Tag Archives: B vitamins

Humane Meat

I was recently introduced to yet another an article about the dangers of veganism by a friend. After looking at the piece I had a few remarks: first that there is a body of peer reviewed scientific literature that explains that vegan diets are appropriate for adolescents and infants alike; second that the author of the article in question, while well meaning, is still merely a journalist and anyone can publish an article, blog, or whatever other sort of publication you prefer; and third, that the New York Times’ journalist favored the writing of an acupuncturist (whose understanding of biochemistry was lacking, to say the least) among others and makes unfounded assertions (about the methionine content of soy based infant formula, for example) to bolster her point – so much for journalistic integrity.

One of the more vocal contributors to our discussion about veganism and growing bodies was an individual who felt that veganism was ‘too extreme’ and found a happy medium in ‘humane meat’. They asked me if I felt that sustainable meat was ‘a step in the right direction’. I can’t say that I do. Even though ‘humanely’ raised animals boast a better, more sustainable way of farming and arguably happier livestock; it’s certainly not sustainable for the animal, still pollutes the environment, is an inefficient use of land, grain, water and labor and neglects to acknowledge that there’s nothing humane about killing an animal for something as trivial as taste. It also still promotes the exploitation of the voiceless, which doesn’t say anything good about our species.

I understand that buzz words like “sustainable”, “ethically farmed”, “free range”, “organic”, “no BGH”, etc. reflect the horror we feel at the mistreatment of animals by CAFOs and small scale farms alike. People like animals; we keep them as pets, we like to observe them, they populate our books, movies and art, we like to commune with them – wild or domesticated. When people don’t like animals or routinely hurt them, we consider it to be a warning sign for psychosis and other dangerous antisocial behaviors. This is why these buzz words gain momentum in a world where we can afford to buy almond milk over heavily subsidized dairy milk.

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I’ll take us back to the question of ‘humane meat’ being a happy medium versus veganism. This will sound like a slippery slope argument and in part it is so bear with me. Veganism, being too extreme, opens the door for something arguably less extreme like ‘humane meat’. Now consider that the vast majority of meat in America today is produced on CAFOs and that the cost of producing humane animal products can be prohibitively expensive. Avoiding inhumane animal products sounds like a full time job for anyone with considerable disposable income. So how is ‘happy meat’ not extreme in and of itself?

This is food for thought, I suppose. I’d love to hear about people you know who think that animal products are more humane, sustainable, healthier or efficient than their vegetable counterparts. Suggested reading is also welcome, just know I prefer peer reviewed scientific articles to editorials and will consider accordingly.

This is Christie, signing off!

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B Vitamins… mmm…

Something I have to remind myself to eat is sources of B vitamins. When I look at my diet I realize they’re there but B vitamins are too important to miss. I’m a big fan of a good sprinkle of flake nutritional yeast (a terribly underrated seasoning) or a big glass of kombucha but today we’re revisiting a spread whose cousin starred in a favorite 80’s tune by Men at Work, “Down Under”; not Vegemite but Marmite!

Vegemite was originally refined from a waste prodct. The yeast had done it’s job of fermenting wort into beer and would be thrown away as garbage. Cyril Callister was charged with converting this nutrient rich sludge into a highly nutritious spread. Apparently it worked because this stuff (and it’s competitor, Marmite) are available all around the world.

Brent and I gave it a go with some bread I made Sunday. The bread was nutty and lightly sweet so it went well with the savory flavor that Brent noted had a hint of pine. I understand that a more traditional preparation involves butter so we might have to give it a go with some Earth Balance spread but until then we’ll be revisiting this gem for weekend brunches.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Move over lunch meat, it’s TEMPEH!

Tempeh is a vegan food product made from fermented soybeans. Before you turn your nose up at the idea of something being fermented, remember you’ve probably eaten a number of other fermented products including all alcohol, leavened bread, yogurt, buttermilk and cheeses. Fermentation adds a number of unique compounds not normally abundant in soy, in particular B vitamins. Vegans don’t always get enough B vitamins so it’s good to know good sources of these crucial nutrients along with protein, iron, calcium and trace nutrients like isoflavones and flavones that studies suggest may have preventative effects for heart disease and cancer.

We’re eating some tempeh that I see at a lot of supermarkets here in South Florida. It’s pre-marinated in a variety of flavors. We especially like this one (shown below)

I usually treat it like bacon except that it’s actually good for you.

I browned it lightly in a non-stick skillet and wrapped it up in a cabbage leaf with greens, bell pepper, and some Follow Your Heart sesame miso dressing that we’ve been enjoying for salads.

I’m a big fan of tempeh and I hope you’ll get to know it a little better if you’re not friendly already. It’s awesome!

This is Christie, signing off.

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