Going Vegan/Organic

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kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Oh my. We have done a lot of research on this as well, since we had a daughter who had a number of food allergies and lived with incredible levels of environmental pollutants (in China for 11.5 years). I can tell you that from what I have read (and I am not full-blown Weston A Price, but love Nourishing Traditions) and from what I saw (with our daughter), much of the food we get at the supermarket is quite near the bottom of the food chain and some can be downright toxic.

I don't have the time to fully explain it (I am at work), but the relationship between soil depletion, in terms of organic matter, and nutrient changes in veggies resulting therefrom, etc. (chemical fertilizers notwithstanding), even in the last 50 years, is quite interesting. I don't care for the certified organic industry, but I can see a night and day difference in the food we produce from our little farm (and we are poor farmers indeed) and what we buy in the stores. An egg from one of our pastured hens compared to a battery hen egg from Walmart is really a different thing altogether. And bacon from the hogs actually goes bad after 7 days or so in the fridge vs weeks for a 'normal' package from the store. Sorry, but I like food that rots.

We eat what we grow, or buy from those who we know, for the most part, and hope we can do more of it as the years go by.

Is there any evidence that vegetarians live longer or have happier lives?
None. In fact, there is significant empirical evidence to the contrary. To whit: where there is vegetarianism, there is no bacon. And everyone knows that where there is no bacon, there is no happiness.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
On the high fructose corn syrup vs. sugar, etc. discussion. I discovered when I was teaching biology (and you can find this in any biology book that shows the chemical configuration for various types of sugar--just double-checked) that even though the chemical equation is the same for all types of sugar, glucose, galactose, fructose, etc., the way the sugars are formed in their chemical chain is very different, and that determines how it breaks down in the body. That's why they have different names. If they were the exactly the same, they would have the same name.

There is a difference, and if you follow the money and look at the people who are promoting high fructose corn syrup and other types of processed sugars, they are the same indivudals who are making tons of money off these processed products.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Kevin that remark about soil depletion is good. Even virgin soils are often depleted of certain very important nutrients. Adding fertilizers like calcium will give watermelon a longer shelf life, for instance, and we have the NT example of the gardener who asked the landlord to give the tree another chance after he dug in some manure. Also, I firmly believe one reason for the Sabbath rest every 7 years was in part to address that issue.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
You know, I like to read older (pre-1950's) farming books, and the idea of letting land lay fallow one out of every seven years was not completely dead at that point (though I think it was considered impractical). There is also some stuff by a gent named Eric Sloane who wrote in the 50's (more a gentleman farmer than anything else) who really got into some of the nutrient deficiency issues (albeit anecdotally, for the most part). The level of humus even in the 1950's was quite thin compared to the time when virgin forests made up a large part of the country (which is not surprising) but not too long before then (maybe turn of the century), composted manure on the fields (from pastured cows, not feed lot cattle) was the norm, as well as an appreciation for lower planting densities ("an overplanted field makes a rich father, but a poor son") and more of an attitude of harvesting the byproducts of an ecosystem, instead of a monoculture spread over hundreds of acres. Joel Salatin is still a large proponent of this attitude, and it is good to see it coming back.

I know we always see pictures of the 30's dustbowl farms and think that that was the norm, but that was the equivalent of stripmining the soil of traditional grasslands to a large degree. If you don't take care of it, it dies.

Also, there are ways of planting and organizing one's land in a way that let's nature's systems help, instead of hinder. A bird will rarely fly more than 200 yards from cover in order to scavenge for bugs, but tell a farmer that his fields should be no more than 600 feet wide and he'll think you're an idiot. There are many ways to improve the lot of our soils and how we raise our animal protein, but they are tossed aside in favor of a more 'efficient' way of doing things.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
There's no evidence to support your claim.
Anecdotal evidence is not proof, but I am more sluggish in the afternoon after an HFCS soft drink at lunch than I am after a sugared drink or an artificially sweetened one. So I'll stick to Throwback Pepsi, Coke Zero, and Dublin Dr Pepper (Mexican Cokes being widely available but too expensive in the local groceries). Feel free to stick to beverages which cause childhood obesity if you wish, but there isn't strong evidence either way at this point.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Kevin that remark about soil depletion is good. Even virgin soils are often depleted of certain very important nutrients. Adding fertilizers like calcium will give watermelon a longer shelf life, for instance, and we have the NT example of the gardener who asked the landlord to give the tree another chance after he dug in some manure. Also, I firmly believe one reason for the Sabbath rest every 7 years was in part to address that issue.
A pile of chicken manure composted a year or so does wonders for the garden, the taste of the veggies, and I'm sure is helping the soil.

