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Category : Vegetarianism

Dietitian to the stars Alvenia Fulton blazed a trail in natural health – Natural Products INSIDER

After finding a solution to her ulcers in raw cabbage juice, Alvenia Fulton started a journey in nutrition and natural healing that included becoming vegetarian, earning degrees in nutrition and doctor of naturopathy, authoring books and newspaper columns, founding a health food store in Chicago and being a nutrition consultant to numerous celebrities in the 1970s.

Fulton was born in Tennessee in 1907 and died in Chicago in March 1999. In between, she discovered and learned about the healing power of plants and vegetarian foods, using her knowledge and experience to help people live healthier lives.

As a child, Fulton learned how botanicals from her local woods could help heal illness and wounds. In the 1950s, she suffered from ulcers. Refusing conventional medicine, she turned to juice made from raw cabbage, on the advice of a physician. This led to her studying nutrition, which culminated in a doctorate from Lincoln College of Naturopathy, Indianapolis.

Fulton adopted a vegetarian lifestyle and relocated to Chicago in the late 1950s, where she started the Better Living Health Club to guide members through weight loss and detox regimens. Then she opened Fultonias Health Food Center on the South Side of Chicago, offering customers nutrition advice, vegetarian food and juices, and assorted health food products. Fultons reputation drew attention and patronage from celebrities such as comedian Dick Gregory, dancer Ben Vereen, singer Roberta Flack, actor Michael Caine, comedian Redd Foxx and basketball star Bill Walton. This earned her the moniker Dietitian of the Stars, especially sought after for her expertise on fasting.

Fulton used the written word to reach many people. Her column Eating for Strength and Health appeared in the Chicago Daily Defender, an African-American newspaper then available in print, now available online. She also authored several books, including The Fasting Primer, Vegetarianism: Fact or Myth? Eating to Live, Radiant Health Through Nutrition, and Dick Gregorys Natural Diet For Folks Who Eat: Cookin With Mother Nature!, which she co-wrote with Gregory.

Fulton went toe-to-toe with conventional doctors and others who challenged her work and positions. Doctors don't bother me, she said, in a 1982 Cleveland Call and Post article, according to a blog posted to the NY Public Library site. Only 28% (of doctors) have had nutrition courses in school. That means 72% know absolutely nothing about what I'm talking about. Besides, I have doctors taking my program.

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Dietitian to the stars Alvenia Fulton blazed a trail in natural health - Natural Products INSIDER

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Research Radio Ep 14: The Myth of Vegetarianism in India – Economic and Political Weekly

In this episode, we speak to Balmurli Natarajan and Suraj Jacob about the politics of vegetarianism in India.

At best, only three in ten Indians are vegetarians, and more realistically less than two in ten are vegetarians. Yet, India is often portrayed as a land of vegetarians in popular culture. Our guests will probe this representation, and reveal how vegetarianism varies across caste, religion, class, gender, state and time.

We will speak toBalmurli Natarajan and Suraj Jacob about the politics of vegetarianism in India.Dr Jacob is a political economist afliated with Azim Premji University, Bengaluru and Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum. Dr Natrajan is an anthropologist afliated with William Paterson University of New Jersey, United States and Azim Premji University, Bengaluru. We will discuss their EPW articles titled"'Provincialising' Vegetarianism:Putting Indian Food Habits in Their Place" and "Deepening Divides:The Caste, Class and Regional Face of Vegetarianism."

Subscribe to Research Radio to stay tuned to our entire season. Do listen to our previous episodes if you have not already.

1 February 2021

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Research Radio Ep 14: The Myth of Vegetarianism in India - Economic and Political Weekly

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A definitive examination of plant-based burgers – The Stony Brook Press

Hamburgers: possibly the most American food ever in the popular imagination even if some say it came from German immigrants. Some might even consider it a staple food due to its prevalence across fast food menus. I, a proud American, sadly perpetuate this stereotype.

I love hamburgers. And with the success of Burger King and McDonalds and the ubiquity of burgers at backyard barbecues I am not alone in loving them.

That was why it took me so long to finally commit to becoming a vegetarian about three years ago. The exact reasons why involve podcasts, personal philosophy and maybe a little unhealthy guilt, but these are too complex to explain without their own article. Suffice to say that it was a hard decision to make, in part because of the prospect of forgoing cheap, filling and moderately tasty burgers.

Traditional vegetarian patty sandwich options had always been a part of my diet, like black bean burgers and garden veggie burgers. But to me, they had never actually tasted like the same type of food. I like black bean burgers, but their texture was always more smooth and paste-like than ground beef. The same goes for garden veggie burgers, which are often at their best more sweet than savory due to their corn and carrot components.

