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Author Topic: Becoming Vegan.  (Read 9276 times)

Bruce Steele

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #50 on: May 05, 2017, 07:30:11 AM »
Sidd, Thank you for being kind. I can't believe the conditions commercial hog operations put their pigs through. I have only seen big hog operations in the Midwest , metal barns , pigs never seeing the sun, never getting to dig , never building their wallows. Virtually all pig meat eaten here in the West originates in those horrible barns.
 I never understood the harsh mechanics of the market and how that plays out for the poor animals that never really get to live a life a sweet pig deserves. I don't think people understand , they don't understand that expecting to get the least expensive protein means terrible conditions for some poor animal. And although I give my pigs a little bit of what I can as far as good pasture pigs deserve I am
beginning  to question why I have always wanted to be a farmer .
 I wonder why I have looked so deeply into acidification , climate change, the melting Arctic. I am in too deep . In a weird way my piggies got it better than me.  For me there will be no refuge.
 I will get the book you suggested.

Laurent

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #51 on: May 07, 2017, 02:42:43 PM »
We have to think about bacteria, fungi and yeast a bit more (than pork, insect, etc). They are the future of the world (able to resist higher temperatures than Humans). Kefir, tempeh, combucha, beer, miso... a new world to discover for me.

Pmt111500

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #52 on: May 07, 2017, 05:08:35 PM »
For the first time, saw 'pulled oats'- oat+bean mesh being sold at the local market. Was tempted to buy since it's been called 'the most chicken-like meat substitute' but was still deterred by the price. Will try it sometime. I've been using a couple of soy protein products mixed with minced meat every now and then and can say some of the dried ones preserve for aboiöut a year when kept dry.
Won't go totally vegan though admitting some of the vegetarian food is very tasty and filling.
A quantity relates to a quantum like camel's back relates to camel's _______ ? (back, vertebra, vertebral tendon, spinal disc, paralysis)

pileus

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #53 on: May 07, 2017, 06:06:46 PM »
Up thread, JimD, in an otherwise reasonable and well thought out screed, said: "When all sources are present we always have eaten all of them."

Actually, as I understand it, the exact opposite is true. Because we are omnivores, we form a good part of our identity over what we choose not to eat.

Pretty much every culture has taboos against eating some potentially nutritious and available species in their local, in spite of the fact of it being a 'source' that is 'present.'

The Jews and Muslims don't avoid pork because it is impossible to grow pigs where they live. Americans (mostly) avoid eating insects, which are obviously readily available...

It would seem reasonable to conclude that humans, in fact, will eat "all of them" WRT to available food sources as agricultural cycles come under increasing pressures from overpopulation and climate change.  Choice and discretion tend to fall away if you or your kids are starving, even for the most devout among us.  Americans will have no problem adapting to insect consumption as other forms of viable protein become scarce.

Personally, and in relation to the thread topic, I find veganism difficult to embrace, but my guiding dietary principle has evolved to:  eat as low on the food chain as possible.  For me this means:

> land animals:  no apex predators, big game, and to the extent possible no four legged creatures. 
> sea creatures:  no apex or threatened species

In practice this means chicken or turkey as the primary land based animal protein, small fish such as sardines and anchovies, clams, crabs and shrimp, tofu, and plenty of greens and vegetables and grains (prioritizing locally grown or produced when feasible).  I attach no moral significance to my diet and do not react with horror if my dining companion has a T-bone steak.  It's just what works for me.

Strictly from an American lens, the biggest opportunity is not the vegan path but:

> reducing the net number of calories consumed.  Americans eat too much, as evidence by 60%+ of the population being overweight.
> reducing the massive amount of food waste and spoilage

Reducing global, especially American, consumption of beef seems to be one of the best ways to mitigate discretionary emissions, but it's a tall task here in the US as beef is deeply ingrained in the standard diet and culture.  It's encouraging to see more beef substitute products hitting the market, but the majority of Americans will never give up their burgers until the last cow is slaughtered.


Bob Wallace

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #54 on: May 07, 2017, 07:26:02 PM »
2013

the majority of Americans will never give up their burgers until the last cow is slaughtered.

This is where factory (lab) grown meat is promising.  Labs are working now to grow an acceptable steak.  That, IMO, is not where the efforts should be concentrated.  Take the ground beef we now have grown and figure out how to make it in large quantities for a price at or below that of ground cow. 

Four years ago -

Then, in 2013, the dream of an artificial burger suddenly got interesting. That’s when Mark Post, a researcher at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, announced that he had created a burger made from real meat grown in a lab (20,000 strips of muscle tissue, to be exact) for the unreasonable price of $325,000. Now that price has dropped to just over $11 for a burger ($80 per kilogram of meat),

While the price of the burger has dropped to almost-reasonable prices, Post told ABC that it will still be another 20 to 30 years before it’s commercially viable. Among the hurdles still left to overcome: figuring out how to produce test-tube meat at scale, and coming up with a way to produce it that doesn’t use fetal calf serum (currently, cells are grown in the serum, which is taken from cow fetus blood).

Now in 2017-

A team of researchers wants to sell guilt-free lab grown meat in five years. It’s pretty darn cheap already and will get even cheaper.

Unlike the first burger, which was made completely of muscle, this one is made from stem cells and is already much more eco-friendly than conventional beef, requiring 55% less energy use, producing 25 times less emissions and requiring 100 times less land use. Considering that it’s been only five years since the first artificial-meat burger was created and the price has already gone down so much, lab meat is becoming an interesting prospect for the future.



pileus

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #55 on: May 07, 2017, 07:55:38 PM »
Bob, there is a relatively new product called the "Beyond Burger" by the Beyond Meat company that I have found to be shockingly close in taste to a beef burger, and even replicates the juiciness via the use of beet juice.  It seems to be available in a limited number of retail locations but per the theme of your comments this and similar products should become more widespread, at least in the US.

