More Food Inc + Some Thoughts On Why I Went Vegan

80 comments

Greetings!

Great discussion going on in my Food Inc post. I love that we can talk about issues like this! So inspiring and thought-provoking.

Yesterday Eric asked me to send him a grocery list so he could pick up a few things on the way home from work. I made a note beside the milk that he needed saying:

Eric- please buy organic cow’s milk this week….you deserve it.

untitled thumb2   More Food Inc + Some Thoughts On Why I Went Vegan

I wasn’t sure what he would think, but I would soon find out.

Well he got home and there was no organic milk to be found. I asked him about it and he said, ‘It was $9 dollars, there is no way I was going to pay $9 for milk. I have been drinking non-organic my entire life and I am fine.’

It was definitely not a victorious mission I had!

I said, ‘Wow that is expensive, but you know what? I do think we can afford it. All we have to do is a make a cut-back in another area.’

For example, the milk he currently buys is $4 for 3 bags of milk. So we need to find $5 a week somewhere to make this work.

Eric has gotten into the habit of going out to buy his lunch lately (mostly out of laziness of not packing his lunch like he had been doing). So this morning, I got up a bit earlier and packed him a lunch. We saved about $8 just by doing that today!

I handed him the lunch and I said, ‘Here is a savings of $8. We can now afford organic milk.’ ;)

Another thing I wish the movie had touched on were the current regulations for organic food products. I am going to look into the Canadian regulations and see what I find.

Obviously, I realize that there are many families who can barely afford to put food on the table, let alone buy organic. And yes, we are definitely privileged to have this choice. One part of the movie that really saddened me, was the family who had to choose between paying for their dad’s diabetes medication or buying healthy food. They ate fast food every day because it was all they could afford due to having to spend $150 a month on his medication.

It is such a catch-22. Many people cannot afford to eat healthy, however the current food system, with its’ heavy reliance on animal-based products, is in large part the reason why there is so much starvation in the world. There are currently 840 million people going hungry this very second.

This is a fact that many people do not want to accept:

The more meat we eat, the more people there will be that will go hungry in the world.

Many of you ask why I decided to go vegan. When I read this statistic it was without a doubt one of the most powerful convincers for my decision:

It takes up to 16 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of edible animal flesh. According to the USDA and the United Nations, using an acre of land to raise cattle for slaughter yields 20 pounds of usable protein. That same acre would yield 356 pounds of protein if soybeans were grown instead—more than 17 times as much!

Raising animals for meat consumption is not energy efficient! If you think about it, it really doesn’t make sense that we are giving all of this grain to animals, only to kill them and eat them, when we could ‘cut out the middle man’ and just all eat grains and be able to feed the entire world. That doesn’t even get into the fact that cows are supposed to eat GRASS and not grain to begin with!

If everyone on Earth received 25 percent of his or her calories from animal products, only 3.2 billion people would have food to eat. Dropping that figure to 15 percent would mean that 4.2 billion people could be fed. If the whole world became vegan, there would be plenty food to feed all of us—more than 6.3 billion people.

[Source]

I believe that going vegan was one of the best things I personally ever did. I have always felt so powerless in trying to help the global crises and I always felt like there was nothing I could do to make an impact. Now I feel otherwise. I’m not saying it will be right for you, my best friend, or even Eric, but it was right for me. I am not writing these posts to try and get you to change your lifestyle; I am just trying to increase awareness about the issues that desperately need attention. Before I started to look into these issues, I honestly had no clue about them. Knowledge is power and whatever you decide to do with that knowledge is up to you.