For the first couple of weeks of my life as a vegetarian, I was set to never taste what I assumed was the unique savory profile of beef and fish ever again. But then I saw a strange ad at my community college cafeteria asking me to try the Impossible Burger. Alongside claims of carbon footprint reduction, it had a similar promise to a later ad for their Burger King outing: Try it and dont see the difference. And at least for me, I can say that the Impossible Burger did the impossible successfully it made a beef-like burger without any beef. Now, especially after Burger King started selling the Impossible Whopper in New York, I may be eating more burgers than I did before I went vegetarian.

And Im not alone in this. In 2016, a study from the Pew Research Center, about American attitudes towards food, found that nearly one in ten Americans say they are either entirely or mostly vegetarian or vegan. A full 22% of people who said they were focused on eating healthy and nutritious food also said they were mostly vegetarian or vegan. Since then, the market for what marketers call plant-based meat has grown every year, with over $900 million in sales in 2019.

According to registered dietician Jenna A. Werner, who has worked in the field for 15 years, what makes these new plant burgers more beef-like than previous recipes is a variety of vegetarian protein sources instead of just soy- and bean-based products, as were popular in the past, Werner said, in an interview with Brands are using pea and rice for protein, plus fruit and veggie extracts added for color. Impossible Foods even claims that each Impossible Burger uses 87% less water and 96% less land in its production process than an equivalent 4-ounce ground beef patty.

So, with that in mind, I decided to look into how these new burgers stack up against the classics and each other.

How healthy are they?

It is important to remember that the serving size used to give nutritional information varies. For uncooked, pre-packaged patties available at the grocery store, the serving size is one patty, no matter the pattys actual size. For a burger served in a restaurant, the serving size is one whole burger, and includes the bun, seasonings and toppings. A store-bought sesame seed bun alone can add around 90 calories to a meal, and Burger Kings Whoppers openly advertise larger-than-usual buns.

The size of the patty is also not standardized. Most of the beef and plant meat patties Im comparing are 4 ounces (a little over 113 grams), as is industry standard. The more traditional veggie burgers, already marketed to a more health-conscious audience, are slightly smaller. So, keep those two qualifiers in mind calories from non-patty ingredients and unequal serving sizes as you make your choices.

How much will they cost you?

According to Vice News, an average American consumes three hamburgers a week. This average includes people who eat none, as well as people who eat multiple hamburgers every day so the standard deviation may be significant. However, for a simplified exercise, lets assume this subject is a college student who eats some sort of burger three times a week.

That student starts out eating 12 burgers a month. Eight of them may come from a fast food restaurant because who has time to cook? When they have the time available though, theyll grill around four burgers a month, buying a pack of four hamburger buns to eat them with. So, the student starts off paying around $52.50 per month for their burger habit.

Then, the student decides to try out vegetarianism for a while, but doesnt want to give up burgers just yet. The next month, they opt for an Impossible Whopper whenever they go to Burger King and buy Beyond Burgers at the grocery store when they want to grill. Now theyre paying $66.70 per month about $14 more than before.

After budgeting and seeing this increase, the student decides to keep buying vegetarian, but give up on plant-based meat to save money. Buying 12 traditional garden veggie burgers and a pack of 12 buns that month, they only spend a little over $23. However, they will have to choose between a Fieldburgers high sodium content and traditional garden veggie burgers very un-beef-like taste.

But what about the environment?

I had initially thought to compare the carbon footprint of each product the same way I compared everything else in the tables. But as I researched, I realized a single number cannot really represent the complexity of measuring environmental impact.

First off, food transport in diesel-engine trucks between processing facilities, grocery stores and consumers is a major portion of greenhouse gas emissions. So the carbon footprint of a single burger varies wildly depending on the distances between these places not to mention the fuel efficiency of the vehicles used. A single average would be useless information for the environmentally-conscious consumer.

Moreover, the modern plant-based meat movement that actually seeks to prove it can and should replace meat in our diets only really began with the launch of The Impossible Burger in 2016. The research on impact is in its scientific infancy. It will be many years before someone will have enough data to independently determine and compare the effects on the environment.

What is known is that multiple sources have shown that raising cows for slaughter is the most resource-intensive activity in the world food industry so cutting down on the cows we eat might be a good idea. It certainly cant hurt the environment to encourage more legume and soy protein production, but the difference in impact between a veggie burger and plant meat seems small so far.

I would like to give an unequivocal stamp of approval to the plant meat burgers, but I cannot. None of them are noticeably more or less healthy than a beef burger once you add in traditional toppings like mayo, ketchup and onions. It seems that if you want a meaty taste, a burger is always going to be a burger. Its never going to be healthy food.

When it comes to cost, if youre strapped for cash, plant meat is either about as expensive or more expensive than beef. So for low-budget vegans, traditional veggie burgers are the more economical option.

And as for the environmentalism angle that got the industry started, the data linked earlier does indicate that producing less beef would reduce humanitys carbon footprint. However, right now there is still too little data on the difference between the carbon footprint of traditional veggie burgers and plant meat burgers. The global carbon footprint reduction companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are aiming for would come from more people eating less beef due to their products more meat-like taste, but the plant meat industry is still young with a smaller reach compared to traditional meat suppliers.