Its primarily based on pea protein, but I don't consider it ideal as one of my other dietary principles is to strive for foods with 5 or less ingredients, and to minimize additives.  For me it serves as an occasional indulgence, not something I would consume weekly.  This is the list of contents:

"Pea Protein Isolate, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Refined Coconut Oil, Water, Yeast Extract, Maltodextrin, Natural Flavors, Gum Arabic, Sunflower Oil, Salt, Succinic Acid, Acetic Acid, Non-GMO Modified Food Starch, Cellulose From Bamboo, Methylcellulose, Potato Starch, Beet Juice Extract (for color), Ascorbic Acid (to maintain color), Annatto Extract (for color), Citrus Fruit Extract (to maintain quality), Vegetable Glycerin"

But anyway, it's encouraging to see progress in palatable alternatives to burgers, and hopefully a broader population set will embrace them.




Bob Wallace

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #56 on: May 07, 2017, 08:24:31 PM »
I've been following that as well.  But I think we can move people off eating cows quicker if we can offer them "real" meat. 

Whatever works, works.  Probably the most important thing is to get ruminants out of the mix.  If that means our red meat options become buffalo, antelope, or kangaroo that would be a partial step.   

wili

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #57 on: May 07, 2017, 11:14:03 PM »
pil wrote: " eat as low on the food chain as possible... land animals... sea creatures..."

 :o :o :o

That's a pretty far distance from "as low on the food chain as possible" which in fact would be a vegan diet.

So you'd better come up with a better 'guiding principle' or just admit that your principle is in fact pretty far at odds with your behavior.

The rest of your claims are unsubstantiated assumptions, not that I don't agree that total calories often have to come down and that food waste is a terrible thing. But a lot of the problem in the first case is the number of 'empty' calories. More veggies, fruits, and whole grains and legumes would go a long way to counter that.

But since your claim was numbers free, let's add some numbers. You mention food waste, and it is a terrible problem in the US. About half the food is wasted, by recent estimates. So that's food efficiency of 2/1...for every two pounds of food put in, only one gets to a mouth.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/13/us-food-waste-ugly-fruit-vegetables-perfect

But compare that with the (in-)efficiency of cattle production. A conservative number is 6/1: for every 6 pounds of feed eaten by the cattle only one pound of usable food is produced. This is three times worse than the efficiency rate based just on waste.

https://www.google.com/search?q=feed+efficiency+of+cattle&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

So things aren't looking too good for your wag claim so far.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Bob Wallace

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #58 on: May 07, 2017, 11:56:40 PM »
That 6:1 grain to weight is apparently only for the time cattle spend in feedlots prior to being slaughtered.

(Cattle) generally stay on forage until they weigh ~750 pounds, and then they go to a feedlot where they're fed large amounts of grain to quickly get them to ~1300 pounds. That's ~550 pounds of weight gain, and they say that takes ~3000 pounds of corn. Using the same "62% meat" number from above this gives us a conversion of 3000 pounds of corn to 800 pounds of meat, or 3.7 pounds in per pound out.

https://www.jefftk.com/p/the-efficiency-of-meat

Prior to that they spend a couple years grazing and that uses up a lot of land.

Around here ranchers keep cattle in the fields, moving them to higher elevations in the late summer, and then sell them off to feedlot operators once they've reached maturity.

The site linked is all about making a strong case for meat production being more efficient that some claim.  I'll let others dig into the issue further if they like.


wili

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #59 on: May 08, 2017, 12:20:50 AM »
Thanks, Bob.

I am aware that there are a number of numbers thrown around on this issue.

But I don't think any reasonable person can come up with a much lower ration than your about 4/1. So beef is at least twice as inefficient than even the 50% wastage rate of foood in the US.

Just eat the grains and legumes rather than feeding them first to livestock of whatever sort and you rather obviously get the greatest efficiency. If you want to preserve some purely grain fed cattle (or better, bison) out there, knock yourself out. But don't pretend you can feed the world at the US (much less Danish!) rate of beef eating on range land alone, areas unsuitable for crop production...there just isn't that much range land available on the planet.

In any other area, I am sure that pretty much all of you smart folks, if presented with two scenarios, one in which people get the benefit of essentially 100% of the available food energy, and another where, with the same inputs, people only get a quarter or less of that energy, you would all say that it is completely obvious that the essentially 100% efficiency version is clearly by far the better choice.

But for some reason, when you add the element of food choice, your otherwise (mostly  :)) impeccable logic goes right out the window, and you say basically, "F... efficiency (or humanity, or sustainability...)! GIVE ME MY F'NG BEEF!" (or pork, or chicken, or whatever food with a face you specially long for).

May I suggest pondering why that might be for a while before posting further on the subject.

(And yes, I know that nothing is 100% efficient. But since the grain is going to be grown and transported in either scenario, the energy for those activities pretty much is a wash for these comparisons.)
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Bob Wallace

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #60 on: May 08, 2017, 12:40:56 AM »
Just eat the grains and legumes rather than feeding them first to livestock of whatever sort and you rather obviously get the greatest efficiency.

I haven't seen anyone argue differently.


I don't think any reasonable person can come up with a much lower ration than your about 4/1.

I did not argue 4:1.  In fact, if you read carefully, I suggested that your 6:1 ratio is too low.  It accounts only for grain used in feedlots for fattening.

But don't pretend you can feed the world at the US (much less Danish!) rate of beef eating on range land alone

I have never done that.

But for some reason, when you add the element of food choice, your otherwise (mostly  :)) impeccable logic goes right out the window, and you say basically, "F... efficiency (or humanity, or sustainability...)! GIVE ME MY F'NG BEEF!" (or pork, or chicken, or whatever food with a face you specially long for).

No, you have suffered from poor reading comprehension.

Obviously if we all became vegetarians or vegans we'd be able to feed far more people that we now feed.  But we've known that for decades and yet we haven't all become vegetarians/vegans.  And many of the world's people will not give up meat unless forced to do so.

