Vegan Butcher, Black Bean Burgers, And Vegan Discrimination

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ome more news has come forward in regards to vegan foods and news, and due to the amount of news and my lacking time, I can’t possibly make a post about every little thing that happens, so I decided to make another post consolidating some of them here:

Vegan Butcher Opens, Causes Outrage

A business entitled The Herbivorous Butcher opened up a store where the owner sells fresh slices of a variety vegan meats and cheese substitutes. Business started booming ever since the first day, but many people did not like the idea of the term “butcher” being used in any other context but “animal flesh slicer,” making one of the many times that people get up in arms over Semantics, not realizing that every single word they are using has not always retained the same meaning.

Wendy’s Launches Black Bean Burger Commercial!

This will hopefully result in Wendy’s black bean burger being better promoted nationwide, instead of in just a few states, but Wendy’s launched a quirky commercial advertising their meatless burger. I so want to try out this burger, so hurry up Wendy’s!

Veganism has Legal Rights? Why?

Ontario Canada ruled that Veganism is a right that should be free from discrimination. But what discrimination? This just means that vegan students who object to dissection no longer are forced to do so, and hospitals cannot deny to give you vegan food options if requested, among a few other things, which is pretty cool!

Vitamin D Advertisement Gets Egg On Face

“We All Need The D” and “How Do You Do The D?” are just a few of the many advertisements placed online to try to get people aware of Vitamin D Deficiency. Little do they know that “The D” is slang for the penis, and as a result they took down the adverts, but not before the campaign was a success.

I will bring more news as I find it, maybe about once every 2 weeks or more, depending on my schedule and the like!

Re: 7 All-Natural Foods That Can Totally F*ck You Up – by Cosmopolitan

Oh Cosmopolitan, you’re a fashion magazine, and it’s about time you learned to stick with your topic.

Kale

kaleCosmpolitan writer Yvette D’Entremont, which sucks because she runs the pretty OK Twitter account SciBabe, who I like because she often attacks the pseudoscience blogger Food Babe, seems to kick science in the nuts when it comes to writing posts showing “healthy” foods that that allegedly really bad for you.

Maybe I am wrong here, maybe this whole post she wrote is one big joke that she has, and is just playfully mocking extremist health nuts, which is something I have no issue with. But she lays down a TON of claims that are just unsubstantiated by much of anything. And because some people are bound to believe her, I decided to do a critical analysis of her claims.

For her first of the seven, she mentions Kale.

“Too much kale can actually be dangerous. Kale can seriously f*ck up your thyroid Oh, kale no.

Kale has a compound in it called thiocyanate that, in high amounts, severely interferes with iodine metabolism, which can, in turn, result in hypothyroidism. Eating too much kale in an effort to lose weight can actually lower your metabolism (and affect a lot of other things that your thyroid controls). The condition is not common, and drinking kale juice seems to pose the biggest risk.. “

I don’t even like Kale, but what real science does SciBabe have to support this claim? Not a lot. In fact, she only links to two articles, both by the same website, For the first link the news report mentions a single study attacking kale for it’s thyroid goiter effects, which was published in 1974 and is hidden behind a paywall.

Another claim is that:

In some reports in the press, juicing kale is the real culprit. “Although it has not been specifically studied, juicing kale concentrates the vegetable and thus potentially poses a greater risk toward iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism if ingested in large amounts on a very frequent basis,”

Not only do I not care about press reports as opposed to scientific studies, but I would also like to know how “juicing kale concentrates the vegetable.” I mean, sure, if you would eat 6 kale leaves, but drink 40 leaves of pure kale juice. But nobody does that, juicing usually involves combining the kale with berries, apples, citrus, ginger, celery, etc. And I am not even pro-juicing, I find that it is almost as much empty calories as soda pop, and is completely devoid of wonderful fiber and vitamins found in the skin, which is why I add the skin when I am baking an apple pie, or mking apple sauce.

In comparison, a systematic review was done on the safety of cruciferous plants, which includes kale, and concluded with this:

To further this field of investigation, we conducted this systematic paper to determine the safety parameters surrounding the use of cruciferous plants. In this regard, our review identified adverse events in 1335 individuals, out of a total of 101,198 individuals who were included in all studies. Of these, 1292 adverse events were ranked as only possibly or unlikely to be caused by cruciferous plants.

But… but… I thought kale “seriously f*cked up” my thyroid? While eating MASSIVE amounts of foods high in thiocyanate’s can interfere with iodine absorption, resulting in goiter, you are literally going to eat a TON of kale in a short amount of time to get any significant thyroid effects. But if you’re REALLY worried, don’t eat kale, I much prefer Romaine Lettuce myself.