On that note, for those of you who are participating in Project Feed Me, the next two food items are now up. Visit Natalie’s page for more information. It is not too late to join Project Feed Me either, we are only in week two. Week One’s 2 items were 2 cans of chili. Please help us feed hungry families by participating today!

~~~~~

Lastly, I would love your help in naming my new Glo Bar. I created this Glo Bar this week and it is quite possibly my all time favourite bar. I just fell in love. It is a dark chocolate roasted coffee bar and it is intense, aromatic, and energizing.

I asked for your help on Twitter yesterday to offer one-word suggestions for a name and I compiled a list of most of them for you to vote on:

Also, the Healthy Halloween Chocolate Lovers Packs are no longer sold out- I just added a couple more on the cart.

Have a lovely ‘Office’ day! ;)

PS- ANDY rules!!!! Eric and I saw Hangover last week and Andy was SO SO SO Funny in it. I loved that movie!

Angela Signature thumb44   More Food Inc + Some Thoughts On Why I Went Vegan

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{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

Sana October 22, 2009

Lol! I love voting! Great job on saving mulaa today :) I knew I should have seen that movie, they had a screening at school but I was too busy studying! Great recap :)!

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Kristie Lynn October 22, 2009

Ange, the whole thing about how many more people can eat off a vegan diet – and the environmental impact of a non-vegan diet – is the main reason I went vegan and definitely why I have been able to stick to it so far. I may not be passionate about many things, but those two I am very passionate about!

And packing the husband’s lunch myself is the only way I can prevent him from not packing his own and buying one that costs more. Good thing for our budget that I don’t mind it :)

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natalie October 22, 2009

I love the name zing! Looks like others do too! Way to go on saving the money and packing his lunch! that is so awesome!! Thanks for talking about project feed me! Have helped so much and I really appreciate it…and so will all the people we help!! xoxoxo

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 22, 2009

Its no problem…I am totally pumped about Project feed me!!! It is such an easy thing to do too. :)

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AGS October 22, 2009

Ange — I am a little surprised at your statement regarding meat (eating more meat = less food for others). There is no conclusive evidence for this. I was raised with the philosophy of _Diet for a Small Planet_ (a book you would probably very much enjoy), and understand the concept of balance. But the major problems with regard to malnourishment throughout the world are much more a matter of food distribution, poor/unsustainable agriculture practises, and climate, rather than a problem of production. That is, even if we reduced meat consumption in the US/developed countries, that would not translate into better nutrition in lesser-developed countries. There are many good reasons to advocate moderate consumption of animal products, but the “fact” that you stated is disputable, primarily because it suggests a causal link where there is only correlation at best.

About saving money to buy organic: bravo. I am a huge fan of family units taking a pragmatic approach to finances. This is a terrific example.

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Laura October 22, 2009

There’s a comment on the source post of that statistic that links to another article about misinformation regarding vegetarianism; it directly addresses the inaccuracy of that statistic. While in straightforward amount, it may be true that not consuming meat would save food, lack of food in the world is definitely not the cause of world hunger, and the food/land we’d be saving may not even be usable by humans. Obviously, every argument on each side should be examined equally carefully, but it is easy for people to seriously manipulate statistics to make a point.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 22, 2009

AGS Your point is valid and no I don’t think there is a direct causal relationship between the two, however, there is a very strong correlation. You are right that MANY factors are involved in the process and they all need to be addressed as well.

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Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 22, 2009

Great idea finding places to save elsewhere. I love that you packed Eric’s lunch. I make and pack my hubby’s lunch everyday!

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Michelle October 22, 2009

Hi Angie

Here are some links where you can look up Canada’s regulations for food. I don’t think there is much difference between organic and non-organic milk here as growth hormones are illegal in Canada and if a cow is given antibiotics when it is ill, that milk is tested until there are no antibiotics in it before releasing that milk back into our system.

http://www.bcdairyfoundation.ca/about_milk/milkquality.htm

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/index-eng.php
http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/toce.shtml

I’m sure you’ll find lots of data to review here and hopefully help us understand it as there is lots of information.

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Jenny @JennyLikesToRun, on a mission to run a marathon to fundraise for the Breast Cancer Foundation October 22, 2009

I love your reasons for going vegan. I would love to go vegan, but unfortunately I am 15 years old and still live with my parents, who are very much meat eaters… particularly my step dad, which believe me, has caused some serious conflict in our household as I was a vegetarian for a year before starting to eat meat again to make sure I was getting adequate protein… which I wasn’t as a vegetarian.