It's like saying that we could stop most CO2 emissions if people simply quit using coal, natural gas, and petroleum.  That's obviously true.  But you know very well that people will not do that unless we give them acceptable alternatives.  Ways to do the same work as effectively for the same or less money.

Go to a biker bar.  Insist that everyone there quit eating meat.  You'll be lucky if nothing more than having a bar stool broken over your head happens to you.

If we can grow lab meat and cut energy use 55%, land use 98%, and GHG emissions 75% while still giving the bikers a tasty burger then we stand a chance of making their carbon footprint lighter.

They'll switch to electric bikes after being left in the dust a few times by electric Harleys.




pileus

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #61 on: May 08, 2017, 03:06:36 AM »
pil wrote: " eat as low on the food chain as possible... land animals... sea creatures..."

 :o :o :o

That's a pretty far distance from "as low on the food chain as possible" which in fact would be a vegan diet.

So you'd better come up with a better 'guiding principle' or just admit that your principle is in fact pretty far at odds with your behavior.

The rest of your claims are unsubstantiated assumptions, not that I don't agree that total calories often have to come down and that food waste is a terrible thing. But a lot of the problem in the first case is the number of 'empty' calories. More veggies, fruits, and whole grains and legumes would go a long way to counter that.

But since your claim was numbers free, let's add some numbers. You mention food waste, and it is a terrible problem in the US. About half the food is wasted, by recent estimates. So that's food efficiency of 2/1...for every two pounds of food put in, only one gets to a mouth.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/13/us-food-waste-ugly-fruit-vegetables-perfect

But compare that with the (in-)efficiency of cattle production. A conservative number is 6/1: for every 6 pounds of feed eaten by the cattle only one pound of usable food is produced. This is three times worse than the efficiency rate based just on waste.

https://www.google.com/search?q=feed+efficiency+of+cattle&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

So things aren't looking too good for your wag claim so far.

Thanks for your interest in my dietary habits.

If my personal food choices or perspective on American overeating causes consternation or conflicts with your values or Internet bookmarks, then I'm so sorry to offend, and hope you find peace of mind soon. 

The vast majority of my protein and fat intake are derived from plants, with modest intake of poultry and small fish and crustaceans.  Zero desire or intent to pursue the vegan path, but I wish the best of luck and health to those that choose this lifestyle.

My dietary approach works well for me and my individual health requirements, and relative to the average American it is more friendly to the environment and less emissions intensive.  That I know with certainty.  But of course it does not meet the bar for devoted vegans, and I'm OK with that.

Cheers.

TerryM

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #62 on: May 08, 2017, 03:14:42 AM »
I watched a documentary decades ago about the amount of damage cattle did to a watershed in Arizona, and the change that occurred a few years after they had been fenced off. I compared this to historic watercourse changes that I was familiar with in Nevada and quit beef.
I've known some marvelous pet pigs, great friends, but I'll eat them instead of beef.


I'm am old man. If change is necessary it has to start with young kids. My generation is dying off. My kids are set in their ways. Their kids will face the brunt of what's coming, and they need to learn to love their veggies.


How bad are goats, they're certainly tasty.
Terry

sidd

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #63 on: May 08, 2017, 08:43:47 AM »
Re: feedlots

They are an obscenity. Drive down the Front Range in Colorado on I-25 or US 85, you'll smell it before you see it. Theres animals standing around hock deep in their own shit. Miles and miles and miles of it.

The big pig operations are another. And the chickens.

To me, CAFO (Confined animal feeding operations) are an evil upon this earth, and my soul entirely rebels even thinking of them.

sidd

wili

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #64 on: May 08, 2017, 04:04:21 PM »
" if we all became vegetarians or vegans we'd be able to feed far more people that we now feed. "

I'm glad we're in agreement on that.

My point is that, leaving the rest of the world aside, if we can all agree on that, we can then agree that by-and-large eating much closer to a vegan diet has many advantages.

We have threads on this site where we talk about gardening, about building energy efficient homes, about bicycling...but in none of those do I see people reacting so defensively, claiming, for example, that since you can't convince motorcycle gangs to get into gardening or home energy efficiency or bicycling...that the promoting these things are obviously silly or fringe...

So I would again like my carnivorous friends to reflect a bit more on what meat eating means to them, how much of their identity is tied up in it, and perhaps help us all understand what makes it hard to make, or at least move toward, this lifestyle that we can all, apparently agree is objectively more efficient in its use of increasingly scarce (esp. per capita) caloric resources.

(As to bikers, though, you seem again to be falling into a common prejudice. There are in fact bikers who are vegans...they have a facebook page, and there are businesses that cater to their interests: http://thediscerningbrute.com/tag/vegan-biker/ --it does remind me of the quip though that certain people are more adamantly against fur than leather because it's easier to assault old ladies than bikers  : ;D...A friend of mind was just involved in a Cinco de Mayo event and pointed out to me the very large number of vegan Latinos in our area...no idea if this is true beyond my area, but again, interest in veganism extends far beyond most people pre-conceptions of upper middle class whites...)

But to be clear, I have nothing particular against fake meat, whether made directly from plants or whether engineered from meat cells. While we're waiting for the latter to become widely available, we could all be doing our little parts in the mean time by eating however far down on the food chain as we feel able to do.

Thanks for the good discussion all.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 04:11:54 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Bob Wallace

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #65 on: May 08, 2017, 06:26:05 PM »
but in none of those do I see people reacting so defensively, claiming, for example, that since you can't convince motorcycle gangs to get into gardening or home energy efficiency or bicycling...that the promoting these things are obviously silly or fringe...

I'm sorry, but you are making up silly arguments.  Take the burr out of your saddle and try to understand  the problem of coming up with practical solutions which actually stand a chance of making improvements.

If you don't give people options that are acceptable and affordable then many are not going to change.

