Thursday, April 29, 2010

more on B12, plus more links

Vitamin B12: Vital Nutrient for Good Health: "Avoid overconsumption of foods that block vitamin B12 intake or increase the body’s need for the vitamin, such as soy foods and spirulina." And "Taking folic acid without B12 can mask signs of B12 deficiency in red blood cells but will not protect against deficiencies in the nervous system."

If I was a parent, I would do all I could to encourage a kid to be an ovo-lacto vegetarian rather than a vegan. As any number of sites note, in India, before modern sterilization techniques, millions of vegetarians got essential animal-source vitamins and minerals from insect waste and particles in their food.s

May 1 marches around the US for immigration reform. Via Janni Simner.

Hypersonic Cruise Missile: America's New Global Strike Weapon - Popularmechanics.com: "The mission: Attack anywhere in the world in less than an hour. But is the Pentagon's bold program a critical new weapon for hitting elusive targets, or a good way to set off a nuclear war?"

Myth Buster: Can You Catch Poison Ivy From Someone Who Has It?

20 comments:

  1. Re B12 and soy: Isn't it true that Japanese live longer than Americans? Yet they certainly don't avoid soy. Don't really avoid much of anything, for that matter. (Though they do traditionally consume little by way of dairy products or wine, consumption of both is up significantly from a century ago.)

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  2. I need to learn more about soy--I suspect it's either an issue for some individuals (and especially vegans), or a matter of simply not overdoing it. Regarding the Japanese, they also consume more vegetables and fish than Americans, I'm pretty sure. And rice and saki. And they walk more.

    Oh! And they have universal health care.

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  3. "Oh! And they have universal health care."

    Ah, yes! That little detail...

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  4. Ovo-lacto can definitely be safer for kids. I bet soy is only a problem if it's a disproportionate part of the diet. Seems like that's true about so many things.

    I'm getting ready to buy baby goat meat. The lady I buy raw goat milk from (ahem, I actually own a share of her goat herd, since that's how it works legally) always has goat kids in the spring, and she can't keep all of them -- especially not the boys. She raises them tenderly by hand, and they eat only milk, grass, and hay, plus whatever greens they scrounge around the place. Eating them will feel respectful and meaningful.

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  5. The Japanese tend to eat soy in traditional fermented forms: tofu, tempe, miso, etc. They do not drink soy milk. Americans grind it up and put unfermented soy protein in non-traditional food items. There is a big difference in how we comsume out soy.

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  6. As a (McDougall) vegan, I take the occasional B12 pill. It's the only supplement I take.
    On the other hand, I used to be a meat eater, then a vegetarian. I had extremely high blood pressure which could not be controlled. Eliminating all animal food cured that. After a while I took up bicycling. Now it's not unusual that I bike over 100 miles a week. I have never been healthier. I would not hesitate to raise a child on a vegan diet.

    Here is some B12 info:
    http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/nov/b12.htm

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  7. Probably does require research with more differentiation between presentations of soy and percentages of total diet.

    I suspect, though, that, with few exceptions, nearly any food is fine for us as long as the food itself was not diseased and we have a varied diet. Otherwise the research seems sometimes to tell us, depending on the day or year, that everything's going to kill us.

    And to wax biblical for just a moment, it's not what goes in that defiles but what comes out.

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  8. Grey, I respect that.

    Strange Attractor, thanks for more info!

    DR, after my discovery, all I can say is be careful about the B12.

    And I wish I was biking 100 miles a week. That's great!

    Paul, full agreement on the defiling, but corporate farming needs big changes to be Christian as I understand the concept.

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  9. Full agreement with Strange Attractor. I'm extremely hormone sensitive, and found veganism impossible because everything vegan had unfermented soy, which made my bipolar skyrocket. There are also links to cancer. I don't think anyone should be eating unfermented soy.

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  10. aspyre said... "I don't think anyone should be eating unfermented soy."

    Just to clarify, are you saying you don't think anyone should eat tofu except in its relatively rare-in-the-US forms of "stinky tofu" (臭豆腐) or "sufu" (腐乳)?

    (Regular tofu, both in its firm and soft/silky types, is not fermented but chemically coagulated and pressed together.)

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  11. Everything vegan has unfermented soy? Potatoes, rice, black beans, tortillas, fruit, curry, granola ... Just to name a few things. Soy is in a lot of stuff, but I know vegans who avoid it. Also, is there anyone unrelated to Westin Price Foundation who makes claims about the dangers of unfermented soy?

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  12. Fermentation helps break down the phytoestrogens into compounds the body can process. I'm unrelated, and I know that when I consume fermented soy in its traditional forms, I have no issues with it, but when I eat anything labeled "vegan" that isn't purely vegetables, I have severe mood swings. I have to check the labels on everything, and put over half of it back because soy is subsidized like corn, and randomly present in everything for the same reasons.

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  13. Anecdotally, also unrelated, I know several people who believe they contracted breast cancer as a result of overconsumption of soy.

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  14. Here's an interesting discussion over the proper term for what we call "soy milk" http://www.breitbart.tv/nyc-tv-anchor-gives-shocking-description-of-soy-milk/

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  15. Soy jism, eh? rotfl.

    But the real issue is wtf does the nmpf think they're doing trying to get the fda to change the language when there is not the slightest confusion about what soy milk is? What's next? Trying to outlaw the use of the term peanut butter because it isn't a dairy product? Maybe Rosanna Scotto has an embarrassing name for it...

    Why not go after some real linguistic chicanery and outlaw the use of the word "martini" for any-ol'-thing that's served in a martini glass? A real martini is gin and dry vermouth.

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  16. Paul, you have to fill time on a news show somehow, and if you're a US news show, you don't want to waste time on, you know, actual news. Every news outfit is looking for the distraction du jour.

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  17. Again, I'd look at who is supporting/pushing soy, as I usually find them to be giant food conglomerates. It's like the corn syrup argument to me, though I know people disagree & don't want to hear it. I'm willing to wait until more conclusive data arrives to convince them, but I'm not putting it in my body.

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  18. Aspyre, I'm definitely cutting back on soy, 'cause you're very right that for whatever reason, the agro-biz is pushing it hard.

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  19. Joel's post on complex foods from 2006 is a hoot and a good read. I too often wonder how on earth people ever started doing the complex things to food, as opposed to eating godawful stuff because they needed to to survive at some point.

    I can't imagine how anyone first came up with tofu. But once its process was discovered, it is not a complicated thing to do. 30 years ago I used to make my own in my own kitchen with nothing more than dry soy beans, water, a blender, a straining cloth, "elbow grease" for squeezing the milk from the pulp, a pot to bring the raw soy milk to a boil, a thermometer, magnesium chloride (aka nigari) to coagulate the soy milk at the proper temperature, a colander lined with a straining cloth. It takes time but otherwise is the essence of simplicity to make. It's figuring out the process that very first time, as Joel points out, that is the real mystery.

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  20. I tend to use coconut or almond based dairy replacement products, as they seem to be the most nutritionally valuable.

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