Bottom line, The Impossible Burger and its friends are here to stay. And who knows, maybe they will replace meat one day in the far future. Beyond the taste though, there is not much special about them. Theyre neither that harmful nor that healthy, and they are definitely not that cheap. But if you want to reduce your environmental impact without changing your diet, maybe the financial hit is worth it.

I, for one, am still eating them.

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A definitive examination of plant-based burgers - The Stony Brook Press

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The Paul McCartney song that attacks Donald Trump – Far Out Magazine

Paul McCartney is not the most political songwriter going but he does occasionally dabble in mixing music and politics. On the odd occasion that he has blended these two worlds, his attempts tend to be on the covert side of things. But when he aimed one tune at Donald Trump, the former Beatle didnt try to hide his contempt for the most powerful man in America.

McCartney has always been rather coy about politics; he hasnt aligned himself to one political party and seems not to be a believer in party politics being a force for change, at least publically. Instead, he has used his platform to campaign about issues he duly cares about and believes will make the world a better place. Vegetarianism is a cause that he has famously used his platform for an issue that he thinks will benefit the world in multiple ways, including helping the climate. When Donald Trump dismissed climate change, Macca couldnt bring himself to stand idly by without saying anything.

Speaking toProspect Magazinein 2009, McCartney waxed lyrical about his optimism about President Barack Obama coming into office: This is why a lot of us hope for a change in US politics with the election of Obama. He is the man for the job. I was very impressed by his decision to work on the south side of Chicago after getting his degree rather than take a lucrative job on Wall Street. Im so glad he won. I think he will make a great president.

Obama was someone he had a ton of respect, and he was then replaced by somebody that McCartney never truly aligned with. After keeping his mouth shut on Donald Trump for a while, he channelled his frustration and anger into the song Despite Repeated Warnings which featured on his 2018 albumEgypt Station.

The seven-minute gentle beating of Trump contains lyrics such as despite repeated warnings of dangers up ahead, the captain wont be listening to whats been said, and those who shout the loudest, may not always be the smartest.

Normally I go along taking notice of politics but not really feeling I have to get involved, he admitted to the Evening Standard. But when Trump said climate change was a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, I just thought: Woah, wait a minute. Thats a leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world That just sounds like a mad man. Just like mad talk.'

Expanding on his writing process on the track, McCartney later said: I thought, OK, its a sea captain, and hes steering a boat, and hes gonna to go towards the icebergs, but hes been warned, and hes going because he thinks hes right, and he thinks theyre all making too much of it. The usual arguments, you know.

So thats what its about. Its a sort of story like the Titanic. If theyd have been warned, hey, youre going to sink from icebergs, and if the captain says, Its doesnt matter, itll be fine. So its that, using that kind of idea, so that its a sort of mad, daft captain, and then theres all the people on the boat who know hes got it wrong. So its very symbolic for whats going on in some areas of politics, in my mind.

Climate change is something that McCartney truly cares about and, unlike some of his counterpart, has actually poured time and money into trying to make the world a more sustainable place. To see somebody in a position of power use their status to undo this work and create a darker future for the world was something that McCartney couldnt stand. Whilst Despite Repeated Warnings is far from Maccas magnum opus, it came from the heart and struck a chord that still resonates today.

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The Paul McCartney song that attacks Donald Trump - Far Out Magazine

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Why were Graham Crackers invented? The bizarre origins of the American snack explained – The Scotsman

NewsPeopleThe humble snack is the subject of a curious origin story

Tuesday, 12th January 2021, 11:11 am

In the latest bizarre social media trend users are imploring each other to research why Graham Crackers were invented.

Today, the humble American snack is a key ingredient is a key component of the saccharine dessert smores.

But originally the cracker was created with an entirely different purpose in mind.

Why were Graham Crackers invented?

The sweet flavoured cracker, made from flour, salt, oil, lard and molasses, was inspired by Sylvester Graham, a key figure in the 19th century temperance movement.

Graham encouraged the creation of the famously plain snack with the intention of tempering peoples sexual desires,

He believed that following a healthy, plant-based diet,devoid of pleasure and stimulation was how god intended humans to live. This diet was grounded in the use of bread made from coarsely ground wheat at home.

Graham believed that following such a diet would discourage masturbation, which he believed lead to blindness and early death.

The teachings of Graham would inspire nutritionist John Harvey Kellogg who, along with his brother Will, invented corn flakes. The plain and bland cereal would become a staple of breakfast diets across the world.

Its worth noting that while corn flakes were part of Kelloggs wider call for a plain and bland diet, they were never advertised as an anaphrodisiac.

Who was Sylvester Graham?

A presbyterian minister, Graham emerged as a dietary reformer in the early 19th century.