We don't cut fossil fuel use for heating based on getting people to worry about climate change.  We cut fossil fuel use for heating by offering people more comfortable buildings via insulation and lower heating costs via efficient heat pumps.

Neven

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #66 on: May 08, 2017, 06:33:03 PM »
So, how much meat is okay? I vaguely remember reading 30 kg of beef per capita per year was okay CO2-wise. It's more for poultry and other animals, of course. Is that correct?
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #67 on: May 08, 2017, 06:47:15 PM »
So, how much meat is okay? I vaguely remember reading 30 kg of beef per capita per year was okay CO2-wise. It's more for poultry and other animals, of course. Is that correct?

What do you mean by OK? 

Clearly if we want to minimize climate change we should eat no beef.  Beef is an inefficient grain -> meat protein converter and a significant methane source.


pileus

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #68 on: May 08, 2017, 07:24:22 PM »
I watched a documentary decades ago about the amount of damage cattle did to a watershed in Arizona, and the change that occurred a few years after they had been fenced off. I compared this to historic watercourse changes that I was familiar with in Nevada and quit beef.
I've known some marvelous pet pigs, great friends, but I'll eat them instead of beef.


I'm am old man. If change is necessary it has to start with young kids. My generation is dying off. My kids are set in their ways. Their kids will face the brunt of what's coming, and they need to learn to love their veggies.


How bad are goats, they're certainly tasty.
Terry

It's interesting how documentaries can have a visceral impact. 

As a youngster in the 70s I watched a segment on the treatment of veal calves, and never have touched veal despite assurances from friends and family that it is quite delicious.  During undergrad a professor showed a documentary on treatment of young chickens, where beaks were ground off and utilized for hot dog fillers.  I could stomach neither for decades (I now consume modest amounts of poultry and eggs but no hot dogs of any kind). 

Of course recent documentaries including Leo DiCaprio's highlight how deleterious beef is for the environment and emissions.  I have family members that have given up beef directly as a result of watching a few short minutes of video.  It's much more effective and influential than coming at people from a vegan absolutist angle, in my personal experience.

TerryM

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #69 on: May 08, 2017, 08:47:51 PM »
pileus
In my case at least it was that the video connected with data that was already there. Overtone Nevada, and the earlier Lost City had been inhabited for millennia. In all this time a shallow river ran through. Suddenly, with the coming of a few Mormon ranchers and their cattle, the river began cutting lower until today their are steep cliffs on both sides.
AFAIK No one connected the cattle with the dropping river, then, while watching a half hour video the answer became obvious. I think it's those Eureka moments that can be life changers.


I've watched some excellent docs on climate change, but it was Neven's Blog that brought me to the light. Again a Eureka moment when I suddenly understood why the Grand River, that I now live by, no longer freezes over every year.


If we can somehow support videos that make connections between what people are questioning themselves about, and allow them their own Eureka moment, we might change a lot of things.


Terry

Paddy

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #70 on: May 10, 2017, 12:17:19 PM »
Good editorial on the impact of red meat consumption on both on human and planetary health in the British Medical Journal (needs a login)

http://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j2190

(Written in response to this research on the health impact of red meat consumption: http://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j1957 )

Bob Wallace

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #71 on: May 10, 2017, 06:32:12 PM »
Good editorial on the impact of red meat consumption on both on human and planetary health in the British Medical Journal (needs a login)

Including some "meat" along with a link would be appreciated.  Write a few summary sentences or copy over the most important part(s).  Then provide the link in case some want to dive deeper.

Neven

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #72 on: May 10, 2017, 10:32:17 PM »
So, how much meat is okay? I vaguely remember reading 30 kg of beef per capita per year was okay CO2-wise. It's more for poultry and other animals, of course. Is that correct?

What do you mean by OK?

Some time ago I read an article that spelled out how much meat you could eat sustainably. But I can't remember where. I thought at the Guardian, but can't find it. I vaguely remember it said 30 kg per capita per year of beef. I was happy because me and my family are well below that. But then I remembered we have a medium-sized dog (12 kg) who eats more than the three of us combined. We do buy exclusively organic, locally produced meat for ourselves, as well as for the dog (except for offal, which is almost impossible to get organic).

If I find the article, I'll let you know. I probably don't remember it correctly.
Il faut cultiver notre jardin

Bob Wallace

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #73 on: May 10, 2017, 11:19:12 PM »
Cattle bring their own special methane problem.  It's the burps, not the farts.  And cattle are inefficient at turning vegetable protein into animal protein.  Overall it would be best if we just quit eating cattle.

There are more efficient, non-ruminants people could eat if they have a high red meat need.

Perhaps we could sustain 30 kg per year beef consumption.  But we could eat more red meat if it didn't come from beef.

(I was a vegetarian for just under 15 years.  I'm now an infrequent eater of beef (pork and chicken).  My beef intake is probably in the range of 5 to 10 kg per year.  I've had one steak since ~1972.  Just stating that to those who think I'm a big red meat advocate.)

be cause

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #74 on: May 10, 2017, 11:22:14 PM »
so long as every almost every bit of beef is in part fed on Soya (as is most pig and chicken ) then the answer must be no beef should be eaten . indians are being machetted in Brazil as you discuss this so that land can be cleared of forest to grow Soya to feed farm animals . Meat IS murder  :)
be the cause of only good
and love all beings as you should
and the 'God' of all Creation
will .. through you .. transform all nations :)

Neven

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #75 on: May 10, 2017, 11:28:27 PM »
Meat IS murder  :)


Which is a great song for those who don't know it:

! No longer available
Il faut cultiver notre jardin

rboyd

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #76 on: May 10, 2017, 11:29:33 PM »
Modern agriculture and animal husbandry practices the classic profit-making process of "privatize profits and externalize costs." We could also add "optimize beneficial government subsidies and mandates."

