Doctor's Note

Not only do public health nutrition groups fight amongst themselves, but sometimes they even bed down with Big Food. See Collaboration with the New Vectors of Disease.

The True Health Initiative, spearheaded by Dr. David Katz, is a great example of the strength in unity concept I’m trying to get across in this video. Please consider joining.

More on unbelievable tobacco tactics in:

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  • Noe Marcial

    what are the organization today that are doing that job? (like Greenpeace with ecology but health for humans at government levels guidelines and marketing control? . It is any organization? or it is Individuals alone ?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      We can all jump on board with Kaiser Permanente – the largest U.S. managed care organization that publishes patient education materials. Kaiser has established a very healthful meal plan for patients. Soon, we’ll have a place for Dr. G approved NF recipes! I think NF users would like to see more “how-to” videos like Dr. Greger’s video on chocolate shakes and pumpkin pie.

      • Joshua Pritikin

        I’m looking forward to a recipe collection (both learning and contributing)!

      • Noe Marcial

        thank you! i didnt know about kaiser permanente :) Im looking for it! thank you for the recipes. im confes been an NF Addict .. (i really enjoy learning with all the materials.) but are many videos that i didn’t watched !

        Now Im buying a treadmill for my father :) lets see how comfortable he find it to work with it at least few hours a day

        i wonder if Michael Greager have headache reading in movement or if it is any trick to use the treadmill with a desk :)

        here in spain the nutrition advice of kaiser permanente it is traditional, https://espanol.kaiserpermanente.org/health/care/!ut/p/a0/FchRCoMwDADQs3iAEGsdi_sLqFeY7V8oxRVslFK3608_30OPC3qVb1qlpl1lu-xC1BrLS89a0r34Ro_-KLJmQac7BAmfeJ-UmsIW0RGbnqljmJ_9CMZMFgZqJxippYe13cCzxSNn-nHT_AGREYAP/

        • Healthy Hospice Nurse Dude

          I use a Fitdesk at work every day. Actually, I am on one now. I can type and peddle with no problems. Get the Fitdesk extension as well. Very worth it!

          • Noe Marcial

            thank you! great to know! here I will make a diy Fitdesk .. so any recommendation it is wellcome

          • Noe Marcial

            but a fitdesk it is for cycling, no? I did one like this before but the chair was uncomfortable for long periods of working.(it was the normal cycling seat..)
            i wonder how it is to walk and work , specially with things that demands precision and concentration.

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          That is great!

      • Charzie

        That’s awesome, I wanted to ask about this several times! Since we all eat multiple times a day and have to come up with creations that are healthful and yummy, it would be nice to have a gathering of like minds to share a database of ideas to expand and enhance what we tend to fall back on. More Dr G recipe type videos would be most welcome too!

        • jazzfeed

          I recommend George Mateljan’s World’s Healthiest Foods http://www.whfoods.com Simple, healthful whole food recipes with excellent basic concepts, such as do not cook with EVOO and cut cruciferous veges, garlic and onions 5 minutes before cooking for a nutrient boost and more; underneath the bachelor-ready recipes there’s a staggering food and nutrient database as deep as you want to click.

          • Robert Payne

            George’s recipes are simple, tasty and quick but for some unknown reason he continues to believe fish, dairy and oils are healthy. Go figure.

          • jazzfeed

            Yeah, and he keeps forgetting to come over and spoon feed me.

    • Thea

      Noe Marcial: I feel that PCRM is making some good efforts in that area. They have sued various governments and do direct advertising as well as doing their own studies. I can really get behind PCRM.

      PCRM: Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine.
      http://www.pcrm.org/

    • marggie

      There is the T. Colin Campbell group along with John Robbins and his group who are still going strong after his major book Diet For a New America which was the reason I became a vegan after twenty years a vegetarian. John and his son continue to be strong and dedicated not to mention the PCRM group who I consider a big power heavy group.