His calls for a plain and bland diet garnered him many supporters who were known as Grahamites.

Graham is also credited with founding one of the first vegetarianism movements in the United States and is regarded by some as the Father of Vegetarianism.

Alongside a stimulant-free diet, Graham encouraged followers to engage in a comfort-free lifestyle, avoiding warm baths and sleeping on hard beds.

Grahams death in 1851 is subject to much speculation.

Historian Stephen Nissenbaum says that Graham died after violating his own strictures by taking liquor and meat in a last desperate attempt to recover his health".

The New England Historical Society, however, claims that he died after receiving opium enemas on his doctors orders.

Why were Graham Crackers invented? The bizarre origins of the American snack explained - The Scotsman

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

5 Most Ridiculous Myths About Veganism That We Should All Stop Believing In –

Whether youre a vegan yourself or just curious, chances are youve heard about a lot of myths on the subject.

For those of you who may not know, veganism is a way of life that doesnt depend on any kind of animal exploitation or cruelty. This includes everything from the clothes you wear to the food you eat.

Veganism is becoming increasingly popular and this only means that we should all be better informed about it.

From malnourishment to not having enough protein, today, we will debunk the most ridiculous myths about veganism.

This is one of the most common myths about veganism. Veganism is a way of life whereas vegetarianism includes excluding meat from your diet. Veganism is about every little lifestyle choice that you make and vegetarianism is about dietary choices only. More so, meat is not the only thing you exclude from a vegan diet. Things like dairy products and honey are vegetarian but not vegan, because they are procured at the cost of animal cruelty.

Most people believe that because of cutting out dairy and meat, you are cutting out high-protein foods from your diet. While this is absolutely true, you can always look for better alternatives. Legumes, dry fruits, soybean and vegan protein powders are only some of the many vegan protein-rich foods that you can add to your diet.

Well, in a world where a chicken salad is more expensive than a vegetarian salad, veganism is definitely not the most expensive lifestyle. Sure some organic vegetables and products are expensive, but you can always find brands that suit your budget. From giving up leather to excluding meat, veganism is not as expensive as some people believe it to be. More so, it will teach you to be minimal and stop you from spending money mindlessly.

We all have grown up with the knowledge of milk being a complete food. It is a huge part of our lifestyle, which only makes veganism an even more difficult choice. However, there are many alternatives available in the market, apart from soy milk. Theres coconut milk, almond milk, hemp milk, cashew milk and rice milk, to name a few.

If that was true, the diet wouldnt be recommended by so many professionals for boosting immunity and heart health. Like every other diet, there are a lot of factors that go into deciding whether or not its healthy for your body. As long as you make sure to research well and plan a diet that suits your personal needs, you have nothing to worry about.

Whether youre planning to try veganism or have already made the switch, you need not believe in any of these myths. After all, its a lifestyle choice that many people follow without any such complaints.

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5 Most Ridiculous Myths About Veganism That We Should All Stop Believing In -

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Rep. Jamie Raskin On The Life And Legacy Of His Son, Tommy Raskin – NET Nebraska

By the age of 25, Thomas Bloom Raskin had already accomplished a great deal: He was a graduate of Amherst College, who went on to intern at the Cato Institute and J Street among other prominent organizations; a passionate vegan who wrote philosophical defenses of animal rights and converted those around him to giving up meat; a political writer who had essays published in The Nation and elsewhere; and a law student and teaching assistant at Harvard Law School, who donated from his teaching salary to charities in his students' names.

Tommy, as his father Jamie Raskin calls him, was also tormented by depression. Tommy Raskin took his own life on Dec. 31.

"Tommy was remarkable from the beginning," Jamie Raskin tells NPR's Scott Simon. "He had a photographic memory, and like some other kids in our family, knew all the presidents and vice presidents in order. But it wasn't his mind that marked him as so extraordinary. It was his heart. The stories of his love and compassion are absolutely astounding."

Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Takoma Park, represents Maryland's 8th Congressional District in Congress.

Tributes to Tommy have poured in in the past days.

A neighbor wrote to the Raskin family about a time that Tommy organized a group dinner in high school when he learned that one of his classmates didn't have a date to the prom, so that the boy wasn't left out. The classmate never forgot it.

"We've been hearing stories like this ever since it happened," Rep. Raskin tells Weekend Edition. "I mean, Tommy, he felt all of the pain and the suffering in the world, which is how, of course, he found his way quickly to vegetarianism. Nobody in our family was a vegetarian and now everybody is."

Tommy wrote at length about philosophy and animal rights; he thought about how human lives should be measured against those of animals and animal suffering. He wrote poetry. Speaking at D.C. VegFest in 2017, he recited his lengthy poem "Where War Begins." An excerpt:

"When it comes to the right to live free from the blight

of aggression, oppression, from tyrannous might,

how smart you are friends shouldn't matter at all;

trauma is still trauma for the creatures that crawl."