The industrial meat industry practices this at an exceptional level, especially given its input-output calorific inefficiency (e.g. the vast majority of soyabeans are grown to be fed to animals) and huge negative outputs (methane emissions, land use change, nitrous oxide from decaying faeces, emissions from transportation and refrigeration etc.).

Price these in properly, together with actually enforced government regulations, and the price of meat will rise substantially. Market forces will do the rest, and also rebalance the playing field toward local and non-industrial forms of animal husbandry. Banning the massive use of antibiotics on precautionary grounds (the growth of resistant strains), and enforcing some basic decency in the way we treat other sentient beings, would also greatly limit the ability to house large numbers of animals in squalid conditions.

The actual treatment of animals in industrialized agriculture should be covered in our school systems and media. The industry can only operate the way it does in the shadows and surrounded by secrecy. Shine a bright light on it and change could happen relatively quickly. A great opportunity to combine climate action and ethics in a winning formulation. Add in the mistreatment of workers in the industry, and individual health effects, and you must have a winning story to tell.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 11:38:29 PM by rboyd »

Neven

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #77 on: May 10, 2017, 11:58:48 PM »
Well said, rboyd. Meat is one thing, CAFO is another.

We've tried a vegetarian, near-vegan diet, but it wasn't working for us (my wife's health deteriorated). We hope to raise our own chickens 1-2 years from now. In the meantime, as said, we buy everything organic, sourced locally as much as possible.

One really difficult thing for me, is that I hadn't set foot in a McDonald's for almost 20 years (this is a good documentary from the director of Age of Stupid). But now my daughter plays in this basketball team where the ritual after each game is to go the Maccy (as they call it here in Austria). I don't want her to be too socially isolated (she's home-schooled) and so we tag along. That place depresses me on so many levels, but most of all because I sit there with well-meaning people whom I don't want to judge.

Diet is one thing, food quality another.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #78 on: May 11, 2017, 02:25:34 AM »
I was new to being a vegetarian (almost 39 years ago) in New Zealand, and at a party I refused the proffered meat.  The response from this he-man looking Kiwi: "Oh, I understand. I worked in an abattoir too."  Now, I hadn't ever worked in a meat packing factory (but grew up butchering deer, ducks, geese and turkey), but this guy knew they were disgusting enough to drive anybody to vegetarianism. (I didn't eat eggs the first 10 years, but then found myself on a chicken farm. I've always liked my tea "white" and cheese toasties are divine.)

The Jungle, anybody? (If I read it again, I might give up my support of the veal industry.)
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wili

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #79 on: May 11, 2017, 03:39:52 AM »
Merkel in Radical Simplicity claims that a truly sustainable diet...one that leaves not only enough for other humans to eat, but enough wild space for other species to fully thrive, would be essentially vegan. But even he says that an egg every couple weeks could be squeezed in that would not bust even that very tight budget.

And there are more...unusual pro-animal videos than The Smiths  :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2WuOqgl7j4
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

sidd

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #80 on: May 11, 2017, 03:59:07 AM »
Think rabbits. Easy to raise and they are the worlds fastest composters. With some you can get wool. Lotsa small bones,careful with filleting. Don't need much room. They will attempt to dig out if sufficently motivated.

Free range chicken are easy too, but if you have predators around you will need a dog, and good engineering on the coops. Raccoons are ingenious, for example. Hawks and other airborne predators are tough, need netting.

Guinea hens can take care of themselves better than chickens, but boy, they are LOUD.

Bigger is tougher. Sheep if you have the pasture, and goats to control invasive plant species, but they are a lot of work compared to smaller.

Mostly, use meat like the chinese used to, as a flavoring, to a mostly plant based diet.

sidd

wili

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #81 on: May 11, 2017, 04:05:44 AM »
IIRC, through the '60s, the average rate of meat consumption in India and China was about a pound a month. Since probably the wealthiest made up a good part of that consumption, most people probably ate less, the poorest quite a bit less.

I'll look around more for data on this. For now, I could only come up with two graphs on pork consumption, which suggest, if my maths are right, that even in the mid-'70's pork consumption (the most popular meat in China) was only a bit over a pound per month on average (and again, that means vast populations were eating far less).

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bethhoffman/2014/03/26/how-increased-meat-consumption-in-china-changes-landscapes-across-the-globe/#872f0ca64486

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_China#/media/File:ChinaDemography.svg

India and China made up nearly half of world population in 1975 (about 1.5 billion out of about 4 billion).

This reflects the general situation in these and many other countries till very recently.

Again, most people most of the time in most of the world have been mostly vegan through most of history (at least since the agricultural revolution). It's not a weird, fringe thing. It's the norm, from which the current situation (in much of the world) is an aberration...and an enormously harmful one...like so much else.

"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

wili

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #82 on: May 11, 2017, 04:09:13 AM »
"Mostly, use meat like the chinese used to, as a flavoring, to a mostly plant based diet."

Nicely put.

In other words, mostly 'think' whole grains and legumes, local vegetables and fruits.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Bob Wallace

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #83 on: May 13, 2017, 08:40:38 AM »
How we grow more food while using less labor, fertilizer and other inputs...


Blue River Technology is currently servicing 10 percent of the American lettuce market with its smart machine dubbed LettuceBot.

LettuceBot is made up of a number of modules containing a pair of cameras and an actuator that makes life and death decisions on plants and weeds when a human-driven tractor rolls through the crop. In simple terms, the first camera takes an image to size up the situation, that image is processed to detect crop plants from weeds, and a decision is taken on whether to spray the plants with chemicals. The second camera is at the rear to verify the actions.

"As we drive over the field, it's imaging, it's detecting every individual plant, it's going through and optimising which plants to keep and which ones to kill," Blue River Technology CTO and co-founder Lee Redden told Nvidia GTC on Tuesday.

"We identify in the field we've taken those actions, we then adjust corresponding geometry so in future it'll maintain the centimetre-level accuracy in this dirty, boggy environment where everything is getting busted around."

