, I think it is hard to remember that there are actual living breathing human beings behind all of these systems and organizations that exist today. I think some people are motivated by different wants and needs, which Michael Pollan excellently presents in this book. So, I don't think necessarily anyone is "the enemy," but just that they value and prioritize certain things differently than I do. I felt this was a good book and well-worth my time, even if I found myself gacking at some of the stuff Michael Pollan concluded to or thought.
 
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I give this one 10 out of 10 acorns.
My brother in law randomly gave me Omnivore's Dilemma one year and once I picked it up I didn't put it down.  It's infectious in the best way possible.  I credit this book with starting me down the permaculture path, introducing my family to the work of Joel Salatin, and eventually leading me here to Permies!!!  Michael Pollan documents the three major food producing systems that our society has to offer and allows the reader to draw their own conclusions and solutions.  This may not be for everyone, but I really appreciated his relatively unbiased portrayal of our food production systems without demonizing any particular producer.  It's a great read and a really good way to inspire folks to come up with solutions or just be angry at a bad guy if they want to!  A little bit of something for everyone!!!
 
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