But when I move out of home I intend to go vegan.

If only all the world could understand that meat is not a necessity… But there are so many GUYS in particular that think they’ll DIE without eating meat EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Humans are not designed to eat that much meat!
God, people are stupid.

Thank you for posting this. It was very thought-provoking to me.

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Jaime October 22, 2009

While I like that you found a way to save the bucks and packed Eric a lunch, I’m wondering what his response was to this?

My hubby enjoys his lunches out when he gets them as it’s a social outlet for him and he’d be more than annoyed if I just up and packed him a lunch and told him he had to give that up just to save $8. He’d be doubly annoyed if I mentioned it on my blog and didn’t give his response.

I hope Eric appreciated it!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 22, 2009

As I mentioned in my post, Eric had been packing his own lunch for months up until recently. He prefers to have a packed lunch as opposed to buying it because he doesn’t like many of the options near his work. Thanks for your concern though!

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Kristen October 22, 2009

I think organic milk is cheaper at costco- do you have a membership?

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Kristen October 22, 2009

By the way- I find that milk in Ontario is more expensive than most places…it SUCKS! The dairy farmers must have a strong lobby here or something.

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Jaime October 22, 2009

It’s crazy in Nova Scotia. Almost $4 just for a 2L of regular milk.

I’m from BC and was astonished when I saw dairy prices here.

Insane.

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erin October 22, 2009

hahah please do not name it choffey.

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Chloe (Naturally Frugal) October 22, 2009

Good for you for switching to organic and helping Eric to become more aware of the choices that you can make. For me, food is the number one thing I will spend more money on. I try to buy organic and locally grown food year round, and don’t mind if it goes over our budget a little bit. You are totally right about cutting some other costs (lunches add up) in order to buy the organic food you need!
I haven’t seen Food Inc, but I think it will be a reminder of what I already know of our food policy in the US. Although I don’t agree that vegan is the only way to help reduce consumption and decrease hunger around the world, I think it’s great that you can do it in a healthy way. It would be interesting to know how many veggies you have to eat to get the same nutritional value/calories as meat. You should definitely do a post on what to keep in mind while going vegan – how to stay healthy and get all the vitamins and nutrition you need to stay a strong and active person. Great post!

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Mellissa October 22, 2009

Another option for milk might be home delivery! My Father In Law still gets his milk from a farm near Minneapolis and it gets delivered once a week and it now comes in a carton.

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AshleyP October 22, 2009

$9??!!! Holy moly!!!! There are $1 off coupons online for Organic Valley brand milk, which is what we buy- I think it’s $4 and change…but I’m in Florida. It didn’t seem like grocery prices were that much higher than Fla in Vancouver this summer, but I didn’t buy milk…

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Vicki October 22, 2009

Great post!

I second Chloe’s request for a post on what to keep in mind while going vegan. I’m still learning how to make sure I get everything I need out of my vegan diet and while I have learned a lot in the past few months, I would still love to read your take on it.

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Megan October 23, 2009

I found this website to be pretty helpful for new vegans
http://www.chooseveg.com/ and http://www.veganfitness.com is a great resource for athletes

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kay (eating machine) October 22, 2009

organic milk is one of the only things i consistently buy organic… we use about 1/2 gallon a week. And the local, organic stuff i get is about $1-$1.50 more than regular… that’s less than a coffee!
my fiance could care less about the organic, but likes local. i was happy when i figured out i could get both :-)

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Trish (girlatgym) October 22, 2009

I think it’s so sad that anybody has to choose whether or not to buy healthier, better quality food.

It’s very expensive to go organic. But all people deserve good food – not just the few who can afford it.

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Cynthia (It All Changes) October 22, 2009

I love the poll. So many good names to choose from.

Cooking at home or packing lunches saves us so much money and allows us to have more of the healthy stuff we (our bodies) crave.

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Caroline October 22, 2009

I love these posts about Food Inc. Have you read any of Michael Pollan’s books? I haven’t seen the movie yet but it sounds like the messages are very similar. I can’t afford to go completely vegan and I’m not entirely sure I’d want to but I am mostly vegetarian, buy local when possible, and have started making a point to buy organic meat if I choose to eat it at all. Vote with your fork!

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Amanda October 22, 2009

I’m gravitating towards eating less meat. I’ve never been particularly attached to in the first place and HATE cooking it. I find I feel best after going vegetarian for a day and try to do so at least once a week (if not more).