Avocado

But then there’s this: Avocados are f*cking fattening.

The alleged standard serving size for 50 calories? It’s one-fifth of an avocado. Who the hell puts one-fifth of an avocado on their taco salad? Monks, that’s who. You put that entire 250 calorie bomb on your well-balanced kale salad and say, “Oh, it’s healthy fat,” before eating the salad that, I’m sure by now, has as many calories as a Big Mac.

That’s really all she has against avocados, “it has too many calories!” Not much of an argument at all, because seeds and nuts also are high in fat and calories, doesn’t make them bad food.

Quinoa

Some research suggests that saponins, a naturally occurring chemical in quinoa, cause stomach discomfort and damage your stomach lining.

I dislike Quinoa, as not only does it taste bad, but it is also one of the long list of foods that I can’t dijest as I have horrible GERD, so most grains are off limits for me. But is what she is saying accurate?

Research has indeed shown that these compounds in high enough doses can harm you, and this really low chance of stomach upset can easily be mitigated by washing your grains in cold water, and by simply cooking the grains. But you know what else contains saponins? Kidney Beans, Soy beans, Navy Beans, Chick Peas, Legumes, Peanuts, Tomatoes, Potatoes… it’s a very common proponent is almost every plant, quinoa is of no exception.

Goji Berries

“Gram-per-gram, they have the same number of calories [As a Starburst] and almost the exact same number of grams of sugar. They’re not nutritionally the same given the goji berry’s wealth of vitamins, but if you’re watching your weight or if you’re diabetic? Your pancreas will view these as candy.”

goji-berry1I have never consumed Goji Berries, so I decided to look up their nutrition and make a comparison. One cup of Goji berries is 180 Calories, but it also contains about 7 grams of protein. In comparison, per cup, Blueberries have no protein, half the calories, but more sugar, and two times the amount of fiber (8 grams vs 3.5 grams). Miracle berry? Probably not, but is a pretty healthy berry. The fiber counteracts much of the added sugars anyways, unlike candy.

Chia Seeds

potential for severe gastrointestinal side effects. That cute thing chia seeds do in almond milk when they puff up? They do that in your body too, and the side effects can be painful. They even landed a guy in the ER for expanding post-ingestion and obstructing his airway.

“Potential” is the key word. The man in question had a history of severe medical issues, such as issues swallowing, asthma, and allergies. It did not help that he ate the chia seeds first, and THEN the glass of water, so the “puff up” happened in his esophagus, not in his stomach. So chia seeds are great for people who aren’t stupid.

Conclusion

I did not mention Salmon and Local Produce, which was on this list, simply because what she says about them isn’t wrong. She makes good points and does not provide misinformation on those two points. Salmon does have Mercury and should be eaten less often, and local produce really isn’t any better than conventional.

And this ending by her struck very true:

The point is not that any of these foods are dangerous for you, it’s not to buy into fear or hype about food. Eat a balanced diet and don’t worry too much when diet guru tells you that the next thing chock full of buzzwords is going to kill you. The diet gurus who tell you that these are healthy one day and killing you the next are probably the problem, not the solution. Unless it’s rife with foodborne illnesses, odds are that your next meal is not going to kill you. Not even a locally sourced kale and quinoa salad topped with chia seeds, avocado, salmon, and goji berries.

She makes good points, but it seemed like she had to try REALLY hard to find ANYTHING at all to make these 7 foods sound awful. “This fruit has sugar” or “This one has too many calories” at least are non-arguments, but to make bold assertions, such as ‘quinoa may damage your stomach lining’ or ‘your pancreas views berries just like it does skittles’ is just flat out misinformation.

And it would be a much better article if it was sourced by scientific articles, but alas: Shape, EndocrineWeb, LiveScience, or CommonHealth takes the place of any actual study.

Then again, this could just be a joke article, which I hope it is. I am hoping she was parodying many unsubstantiated claims made by many others on the internet who use non-scientific sources, but I doubt it. But many people are going to view it has legit, and I put my foot down when it comes to unsubstantiated claims.

Eating Vegetarian At: Sonic

Sonic has to be one of the most unhealthy places you can go to eat from, mainly because they cook their food with shortening, or hydrogenated vegetable oil, which contains quite a lot of trans-fats. But of course, nobody goes to fast food places in order to eat healthy, so if you will let that slide, let’s see what us available on the veggie menu:

To start off the day, breakfast at Sonic comes with:

  • French Toast
  • Cinnasticks

and I am sure you can ask for the egg burritos without sausage or bacon if you are Ovo/Lacto-ovo. There are no vegan breakfast options though.