LettuceBot is currently deployed in California and Arizona, and covers 10 percent of the United States lettuce crop. The machine is able to handle 1 million plants per hour.

"We kind of have a dot matrix printer; we can apply chemicals as precisely as possible, every one of the individual plants, every one of the individual weeds," Redden said.

The service costs farmers $220 per acre. Redden said the results are a 5-10 percent increase in yield, as well as reducing the amount of chemical used by up to a factor of 10, and potentially allowing the use of non-GMO seeds and use of chemicals that were previously too expensive for broad use.

In response to the standard question of whether the machine could be modified to use laser beams, Redden said he could see a time when it is fully automated and self-driven and the human is no longer involved, where lasers or electricity could be used. But for the moment, chemicals are the most efficient method for controlling the situation.


http://www.zdnet.com/article/lettucebot-wants-to-kill-the-plants-farmers-hate/?loc=newsletter_small_thumb&ftag=TRE6a12a91&bhid=23273996475134489380908218532793

Another company has a smaller scale system where the weeds are identified and pulled rather than killed in place.  Compost them and fertilize with compost tea.

About 30 year ago a guy I knew designed a robot that ran on treads and picked asparagus.  Asparagus picking is stoop labor - very hard on workers.  He could have built one then but the cost of CPUs was too high to make it commercially viable.

Going forward the sensor systems, info processing, and mobility systems used for lettuce can be used for other crops by simply changing software and, perhaps, "fingers".  A large farm could run with very little labor by using robotic farmers that operated 24 hours a day.  And moving from crop to crop in order to have a chore most of the time.


Sigmetnow

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #84 on: May 15, 2017, 12:00:08 AM »
Besides choosing meatless meals several days a week, I've decreased my meat (seafood, fowl) consumption by saving half the serving for the following day.  Half a turkey burger, or half a fillet.  Easy!
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

wili

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #85 on: May 15, 2017, 01:21:37 PM »
Bob, have you read any Wendel Berry?

Sig, good for you. It doesn't matter so much where we are but what direction we're moving in. And you're definitely moving the right direction.

For further encouragement, consider:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/15/should-we-give-up-eating-red-meat-cancer-heart-disease

"Should we give up eating red meat?"

...the British Medical Journal published a study of half a million Americans showing that the risk of dying from cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, infections, kidney disease, liver disease or lung disease all increased with the amount of meat consumed...

...All meat contains heme iron and processed meat has nitrates and nitrites added during curing. The authors of the study hypothesise that these additions cause oxidative stress, which means that our cells are less able to defend themselves from damage by free radicals and age prematurely. Other mechanisms include mutagenic substances in cooked meat that are linked to bowel cancer. In the BMJ, John D Potter, professor of epidemiology at Massey University in New Zealand, further argues that the rainforest destruction and greenhouse gas emissions that are a result of the meat industry are more harmful to the planet than fossil fuels used for transport.

A WHO working group in 2015 looked at more than 800 studies of the link between red meat and cancer and declared red meat as “probably carcinogenic to humans” (there being not enough evidence) and processed meat as “carcinogenic to humans”.

WHO concluded that each 50g portion of processed meat a day increased the chance of bowel cancer by 18%. They also linked it to pancreatic and stomach cancer. The Department of Health suggests we eat a maximum of 70g of meat a day (a cooked breakfast with two sausages and two slices of bacon is around 130g)...
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Sigmetnow

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #86 on: May 15, 2017, 02:15:45 PM »
"Should we give up eating red meat?"

I gave up eating red (or other 4-footed) meat years ago, except for a rare occasion;  now I haven't had any for years. And, along with giving up soda drinks, I stopped eating processed meat decades ago, because of its low nutritional and high chemical/salt content.  Sorry, bacon lovers, but... yuck!
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #87 on: May 15, 2017, 11:01:23 PM »
"Should we give up eating red meat?"

We should encourage people to eat less red meat if they aren't willing to give up meat completely.  And to eat non-beef red meat when possible.

Asking people to make drastic lifestyle changes just doesn't work very well.  We've been trying that since the 1960s.  What works best is to give people and acceptable and affordable alternative.


Bob, have you read any Wendel Berry?

Yes, and from what I remember I largely agree with him.  Berry puts a lot of emphasis on rural life, which is not an option for most people these days.  The majority of us are stuck in large cities until we reduce global populations and that will take several decades (barring some disaster).

wili

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #88 on: May 16, 2017, 01:31:47 AM »
Bob wrote: "Asking people to make drastic lifestyle changes just doesn't work very well"

Yeah, like no one at all was willing to give up 'the staff of life,' the staple of western diets for millennia, in a matter of days/weeks because some stupid book came out that effectively preyed on peoples vanity.

Vast numbers of people make drastic lifestyle changes all the time and have been doing so for a century or more. Most of these drastic changes have had dubious merit--nearly all living rooms went from TV free to TV on nearly all the time in just a few years, fundamentally altering family patterns, exposure to commercial culture, and fundamental habits of the mind. (See Entertaining Ourselves to Death or Four Arguments for the Elimination of TV for starters on that one.)

Vast and dramatic lifestyle changes of various sorts are pretty much locked in for quite a while now, not the least adopting to a climate that hasn't existed since long before modern humans evolved.

But yes, affordable alternatives are nice. And there ain't much more affordable than rice (or other grains) and beans (or other legumes). Add a few veggies (locally/garden grown, preferably), and you basically have your cheap and healthy diet. It was the diet of the poor, and the reason they generally avoided what were once called 'the diseases of prosperity' particularly heart disease. But McDonalds and the like change all that...another vast and dramatic change in basic lifestyles that is wreaking habit with health and shortening and worsening lives every day. (See Supersize Me and read Fast Food Natioinamong others on that.)

Yes, there are challenges, but price is not one of them.