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caitlin October 22, 2009

angela, ohmigod, don’t you realize you are RUINING feminism by packing eric’s lunch for him!?

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Kristen October 22, 2009

Count me in for the feminism ruining if packing my husband’s lunch means that I can save some cash :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 22, 2009

haha…feminism be damned I was on a mission! lol

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Kristen October 22, 2009

Now that I think of it…taking control of the family finances sounds pretty feminist to me.

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MegaNerd October 22, 2009

Hey…Caitlin you know I pack Jason’s lunch sometimes! It’s called love. And making sure our boyfriend (or husband) eat good quality food. :D

Go Angela! LOL

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caitlin October 22, 2009

EVERYONE – i was being sarcastic! obviously (i hope it’s obvious). i pack kristien’s lunches, wash his laundry, and clean the entire house. i’m the only one who does it right.

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Nikki T October 22, 2009

You aren’t alone Caitlin! Haha! I also pack my Husband’s lunch (most of the time), wash his laundry and clean the whole house too!
Sometimes I even get up a few minutes earlier and make him a Green Monster for break-y too! ;)
What we do for those darn Husbands! They are so lucky…

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Chloe (Naturally Frugal) October 22, 2009

I ruin feminism so much harder than Angela – I wear an aprong while doing it! Ta-da!

I love you Caitlin.

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Recipes for Creativity October 22, 2009

1)I don’t completely understand the argument that eating healthy is more expensive. Yes, buying organic dairy (dairy in general) and fruits and veggies is more expensive, but basic healthy eating seems to me to be much cheaper than eating fast food. In the states I can buy a canister of old fashioned rolled oats for 2 bucks or so – that’s 30 some servings of breakfast! That costs 15 cents per breakfast! And lunch? Today I had a baked potato with black and kidney beans plus cooked spinach. The whole meal probably cost less than $1.50. That is much, much cheaper than even getting a burger and fries at McDonalds. Sure, it involves making things from scratch and putting in a little effort, but it’s very, very affordable. And some fruits and veggies can be bought non organic and be okay, especially if you really can’t afford them.
2)I’m also interested in your views on eating meat and their impact on the environment. I see that people have made interesting comments on the fact that just discontinuing to eat meat wouldn’t get food to all corners of the world because of distribution problems and such, but what about all of the impact raising animals, specifically cattle, has on our earth?
3)Lastly, I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 13 (16 years now!) but go back on forth with being a vegan. I know how bad it is for the earth and my health to eat meat, but I want to know if that movie mentioned anything about the impact of dairy consumption on either of those factors.
4)keep up the good work!

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Emmanuelle October 22, 2009

Hi Angela,
Here in Europe unfortunately Food Inc is not distributed, I would love to see it, I’ll try somehow.
Anyway you listed two of the reasons why I went vegetarian in the first place. I still include dairy in my diet, but I try as much as I can to get organic stuff.
Just like you, I’d rather spend the extra money for what I put in my body than spend it on stuff I don’t need and having to spend a fortune on medicine later!
I believe that by doing so I sort of invest in myself (does that make sense at all?):-)

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Dori October 22, 2009

I wish more people would read up and learn that paying a little more for healthy, organic, whole foods now will save them a TON of money in hospital, doctor and medication bills later on in life.

And I do understand that not everyone can afford healthy foods, but many of the people who make that claim pay lots of money for other luxuries, and I do not believe one’s health should be considered a luxury. I like to use the cable example because that was the easiest place to make my own change. There are people who pay $100 a month to have, like, 700 cable channels. Once I read Michael Pollan, Nina Planck and others, and saw Food, Inc, I knew I needed to cut something to afford real, whole, organic foods. I canceled my cable service. I still have the main broadcast channels and I can pay for my food.

I hope that one day if enough people who are fortunate enough to choose to cut back on something in order to buy organic do so, the demand for organic will increase and the cost will come down so the less fortunate can afford it as well.

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Mama Pea October 22, 2009

Wonderful post, Ang. I have the same attitude with my family: if you HAVE to eat dairy, make it organic. If it’s too expensive, they get almond or soy. I think the biggest obstacle most non-vegans have, though, is getting past that mind set that they NEED meat or they NEED dairy. We are not wasting away here, by any means. It is definitely a personal choice, but the problem is, as a society we aren’t educated about the detriment of consuming animal products, both on our health and environment. There is such a strong dairy and meat lobby that our children and being taught that they NEED a certain number of servings of each of these products each day. What about leafy greens? What about legumes? What about nuts and seeds?

