One of the many myths we hear about when it comes to minerals is that you need to consume dairy products to get enough calcium. While milk, cheese and yogurt do have calcium, there are plenty of other choices and some distinct advantages for those who want to skip the dairy and get their calcium for plant foods. Plant foods, such as collards and kale, are often good sources of calcium, but don’t carry the price tag of saturated fat and cholesterol, or a grumbly tummy for those with lactose intolerance. Plant foods are also easier on the animals and the environment.
Some people may take time to get used to the idea after seeing all the commercials with celebrities wearing a milk moustache, but as you learn more about it, we think you’ll be reaching for the veggies as the best way to get your calcium. The chart below shows some of the many plant sources of calcium, with dairy milk included for comparison. See our fact sheet to learn more about how to get plenty of calcium in your diet.
The following is an excerpt from our book, Say No to Meat, by Amanda Strombom and Stewart Rose, published by Healthy Living Publications. This book includes answers to all the questions you may have about becoming a vegetarian, and is invaluable to new and existing vegetarians alike!
How can I answer why I went vegetarian without offending someone?
Stay positive and respectful. When someone asks you about being a vegetarian, it’s important to show that it’s a positive decision and that you enjoy eating this way, especially if you hope to influence them to become vegetarian themselves someday. Here are some suggestions on what to say:
“You’d be amazed at how many health benefits there are from eating this way.”
“When I learnt about how the animals are treated on most factory farms, I couldn’t bring myself to eat meat any more.”
“You probably haven’t heard too much about this, but in fact the raising of animals is very damaging to the environment, so I wanted to do something to help.”
Don’t get negative. If you give a negative or boring impression of eating vegetarian food, you can be sure that they will be put off for a very long time. Many people are also turned off by scary or horrific images, so it is usually counter-productive to say anything along the lines of the following:
“Let me tell you all about the horrible diseases you’re going to get by eating meat”,
“Here’s some gruesome pictures of how animals are treated on factory farms”
“People who eat meat are responsible for global warming, water pollution, burning down the rainforest and even global hunger. How could you live with that on your conscience?”
Don’t come on too strong. Some people just can’t handle food issues. The most important thing to avoid is overwhelming a person. If they stop asking questions, or don’t show an interest in the subject, then move right along to a totally different topic. Sometimes, the message takes a few months or even a few years to sink in, after planting the seed.
Just amazing! In London, Omari McQueen has been honing his culinary skills for nearly half of his life — and he’s only 12 years old. After starting his own vegan food company four years ago, Omari went on to his next big project — a cookbook — and he’s determined to change the way kids look at food. At a very young age, Omari started reading about veganism and he was instantly intrigued. After experimenting with some vegan dips, the budding chef, and his family, launched Dipalicious, a vegan restaurant and food company that also sells snacks and meals.
Now, the 12-year-old has a new cookbook that’s a collection of 30 vegan recipes titled, Omari McQueen’s Best Bites Cookbook. He says, “readers can expect to try different foods and experiment with different flavors while having fun and learning top tips from me.”
For the young chef, a cookbook is just the next step in what he hopes will be a very long, successful career. However, Omari is also quick to give credit where it’s due and acknowledged that his parents and sibling have helped him every step of the way. We cheer Omari on as one of the youngest movers and shakers in the veg world. It’ll be exciting to see what he does next!
Have you considered how veg-friendly the clothing you buy is? More and more people want to know how the clothes they buy are produced, and whether animals were harmed in doing so. Like factory farming in the food industry, raising animals for clothing and accessories is often cruel to the animals and harmful to the environment. Even “humanely raised” animals are kept in captivity and slaughtered years before they would have died naturally, so it’s hard to argue that any animal-based material is truly humane. Vegan clothing is any clothing item which is made without animal products, and nowadays there are abundant choices. You just have to know which materials to avoid, so here’s a list to help you, along with suitable alternatives to look for:
Leatheror suede – look for labels such as manmade leather, all-manmade materials, pleather, or synthetic. The price may give you a clue since synthetic leather sells for much cheaper than the price of real leather.
Many people in the US are worried and upset about the life experience of blacks in America at the moment. And while attention is very understandably drawn to the abuse of their civil rights, there’s another problem that shouldn’t be forgotten. Black people face an increased risk for a number of chronic diseases.
Blacks in America have a 50% higher risk of obesity, 70% higher risk of type 2 diabetes, 40% higher prevalence of hypertension, a 25% increased risk of stroke, and 4 times the risk of kidney disease requiring dialysis. They also have a 75% higher risk of dying from a heart attack and a 10% increased risk of dying from cancer. Read more
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, last month saw the biggest increase in grocery prices in nearly 50 years. Food prices rose across the board, but the sharpest increase – 4.3 percent from March to April – was for meats, poultry, fish and eggs.
This price spike, along with widespread shortages in stores (which are, of course, a factor contributing to the price increases), has forced many people to adjust their usual meal plans. When you can’t find ground beef or chicken breasts, you have to make something else, and in many cases that’s resulting in people choosing plant-based options. Read more
Here are a few tips for safely getting your groceries during COVID 19 (coronavirus) pandemic:
In the grocery store
If you’re going to the grocery store, try to go when it’s not crowded. Since the virus can be transmitted through close contact with other individuals, the key to social distancing is by avoiding large groups of people. But if you don’t get your timing right and find yourself at the grocery store with a lot of people, get what you need and leave as soon as you can. Don’t dally! Read more
During this coronavirus outbreak, many of us are either forced or choosing to stay home to keep the virus from spreading. This can be frustrating, but I urge you to look on it as an opportunity to take some time to move toward a more plant-based diet, or if you’re already following a plant-based diet, to try some new recipes. This will enable you to use your time constructively, improve your overall health, and have fun trying some new recipes!
Here are some options for steps you can take, depending on your starting point, while you’re stuck at home! Read more
Last month we reported that vegans are more popular on online dating sites. Now we report on the vegan experience at the next level of a relationship.
What do love and food have in common? Well, it turns out that the latter makes the former more interesting!
A new study has found that going vegan can affect your intimate life for the better. The study shows that on average, vegans have more frequent action “between the sheets” than meat eaters. In fact, vegans have more than twice the number of actions per week between the sheets than meat eaters. Meanwhile 95% of vegans report being happy with that aspect of their lives, versus only half among meat eaters. Also important is that vegans were reported to be more giving and less selfish in bed. They were also reported to be better at the warmup and talk up before the main event!
So, if you’re looking for an additional reason to switch to a plant based diet, this may be it!
Vegetarians of Washington is proud to sponsor the first-ever Hip Hop is Green Health & Wellness eXpo, happening at the Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion on Friday March 6th. There will be three sessions; the first two will be for Seattle area school students and families. The general public is welcome to the third session from 4:30 pm – 8:00 pm.
The event will feature healthy plant-based cooking demos by local and national chefs, food sampling by local restaurants and brands, free health screenings, speakers, Hip Hop performers, a women’s plant-based fitness showcase, and Trap Vinyasa ™ yoga fitness class. Read more