I'm glad we share an admiration for Berry. Urban farming/horticulture is becoming quite a thing. I'm pretty sure Berry would be aghast at robot farming, though of course large scale conventional (ie poison-based) ag is pretty close to that already.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

pileus

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #89 on: May 16, 2017, 02:36:45 AM »
wili, I would respectfully suggest that a Bob is correct here. 

Wholesale and immediate changes to something like lifelong food source intake is neither realistic nor reasonable.  Especially in a country such as the US, where the Western diet is deeply entrenched and drives what is most commonly available in stores and dining establishments, and what people eat at their kitchen tables daily whilst growing up.

Pushing an absolutist approach or demands for purity tends to have the opposite effect.  It pushes people away.  Presenting evidence to people on a range of fronts (nutritional, stewardship to animals, environmental, implications to emissions and climate change, etc) and highlighting how to gradually transition to a plant based diet would likely be more successful.  If some or most people reduce animal intake by 50%, or even 20%, that should be considered progress and a win, not some sort of moral failure.  I've found, and my personal experience confirms, that the more people shift gradually to a plant based diet, the more they adopt it over time.  I started years ago with dropping red meat, but now plants constitute 85-90% of my diet.

This isn't the same as TV adoption rates.


Bob Wallace

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #90 on: May 16, 2017, 04:02:32 AM »
We've been trying, at least since the 1960s, to get people to change their lifestyle and conserve.  To live more sustainably.  To pollute less.  That has not been successful.

Right now people are using less energy for refrigeration, lighting, TVs, computers and other applications.  And most have no idea that they have changed their energy consumption.  What has happened is that the stuff they've bought to replace their worn out stuff is more efficient.

People in the US are using about 6% less fossil fuels for electricity than they did in 2010.  And they've replaced that fossil fuel with wind and solar without realizing it.  Ask the average person on the street and they will have no clue as to what is happening.

Want people to eat less red meat?  I think our big hope is factory grown meat.  Or some sort of veg burger that tastes as good as beef and looks very similar - and sells for less.  Offer a Ronald Burger that has a nice big fat patty of something that looks and tastes like it came from a cow and charge less for it and much of the market will move.  "Damn, this thing's better than a Big Mac.  And it's cheaper!"

Or come up with some non-meat fast foods that taste great and cost no more or less than the typical fast food restaurant.

mati

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #91 on: May 16, 2017, 04:53:41 AM »
vegan is interesting for us rich people in the world
however the subsitence farmer who does not have airable farmland
must rely on meat/milk from grazing cows/sheep/goats from land that
in no way would support human edible food.

now we have taken the beef production way further than needed in
the rich west... but there will always be a need to obtain human
edible protein from inhospitable lands...

 
and so it goes

Paddy

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #92 on: May 16, 2017, 07:40:27 AM »
Or come up with some non-meat fast foods that taste great and cost no more or less than the typical fast food restaurant.

Which is why it's probsbly a good thing that falafel and humus consumption have taken off in the UK.

wili

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #93 on: May 16, 2017, 06:03:13 PM »
Good discussion.

Pileus: Perhaps you missed my reference. Vast numbers of people did, in fact, suddenly make drastic and basic changes to dietary habits that go back many thousands of year...it was called the Atkins diet. It is still suppressing bread sales. So your statement that such is impossible seems to be disproved by very recent, well documented history.

 When you say:
Pushing an absolutist approach or demands for purity tends to have the opposite effect.  It pushes people away.  Presenting evidence to people on a range of fronts (nutritional, stewardship to animals, environmental, implications to emissions and climate change, etc) and highlighting how to gradually transition to a plant based diet would likely be more successful.


I wonder who you are talking about. I have not been intending to 'push and absolutist approach' or 'demand purity.' I just applauded another poster for moving lower on the food chain, even though he is far from being a vegetarian, much less vegan. I myself, though mostly vegan, would not throw away a hamburger served to me in error, since my main reason for my veganism is avoiding waste.

And in fact, I have been exactly presenting evidence on pretty much all of the fronts you mention. And I also agree that: "If some or most people reduce animal intake by 50%, or even 20%, that should be considered progress and a win, not some sort of moral failure."


So I guess I am glad we are in agreement on those things, but perhaps you misinterpreted something I said above, or did not take the time to read much of this thread before posting on it to see what the stated positions actually were (something I am all too often guilty of myself)?

Paddy: Nice to hear that hummus is gaining popularity. There are lots of great foods that are cheap, easy to make quickly, nutritious and vegan/vegetarian. Vegan foods are, after all, the backbone of most culture's basic cuisine.

mati: Subsistence farmers, and the poor in general, produce less GHG than anyone else. No one is going out to goat herders in Sudan and trying to get them to be vegan LOL. But note that about 30 - 40% of Indians claim to be vegetarian, the highest rate in the world. Many/most of those are probably not very 'rich,' so it's not just a choice made by elites who 'can afford it.'

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetarianism_by_country

Since the richest 20% or so produce nearly all of the GHGs (and other pollution), it is indeed the 'rich' (=all of us) who need most rapidly to draw down our emissions as quickly as possible. Going vegan, or at least lowering how high you eat on the food chain, is one of the fastest way to do that. (Cutting back on, or giving up, flying and most other long-distance travel is another.)

If you or others have a faster way to do it, go for it.

Also, most 'inhospitable' lands are in fact 'hospitable' to some species. Why don't we leave some of the world for non-humans, and for species not directly serving human culinary desires?

By the way, committed meat eaters should be the most enthusiastic about others going vegan/vegetarian...such moves will make more meat available for them, and probably at a lower price!     

Also note that veganism is on the rise world wide: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/02/interest-in-vegan-diets-on-the-rise_n_3003221.html

According to the link below, as many as 41% of Americans ate less meat over the last 12 months (but note that it's a March 2015 article).

http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Markets/Vegan-is-going-mainstream-trend-data-suggests









« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 06:31:37 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

pileus

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #94 on: May 17, 2017, 06:02:22 AM »
Want people to eat less red meat?  I think our big hope is factory grown meat.  Or some sort of veg burger that tastes as good as beef and looks very similar - and sells for less.  Offer a Ronald Burger that has a nice big fat patty of something that looks and tastes like it came from a cow and charge less for it and much of the market will move.  "Damn, this thing's better than a Big Mac.  And it's cheaper!"

