Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Vegan, Vegetarian, 5% or less

You may have noticed recently that my blog posts have been featuring less and less meat or dairy products. After reading The China Study last year, I have been even more picky about what animal proteins I eat and subsequently limiting those to cheese and meat I get locally and the occasional fish at restaurants if no meat-free option is available. Is this going to lead me to eternal youth and perfect health? No, probably not, but the more I read about meat (especially low grade, fast-food type meat), the less I can stomach it. The only meat I've eaten recently is from Windy Hill Farm because I know where it came from (Dana and Charles Burrage, the best farmers around!) or from locally-sourced restaurants like Harvest Moon and Halycon.

To that end, I have gone back through all my recipes posted on the blog and added the following distinctions to each:
  • V = Vegan. This recipe has absolutely no animal protein.
  • v = Vegetarian. This recipe has no meat but may have dairy products or eggs.
  • <5% = 5% or less animal protein. According to some studies cited in The China Study, a diet containing 5% or less animal protein can significantly improve your overall health, and decrease your likelihood of getting cancer, diabetes, obesity, and other serious afflictions.
  • LPO = Local Protein Option. This recipe has protein that can be bought from North Carolina farmers that use minimal hormones, antibiotics, processing and additives. LPO's in NC include eggs, cheese, milk, cream, butter, pork, chicken, beef, lamb, goose, duck, ostrich and emu.
These distinctions are, of course, not mutually exclusive; all recipes indicated as vegan are also vegetarian, have less than 5% animal protein and no LPOs; vegetarian recipes vary in the amount of animal protein used; and <5% dishes may have some meat (and thus aren't vegetarian) but still relatively good for you.

I hope these distinctions are helpful for those of us trying to limit or eliminate animal protein in our diets as one way to lose weight or prevent diseases.

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