In terms of sides, you can have:

  • Tots
  • Fries
  • Apple Slices
  • Onion Rings
  • Ched’r Peppers
  • Mozzarella Sticks

The last two items are not vegan though, but the first four of them are. They also have a Grilled Cheese Sandwich on the kids menu, but I am unsure if you can order that separate from a kids meal.

Aside from that, they also have the usual ice-cream galore that many other fast food places like Checkers, Burger King, and McDonalds does. They can certainly do better on veggie options though.

Not for a lack of trying, however. The Sonic of Connecticut released a veggie burger as of 2011, and it looks really good (Morningstar though, like Burger King, so it isn’t Vegan), but then it starts to get fuzzy. This post from 2012 is the last post on the Facebook page that even mentions the veggie burger. Their Fall 2014 Nutrition Guide lists the veggie burger, but their Allergen Information sheet published in March 2014 does not.

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The fact that nobody is even talking about it, or have really talked much about it at all, is odd, claiming that Sonic itself claims that the burgers were basically flying off the shelves. I can find no pictures of the burger outside of the promotional material either, so chances are Sonic had one, and it flopped, or it’s still only sold at particular locations.

Being Vegan At A Gas Station?

I did a little experiment and stopped at several gas stations within the past few weeks to gain information about the insides, and what they sell that is vegan. I then used that information to determine if it is possible to live comfortably on only food eaten from gas stations, and the results were all over the place. I stopped at Go-lo, Marathon, Sav-a-Stop, Lukes, Sheetz, Speedway, and my neighborhood gas station.

Go-lo, Sav-a-stop, Marathon, and Lukes were the worst offenders, with Go-lo and Lukes being the worst of them all. Lukes only has potato chips, nuts, seeds, fruit (apples, oranges, and bananas), and nasty pickles. Go-lo had even less than that which was vegan. Marathon had canned corn, cereal, vegetable oil, tomato soup, etc, but was lacking in canned beans, which without is hard to get sufficient protein on a vegan diet.

Pasta
Some pasta and vegan pasta sauce at my nearest gas station

My neighborhood gas station has actually pretty good, they had wheat bread, canned fruit, chili beans, pasta, oil, cereal, condiments, seeds, nuts, etc. In fact, I calculated a diet made entirely from foods found at my local gas station, and found that aside from being low in B12 and Vitamin D (most vegan diets that are not full of fortified foods will be low in these key nutrients, which is why supplementation is good) it was only otherwise low in Calcium.

And that brings me to the larger gas stations. It isn’t until you reach Wawa, Sheetz, or Speedway that you really start to be able to live more comfortably as a vegan. From a larger selection of foods like beans and breads, to foods that can be made fresh for you in the kitchen, such as Wawa’s vegan Superfood Salad, and Sheetz has the veggie burrito.

The main thing I have seen so far that is slightly annoying, but not a huge issue, is the complete lack of milk alternatives. I would LOVE to see a gas station decide to include more almond milk or soy milk options alongside the regular milk, where there is typically numerous brands of. Granted, you can take a banana, add a little water, and literally blend them together to make Banana Milk for cereals, but that still does not include Calcium.

It is indeed possible to eat a pretty healthy vegan diet at specific gas stations, mainly larger ones. But not only will doing this be difficult, as most gas stations are not equipped for nutritional adequacy, but it will also be fairly expensive. You can buy a pound of bananas as a local food mart for less than 50 cents, which is about 3-4 bananas, but you can buy maybe 1 or 2 bananas at a gas station for a dollar.

You certainly would have a really hard time meeting every one of your nutritional needs as a vegan at a gas station, but for vegan snacks, or even vegan meals, they should do just fine.

Baby Develops Scurvy After Diet Of Almond Milk

So a single baby in Spain developed a skin rash after 2 1/2 months after drinking regular formula, so a doctor recommended almond milk formula. The parents, being ignorant, fed the child absolutely nothing else but this one type of almond milk formula when the baby did not eat solid foods by 6 months. The baby was fine at 7 months, but was kept on only the almond milk formula until the age of 11 months, when moving his limbs caused the baby to start crying.

A checkup by the doctor later revealed that the baby developed scurvy, or in other words, Vitamin C Deficiency, along with knee fractures and brittle bones. News outlets have been reporting on this over and over, and what is the constant theme?

