Going Vegan/Organic

Discussion in 'The Iron Chef' started by caoclan, Sep 17, 2011.

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  1. kvanlaan

    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.

    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.
  2. JBaldwin

    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.
  3. TimV

    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.
  4. kvanlaan

    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.
  5. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    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.
  6. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    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.
  7. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    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:
  8. TimV

    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
  9. jgilberAZ

    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.
  10. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    Your ancestors a thousand years ago were old, dying men at age 50.
  11. jgilberAZ

    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

    Principles of Healthy Diets

    Ancient Dietary Wisdom for Tomorrow's Children

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

    Much more at the "look inside" link on Amazon.

    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  12. kvanlaan

    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!)
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  13. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    I love this article (this is directed at militant Vegetarians/Vegans, not normal people who want to get off meat):

    The Truth About Vegetarianism
  14. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

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

    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.
  15. TimV

    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 :)
  16. kvanlaan

    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! ;)
  17. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    I love vegetarians - I have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner each and every day.
  18. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    Organic or not, as long as the vegetarians were raised and slaughtered in humane conditions, that seems quite pleasant.

  19. SRoper

    SRoper Puritan Board Graduate

    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.
  20. caoclan

    caoclan Puritan Board Freshman

    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.
  21. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

  22. C. Matthew McMahon

    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!
  23. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    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.
  24. TimV

    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....
  25. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Noah wasn't told to take any fish: case closed.
  26. caoclan

    caoclan Puritan Board Freshman

    Who is doing this according to Jewish dietary law? Certainly not me, who started this thread. I'm not Seventh-Day Adventist, lol.
  27. kvanlaan

    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?
  28. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

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

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    I imagine they had a decent helping of grasshoppers in the lean times before harvest, right? ;)
  30. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    I was wondering how pigeon salad sandwiches went over at picnics.
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