Food, Inc. is right on the money. Until we start demanding for things to change with our “vote” (aka purchases), it is going to be an uphill battle.

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lyss October 22, 2009

1. Packing a lunch is the best answer, always. I’m in college, but whenever I’m going to be gone for the day (class/work/ect.) I aaaalways pack food and snacks. I could save literally $10 a day doing that! On campus options are so expensive!

2. I don’t eat meat because, living on my own, I hate touching/seeing raw meat and I can’t bring myself to prepare it. However, I do have to say that my family supports me well financially so eating organic, healthy options has never been hard for me. I’ve always had that option. I know there are families who save hundreds of dollars over time by buying sugar-ladden cereals, white bread, cartons of ice cream and very minimal fresh, organic produce. It breaks my heart, but it’s not always a choice! Especially for children who are only eating what is available to them! THIS is what needs to change!

Thanks for another awesome post!

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Lesley October 22, 2009

Hi Angela,

Actually, in Canada, milk is a product that you do NOT need to buy organic. Canada has much stricter laws than the US does about what can be fed to/injected into dairy cows and what can and cannot go into milk.

“The use of artificial growth hormones or hormones to increase lactation (RBST, BST, RGBH or any other artificial growth hormone) are illegal in Canada. They are legal in the United States, and much of the fear regarding hormones in milk is because we are often exposed to US media in Ontario.

No cow in Canada is allowed to be given these growth hormones and so no milk in Canada contains any of these hormones. The Canadian Dairy Farmers are one of the main lobbyists against allowing the use of growth hormones in Canada.

No white milk can be imported into Canada.”

[http://www.natrel.ca/english/faq/faq_01b.html]

From the research I’ve done, it seems to be most important to buy organic fruits and vegetables that have thin, porous skins. Additionally, if the food that you’re buying is organic, but has been flown/shipped in from another country (which is pretty typical), that defeats the environmental purpose as well.

Sorry for the long comment! I’ve read a LOT about this, and I just wanted you to know that you do NOT have to pay for expensive organic milk! Paying for expensive, organic local food though…

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 22, 2009

This is awesome and is why I am going to look more into Canadian regulations….go Canada!!

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Chloe (Naturally Frugal) October 22, 2009

Damn, I wish I lived in Canada. They are so much smarter than us. Even if I did have to pay $7 for milk – at least I know that every kind I choose is not full of hormones!

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Megan October 23, 2009

Organic milk would just mean that the cows were fed organically grown grains, right?

I’ve also heard that Canada has very strict laws on artificial hormones, I’m curious about their laws on antibiotics though.

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Amy October 22, 2009

The comment above from the 15 year old disturbs me.

Angela, while I appreciate your choice to be vegan you have a very strong and influential voice.

I wish you would reiterate especially for the young readers that is not a bad choice to eat meat and dairy.

There are a lot of nutritional benefits in both dairy and meat that cannot be found in grains that are especially important to a growing child.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 22, 2009

I did say that it is a personal choice and not something I was telling people they should do or should not do. Secondly I have to disagree with your comment that we cannot obtain the same nutritional benefits by eating a diet free of meat and dairy. That just isn’t so. If you do the proper research, it can be done properly. My health tests have been better than they ever have in my life…my iron is higher now that it ever was when I was a meat eater (I used to be anemic). You obviously have very strong opinions about eating the diet that you do, and that is totally fine, but I am not forcing something in someone’s mouth.

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LindsayH October 22, 2009

What can you get from dairy and meat that are not possible to get through a plant-based diet? Nothing. It’s perfectly possible to have healthy vegan or vegetarian kids. If people choose to eat meat/dairy then that is their decision. But there is no reason to dissuade someone who wants to eat a vegan diet to eat meat or dairy for health reasons.

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CC October 23, 2009

B12. Only available in animal sources. Fortunately, we need VERY little, but there are examples of long-time vegans going crazy because B12 deficiency causes neurological damage.
B12 can be obtained from certain bacteria though.

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LindsayH October 23, 2009

b12 only occurs naturally in animal sources, but it can be (and is) synthesized from vegan sources and is present in some vegan fortified foods. it can also be taken supplementally.

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Heather October 22, 2009

While I appreciate what you’re saying, I don’t think bloggers should have to censor their personal beliefs solely because of readership. When reading someone’s blog, it’s important to understand that while that is the way they live their life, they are in no way implying that every person must live their life that way. I’m not arguing that bloggers aren’t influential, because obviously they are, but if that 15-year old girl wants to go vegan, there’s probably another reason than one person’s blog. It isn’t Angela’s responsibility to make sure what kind of diet she does or doesn’t follow; she’s merely just one more person on the internet sharing their personal beliefs and opinions with others.

