Tag Archives: vegetarian

Prostate Cancer – you can do something to help yourself!

Man eating salad 2OK, you guys, and the gals who care about them, we need to talk about a disease that’s all too common – prostate cancer! The good news is that there’s something you can do to prevent it, and even help treat it if it’s a mild case in its early stages. Let’s start with prevention first.

The risk of prostate cancer in vegetarians is less than half that of non-vegetarians. While plant-based foods have been shown to decrease the risk of prostate cancer, animal-derived foods increase the risk. Intake of saturated fat and cholesterol found in animal-derived foods are independent risk factors for prostate cancer, contributing further to the higher risk that non-vegetarians have. Read more

Your neighborhood Vegetarian!

Mr RogersWith the new movie “Won’t you be my neighbor” in theaters, people are reminded just how caring a person Fred Rogers was.  While it doesn’t feature in the movie, Mr Rogers caring attitude was exemplified by his refusal to eat meat.  “I don’t want to eat anything that has a mother,” he often said.

Rogers stopped eating meat in the early 1970s, not long after Frances Moore Lappé published Diet for a Small Planet, a major critique of meat production and a compelling argument for a plant-based diet that can help alleviate world hunger.

Rogers, a Christian minister, who believes that treating animals nonviolently and embracing a vegetarian lifestyle are deeply spiritual practices that bear witness to God’s love for animals. “I want to be a vehicle for God, to spread his message of love and peace,” Rogers stated when explaining his vegetarianism in 1983.

It’s no surprise that his vegetarianism had to do with his love for children too. In the 1983 interview, he stated that when children “discover the connection between meal and animals, many children get very concerned about it.”

With this concern in mind, Rogers steadfastly refused to show images of people eating animals on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Although a 1982 episode includes footage from a full-service restaurant, there’s not one image of meat, fowl, or fish. And an entire 1984 series on food avoids any mention of eating animals.

In the Neighborhood, animals are for enjoying, nurturing, and loving—not for chewing, swallowing, and digesting.  We wish that more TV personalities would adopt this attitude today.

Erectile Dysfunction – diet matters!

ED - disappointed coupleErectile dysfunction (impotence) is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for intercourse. Erectile dysfunction (ED) has considerable impact on the quality of life of middle-aged and senior men, and is a significant global health problem  affecting millions of men throughout the world.

It’s very important to note that men with ED are at significantly increased risk of a heart attack. There is consistent epidemiological evidence which links ED with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cholesterol levels. We know that a plant-based diet greatly reduces the risk of those diseases and so it follows that it also greatly reduces the risk of ED. Other evidence shows that the lower BMI (Body Mass Index) that vegetarians are more likely to have also helps reduce the risk of ED, as does the reduction of saturated fat intake and increased fiber intake.

One study found a 10% reduced risk of ED with each additional daily serving of fruits and vegetables consumed. Another study showed that phytonutrients, nutrients besides vitamins and minerals which are found only in plant foods, were a major reason for the reduced risk. A long term study of a diet rich in whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and olive oil was associated with an improvement in erectile function.

They’ve even done a small experiment on erectile function.  Three athletes were tested overnight after different meals.  The experiment showed that erectile function was improved after a plant-based meal. Smoking cessation and exercise increased the effectiveness of the dietary intervention in several studies.

While diet and diet-related diseases are major causes of ED, there are other factors such as psychological problems and medication side effects which can also have an impact. However, switching to a plant-based diet is a safe way to reduce your risk of ED and it forms a vital role in its treatment.

Being Veg’n in Hollywood

It’s all the rage to be vegan in Hollywood these days, so much so that it’s hard to keep up with who’s vegan or vegetarian and who’s not, as various actors and actresses go veg. Many of them have made public statements over the years on why a veg’n diet is important to them, so we thought we’d collect a few:

Casey AfleckCasey Afleck:

“When people ask me why I don’t eat meat or any other animal products, I say, ‘Because they are unhealthy and they are the product of a violent and inhumane industry.”

Alec Baldwin:

“Every time we sit down to eat, we make a choice: Please choose vegetarianism. Do it for animals. Do it for the environment and do it for your health.”

Jessica ChastainJessica Chastain:

“I don’t want to torture anything. … it’s about trying to live a life where I’m not contributing to the cruelty in the world. … While I am on this planet, I want everyone I meet to know that I am grateful they are here.”

Peter Dinklage:

“I love animals. All animals. I wouldn’t hurt a cat or a dog — or a chicken, or a cow. And I wouldn’t ask someone else to hurt them for me. That’s why I’m a vegetarian.”

