Food Talk

Earlier today I had an interesting FB conversation with my sister and cousins, spurred by this article on Veganism.  The author discuss being a “part-time Vegan” as a way to increase plant intake, rather than cutting out animal products completely.  Give it a read, it’s interesting.  In our discussion, these were the highlights:

  • Everyone hates on dairy and eggs!  
  • The article does not address the need to include protein in your diet.  You have to eat a lot of beans or soy to get the same amount of protein as you do from meat.  
  • Soy is not necessarily a “good” replacement.
  • Skeptics of soy: I have to quote my cousin LB here: “Taste-wise, I’m a huge fan of soy (I’m weird and love tofu, soy milk, etc.) but I avoid it now because it is really freaking me out the way it has seeped into everything on the shelf, much like high-fructose corn syrup. One of the reasons for this that I don’t see addressed very often (lost in all of the other Monsanto controversy) is that soy is one of the few plants that fixes its own nitrogen, i.e. you don’t have to provide nitrogen content in the form of fertilizer – it can obtain it from N2 in the air. For this reason, it actually cheaper to produce than other crops, and American farmers have become completely enamored with it. I try not to be too much of a food-conspiracy theorist but I have a general mistrust of the soy industry because of this. I really don’t think it’s as “healthy” as people proclaim, and I’m sort of concerned about the phytoestrogen content/hormonal effects that get waived off as a myth as well.”  (She’s an uber smart chemist).
  • LB also went on to explain: “From what I’ve seen (which is limited, most of the time I spend looking up scientific articles on nutrition is focused on the sat fat debate) most research focuses on whether or not soy is “feminizing” men/boys and whether they are increasing/decreasing risk of cancer (from what I’ve seen there are conflicting results in both cases). There is a lot less literature on my bigger (personal) concern which is acne. Also, I’m not being totally fair to soy, as the fact that you can rotate soy in as a cover crop to fix the soil for cash crops and then as a bonus use the oil and proteins is really green and efficient and good for food production. It just weirds me out that that then means it gets thrown into everything whether you realize it or not.
  • Fats: eat them!  We all love our avocados and almonds and have experienced nothing but good changes by including them in our diets. 
  • Why is it “more natural”/”better for you” to eat meat than to drink the milk/eat the cheese?  Both are animal products, and personally, I’d rather eat the dairy. 

Our concluding point, made by CQ herself, is that it probably comes down to moderation.  That is what my therapists hammered home to me, and it seems to be the most realistic rule to live by.  Everything in moderation should equate to a balanced diet.  I think problems arise when we start cutting out food groups (unless for an allergy).  

What are your thoughts?  Weigh in on the conversation here!

AQ. 

 Thanks to CQ, LB, EB, & NB for the insightful chat!

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