My grandfather (an Illinois farmer) was the only farmer in his county to rotate his crops in the 1940s. He had 4 fields and always left to one rest after three years of use. He had one of the most productive famrs in the county. He also planted alphalfa (a two year crop) with one of his crops to put nutrition back in the soil.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Kevin
Is there any evidence that vegetarians live longer or have happier lives?

None. In fact, there is significant empirical evidence to the contrary. To whit: where there is vegetarianism, there is no bacon. And everyone knows that where there is no bacon, there is no happiness.
Amen. What a privilege to be born into the New Covenant Israel, rather than the Old Covenant Israel.

As our brother Peter said about preparatory legislation in Moses:
Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?(Acts 15:10, ESV)
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
It's a fun subject. I did 100 acres of melons one year, and lost half the crop to "internal collapse" which came from a deficiency of calcium, magnesium and boron. Fortunately they came in early and there was a profit, but if I'd known in advance I could have struck it very nice indeed. The next year I added a commercial fertilizer combining all three, and it worked. But I also did a test using gypsum from a farm about 50 miles away and that worked as well as the commercial fertilizer. None of those three are organic, but that's just a buzz word anyway.

The point I found interesting after we sent some samples away for analysis was that cantaloupe in particular will not show any signs of deficiency at 1 percent calcium dry weight, but optimum shelf life requires 5 percent calcium. So by adding those things that a plant SHOULD have for it's best (and presumably our best) health takes experience, knowledge and a commitment to the future, as the pithy quote about about fathers and sons gets at.

I raised all my kids on those principles, and while I've never been close to vegan or vegetarian or green or whatever there's no benefit it over reacting to the greenies by ignoring good diet and agricultural practices. I figure my sons turned out all right:
allmysons.jpg photo - Dan photos at pbase.com
 

jgilberAZ

Puritan Board Freshman
Re: giving up wheat

The wheat the rest of us (oops, not me!) are eating is not the same wheat your grandmother ate.

What's being grown these days is a genetically modified hybrid that only grows about 2' high.

Basically, it's poison.

Check out: Wheat Belly


Re: the comment on the brain's fuel source

Why Fat is the Preferred Fuel for Human Metabolism

I know the whole "paleo diet" talks about evolution, which is bunk. But, you don't have to go back as many years as they think in order to determine that the modern diet is fundamentally flawed. You only need to go back a hundred years, or so. I prefer the "ancestral diet" term rather than paleo. ie, what my ancestors ate a thousand years ago, before scientists started tinkering with foods and diet.
 

jgilberAZ

Puritan Board Freshman
They may have died at 50, but they weren't old men. They died young because of the lack of medical treatments, not because of diet. Studies have shown that they were healthier than us, on average.

Nutrition and Health in Agriculturalists and Hunter Gatherers

The anthropological record of early man clearly shows health took a nosedive when populations made the switch from hunting and gathering to agriculture. It takes a physical anthropologist about two seconds to look at a skeleton unearthed from an archeological site to tell if the owner of that skeleton was a hunter-gatherer or an agriculturist.
Principles of Healthy Diets

The discoveries and conclusions of Dr. Price are presented in his classic volume, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. The book contains striking photographs of handsome, healthy primitive people and illustrates in an unforgettable way the physical degeneration that occurs when human groups abandon nourishing traditional diets in favor of modern convenience foods.
Ancient Dietary Wisdom for Tomorrow's Children

It was when Price analyzed the fat soluble vitamins that he got a real surprise. The diets of healthy native groups contained at least ten times more vitamin A and vitamin D than the American diet of his day! These vitamins are found only in animal fats--butter, lard, egg yolks, fish oils and foods with fat-rich cellular membranes like liver and other organ meats, fish eggs and shell fish.