Animal Outlook, where Tommy interned, called him a "dynamic force for good in this world, driven to expose, challenge and uproot all forms of injustice, including the suffering forced upon animals." He worked as a summer associate at Mercy for Animals, which wrote that his "kindness, passion, & empathy inspires our continued advocacy & remains in our hearts."

His love for animals was perhaps most challenging at home though: Tommy was allergic to dogs and cats.

"We are a very big dog family," Jamie Raskin says. So Tommy "had a special relationship with them. He would take Benadryl or whatever to be around them. And he would pet them sort of by gently touching the very top of their heads. And he would say, 'Potter, Toby, you're such a fine sentient being.' "

By multiple accounts, that kindness toward sentient beings included people.

"He held a rare level of empathy and compassion," writes Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies, where Tommy interned. Out of all of the group of interns, "somehow he was the one who took responsibility for making sure everyone was doing okay, that no one felt left out, that everyone was connected."

Jamie Raskin says, "You couldn't be in his presence and say a negative thing about people. He didn't mind gossip if it was good gossip. [But] if it was nasty, Tommy would say, 'Excuse me, but it's hard to be a human.' And then that would be the end of that."

In his 20s, Tommy began seriously suffering from depression, his parents write in a remembrance. It was "a kind of relentless torture in the brain for him" that became "overwhelming and unyielding and unbearable."

Depression affects hundreds of millions of people around the world and is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. It increases the risk of suicide. Most of the people who die by suicide have had a mood disorder such as depression.

The pandemic has exacerbated the problem. A study published in September found the percentage of people experiencing symptoms of depression was three times the number from before the pandemic.

The Raskin family has now created the Tommy Raskin Memorial Fund for People and Animals. And hundreds of people are sharing good deeds they've done in his name, as The Washington Post reported.

Jamie Raskin received a standing ovation when he spoke during debate Wednesday over the Republican effort to overturn Joe Biden's electoral win. He says he was heartened by words of support from fellow lawmakers of both parties, on the same day he had to evacuate the chamber because of a violent mob takeover.

"That has been a solace and a comfort to me that at this time of the ugliest possible division where we've got a violent, seditious mob invading the Capitol, that there is still enough decency and humanity that we can share each other's pain in this situation," Raskin tells Weekend Edition.

Going forward, Raskin says his family "will keep Tommy very close to our heart. And we will fight for every single thing he asked us to." He says Tommy knew that "the things that we say are our values and principles ... only have meaning if we act as if they're true, if we make them real. And so we can't let them be empty rhetoric."

Samantha Balaban and Kitty Eisele produced and edited the audio interview.

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Rep. Jamie Raskin On The Life And Legacy Of His Son, Tommy Raskin - NET Nebraska

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UAE Veganuary: Is veganism healthy for kids and babies? – Gulf News

Is it safe to raise kids as vegans? Image Credit: Shutterstock

After the excesses of the festive season and the sluggishness of a locked-down year, January brings with it the chance to reflect and start afresh in a shiny new year. It also ushers in Veganuary an initiative that encourages people all over the world to try out veganism for the first month of the year. But, although veganism is often seen as a healthy lifestyle choice, critics claim that it can be harmful for some, especially for babies and young children.

What is veganism?

A vegan diet is one that cuts out all animal products and animal-derived products - it goes beyond vegetarianism and means cutting out eggs and dairy as well as meat and fish. However, veganism is not only a diet but a lifestyle choice that avoids consuming, using, or exploiting animals as much as realistically possible. For some vegans this can even include eschewing plant products that use animals in their production such as honey (bees), figs (wasps) and even avocado (bees involved in their production), as well as avoiding clothes, cosmetics and toiletries that contain animal-based or animal-derived materials. In modern times, veganism tends to involve an awareness of environmental issues too.

How is it different from vegetarianism?

Vegetarians cut out meat and fish, but still eat animal-derived products such as eggs and dairy. Veganism cuts out anything derived from animals or animal exploitation, including animal milks, eggs, butter and so on. Vegans will often also not use anything that has involved an animal in any way, including products that have been tested on animals.

Whats the difference between a vegan and a plant-based diet?

A plant-based diet means eating a lot of plant-based foods, but does not necessarily preclude eating meat or animal-derived products. Plant-based also only refers to a diet, whereas veganism is more of a holistic lifestyle movement involving animal welfare and environmental concerns too.

Why is veganism such a big deal right now?

Veganism has never been more on trend. Once seen as an obscure and restrictive form of dieting, the lifestyle, health and environmental movement has skyrocketed in recent years and is now here to stay 2020 Google Trends data suggests that interest in veganism has doubled since 2015, long since surpassing online-search interest in vegetarianism, while the number of new vegan products available on the market has mushroomed by 250% since 2010 to keep up with the burgeoning demand. Now you can find vegan products in most supermarkets, while big companies such as Ikea and McDonalds have even started to introduce vegan options.

