Should We All Be Open To Eating Roadkill?

I was raised in the south, so I know the taste of deer meat. I never liked the taste of deer meat because it would always taste odd and felt weird, so I just grew accustomed to not eating it when we had it. A lot of the deer meat we would get would be from food banks, which would not shockingly have a pretty fair amount of the stuff. But the thought of eating deer that was hit by a car makes me even more nauseous. So when Salon wrote an article claiming that I should eat that cat that was run over by a car the other day near my house, it didn’t make me feel good.

And I don’t want to sound like one of those Extremist Vegans, but I see very little difference in consuming a deer that was hit by a car, and consuming a cat that was hit by a car. And to make it one step further, a human that was hit by a car. I mean, it wasn’t murdered, it was accidentally hit by a car, right?

Possums-hang-by-their-tail-while-sleepingThat aside, I can’t make that argument because I KNOW the psychological differences between the three. I know that society views these three beings as markedly different and very little will change that. But what about the moral repercussions of eating roadkill?

Shockingly enough, PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, stands by this idea, in an FAQ when asked about this, PETA responded:

Eating roadkill is healthier for the consumer than meat laden with antibiotics, hormones, and growth stimulants, as most meat is today. It is also more humane in that animals killed on the road were not castrated, dehorned, or debeaked without anesthesia, did not suffer the trauma and misery of transportation in a crowded truck in all weather extremes, and did not hear the screams and smell the fear of the animals ahead of them on the slaughter line. Perhaps the animals never knew what hit them.

And I can see how PETA thinks on this, as compared to factory farming, where animals are routinely tortured, have their beaks burned off, etc, consuming roadkill, where many of the animals die quickly and not on purpose, is more ethical. But… is PETA right that it is healthier?

While you have to be careful, because roadkill can open you up to pathogens like E-coli, and not knowing when the animal died can make you sick via meat spoilage. However, the Missouri Department of Conservation talked about the Roadkill Cafe back in 2012, which offered meat derived from animals found alongside the road, including Skunk. Now the long-term effects of eating animals like raccoon, skunk, and squirrel have not been documented the same way the long-term effects of eating red meat, or eating chicken have been, but according to what I have seen, there is little issue with eating cleaned, healthy-looking, properly prepared game meat.

HOWEVER, eating a vegetarian or at least a plant-based diet is MUCH healthier than consuming most kinds of meat. But if you must consume meat, consuming lean chicken, or certain types of fish, is much healthier than the consumption of red meat, and possibly even roadkill. But if you MUST eat roadkill, here is a good guide about not killing yourself in the process.

What I Ate Today 11/27/15 (Vegan)

Disclaimer: This post is not supposed to tell you HOW you should eat as a vegan, but it does show you what I ate as a vegan for today.

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hummusThis is another one of those What I Ate posts that I might make more of now that I am going full vegan. Maybe with these I can show how easy and even how cheap it is to go full vegan.

So I started off the day with some hummus and some Sundried Tomato Wheat Thins. Both were store bought, an together made up a 220 Calorie Breakfast.

For lunch I had a medium Banana mixed alongside some mini pretzels and peanut butter. Soon after having a small snack of cantaloupe, which is pretty high in Vitamin C. It was a pretty filling lunch of 440 Calories

For dinner I had a cup of Vegan Chili and some Sweet Onion Wheat Thins, and soon afterwords had a cup of chocolate soymilk, because chocolate soymilk is awesome! Together this was about 500 Calories for dinner.

I later on had a serving and a half of roasted Almonds, and a few Pepper and olive Oil Triscuits. These snacks netted me 500 Calories.

triscuitThis put me at total of 1723 Calories for the day. I was also a bit deficient in a few nutrients, so I took a supplement. This is my first day as a vegan so it will definitely get better from here. I am going to try making more lentil soup and the like, and I also made some veggie burgers our of potatoes, peas, broccoli, and the like.

For drinking, I mainly just drank tea sweetened with Splenda, and diet soda, which I admit I drink far too much of. Not because drinking diet soda is unhealthy or anything, but because moderation in anything is key.

I am also making some Lentil soup for tomorrow, made with lentils, kale, broccoli, carrots, onions, and a little bit of Garbanzo Beans, mainly because I really don’t like Garbanzo beans, so adding them in small quantities makes me feel like I did not make them all in total waste. I’ll let you know how it goes.