Woody HarrelsonWoody Harrelson:

“Initially, it was an energetic pursuit, but eventually I did develop a deep compassion for animals. I’d eat a burger, and want to go to sleep. I started for energy. And it has served me well. ”

Ellen Page:

‘Why are vegans made fun of while the inhumane factory farming process regards animals and the natural world merely as commodities to be exploited for profit?’

Natalie PortmanNatalie Portman:

“Everyone has to find what is right for them, and it is different for everyone. Eating for me is how you proclaim your beliefs three times a day. That is why all religions have rules about eating. Three times a day, I remind myself that I value life and do not want to cause pain to or kill other living beings. That is why I eat the way I do.”

Alicia Silverstone:

“Nothing’s changed my life more. I feel better about myself as a person, being conscious and responsible for my actions and I lost weight and my skin cleared up and I got bright eyes and I just became stronger and healthier and happier. Can’t think of anything better in the world to be but be vegan.”

Heart Disease – No. 1 cause of death

Artery scanning

Dr Chan Hwang scans the carotid artery of a Vegfest attendee.

Heart disease is still the number one cause of death for both men and women. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. A plant-based diet can reduce your risk of a heart attack by 40%. If you wish your doctor knew about this, we want you to know that we do too! That’s why we wrote a letter to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. They recently published an Expert Consensus Decision Pathway on the role of non-statin therapies for lowering LDL Cholesterol, but they “forgot” to include the plant-based diet!  We told them about their omission, and we published it as an open letter, complete with references to all the latest research on the topic. Read more

Another all-veg school

NY Elementary school 1Another public school in New York City just went all vegetarian – and this time it was the kids who asked for it.  This is the third New York City public school to go all veg. The school’s principal, Arlene Ramos, revealed that students asked for healthier, meatless options and that she is proud to be able to introduce the new menu. “My students have expressed an interest in healthier eating, and the school gave them the option to choose this menu I am very proud of their decision.” Lentil sloppy Joes, pasta fagioli, Mexicali chili, braised black beans with plantains, and teriyaki crunchy tofu will now be the lunch options for the 1,250 pre-K through 5th graders at Public School 1, Bergen Elementary School.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams—who adopted a vegan diet last October to conquer his type 2 diabetes—supports the menu update. “It is particularly exciting to learn that this is a youth-driven initiative,” Adams said. The drive for all New York City public schools to go all veg is a campaign of New York Coalition for Healthy School Food headed by Amy Hamlin.  We’ve previously written about the other schools that have gone all veg.

For years we have heard every excuse from many of Washington’s public schools. But, if a city as big and diverse as New York can do it, we’re sure Seattle can as well. Let’s hope New York City will set an example for Seattle and other cities to follow.

Not your father’s veggie burger

Veggie burgers ain’t what (and where) they used to be. The food industry has been making one innovation after the other and spreading the availability of veggie burgers far and wide, including some unexpected places.

McVegan

The new McVegan

A few days ago, news broke that rocked the veggie burger landscape: McDonald’s, yes McDonald’s, is testing a vegan burger. Meet the McVegan. Hoping to quietly test the McVegan away from the attention of the American public, McDonald’s went to a far away, really far away, place, Finland. Yup! the future of the new McDonald’s vegan burger is in the hands of the Finns. But don’t worry, they won’t let us down. The new McVegan is already getting rave reviews. If the test goes well, we may just find the new vegan burger right here at home.

Impossible cheeseburger

The Impossible Burger

 

Meanwhile, when the good people at Impossible Foods said they were going to make a veggie burger so realistic it will bleed and even char just like a juicy hamburger, many people said that’s “impossible.”  But they’ve done it, and it is quickly being made available around the country. The burger contains no animal fat, yet the flavor profile mimics that of 80/20 ground beef. Before it’s seasoned and layered with toppings, a nearly three-ounce patty clocks in at 220 calories and costs $13 – a little pricey but the price has been coming down.

Many people see a very profitable future for the new Impossible Burger. That’s why Impossible Foods secured $80 million over five years to develop the product that was later backed by Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures. The Impossible Burger is not yet available here in Washington but it’s getting close. The Impossible Burger is available in St. Helena in northern California. Because they use no animal products, the Impossible Burger uses a fraction of the Earth’s natural resources. Compared to cows, the Impossible Burger uses 95% less land, 74% less water, and creates 87% less greenhouse gas emissions. And of course, no animals were hurt in the making of these burgers!

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