How has the pandemic affected interest in veganism?

Proponents of veganism believe that the COVID-19 pandemic has seen an increased interest in veganism as the disruption of travel and normal services around the world has made people increasingly conscious of the vulnerabilities of the food supply chain, and plant-based, vegan foods are seen as more sustainable options than some resource-intensive animal-based products. Veganisms reputation as a healthy lifestyle choice has also made it popular for people who have become more health-conscious during the pandemic.

What is Veganuary?

Veganuary is an initiative started up in the UK that encourages people worldwide to try to eating vegan for January and beyond. Throughout the year, Veganuary encourages and supports people to move to a plant-based diet as a way of protecting the environmen andpromoting animal welfare.

How safe is a vegan diet for children and babies?

While there are some conflicting views on the appropriateness of a vegan diet for children with some high-profile cases of parents being accused of malnourishing their kids with a vegan diet medical bodies generally agree that its possible to raise healthy children on a vegan diet, so long as close attention is paid to the nutrients they are receiving and supplements are given for any key minerals that it may be difficult for children to get without animal products. But this is not always easy to do without professional help. Here, Jordana Smith, a nutritionist at Genesis Clinic in Dubai, shares her views on the safety of a vegan diet for children.

Should parents raise their children on a vegan diet?

The common issues with veganism include a deficiency in iron, vitamin B12, calcium and zinc. However if balanced appropriately then it can be done and requirements can be met. However generally speaking, vegan diets tend to be carb heavy and protein light making it more difficult to meet these requirements. We do also need to consider how we are combining foods, for example when eating plant based iron rich foods with foods containing calcium or even teas, we decrease the availability of that iron and so don't meet requirements.

Generally speaking I wouldn't recommend a vegan diet for a baby or young child. They are going through a rapid growth period, particularly in the first year of life and iron is an essential nutrient, probably the most important nutrient, during this stage to ensure growth physically and mentally. It becomes incredibly difficult to meet the necessary requirements without using animal products.

For babies, there is absolutely no safe plant-based alternative breast milk substitute or formula. Giving a plant-based milk to an infant is dangerous and has been shown to lead to malnutrition. Whether you classify breast milk as vegan, only a mother can decide, but according to vegan society breastfeeding is considered vegan.

In terms of an age where I am more cautious, this is generally in the teen age group. Quite often teens will use veganism as a tool to hide an eating disorder or the early stages of an eating disorder.

What are the health concerns with regards to children eating a solely vegan diet and what can be done to address them?

The biggest concerns are that due to the high nutrient requirements, it is common for there to be a deficiency in calcium, iron, iodine as well as protein and total energy. However that being said, if we supplement appropriately we can meet requirements. Using foods such a nutritional yeast, chia seeds and flaxseeds, as well as dark leafy greens, will help our children meet their requirements. I would always recommend that you work with a healthcare professional to ensure your food combinations are allowing for optimal absorption.

How easy is it to feed children a solely vegan diet?

At home it is relatively easy, however it does become difficult when eating out or socialising with other families. Sometimes children can be stigmatised or singled out for the way they eat. An easy swap for example would be to use a vegan cheese as a simple toastie for school. Unfortunately nuts and seeds (quite often used in vegan diets) are allowed in schools (nuts more so) due to the allergy risk so it does limit choice of foods for school lunches.

Is it possible to give yourself or your child an intolerance or even allergy to dairy or eggs by experimenting with a vegan diet?

We know that early introduction of the common allergenic foods, such as eggs, has been shown to decrease the likelihood of our children developing an allergy to these foods. So if we exclude completely and never introduce, I do believe that we may be putting them at risk of an allergy later on in life and that we may never know until they one day decide to eat those foods.

My daughter converted me to veganism two years ago and weve never looked back

Alison Rego, an Indian expat mum of 7-year-old Kristen and blogger at @Pinksmyink, went vegan with her daughter in 2018.

My daughter Kristen and I first turned vegan together in September 2018 . It was initiated by her; I clicked on a video that popped up on my feed on Facebook and she viewed it with me, and afterwards she announced she would not eat animals any longer. I thought it was just a passing fad, but she insisted and I was willing to give it a try. Although it was her idea at first, I am now fully converted to the ideology.

I wasnt really worried about trying out veganism as I thought we would just learn along the way, and two and a half years later we have had no problems so far.

I researched why a plant-based diet is a healthier option - all the boxes it ticks from health to environment; compassion to all living beings and scientifically how fear and slaughter are interlinked.

As Indians, our diet is predominantly a vegetarian diet that includes lentils , vegetables , protein and carbs daily. Going vegan was thus easy as we replaced the dairy and protein with alternatives

Sometimes it can be more challenging to maintain strict veganism; my daughter has sometimes eaten a nugget or an ice cream when around other kids; but by and large children absorb and learn from the environment they are exposed to and hence it is fairly easy for her I would think being around a mum who offers and stocks only plan- based foods.