What Is Thug Kitchen?

In short:

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In long, Thug Kitchen is a 3 year old blog-turned-cookbook that is completely vegan. The cookbook includes various vegan recipes that are easy to cook and do not require any awkward ingredients. There are 2 cookbooks out right now, including the blog that still has free-to-see recipes posted.

It’s just a cookbook right? Why is it so special?

Well, Thug Kitchen became famous for probably one of the dumbest reasons: They curse. The fact of a cursing vegan took everyone by surprise, and made many people automatically enjoy what the cookbook had to offer. So much so that a commercial was created for the book that got mainly good reviews.

But with the fame of the cursing came some people who disliked the book: Social Justice. Yes, a group of internet warriors jumped on the book with claims that the book was racist because… apparently only black people are allowed to talk that way listed in the book? Apparently not seeing that only one race has rights to a singular way of speech and grammar is detrimental to that one race because… slang is culture? Don’t look too into that, it’ll drive you crazy with confusion. Most other people are just offended by curse words as if we are still in the 1970’s.

That aside, there are many recipes in this book that I like, which includes their Vinaigrette and their Winter Cabbage and Potatoes. This book is filled with some healthy foods, including how to make your own vegan dressings, vegan burgers, and vegan soup, salsa’s, and desserts. I got it for the kindle for only 12 dollars.

They promote veganism in a pretty good way as well, opening up a whole new market for people who think veganism is a more feminine or nerdy kind of thing. The thing is though, nowhere is “vegan” or “vegetarian” ever even mentioned in this book. The book itself does mention in a few places that plant-based meals are healthier for you, but they never promote veganism or vegetarianism, which, in turn, helps to promote vegetarianism.

Simply by influencing people to eat more plant-based foods, even if they don’t become full vegetarians, is helping the vegan movement. Some people might be turned off by this type of more non-conventional cookbook, but many seem to be drawn in. And for now, that is all we can ask for. I do recommend the cookbook, which can be purchased via Amazon.

Food Review: Morningstar Farms Tomato & Basil Pizza Burger

Morningstar Farms Tomato & Basil Pizza Burger is one of those veggie burgers that are really odd for a veggie burger. This burger in no way tries to taste like a burger, in fact, it tastes like it is supposed to taste like: Pizza. I actually think I like this patty by itself more than I like it on bread. It is very creamy and tastes just like pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese, which is great for people who like pizza, but to be honest, it doesn’t taste as good on bread. Maybe cut it up and put it on Pizza?

I had one of the patties on pasta with some pasta sauce and cheese on top, and it makes a good side dish. You can also eat it without the cheese, possibly try some Nutritional Yeast for a dairy-free cheesy flavor.

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I put one of these patties on some pasta with Mozzarella Cheese, not bad at all

It is definitely not a Vegan product,as it contains milk and egg products, something I didn’t check before buying it saying I am a lacto-vegetarian, but oh well. It is better to eat trace amounts than to consume a whole egg, whether in terms of health, or ethics. So This is definitely one of those products that I will not be able to eat after I become vegan.

Healthwise these might not be very good for you either. One patty has 110 Calories in it, 6 grams of fat, and 1.5 grams of Saturated Fat. However, it does have 6 grams of Fiber, and 10 grams of Protein per patty as well, so for the negatives, there is some good. Still a rather junky food, however.

It is pretty expensive as well, like with most Morningstar products, this product has 4 patties for 4 dollars at your local supermarket. I bought this at Food4Less, and while 4 dollars isn’t that much money, it could easily be cheaper.

New Food Labeling Bill Would Restrict Companies Use Of "Healthy" "Whole Wheat"

There is a bill right now that was was introduced into the house in senate called the “Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2015” This bill will enact measures to make food companies be clearly honest about what they are feeding us.

For instance, the bill says:

“The phrase ‘made with whole grain’, the term ‘multigrain’, or similar descriptive phrases, terms, or representations with respect to whole grain content, unless the amount of whole grains, expressed as a percentage of total grains, is conspicuously disclosed in immediate proximity to such descriptive phrase, term, or representation; or ‘‘(B) the terms ‘wheat’ or ‘whole wheat’ on breads, pasta, crackers, or similar wheat-based products, unless the percentage of whole wheat by weight contained in the food is conspicuously declared in immediate proximity to that term or there is a conspicuous declaration that the food ‘contains no whole wheat’ in immediate proximity to that term.”