This is a "snippet" from Wheat Belly (link above):

Flip through your parent's or your grandparent's family album and you'll be struck by how thin everyone looks. The women probably wore size-four dresses and the men sported 32-inch waists. Overweight was something measured only by a few pounds; obesity rare. Overweight children? Almost never. Any 42-inch waists? Not here. Two-hundred-pound teenagers? Certainly not.

Why were the June Cleavers of the fifties and sixties, the stay-at-home housewives as well as other people of that era, so much skinnier than the modern people we see at the beach, mall, or in our own mirrors? While women of that era typically weighed in at 110 or 115 pounds, men at 150 or 165 pounds, today we carry 50, 75, or even 200 pounds more.
Much more at the "look inside" link on Amazon.

Eliminate the wheat, eliminate the problem.
 
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kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Don't forget that the other thing different about wheat consumption today is that it is no longer soaked and fermented as it would be in a sourdough... which makes it much more easy to digest.

Also, for those who are in the city with limited growing space but a desire to move towards this organic path, it is amazing what you can do with raised beds and square foot gardening. Though we have lots of space now, my wife took in a few hundred pounds of tomatoes this year with only a few raised beds of rather small size (and they were not exclusively planted with tomatoes - we are also still overrun with kale!)
 
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kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Josh, you're right. To qualify my previous statement:

It is for those people who (completely irrationally) feel that meat does somehow not belong in their diet.
I'm just trying not to step on the toes of the brethren, though I can't understand why it would be an issue for anyone. I knew a Christian guy in China who did not eat pork or shellfish. How he can get there from Peter's meat-in-the-sheet vision is beyond me.



PS - Sometimes I have meat visions too. But they are largely fleeting, because the meat soon disappears.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Just because something's legal doesn't mean it's good for you. I'll skip the lard and bacon, although allow others that (gag) honor :)
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Tim, I can't believe you actually feel that way. I wish I could send you some of our bacon. It is truly heavenly - these are pigs fed some feed but spoiled milk makes up a large part of their diet, as well as forage when we let them out into the compost. The meat comes out slightly sweet and oddly, a good deal leaner than what you buy in the stores.

Further, an apple pie in our home is made with crusts of lard, ice water and flour (and just a dash of salt) and I challenge you to find a more delicious crust anywhere than from those few ingredients. Truly awesome.

As for gagging over the lard:



You can't argue with advertising! ;)
 

SRoper

Puritan Board Graduate
Good old natural sugar, on the other hand, is linked with obesity and diabetes.
Sure you aren't thinking of HFCS? In my opinion, cane sugar is much better for you (or less bad, perhaps) than is HFCS.
There's no evidence to support your claim. Your body doesn't care--sugar is sugar. Replacing one form for another has no impact on health.

The Health Effects of High Fructose Syrup

My wife is a physician and her undergraduate was in nutrition and food science, so this is often our dinner-time conversation.
Princeton University - A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain
That's an interesting study. Thanks! Looks we'll have to rethink things. It is still true that added sucrose to the diet contributes to obesity and diabetes (and my wife says to add that obesity increases cancer risk) while aspartame has no known health effects.
 

caoclan

Puritan Board Freshman
Josh, you're right. To qualify my previous statement:

It is for those people who (completely irrationally) feel that meat does somehow not belong in their diet.
I'm just trying not to step on the toes of the brethren, though I can't understand why it would be an issue for anyone. I knew a Christian guy in China who did not eat pork or shellfish. How he can get there from Peter's meat-in-the-sheet vision is beyond me.