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caitlin October 22, 2009

amen!

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Megan October 23, 2009

There are hundreds of children and teenagers that have been raised on a vegan diet and are extremely happy and healthy.

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LindsayH October 23, 2009

way more than hundreds :)

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Emily Eats October 22, 2009

Hey Ange,
I’m really enjoying your blog!
We try to eat our best too, and find that the more veggie-centric we are the more our costs go down. We do most of our shopping in Whole Foods now, as without my consumption of dairy/soy etc, it works out as affordable as the next person eating conventionally, shopping elsewhere. I’ve noticed that when I make decisions like this and change my diet for the better all around (in my opinion, of course) that my boyfriend follows, when he sees it paying off :)
I will have to keep any eye open to see the dvd of Food Inc. (It didn’t get a big release here).
Have a great day, Emily.

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Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 22, 2009

After reading through this for a 2nd time I am going to get some darn organic milk!! I don’t drink it but have it with my cereal!!

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Jenna (WholeBodyLove) October 22, 2009

I have bought organic milk since my daughter switched from breast milk. I am not a big dairy milk drinker. My fiance would bey his won non-organic milk in the beginning to save money. He thought he didn’t need organic. He probably would have just bought regular milk for our daughter had I not made a point to keep all of her dairy consumption organic. Recently, he has accepted my invitation to drink the organic milk we buy for our daughter. I tell him that I love him and I want the best for him too!

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Chloe (Naturally Frugal) October 22, 2009

It is especially important for your growing little one – those hormones in milk have been shown to increase rates of menstruation and puberty in young women, plus their little bodies fill up with the stuff much more than ours do.
I’m glad you stood your ground for your daughter!

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Lesley October 22, 2009

Ha ha, yeah, having stricter regulations like that makes it WAY easier to feel good about buying things like milk that CAN get so expensive!

Have you considered buying a food box? They’re sometimes called different things, but it’s basically a group that collects local (and organic, if you can afford to pay more) fruits and veggies from farmers for you every couple of weeks. Then you go pick it up at the closest spot to you. It’s pretty inexpensive! I’m in Toronto and they have a TON of them around here; I’m not sure about what they have around where you are, but it might be worth checking out! Let me know if you want more details…maybe Eric could pick up your food box in Toronto…??? Haha.

(Sorry for taking up so much blog-time!)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 22, 2009

Yes I have been considering it since the Spring of this year…I never got around to purchasing one this year because I didn’t fully look into each farm, and I want to make an educated decision before I take the plunge. Possibly next Spring. :) Do they offer them in the winter?

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Lesley October 22, 2009

They do offer them in the winter, but at the collective that I looked at, at least, during the winter, fewer foods in the box will be from local (Ontario) farmers, which isn’t great, but as of yet I haven’t found a better solution! At the very least, I know exactly where my money is going, I guess. If you can find one that offer all local food, all year, I would love to know about it! (I should really do more research into it myself.)

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Morgan October 22, 2009

The family that bought fast food instead of eating healthy for their dad’s diabetes broke my heart. It was just such a sad, vicious cycle.
I believe that by not eating meat (and therefore my husband eats way less!) we are doing what little we can to help. I think it’s great your vegan, and I know it’s not for me. People don’t realize how much their little contributions make to the bigger picture!

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Gillian October 22, 2009

I disagree (for myself) with someones statement that it is better for ones health to NOT eat meat. Is this statement true for everyone? NOPE!!

I was vegetarian a few years ago and I was VERY aware of what I consumed and was sure that I was consuming my daily recommended vitamins and minerals in food form. On top of eating a healthy balanced vegetarian diet I also took a multi-vitamin to “cover my bases”.

Luckily I live in Canada where I am able to get blood work done as much as my doctor deems necessary to check on my health for FREE. It was to my surprise when I went in for my yearly check up which was almost a year after I had gone veg and found out that I had low iron and B12. My doctor and I struggled for about quite to get this balanced corrected on my vegetarian diet, but to no avail – through this time I was also experiencing all the side effects that went along with having low iron.

Apparently it turned out through lots of testing and fun blood work that my body and blood are not too keen on absorbing non-heme iron as its primary source. I have since added very small amount of meat to my diet and have been a-ok since. I don’t eat meat everyday – only a couple of times a week, and when I do its in small portions and I do be sure to buy lean organic meats and dairy which are also local.