Or come up with some non-meat fast foods that taste great and cost no more or less than the typical fast food restaurant.

Mentioned this upthread, but after trying a few dozen burger alternatives the best I've found is a newer product called the "beyond burger".  Main ingredient is pea protein, and has beet juice to simulate the bleed out of a lightly cooked burger.  US only product I believe, probably aimed right now at the coastal elites until it reaches scale.  It's thick like a cookout burger, but it's cost prohibitive right now for the masses.  Impressive not only from a taste perspective, but also with the attention to detail on the visual and "real" burger experience angles.  If they could penetrate a wider market and lower the cost, it could easily compete for a share of the ground beef market.  Just picked up their "beyond chicken" product, which is based on soy, and will give that a try after I finish off my glut of avocados.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #95 on: May 17, 2017, 06:23:30 AM »
Want people to eat less red meat?  I think our big hope is factory grown meat.  Or some sort of veg burger that tastes as good as beef and looks very similar - and sells for less.  Offer a Ronald Burger that has a nice big fat patty of something that looks and tastes like it came from a cow and charge less for it and much of the market will move.  "Damn, this thing's better than a Big Mac.  And it's cheaper!"

Or come up with some non-meat fast foods that taste great and cost no more or less than the typical fast food restaurant.

Mentioned this upthread, but after trying a few dozen burger alternatives the best I've found is a newer product called the "beyond burger".  Main ingredient is pea protein, and has beet juice to simulate the bleed out of a lightly cooked burger.  US only product I believe, probably aimed right now at the coastal elites until it reaches scale.  It's thick like a cookout burger, but it's cost prohibitive right now for the masses.  Impressive not only from a taste perspective, but also with the attention to detail on the visual and "real" burger experience angles.  If they could penetrate a wider market and lower the cost, it could easily compete for a share of the ground beef market.  Just picked up their "beyond chicken" product, which is based on soy, and will give that a try after I finish off my glut of avocados.

Beyond Burger Ingredients...

WATER, PEA PROTEIN ISOLATE, OIL BLEND (CANOLA OIL, FLAXSEED OIL, PALMOIL, SUNFLOWER OIL, DHA ALGAL OIL), METHYLCELLULOSE, CARRAGEENAN, POTASSIUM BICARBONATE, CARAMEL COLOR†, YEAST EXTRACT, MALTODEXTRIN, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, TAPIOCA STARCH, SORBITOL, CALCIUM CHLORIDE, NATURAL FLAVORING, SPICES, SALT, VEGETABLE EXTRACT MIX (SPINACH, BROCCOLI, CARROT, TOMATO, BEET, SHIITAKE MUSHROOM), L-CYSTEINE HYDROCHLORIDE, BEETJUICE POWDER (FLAVOR AND COLOR), NATURAL HICKORY SMOKE CONCENTRATE, CALCIUM SULFATE, ONION POWDER, ONION EXTRACT, MESQUITE POWDER, SUGAR‡, POMEGRANATE SEED POWDER, FERRIC PHOSPHATE (IRON), PAPRIKA EXTRACT (SPICE AND COLOR), GARLIC EXTRACT, CYANOCOBALAMIN (VITAMIN B12)

As far as I can see there are no even semi-expensive ingredients in that list.  Shiitakes might be the most costly but they're way down the list which is based on amount used.

I can't imagine that manufacturing would cost a lot or use a lot of energy.

Bill Gates needs to step in an front these folks a big highly efficient factory (ask Elon how to do it).  If the taste is actually good then I'd bet you could move a very large portion of the market over a 3 - 5 year span.  Put them in McD, Burger King, etc. and subsidize the price so that it's more sandwich for half the price.

A good government would get behind this....

Bob Wallace

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #96 on: May 17, 2017, 06:27:01 AM »
I just checked.  Both branches of our local food co-op and Targets sell Beyond Burgers.  They are now on my shopping list for the next time I go to town.

I should have a taste test ready to report in couple of weeks.  (Just went grocery shopping Thursday.)

TerryM

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #97 on: May 17, 2017, 06:34:16 AM »
A good government would get behind this....


A good government wouldn't get behind cattle lobbyists.


 :-\

Bob Wallace

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #98 on: May 17, 2017, 07:11:40 AM »
I may get in hot water again for discussing government issues, but I'll take a chance.

In order to be elected (and re-elected) to a federal office in the US one has to have a mega-bucket of money.  House and Senate members (from non-safe seats) report that they spend more time raising money for their next election than they do on everything else put together.

Where you get money is from people who have money.  Hopefully you get enough money who hold positions similar to what you want to push for your constituents.

It's a design flaw.  But that's the way one must play the game.  Liberal Congress members are up against multi-billionaire right-wingers like the Koches, Mercers, and Waltons who drop millions and millions in order to get their team elected.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Becoming Vegan.
« Reply #99 on: May 17, 2017, 08:54:17 PM »
Good discussion.
...

Since the richest 20% or so produce nearly all of the GHGs (and other pollution), it is indeed the 'rich' (=all of us) who need most rapidly to draw down our emissions as quickly as possible. Going vegan, or at least lowering how high you eat on the food chain, is one of the fastest way to do that. (Cutting back on, or giving up, flying and most other long-distance travel is another.)

If you or others have a faster way to do it, go for it.
...

How about this:  only the poor are allowed to eat meat!  (To make up for their other nutritional deficits.)  To order a burger or steak, in developed countries, you must present an ID card proving your poverty.  Makes it shameful for the supposedly well-off to be seen eating meat.  And famous rich folks will need to sneak their steak secretly, in private!  ;)  ;D
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.