  • Noe Marcial

    are there other examples of pharmaceutical pressure to hide result of natural prevention medicine?

    • jazzfeed

      How about recent assassinations of 14 and counting wholistic physicians and researchers? Absolutely chilling.

  • lilyroza

    Isn’t that the Food Not Bombs logo? Free vegan meals for the homeless or whoever else wants it.

    • I used to skip class during medical school to go cooked the Friday meal on the Boston Commons! Serving people is what I should have been learning in class.

      • laguna

        handing out free food to people living in the public space only encourages more. here in San Diego we have people sleeping all over the streets begging money that gets spent on booze, cigs, drugs. they have no desire to get a real life because of all the do-gooders tat enable them.

        • Dommy

          So true. Thanks for the reality check.

    • Thea

      lilyroza: Your comment made me think that people might be interested in the organization, “A Well Fed World”. This is the time of year that a lot of people donate to charities, including charities that work to stop hunger. I like to donate to A Well Fed World, because instead of giving people chickens and goats (and all the suffering that goes with those “gifts”), A Well Fed World gives people plant food and gardens, etc. (and all the happiness that goes with that). If anyone is interested in stopping hunger through providing healthy and sustainable (and tasty!) food and education, here is the link:
      http://awfw.org/

    • This is the Food-Not-Bombs logo, and I’m thrilled to learn that Dr. Greger was involved. As a long-term volunteer for the Portland chapter, I encourage everyone to learn about this movement that diverts some of the enormous food waste in our country into free healthy plant-based meals offered to all in public places across the country. Find and visit a local serving in your city or town, or start a new one! – http://foodnotbombs.net/new_site/

      • Thea

        Thank you for sharing this additional information. I had not known about this work before. Very cool!

      • Tyler Whitney

        I also help out with Satya and company, it’s great community and endeavor!

    • Yes, it is the Food Not Bombs logo. (I didn’t scroll down far enough before writing that in a comment myself.)

  • Epikoros

    There are at least two missing ingredients from the veg movement: 1) Taste. If vegan food tasted as good as meat, everyone would be on board. 2) Communication. The worst communicators I’ve ever known are those who are the most zealous for their cause and animal rights folks are competing for the top the list.

    • Nick Presidente

      Your second point has some validity, however amateur zealots and professional speakers are miles apart in terms of quality. The WFPB professionals are very good talkers, they don’t get caught up in the politics and keep their cool.

      On taste… you probably don’t know how to cook? When I changed, I found the taste of my diet increased, and while its true, we don’t have bacon… but I’m sure if you want to eat all fat and salt you can find something very similar, however it isn’t healthy. I’ve really worked and developed soup recipes that are so unbelievable I’ve never found anything in a restaurant or prepared that taste half as good with six times the salt. I make black bean burritos or tacos that are such bursts of flavour that I didn’t know could exist.
      When I ate meat, I never had the satisfaction I do now, I would have this meal and we’d top it with flavour (vegetables) and it’d be ok. Now I start with flavour and I top it with more flavour and its just unbelievable.

      Ignorance it what keeps people eating meat, you never know until you really try it. WFPB isn’t all steamed vegetables.

      • Epikoros

        Regarding communication: You’ve made my point. Regarding taste: The facts speak for themselves.

        • Unfortunately, I have to agree with you on point 2. Well played, well. played.

        • Veganrunner

          Epikorus meat and butter all smell rancid to me now. I couldn’t even taste a bite of meat if you made me–it smells so bad. So what you believe to be tasty now isn’t for people who haven’t eaten meat in awhile. Taste is pretty subjective.

          • Epikoros

            Nope. I haven’t eaten meat or fowl for over 25 years. Summers in the park are real tough for me because I love the smell of meat on the grill. Looks great too.
            There is subjectivity in taste, yet, nature imbued us with a love of animal products. I won’t go into the whys here as I’ve had these discussions before. I know the arguments. I’m speaking the truth and I think you know it.