Meaning that the company would be obligated to disclose the exact amount of wheat is in whole wheat bread, for instance. That way, a company cannot just say there is wheat in there, if there is less than 50% wheat in the bread.

Welch's is so unhealthy that their "healthy" looking claims and covered got them sued in September
Welch’s is so unhealthy that their misleading “healthy” looking claims and cover got them sued in September

It also claims in the bill that foods would only be able to claim to be “Trans-Fat Free” if they have less than 1 gram of Saturated fat per serving, that way they can’t claim to be Trans-fat free as a way of a health claim if they are still causing severe harm in the form of Saturated Fats. They are also planning on limiting how much sugar per serving will be allowable.

And speaking of servings, 14 potato chips might not be a legitimate serving size. The bill states that A serving size can be multiplied if it “is packaged in an amount that could reasonably be consumed in a single-eating occasion.” So you can’t have a small bag of potato chips be 2 servings. Or a 16 oz bottle of Pepsi be “2 serving sizes” when we ALL know that nobody drinks half a bottle of soda and puts the rest in the fridge for the next day.

“Healthy” is another word that is being scrutinized, as food that has 10% or more of their calories from added sugars would be unable to claim to be healthy. Neither can foods with whole grains if less than half of the grains used are whole. “Natural” and “Organic” is under fire too, “Natural” cannot be used if the food contains any synthetic ingredients, for instance. Sesame will also be included as an allergen as well as Caffeine content of all foods with a caffeine content over 10 mg.

To be honest, it would also be awesome if they implemented a way to let consumers know if a product is vegan, vegetarian, etc, on the label. One too many times I have run into cans of pinto beans just to find out that they use lard. Sadly, that is not being implemented.

Re: Types of Milk: What’s the Best Choice for You?

I just read this article via LifeScript because it was posted on AOL News, which as we all know, is great on posting relivent and new news stories all the time… yeah. This was posted in early June of 2015, You know, 6 months ago.

But that aside, reading this got me more confused than anything else. In the article they get a lot of data, but none of it makes much sense in how they rank it. It’s like they checked all of their facts on 8 different types of milk by looking at Google, and then categorized each by… something? These milks are not categorized by Calcium content, Caloric content, or anything. So let’s research the information they give us and find out for ourselves what is accurate:

According to Calories alone: Almond Milk is best with only 60 Calories per serving, followed closely by Coconut Milk. Wait a minute, Coconut Milk? This article claimed coconut milk had over 500 Calories! How can it have less than original milk? Because the USDA information that this article got their information from only registers PURE coconut milk, not brand-name coconut milk, like Silk or SoDelicious, which has about 70-80 calories per cup.

Calcium? In fact, in this case, Goat’s Milk gets top place, with 33% DV from Calium, followed by Cow’s Milk with only 30%. In fact, evidence seems to suggest that the consumption of milk for Calcium reasons might be moot anyways. If you need Calcium, there are great plant sources for it. Silk soy milk also has 45% DV

almond-milkSaturated Fat? Actually, Coconut Milk has the most Saturated Fat per serving, one cup has 4.5 grams of fat, and 4 of those grams are saturated. But that is closely followed by Goat’s Milk, and then Cow’s Milk. Soy milk, Almond Milk, and Others have almost or no, Saturated Fat

Protein? We all know about those Vegetarians and their Protein, so which drink has the highest protein content? Well, what do you know, Goat’s Milk has the most protein per serving. But Calorie per Calorie, it is actually Soy Milk that has the highest percent of protein per calories at 28% as compared to 21% for Goat’s Milk and 22% for Cow’s Milk.

Potassium? In fact, Coconut, Soy, and Goat’s Milk all have similar amounts of Potassium at 14% DV, milk only has 10% DV.

Vitamin D? Almond Milk and Cow’s Milk are both fortified with 25% DV of Calcium, and Soy Milk lags behind at 7%.

Vitamin B12? Actually, most milk is low in B12. Cow’s Milk has only 18% DV of B12. Fortified Soy Milk like Silk has 50%. Or, if you are worried, you can just take a supplement.

