Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Protein Woes

For all vegans (and vegetarians) the subject of protein intake is a popular one. Dr. John McDougall released a newsletter in April of this year that covers this subject at length. He admits that sadly our policy makers and educators remain "ignorant about our nutritional needs." The American Heart Association incorrectly states that plant proteins are "deficient in 1 or more amino acids and therefore regarded as incomplete proteins."

John explains that "proteins are made from chains of 20 different amino acids that connect together in varying sequences - similar to how all words in a dictionary are made up of the same 26 letters...plants are made up of structurally sound cells with enzymes and hormones, they are by nature rich sources of proteins. Plants are so nutrient equipped, that they satisfy protein needs of some of the largest animals like elephants, hippos, giraffes, and cows.

More, Dr. McDougall states that the WHO (world health organization) recommends that men and women obtain 5% of their calories as protein.
38 grams for men, burning 3000 calories per day
29 grams for women, burning 2300 calories per day

The above totals are easily met by unrefined starches and veggies. "Rice alone would provide 71 grams of highly usable protein and white potatoes would provide 64 grams of protein." For a child, in the first 2 years of life, the best option is human milk which is 5% protein. Millions of laboring folk in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America survive on half the protein we do here in the states, without deficiency, obviously the popular understanding of protein needs are flawed.

Page 4 of the newsletter includes a chart of amino acid requirements provided by Dr. William Rose, check it out, you will be shocked by how simple it is to obtain all amino acids in a veggie diet.

Another surprising fact I read is that potatoes alone will do if you are looking to proper nutrients in your diet. "The potato is such a great source of nutrition that it can supply all of the essential protein and amino acids for young children i times of food shortage. Researchers found that this simple potato diet provided all the protein and essential amino acids to meet the needs of small children."

EXCESS PROTEIN (unlike fat) cannot be stored. McDougall explains, "Proteins are made of amino acids, and are, therefore acidic by nature. ANIMAL proteins are abundant in sulfur-containing amino acids which break down into very powerful sulfuric acid. These amino acids are abundant in hard cheese, red meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs, and their acids must be neutralized by buffers found in the bones. The bones dissolve to release the buffering materials; eventually resulting in a condition of weakened bones (osteoporosis). Released bone materials often settle and coalesce i the kidney system, causing kidney stones. Fruits and vegetables are largely alkaline, preserving bone health and preventing kidney stones.

Let's also remember the environmental impact! Livestock produces 18% of the greenhouse gases, says the doc, and these food animals occupy 26% of the ice free surface of the earth and 33% of the total arable land is used to produce their food.

High protein foods are usually high profit foods. The protein myth must live on because of ego's and money.

Please check out the entire newsletter here: THE MCDOUGALL NEWSLETTER

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

For laughs & more....

Even though there is nothing funny about how wrong these food items are for consumption, I think this experiment is notably hilarious because of the primary point it makes. Basically, its a photo journalistic journey of fast food ads versus reality. I especially like the reference to "pump cheese."
To add to the fun, I clicked onto the link on the same page for "fast food reviews" and just about peed my pants. Read the one for KFC, which consequently received a FAT "D" on its report card:
KFC - If there's anything more disgusting than biting into a piece of "fried" chicken and having half a quart of hot water (or something) roll down your chin, I don't know what it is. KFC is fuckin' grotesque. Hard, deep-fried grease shells, "water," snapping veins, people sucking marrow out of shiny bones, great sheets of animal skin hanging from the corner of glistening mouths... it's like something out of a Dean Koontz novel. This is a place for people not fully evolved to exercise their basic animal instincts, and indulge in a bloody feeding frenzy. It gives me the creeps just thinking about it. Oh sure, I'm a proud carnivore and everything, but I'm not a fucking dingo! I just experienced a full-body shiver. Shit! D
Apparently, this guy is named Jeff Kay, he lives in Pennsylvania and he is my new source of entertainment.

Google has been alerting me of postings in response to the Science Daily Article on SOY and weight loss. As an individual wary of the whole subsidized farming mess discussed by Michael Pollan in the Omnivores Dilemma, I worry that all of this reporting is just promotional junk supporting more soy farming and cheap filler ingredients in our food. As a vegan, I do eat the occasional soy product, but honestly not so often and I always choose organic.
An excerpt from the article in Science Daily:
"Injections were given three times a week for two weeks; during that time, the animals had unlimited access to food and water. Food intake was measured 3, 6, 12, 24, and 48 hours after injection, and the rats were weighed 24 and 48 hours after injection. All rats received the same amount of exercise, and all rats lost weight.

But, after the third injection, de Mejia and Vaughn noticed a significant weight loss in the group of animals that had received one of the soy hydrolysates, even though the animals hadn't changed their eating habits. In this instance, soy protein appeared to have caused weight loss not by reducing food intake but by altering the rats' metabolism."

Heck, sounds like some good results to me (sad for the rats being tested on of course), but I also investigated the companies funding this study. First, SAI Company. Check out Seiberling Associates, Inc. website for yourself and judge whether or not you think something is fishy about the fact that they work with endless dairy clientele, but they are claiming that soy (a dairy alternative) can help you lose weight. I seem to recall a recent campaign by the dairy council claiming that milk everyday can help you to lose weight. I wandered to Dale Seiberling's personal website (he is the self proclaimed CIP EVANGELIST) whatever that means. The info on the site is like another language, that of farming, etc.

The other source of funds for this research is the Illinois Soybean Association. I read through some of their site, and they are obviously ALL business! I read about a new and exciting product for the soy industry, which is a chew toy made of soy for the piglets that are being weaned...basically its supposed to provide nutrition and lessen the the stress of weaning thus "minimizing fighting." This makes me sad.
Of course, they mention the word biodiesel endlessly to act like they care about environmental issues. I am surprised to see that Disney is running its trains on biodiesel at their parks! Pretty neat.

Its sad that I feel that most research is always born of ulterior motives. I suppose being an adult, you learn what to trust and what to turn your nose up at. Just in, I read a report about the supposedly untrustworthy and sneaky Humane Society and Farm Sanctuary. The report is basically trying to accuse these groups of eliminating ALL animal products from our diets. Uh, AND.......The article makes them sound SOOO awful for demanding that people cut out animal products from their diet and that EVEN IF "Congress," Martosko continued, "could require U.S. farmers to supply every pig, chicken, duck, and cow with private rooms, daily rubdowns, video iPods, and organic meals catered by Wolfgang Puck. But even this wouldn't satisfy activists who actually believe farm animals have the 'right' not to be eaten."

I love how killing animals for food and supporting factory farming is OK, but standing up for animals and insisting that we take a look at how we abuse them is ridiculous! Really nice touch, labeling the Humane Society as "dishonest" about their goals.

I guess I am making up for lost time today.....