          • David Johnson

            I have the same reaction to meat and butter as Veganrunner.

          • Veganrunner

            “Nope” taste isn’t subjective. I completely disagree. The thought of a Big Mac makes my stomach turn and my mouth water–in not a good way. But other love them. I think you like to argue.

          • Epikoros

            Since you don’t think taste is subjective, wouldn’t that mean we all like the same thing? I don’t like to argue. I just wish everyone would acknowledge I’m right and call it a day.

          • Veganrunner

            You said taste is not subjective. I said it was. You are a funny guy.

          • Epikoros

            Nope, just look above. I wrote “There is subjectivity in taste,…”

          • mbglife

            I know almost nothing about biology not taste but my understanding is that while it might might be subjective it certainly is variable. Everyone has different combinations of taste buds in their mouths. I have different ratio of sweet to sour and salt and bitter than others. Plus, my 23&me generic testing results say that I have the gene for tasting bitter. I didn’t even know that was an option! I remember in college bio class, back in the stone age, my prof have everyone different color slips of litmus paper. He asked everyone to taste then and then report if they got the bitter, sour, sweet or salty. Of course the punchline was that the colors wee a rouse. They were all the same and the exercise was to sore that we all have a different set of tastes.

            Also, when I first tasted club soda I couldn’t finish a glass. After a few days it was my drink of choice. Loved it. Still do. :-D

          • jazzfeed

            You’re wrong. Tastes are subjective AND changeable.

          • Epikoros

            Well, that’s a convincing argument.

          • Maureen Okun

            Nature didn’t “imbue” me with a love of animal foods—you shouldn’t say “us.” It’s a common error to think that our personal preferences are universal and so ” natural.” I, like many others responding here, find the smell and taste of meat, fish, eggs, and dairy seriously off-putting—and I used to enjoy those foods. My change in taste must be due to habit and familiarity, not nature. I’m sorry that you’re still having cravings for meat, but that’s certainly not a problem for many of us who have adopted a WFPB diet.

          • Epikoros

            You said all I need to know with ‘I used to enjoy those foods.’ I’m reminded of prior smokers like myself. We often object the most to others smoking. Some because they don’t want to be tempted, others because they say it’s offensive. But I used to get the impression that those who said it was the latter were the ones most likely to fall off the wagon. Just anecdotal.
            But I mentioned somewhere else in this thread that men probably have a greater desire for meat than women. From livestrong.com “Eating meat, which is high in protein, helps build muscle and stimulates
            the secretion of the hormone glucagon, both of which contribute to
            raising testosterone levels. Testosterone, apart from facilitating an
            array of health benefits, is primarily responsible for sperm production
            and sex drive…”

          • jazzfeed

            As if there is one truth!
            As if all food that doesn’t contain meat tastes the same!
            As if tastes are not changeable!
            As if all foods with the same name are the same!

            Communicate? You could learn how to communitcate from many vegans. You do not communicate anything substantial or interesting to me except subjective dogma.

          • Epikoros

            If what I said is not substantive, why bother responding?

        • Nick Presidente

          Not sure what the facts are regarding taste? Ignorance is your fact?
          If meat was so amazing why do we make them try to taste like plants? Because just meat and only meat is.. kind of gross even to meat eaters.

          You keep inferring that we should know why you are right.. and nobody here seems to. Not sure if that really is valid, or good communication. Just because something is popular doesn’t make it good.
          It is also really really cheap to cook up waste meat products, add salt put it on a heavily refined bun. People are lazy, this is the nature of the real world. Give people cheap and convenient things they can put in their mouth and it is sold.

          As with what some others said here, when I stopped eating meat, I heard others said they have a hard time around the smell now, which I thought was more.. ethically aligned than anything. I understand now that meat smell, it really is kind of foul.