PS - Sometimes I have meat visions too. But they are largely fleeting, because the meat soon disappears.
This certainly has nothing at all from a religious position. We are free, absolutely free, to consume meat. I will in the future eat meat, preferably meat that does not come from a nasty feed lot, where the cows/chickens/pigs look like they are in more traffic than LA on it's worst day. But meat will be a much smaller portion of my diet. I don't think Peter's vision had the animals shmushed in with hundreds of animals bathing in each other's feces, and illnesses, and the like. Nor did it involve super-over-processed foods that don't have ingredients found anywhere but a laboratory.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
I did my HCG thing for 3 months, lost 56 pounds and have been steady at 205-209 (somewhere in there) after lifting weights for a while. I'm looking not bad now, but still need to lose about 15 pounds in my mid-section. One of the things we've done is incorporated a huge amount of healthy foods, vegan foods from farms in our area, and things from Wholefoods and a couple of MArkets that sell fresh meat, chicken, etc. We seem to be well balanced all around. I find that eating the vegan snacks - like coconut haystacks with cashew butter, or Banana Balls (rasins, bananas, almonds, ground up and made into a ball and rolled in sesame seeds, are great snacks that seem like I'm eating bad, but are really tastey and good. So I'm mostly over junk candy, though I like dark chocolate every once in a while. The Vegan foods in the categories we regularly eat now are really good. We tried vegan burgers, vegan chicken patties, etc. - not good. And we tried a few. Even some things I forgot how to pronounce the name and were soy based products - taste bad. So, thus far, eating organically healthy seems to be keeping me fit, which I like. I'm tackling the HCG diet one more time to try and get down to 190-195. So the snacking will also cease for a bit. But I'll be excited to have a banana ball after three weeks!
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Josh, you're right. To qualify my previous statement:

It is for those people who (completely irrationally) feel that meat does somehow not belong in their diet.
I'm just trying not to step on the toes of the brethren, though I can't understand why it would be an issue for anyone. I knew a Christian guy in China who did not eat pork or shellfish. How he can get there from Peter's meat-in-the-sheet vision is beyond me.



PS - Sometimes I have meat visions too. But they are largely fleeting, because the meat soon disappears.
This certainly has nothing at all from a religious position. We are free, absolutely free, to consume meat. I will in the future eat meat, preferably meat that does not come from a nasty feed lot, where the cows/chickens/pigs look like they are in more traffic than LA on it's worst day. But meat will be a much smaller portion of my diet. I don't think Peter's vision had the animals shmushed in with hundreds of animals bathing in each other's feces, and illnesses, and the like. Nor did it involve super-over-processed foods that don't have ingredients found anywhere but a laboratory.
No, I wouldn't want to eat feedlot fecal-soup animals either. For a Christian to eschew pork and shellfish due to the 'wisdom' of Jewish dietary law is just a tad bizarre.

The current method of raising meat in a feedlot is poor stewardship indeed.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Actually it wasn't Jewish. Noah was told to take 7 cows along but only 2 pigs. Too bad a lion didn't eat them....
 

caoclan

Puritan Board Freshman
[/COLOR]
Josh, you're right. To qualify my previous statement:

It is for those people who (completely irrationally) feel that meat does somehow not belong in their diet.
I'm just trying not to step on the toes of the brethren, though I can't understand why it would be an issue for anyone. I knew a Christian guy in China who did not eat pork or shellfish. How he can get there from Peter's meat-in-the-sheet vision is beyond me.



PS - Sometimes I have meat visions too. But they are largely fleeting, because the meat soon disappears.
This certainly has nothing at all from a religious position. We are free, absolutely free, to consume meat. I will in the future eat meat, preferably meat that does not come from a nasty feed lot, where the cows/chickens/pigs look like they are in more traffic than LA on it's worst day. But meat will be a much smaller portion of my diet. I don't think Peter's vision had the animals shmushed in with hundreds of animals bathing in each other's feces, and illnesses, and the like. Nor did it involve super-over-processed foods that don't have ingredients found anywhere but a laboratory.
No, I wouldn't want to eat feedlot fecal-soup animals either. For a Christian to eschew pork and shellfish due to the 'wisdom' of Jewish dietary law is just a tad bizarre.

The current method of raising meat in a feedlot is poor stewardship indeed.
Who is doing this according to Jewish dietary law? Certainly not me, who started this thread. I'm not Seventh-Day Adventist, lol.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
No, I'm not leveling that at you - it is a gentleman I know halfway around the world. But I know of others as well who say that 'well, maybe the Jews had it right...pork is such a filthy meat' and I just don't get that.

But there are ways to get 'clean' meat that are not frou-frou organic and $$$.

I just don't understand the hate on bacon. Tim needs help. Let's try to get him the help he needs. Brussels sprouts, no problem - hate 'em. But bacon?
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
:) I raised my sons on an OT diet. Lean and healthy. No pig or road kill or maggots :)
 
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