The Vegetable Way

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat what becomes you and be silent. -Epictetus

(Note: In writing this we consciously ignore the sage advice of Epictetus, but here goes.) People choose a vegetarian or semi-vegetarian diet for a variety of reasons - ethical, ecological, health, taste, cost, etc. The rapid acceleration of the trend towards a more vegetarian life style is probably based in nutritional issues which have been raised (finally) by the medical establishment. When in 1988, then surgeon general C. Everett Koop issued the First Report on Nutrition & Health, he introduced the study by saying, "over-consumption of certain dietary components is now a major concern for humans. While many food factors are involved, chief among them is the disproportionate consumption of foods high in fats, often at the expense of foods high in complex carbohydrates & fiber - such as vegetables, fruits & whole grain products - that may be more conducive to health." These findings are now expressed in the recently revised "food pyramid."

The benefits of a vegetarian diet include lower risk of heart disease and several types of cancer, increased energy and stamina. Recent research suggests that a diet that emphasizes grain, beans, fruits and vegetables (the basic components of a vegetarian diet) greatly reduces the incidence of many life-threatening diseases.

In a landmark study of 27,500 Seventh Day Adventist adults from 1960 to 1980, it was demonstrated that vegetarian women lived on average 11 years longer and vegetarian men 12 years longer than their counterparts in the general population.

Not all meat-eating impacts the planet equally. Some producers of meat products raise their animals more purely and sustainably, just as producers of fruits, vegetables and grains are moving to organic agriculture. Developing an awareness of the whole system's health is the key to staying in balance. If you do choose to eat meat, we whole-heartedly recommend the local, high-quality, naturally-raised products at Oregon Home Grown Meats, located around the corner from Sundance.

Vegie's Unite is a web site with a wealth of nutritional information and one of the most comprehensive, well organized listings of vegetarian recipes that I've seen. There's even a daily and weekly meal planner that prepares a shopping list for you. Check it out the next time your in need of a fresh meal idea.

The Protein Myth
Recent reasearch has shown that humans need much less protein in their diet than previously thought. The typical male needs only 2.2 grams of protein per 100 calories & the typical female 2.3 grams of protein (the RDA is 60 grams per day for men, 50 grams per day for women.)

Protein Content of Selected Vegan Foods
Protein (gm/100cal)
Tofu, firm10.9
Lentils, cooked7.8
Soy yogurt11.1
Spinach, cooked12.2
Broccoli, cooked11.4

Protein Content of Selected Animal-Derived Foods
Protein (gm/100cal)
Sirloin Steak15.8
Chicken, baked15.0
Ground beef8.1
Cow's milk5.3
Cheddar cheese6.1

Variety is the Spice of Vegetarians
semi-vegetarian- dairy foods, eggs, chicken, and fish, but no other animal flesh (also any vegie eater that drives an 18-wheeler)
pesco-vegetarian- dairy foods, eggs, and fish, but no other animal flesh
lacto-ovo-vegetarian- dairy foods and eggs, but no animal flesh
lacto-vegetarian- dairy foods, but no animal flesh or eggs
ovo-vegetarian- eggs, but no dairy foods or animal flesh
vegan- no animal foods of any type.
pesto-vegetarian- no non-Italian foods of any type.
cheeseburgarians- only food which can be purchased ready to eat from your car
fruitarian- only foods that can be picked leaving the parent plant alive
breatharian- air and water only (don't try this at home, kids)

Famous Vegetarians, Past & Present
Plato, Pythagoras, Buddha, Jesus, Shakespeare, Leonardo Da Vinci, Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Ghandi, Albert Einstein, H.G. Wells, James Coburn, Paul Newman, Cicely Tyson, John Denver, Chubby Checker, Gladys Knights, the B-52's, k.d. lang, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Mister Rogers, Princess Diana, Kenyan President Kenneth Kwanda, Lindsay Wagner, Laura Nyro, Boz Scaggs and Paul & Linda McCartney

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This page built by Ray Neff andDavid ResSeguie Last update: June10, 1996