          • Epikoros

            Ref “If meat was so amazing why do we make them try to taste like plants?” Huh?? Au contraire. We do everything to make plants taste like meat. Soy burgers, tofu hot dogs, the list is endless.

          • walterbyrd

            > We do everything to make plants taste like meat.

            Because we are acclimated to eating meats.

            Vegetarian Hindus, in India, do not do that. Because they are not acclimated to eating meat.

          • Epikoros

            Have you been to India? I was only there for a few days but in that time I experienced some of the best veg food in the world. I agree they didn’t aspire to make their food taste like meat, instead, at every meal I was presented with a wide array of sauces, each one better than the next. I’ve always experimented with sauces before and especially afterwards. I’ve come up with some great ones but none as good as theirs…but as far as I can tell, they used dairy in all of them. They are big on yogurt and I promise you it isn’t soy milk.

            But there is more to our love of meat then being ‘acclimated’ to it. As you’re probably aware, we’ve adopted a word from the Japanese to describe it, umami. Prior to umami we used to say ‘savory’ and and prior to savory we said ‘meaty’.

          • Thea

            For anyone interested: Plenty of plants contain umami. One does not need meat to enjoy umami flavors.
            http://www.umamiinfo.com/2011/03/umami-rich-food-vegetables.php/
            Clearly, the presence of umami flavors in meat does not indicate in and of itself that humans are genetically predisposed to enjoy meat more than plant foods. More about umami in general here:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umami

            Historically, the term savory had a very different meaning from umami. More recently, some people are using the term savory to mean umami, but that is a bad idea in my opinion. The original meanings for the term savory are helpful and shouldn’t be lost. For more information about the term savory:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savory

            The term ‘meaty’, on the other hand, is not typically used to describe taste, but to describe substance. For example: “Let’s have a meaty meal, with lots of pig and cow. Skip the healthy stuff.” See here:
            http://www.audioenglish.org/dictionary/meaty.htm
            or here: http://www.whatdoesthatmean.com/dictionary/M/meaty.html
            The term ‘meat’ can also refer to the flesh of a fruit. And I’ve heard of various fruits described as being more ‘meaty’ than others. I’ve also heard mushrooms described as meaty because of their texture.

            These are all great terms, but they are not the same and should not be conflated.

          • Epikoros

            Thea, it’s like ol’ times.
            Ref “Plenty of plants contain umami.” The first on the list is tomato. Anyone who thinks a tomato has a “meaty” taste, which is how it’s described at the site, has never had meat.
            But if you combine the right ingredients, you can get a taste vaguely reminiscent of meat. It includes variations of tomato, soy sauce, mushrooms and most important of all, a special kind of black bean taste. It’s pretty good.

            Ref “the presence of umami flavors in meat does not indicate in and of itself
            that humans are genetically predisposed to enjoy meat more than plant
            foods.”
            Well, ‘proof’ isn’t a word I would use. But it does say, “People taste umami through receptors specific to glutamate. Glutamate is widely present in savory foods, such as meat broths and fermented products….Umami represents the taste of the amino acid L-glutamate and 5’-ribonucleotides such as guanosine monophosphate (GMP) and inosine monophosphate (IMP).[10] It can be described as a pleasant “brothy” or “meaty” taste with a long lasting, mouthwatering and coating sensation over the tongue.”

            Now I understand what they mean by meat broths for gluamates. But fermented products? Maybe cheese which is a fermented food. But certainly not fermented vegetables. I’ve been fermenting my own veg for years, I make the best kimchi and saurkraut you’ll find anywhere, if I do say so myself. But as you see, Thea, from your own source, it’s talking about an attraction to a ‘meaty taste’ and the best place to get a meaty taste is meat. The site also says, “Many humans’ first encounter with umami components is breast milk.[32] It contains roughly the same amount of umami as broths.” And we see above, when they say broth it’s ‘meaty broths’.

