Submitted by Matt Tomasino on Sun, 12/13/2015 - 13:30
Food is a pervasive part of our society!
It has gone from simple recipes to cooking reality shows that would make Julia Child’s cringe.
It is planned on the minute one wakes to the minute one retires.
It can be seen in the perverse amount of choices available on our supermarket shelves.
It revolves around religion, culture and practically every event people create.
It is a “in your face” marketing campaign at every turn.
It permeates every aspect of social interaction and anyone that veers from the “eating norm” is considered something short of a communist, a food traitor, a problem.
It, processed food and animal products, is more often than not the cause of a barrage of health problems including obesity, hypertension, heart disease, prostate disease, and skin problems.
This is the mindset many vegetarians, vegans and the like are up against on a daily basis. Vegetarian wars and the generation gap are slowly closing, but the stigma remains.
A Man’s Man
Food choices can be attached to just about any label. When it comes to eating meat, men often tout their carnivore class as being alpha masculine possessing great strength by eating animal products.
Generations of men, from soldiers to sports icons to world leaders, are cited as real men, a man’s man, and meat has been their fuel for generations. Enter the male vegetarian into the backyard barbecue and he may as well be wearing a dress.
This is one of the crossroads of vegetarian wars and the generation gap. No matter how much the vegetarian calmly answers throngs of questions (in-between ridicule), it is the meat eaters that turn up their noses.
When meat eaters are asked about their interaction with vegetarians, they will often mention how the vegetarians think they are better than meat eaters. This may be the case when diets are compared, but judgment of how others eat is usually not a vegetarian’s mindset.
Many vegetarians cannot take the ignorant ostracizing they are handed and have become more vocal as a result. Vegsource cites various facts vegetarians can refer to when standing up to unnecessary ridicule.
Some of these include:
- Pounds of potatoes that can be grown on an acre: 40,000
- Pounds of beef produced on an acre: 250
- Number of acres of US forest cleared for cropland to produce meat-centered diet: 260 million
- Species extinction due to destruction of tropical rainforests for meat grazing and other uses: 1,000 per year
- Amount you reduce risk of heart attack if you reduce [meat] consumption by 50 percent: 45 percent
- Increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat meat daily compared to less than once a week: 3.8 times
- Gallons of water needed to produce a pound of wheat: 25
- Gallons of water needed to produce a pound of California beef: 5,000
Another chasm in vegetarian wars and the generation gap are the misconceptions meat eaters have, particularly when it comes to protein. Humans need approximately 50 grams of protein per day. About 3 ounces of beef contains 22 grams of protein. However, when a meat eater cooks for a vegetarian they assume there is not enough protein. Turns out there’s plenty.
Here are some numbers:
- 1 cup of spinach = 5 grams
- 30 calories of broccoli = 4.5 grams
- 1 cup of French beans = 13 grams
- 1 cup of lentil beans = 18 grams
- 1 cup of chick peas, black beans or red beans = 15 grams
- 1 cup of quinoa (keen-wah) = 8.14 grams
- 1 oz of almonds = 7 grams
The most difficult thing for vegetarians is not their choice of food but the scrutiny of friends and family. As generation after generation evolves, so too will the mindset toward healthier eating and environmental preservation.
At Open4Nutrition we clear away the clutter and open your eyes to the many choices you have to catapult your health.
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