Eating out vegan can be more of a challenge the UAE has caught up largely but it would truly be nice to have restaurants incorporate a kids vegetarian / vegan meal on their menus.

It has now become our way of life. We are what we consume; gut health more and more is being linked to mental health - I believe this has changed me in many positive ways and I can't see myself changing this new way of life.

I would 100% recommend going vegan to any family. Incorporating a plant based diet in one life will bring a healthier life to your family. Dairy intolerances are on the rise as much simply because of the process animals go through to continually produce, which include steroids and hormones.

When I thought about what I was consuming and feeding my daughter - this was a no brainer for me.

I would say begin by trying veganism 1 or 2 days a week and buy plant based alternatives to the usual food you consume. These are the best two ways to begin.

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UAE Veganuary: Is veganism healthy for kids and babies? - Gulf News

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In maps: Indias vulnerable children are paying the price of upper-caste prejudice with their bodies –

In her haunting short story Shishu (Little Ones), writer Mahashweta Devi depicts the cruelty of shrunk bodies deformed by acute hunger and starvation in Adivasi hamlets, due to chronic administrative apathy.

Reminiscent of this dystopian parable, the recently released National Family Health Survey 2019-20, for the first time since the turn of the millennium records that child stunting has worsened in 13 of 22 states.

At least one of every three pre-school children in India is too short for their age. This declining trend in child heights was measured with the gnawing impact of demonetisation and economic slowdown, before the lockdown.

After the pandemic, with schools closed and rations running thin, the situation becomes so grave that multiple news reports during the lockdown found children forced to work, sell scrap and survive on very little good.

Instead, children should be consuming nutritious eggs, which even during the lockdown could have easily been home delivered from educational institutions as Andhra Pradesh and Odisha have ably demonstrated. But influenced by conservative vegetarian lobbies, most BJP-ruled states refuse to serve eggs in school and Anganwadi menus.

Worse, only a few BJP-ruled states provide milk or fruits as substitutes. In Uttar Pradesh, last year a video even surfaced of school children being served one litre of milk mixed with a bucket of water.

Maps based on the latest National Family Health Survey data also showcase that these states, largely in the northern and western heartland, invariably also have the highest levels of child malnutrition. The previous NFHS reports have also consistently shown a distinctly regressive trend of graded inequality Adivasi, Dalit and Other Backward Class children are more likely to be stunted than the rest.

On the other hand, due to traditional upper-caste prejudices in India, eggs are often erroneously derided as non-vegetarian. In 2019, a BJP politician in Madhya Pradesh, a state which has explicitly banned eggs in Anganwadis, with a straight face, told a slew of reporters that, If children eat meat, they may grow up to be cannibals.

Based on this irrational reasoning, the planet should abound with potential anthropophagi. Four of every five people worldwide eat animal meat. Japanese, Chinese and Mexicans consume the most eggs. But by any stretch of the imagination, sterilised eggs are not flesh foods.

The myth of widespread vegetarianism in India is also a misconception. Employing different methodologies, four different nationwide surveys concur that 63% to 76% of Indias population regularly consume non-vegetarian foods. Even more, include eggs in their diet.

The main handicap, however, is the affordability of eggs and meat in household diets. The 2019 Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey found that children from poorer families are less likely to consume eggs, fish or meat. Women and girls who usually eat last in most homes are also invariably the most deprived.

However, there are distinct regional patterns in food consumption. Tony Joseph in the book Early Indians, emphasises that due to the gene mutation 13910T which shows a distinct north-west to south-east declining pattern geographically, only a fifth of Indians can digest milk in adulthood.

Therefore South and East Indians are more likely to substitute milk with animal protein. However, this does not genetically preclude populations in any state from consuming eggs or meat. In schools, however, as inclusive public policy children must always, of course, be provided vegetarian alternatives too.

Ninety-two per cent of Indian villages have an Anganwadi centre. However, even in regular times, their functioning is patchy, with caste an invisible barrier. In 2015-16, only 48% of children under six years received any food from these centres, with the proportion ranging from 14% in Delhi to 75% in Odisha. On the other hand, a 2015 study by the Human Resource Development Ministry showcased that introduction of eggs in the menu helped improve attendance across schools in two states.

Eggs as nutrient-dense superfoods also contain a veritable mix of necessary proteins, vitamins and minerals. Promisingly, the 2020 New Education Plan also mentions that breakfasts will also be introduced in schools. This opens an additional opportunity to substantially boost childrens nutrition.

In another iconic childrens fable, Our Non-Vegetarian Cow, Mahashweta Devi hilarious recounts how the family pet Nyadosh develops an unusual taste for fried fish and country liquor. Fortunately, all Indian cows do not similarly run riot. But India is perhaps the only country where cows milk is considered to be vegetarian, but sterilised chicken eggs are mistaken to be non-vegetarian.