Taking all this into account, I personally would say Soy Milk, especially Fortified Soy Milk like Silk, should be at the top of that list. Tons of people are allergic to dairy milk as well, tons more than that who are allergic to soy.

There are many factors that play into the consumption of milk. My personal recommendation would be to lower your intake of all kinds in pure form, as for the most part it’s just a caloric beverage. Using in food is a different story, although I still love Soy milk.

10 Awesome Vegan Foods I Adore!

As a Lacto-vegetarian who is striving to be Vegan, there are many times that I have a vegan foods that are either obviously vegan, or are simply… vegan. I never knew so many items were vegan until after I became vegetarian and started looking. Here is just a short list of just a few vegan products that I adore!

  1. Wheat Thins!!!

I love the hell out of Wheat Thins, especially the Sundried Tomato and Basil version, although right now I usually eat them with cheese, I am sure I can find a dip replacement. Either some hummus, or tomato, or something.

2. Chocolate Soymilk

Not healthy in the long run, but it’s chocolate milk! Soymilk is also much healthier for you than regular milk, especially if it is fortified. Soymilk has less Saturated Fat, and overall Calories, which is good if you desire to maintain a healthy weight. You can also just buy regular soymilk and add some Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup

3. Bar-B-Q Sauce

0002700038442-500x500I never knew Barbecue Sauce was Vegan until after I looked at the ingredients. This is actually a good thing because I put this on like, all of my sandwiches. In fact, most Barbecue flavored potato chips are also Vegan. Also, if you want something else to put on your sandwiches, Manwich Sloppy Joe sauce is also vegan.

4. Peanut Butter

Many people would just automatically assume that Peanut Butter is Vegan, but to be honest, sometimes it’s not. Peanut butter I have seen has been known to also contain Honey! So if you are careful, peanut butter on whole wheat toast can be a wonderful breakfast food, especially if topped with banana slices.

5. Hummus

I never knew I liked hummus, because to be honest, I don’t like chikpeas very much. But hummus on some of those Sundried Tomato Wheat Thins taste wonderful!

6. Fat Free Italian Dressing

I love to add this to some tomatoes and romaine lettuce due to this being low in calories. I used to adore Ranch Dressing, but I decided to just stop eating it altogether due to the high amount of Calories, Saturated fat, etc, that is inside of Ranch. Italian dressing gives my salads a good

7. Bagels

This makes me happy, not only because I can enjoy some bagels with jam, oil spread, or peanut butter with chocolate syrup in it, but I can also put some typical Pasta or Pizza Sauce on top, add some veggie toppings, and bake them to make Pizza Bagels! You can even put some Cashew cheese or Daiya on top, but I never had either of those.

8. Life and Captain Crunch Peanut Butter

k2-_6a7a3da5-bd72-4018-bf58-63f07f73d8ac.v1I love both of these cereals, although I barely eat any cereal at all due to the fact that they are usually packed with tons of added sugars. But at least I now know that I have tons of options to add with soymilk or cashew milk. Raisin Bran is also vegan as well, even though somewhere I heard that they have a small amount of D3 considered to be animal derived, but like PETA says, don’t worry about highly small trace amounts.

9. Taco Bell Bean Burrito (Order without cheese)

Taco Bell, especially lately, has been very pro-vegetarian lately, which makes me proud to have worked there. There are many items you can order from the menu that are already vegan, like the Black Beans and Rice, or Chips and Guac, or you can can simply exclude non-vegan foods, such as replacing beef with beans, or saying “no cheese.” Fairly simple. Or better yet, any food that has cheese or sour cream just order Fresco Style.

10. French Fries

McDonalds, Five Guys, Burger King, most fast food places, if nothing else, have vegan fries. I mean, there are indeed exceptions to this rule, like Checkers and their fries being fried in beef tallow. But if nothing else, you can go to just about any fast food restaurant and get vegan fries. Not healthy at all though…

Honorable Mention: Chef Ernesto

Simply because I forgot to add this here before writing and publishing this, Chef Ernesto is a brand that sells Vegan veggie burgers and Samosa, you can find these at your local Dollar Tree, and for the price you get quite a lot of taste, albeit not much nutrition.