            Ref “The term ‘meaty’, on the other hand, is not typically used to describe taste,”
            Tell that to the CIA, the Culinary Institute of America. I don’t know what the school teaches but a lot of cooking classes I’ve attended, the chefs said they graduated from that school and they often use ‘meaty’ to describe taste.

            As for humans being predisposed to eat meat, at least males, see Livestrong.com “Eating meat, which is high in protein, helps build muscle and stimulates
            the secretion of the hormone glucagon, both of which contribute to
            raising testosterone levels. Testosterone, apart from facilitating an
            array of health benefits, is primarily responsible for sperm production
            and sex drive…”

          • Thea

            Epikoros: re: “Anyone who thinks a tomato has a “meaty” taste, which is how it’s described at the site, has never had meat.” No one thinks tomatoes and meat taste the same. What the site is explaining, and as you helpfully show in your quote re: “Umami represents the taste of the amino acid…”, is that both tomatoes and say your fish flesh taste umami. They share a flavor. To help explain what this means, consider bananas and grapes. Bananas and grapes taste nothing alike. But they both taste sweet. As near as I can tell in my research, sweet is a basic flavor/taste just like umami is a basic flavor/taste. Similarly, tomatoes and animal flesh (or human breast milk) taste nothing alike, but all have umami.

            So, that’s why we can’t say that the ability for humans to taste umami is indicative of a preference for meat over plant foods. Plant foods also contain umami. Umami is not unique to animal foods.

            I can see how the use of the term “meaty” to describe flavor on that page easily leads to a lot of confusion. It’s really hard to describe tastes. So, people look for synonyms that can end up being too imprecise, and then you end up with this sort of confusion. In other words, it is unfortunate that that site used the term meaty to describe umami flavor even after giving their very good biological definition of umami. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t get the important bits from the site: a) what umami means and b) that plenty of plants have plenty of umami.

            If having a lot of testosterone is important to you, eating meat is probably not the way to go:
            http://nutritionfacts.org/2013/02/12/less-cancer-in-vegan-men-despite-more-testosterone/
            It doesn’t look to me like the science supports your quote about why males would be predisposed to eat meat.

          • Epikoros

            Ref “No one thinks tomatoes and meat taste the same. What the site is explaining, and as you helpfully show in your quote…”
            Very disingenuous, Thea. When I quoted the “meaty flavour” taste, it was directly from the first site that lists the vegetables. So they used the word ‘flavour’ spelled the English way I guess. Then I went on to quote the wiki site regarding the second issue. So the first site is explaining exactly what I quoted it as, it’s claiming a tomato has ‘meaty flavour’. You can twist and distort all you want but others will see who is being honest here. All anyone has to do is click on the links.

            Ref “Similarly, tomatoes and animal flesh (or human breast milk) taste nothing alike, but all have umami.”
            I agree that cheese, mushrooms, fermented black bean paste and soy sauce have umami flavor. And combining certain foods that I described above including tomato paste, the sum is greater than the parts, and together they make a distinctive meaty taste. But to say that a tomato on its own has umami…tell me where to buy those tomatoes!
            I think what the article might be suggesting is that tomatoes contain a certain about of glutimate which is one element that in conjunction with others produces umami flavor…but a tomato on its own, no way.

            So that is why we can say that that the ability for humans to taste umami is indicative of a preference
            for meat over plant foods. Plant foods need to be combined in order to form umami flavor.

            Ref the word ‘meaty’ to describe taste: Languages evolve, enough said.

            Ref “If having a lot of testosterone is important to you…” That is not germane to the subject. I showed the livestrong.com excerpt to explain why men might be programmed to eat meat. I read the article that you linked and it seems the opposite of what livestrong says, which is the way of nutrition. Today’s study disproves yesterday’s and tomorrow’s will disprove today’s.

          • walterbyrd

            Why not do an honest comparison?

            Eat meat in it’s natural state, right from a dead animal, no preparation of kind.