Indian children are literally paying the price with their physique for this fictitious nutritional prejudice.

Swati Narayan is a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Human Development.

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In maps: Indias vulnerable children are paying the price of upper-caste prejudice with their bodies -

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Study Reveals What Ancient Indians Ate Free Press of Jacksonville – Jacksonville Free Press

A recent study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science on Dec 9, 2020, has revealed the food habits of the people of the Indus Valley Civilization. Traces of the meat of animals like sheep, cattle, pigs, goat and buffalo along with dairy products were found on ancient ceramic vessels at Indus Valley sites in the present-day states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in India.

The Indus Valley Civilization was South Asias first urban civilization with archeological sites spread across Pakistan, and northwest and west India. Though much is known about its modern architecture and drainage system, not many are aware of the food habits of its people.

The study was led by Dr Akshyeta Suryanarayan, a post-doctoral researcher at CEPAM (Cultures et Environnements. Prhistoire, Antiquit, Moyen ge), CNRS (Centre National de la Recherch Scientifique), Nice, France. It specifically looked at vessels that dated to the urban Mature Harappan period (c. 2600/2500-1900 BC) and the post-urban Late Harappan period (c.1900-1300 BC).

This is the first systematic study that looks at what was cooked or stored in ancient vessels from multiple sites in the Indus Civilization, said Suryanarayan. The study provides chemical evidence of milk products, meat, and possible mixtures of products and/or plant consumption in pottery vessels, Suryanarayan told Zenger News.

This study used a technique known as ceramic lipid analysis to extract and identify fats, waxes and resins absorbed in ancient pottery vessels, she said talking about the process behind the findings. Another complementary technique called GC-C-IRMS enabled the identification of carcass (meat) and milk fat (products like cheese, butter, ghee, yogurt).

Suryanarayan mentioned that the technique of ceramic lipid analysis has been used for over 20 years in different archeological contexts of the world, but had seen limited application in South Asian archeology.

This is partly because of the challenges related to the poor preservation of organic remains in the region. However, because of the developments in the field, it is now possible to extract lipids from pottery found in regions even with poor organic preservation.

I think this study opens up a new way to examine the eating habits and culinary practices of the Indus civilization as it focuses on vessel usage and highlights that pottery can be used to explore questions about everyday life and not just used as a cultural and chronological marker, as is often done in South Asian archeology.

The findings question the perception of India being a historically vegetarian society, which the BJP and the RSS (both right-wing Hindu nationalist organizations) advocate repeatedly.

Ever since it came to power, there have been several attempts by the BJP to vilify meat-eating. In April 2018, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare tweeted a photo about choosing a healthier diet. It contained caricatures of two women, one overweight, and the other slim. It advocated that the thin one ate only fruits and vegetables while the fat one consumed meat, eggs, sausages, and fries. Facing criticism, the Ministry soon removed the picture from its Twitter feed.

Many archeologists specializing in animal bones have reported the presence of different types of animal bones at Indus sites, which include cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goat, pig, wild deer and fish. Many of these bones have butchery marks on them which indicate they were used for meat, said Suryanarayan.

Dr Vasant Shinde, fellow researcher and archeologist from Deccan College, Pune, corroborated the claim.

Excavations did yield animal bones with cut marks which led to us guess that meat was a part of the diet. This was later verified by scientific methodologies, he said. However, it is wrong to say the Harappans (the people of the Indus Valley Civilization) were predominantly meat-eaters. Their staple diet also included wheat, barley, rice and vegetables. Also, it is not clear whether all people consumed animal food or only a certain section of the population did.

The idea that vegetarianism was the predominant dietary practice in India is popular in the west as well. While public government surveys claim that 23-37 percent of Indians are vegetarian, research by US-based anthropologist Balmurli Natrajan and India-based economist Suraj Jacob indicates that these are miscalculated estimations.

Due to the existing political and cultural milieu, people under-report eating meat (particularly beef) and over-report eating vegetarian food. They conclude that in reality, approximately 15 percent of Indians (about 180 million people) eat beef, which questions the government surveys claim of 7 percent.

Dr Ravindra Nath Singh, a fellow researcher in Suryanarayans study and a professor of archaeology at Banaras Hindu University contends that the abundance of grains encountered in the excavations clearly suggest and confirm that the Harappans were predominantly a vegetarian society. According to him, the consumption of non-vegetarian food was certainly there but to a limited extent.

Many bone tools have also been reported from our excavations. Bones were first boiled in order to make tools that could function better. Hence, evidence of lipid (fat) in the vessels may not be an indicator that bones were cooked for eating purposes only, claims Dr Singh.

(Edited by Anindita Ghosh and Uttaran Dasgupta)

Study Reveals What Ancient Indians Ate Free Press of Jacksonville - Jacksonville Free Press

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