The lesson? Babies can’t develop normally on a plant-based diet.

Really? So the issue is not that the baby only consumed Almond Milk, it MUST be the fact of a plant-based diet. Right? Wrong.

“The issue here is not one of a plant-based diet being inadequate or inappropriate, but rather the absence of formula and/or breast milk in this infant’s diet,” Las Vegas-based dietitian Andy Bellatti, unaffiliated with the Spanish case study, wrote in an email. He noted that cow milk also lacks vitamin C.

The Spanish case study authors write that if fruits, which contain vitamin C, formula or breast milk had supplemented this baby’s diet, he would have had his vitamin C needs met.

Even the American Dietetic Association claims:

…appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.

So the issue is not with the fact that the infant was fed almond milk, the issue was with the fact that the infant was fed ONLY almond milk. Not even almond milk with blended fruit or anything like that.

This story of a single EXTREMELY rare case, should not in any way be used to show that vegan diets are inadequate for infants. Well planned vegan diets work just fine.

What's All This About A Poop Pill?

“Could an exchange of poop from a slim person help an obese individual lose weight? We could soon find out, as scientists in the U.S. are embarking on a clinical trial to find out whether so called “fecal microbiota transplantation” (FMT) can aid weight loss.” IFLScience.com

Metabolism was once the big marketing ploy in losing weight, then it was Carbs vs Fats, and Hormones in food, etc. Now it seems the the newest marketing ploy is Gut Bacteria. Apparently eating a pill filled with freeze-dried poop from a donor will help obese people lose weight, because the issue with obesity isn’t over-consumption of Calories, it’s gut bacteria.

And that is the issue I have. Gut bacteria does play a role in breaking down food and metabolism, but it’s nearly impossible, except for a few genetic and hormonal issues, to retain weight when there is a sustained Caloric deficient. Some people have naturally higher or lower metabolisms or other issues that affect hunger, the burning of carbs and fat, hormonal issues, and food digestibility, but for the vast majority of the obese, it is will, not skill.

If you need to eat 1800 Calories a day to maintain weight, eating 1600 will eventually result in weight loss, eating 2000 will eventually result in weight gain, in the absence of the minority of people who have a legitimate hormonal or genetic issue. The main issue is the large amount of high-calorie foods, and the false stigma that low calorie foods or Healthy foods are bland in taste and doesn’t satiate hunger.

The poop pill has not been proven to work in any setting, and the only real studies done about it has been on rats. It’s also disgusting to eat poop to lose weight, when you can just eat more vegetables and whole fruit and grains, and less processed high-calorie foods, and just eat less calories and the weight is guaranteed to come off.

“But what about when the weight comes back”

It won’t come back if you don’t eat more calories than you burn. You losing interest in a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean the lifestyle was a failure.

Don’t buy into these “poop pill” diet nonsense and just eat a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables and don’t overeat.

Can Diet Soda Help You Lose Weight?

No…. but it’s a little more complicated than that.

A study was done in November of 2015 detailing that diet soda can benefit people trying to lose weight, at first it seems like a really well-thought-out study, until you realize that Coca Cola paid the authors 1000 dollars each as a grant. But does this make the data obselete? Well, it makes it untrustworthy at best. But regardless of any of this, even if this study is wrong, the answer is still No.

Diet soda would be equivalent to that of Water, or sugarless Kool-aid mix. There are no calories or almost no calories in it, therefore it CAN’T increase your weight. It also CAN’T decrease it as well. In order to lose weight you need a caloric deficient, which is to eat less than you are burning.

And before anyone uses it, there was one analysis done in 2014 that tested the “Low Calorie Sweeteners Make You Hungry” hypothesis of diet sodas, and came back with no support for it:

“Conversely, a hypothesis that LCS intake promotes, rather than prevents, weight gain by altering taste and metabolic signaling, decreasing satiety, and increasing appetite, hunger, sweets cravings, and ultimately food intake emerged nearly 3 decades ago. However, a recent review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), and new findings from an RCT that examined the effect of low-calorie sweetened beverages (LCSBs) on overall dietary patterns, failed to support this hypothesis.”

The science does not support than diet sodas do anything other than give you non-fluoridated flavored water to drink that isn’t good for your teeth. But in terms of weight loss or weight gain, diet sodas are practically useless. They are a much better alternative than sugar-filled soda, but it’d be good to have an alternative to them as well.

Don’t demonize diet sodas for pseudoscientific ideas of weight gain, but don’t make the false assumption that they will in any way help anyone lose weight.