To say the world is better off if we all went vegan is not the right answer – clearly it is not the right answer for me and my bodies genetics. If you are want to be vegetarian/vegan and you body responds to it wonderfully, then all the power to you! It is hard to change things when for centuries our ancestors have eaten meat and our bodies (well some of ours) have gotten used to it apparently.

I think most people need to be concerned with how often they turn to “convenience foods” that are loaded with junk to get things on the right track. As well as not OVER eating all the freaking time!!!

I don’t even necessarily know where I am going with this comment, I just feel that people need to be very cautions when going vegan or veg because their own personal health is very valuable. The world is a very different place then it was one hundred years ago when we didn’t have the factory farms and all that junk that exist today – we as humans created these problems and I do think there are TONS of things that need to be corrected before we ruin our entire existence! Sorry for my ranting… haha

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Rachel October 22, 2009

I think this post is awesome, Angela. It is so important to get this information out there regardless if people eat meat or not. I’m a vegetarian and have been for most of my life but have dated hunters and my parents are meat eaters. I don’t see anything wrong with that. I would never judge anyone for eating meat so I wish other people (like some readers) wouldn’t judge us for taking a stand in what we believe in. So many people have given me hell for eating meat free and I’m always appauled because I would never dare say anything negative for someone eating ribs beside me.

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Carrie October 22, 2009

You’re an inspiration, thanks for writing about your decision to go vegan.

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LindsayRuns October 22, 2009

I have started buying organic dairy,eat more vegetarian meals, and encourage my husband’s healthy choices…even if he does get fast food sometimes! Finding balance and making educated choices (no matter what the actual choice is) is the important thing!

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Lauren October 22, 2009

This just goes to show how important it is for people to research all sides of an issue. I think something that all people can agree on is how important it is to reach out to others who are in immense need and to do our part to be responsible stewards of this earth. Our passion for taking care of those that have less should be much higher than any kind of argument about our diets. Let’s work together, whether it’s through food donations, monetary donations, time given, food choices etc. to feed the hungry and take care of our earth!

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Jessie (Vegan-minded) October 22, 2009

Angela, thanks so much for this post. I went vegan purely due to ethical reasons, but I have since recognized the environmental impact of my food choices. I am happy to know that I am not contributing to the hunger problems we face today in the world. So many people have misconceptions about vegetarians and the food industry in general. It is nice to see such an informative post as this one :)

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laura October 22, 2009

It is SUCH catch-22! I was so saddened (but not surprised, really) when they said in the movie that the best indicator of obesity (or diabetes?) is economic status. I understand that there are ways to make your money stretch on things like rice, beans, frozen vegetables, etc, but realistically, it’s difficult for many families (especially those in tough economic situations) to find the time and resources to figure it all out and prepare meals in those ways, not to mention how difficult it must be to get kids to eat them regularly – at some point it’s got to be just too much.

I wonder if that sort of situation is less common in other countries? Like if that family had lived in Canada or the UK, there’s a good chance they would’ve caught the father’s health conditions before they required so much treatment, or the general physician might be able to monitor the children’s health and help educate the parents on how better to make do with what they have access to and reiterate the absolute importance of eating well. Not to get too far off the topic of the post, but do you think that would make a difference? Do you see this sort of thing as often as it’s portrayed in the US?

Also, as debatable the specifics of any statistics may be, your reasoning for going vegan is 100% admirable – I love that it wasn’t animals being so cute and innocent (which they are) or trying to lose weight or be healthier (which you probably are) that made you ultimately stop consuming animal products, but instead, passion for doing your part to contribute and help solve some major world problems. Regardless of whether or not a vegan population would eliminate world hunger, you made the right choice, because INDISPUTABLY what you’re doing is improving your well-being (both physical and mental), as well as the well-being of your community, and the security of the world food system. so facts or no facts, more power to you. :)

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Suzanne October 22, 2009

Angela, I have been reading your blog for awhile and truth be told up until very recently I thought your choice to eat a vegan diet was only for own personal health – your journey, I had no idea this was why you made the choice. It’s quite amazing…BTW I am just itching to purchase and read a new book by Alica Silverstone “The Kind Diet”. Anyway keep up the great posts!!

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