            Then compare that to the taste of wild fruits.

            That way, you can say, for sure, that it is the taste of the meat that you like, not the taste of all the stuff that goes with it.

          • Epikoros

            Funny you should mention that. I’ve seen some PBS programs on existing ‘primitive’ societies, some do exactly that and they say how much they love fresh raw meat.
            But not for me…I guess you didn’t see other parts of this thread where I mention that I haven’t eaten meat or fowl for over 25 years.
            I do occasionally eat fish so I guess you want to know if I like sushi. And the answer is no. But there are plenty of vegetables that I don’t like eating raw, for example, potatoes, squash, kale, broccoli, etc…

          • Veganrunner

            Well think about it. Good cuts of meat sit and “age” before it is eaten. Ewwww. That sounds like something going putrid to me. I was smelling some good quality butter over the holidays. It smelled off. Rancid. I never noticed that before becoming WFPB.

          • Dommy

            “That sounds like something going putrid to me.”

            Yep and here’s an even worse thought: after eating it it continues going putrid inside you (ugh)!

      • Doug

        Nick: First, tastes are very personal and one develops taste preferences in childhood, resulting in cultural biases. Having said that, if I tried to cook vegetables the way I cooked meat, it might not be tasty, and vice versa. I think one mistake new vegans make is to try to emulate meat, fish, dairy, and egg dishes with vegetables (soy burgers, etc.) Frankly, if I wanted to eat, say, cheese, I’d eat cheese, not fake cheese. To find ways to cook delicious vegetable dishes, I explore the cultures that traditionally eat a lot of vegetables, and doing so is very easy now thanks to the internet. Thanks.

        • Nick Presidente

          I completely agree on the emulation of animal products, I think it is the wrong way to try to change over; I did it by finding recipes that don’t require animal products at all and improved on them. In general to make a new recipe for something, I probably look at 15-20 other recipes and then come up with what I like.

      • Rebecca Cody

        Nick, I’m eager for your cookbook!

      • vmh

        Could you point me in the direction of a good black bean burrito recipe?

        • Nick Presidente

          I just make my own up, so I looked how some people made refried beans, and I adapted. I couldn’t find no salt pinto beans anywhere, and I never plan far enough ahead to use dry, so I use no salt black beans.

          I generally dice a couple cloves of garlic, a few green onion, a shallot, a bell pepper, a small piece of ginger and put into a saute pan, let them cook. Open a tin of black beans, drain and rinse, and heat/mix with the vegetables. Usually I add some cumin and chili powder, depending what I want, or my tumeric for the day if I haven’t had it. Possibly nutritional yeast as well, it depends.

          Mash together

          Chop up finely a good amount of cilantro, and the juice of 2 limes, mix into the mash.

          I top it with kale and fresh tomato

          Right now I’ve found a local premade corn taco shell I use, I know in the US they are common but here they aren’t. Mexican isn’t big in the north, just find something without a lot of chemicals or oil in it.

          The vegetables and spices vary slightly depending what I have around. 1 large tin of black beans will make 6-7 hard shell tacos, which is about 1000 calories

          • vmh

            Thanks! The ginger and lime caught my interest. Many people have no idea how rewarding it is to create something unique. Here’s a simple breakfast:

            Peel and cut up a pink grapefruit. (I don’t bother removing the segment membranes.) Sprinkle generously with pomegranate seeds, then with large flakes of unsweetened coconut. Serve immediately.

          • Maureen Okun

            Thanks for this, Nick! I’m also curious about your perfect soups—what did you discover that made them amazing?

          • Nick Presidente

            It would be hard to say, because each one gets refined, some by accident. For instance I was making a red lentil curry soup for some time, it was delicious, and it starts off with a load of vegetables in it. It even got my parents, one who won’t eat any vegetables at all (and not at all supportive for this lifestyle) to love it, I just left them a container.
            One day I was at a store called Bulk Barn here, and they had a red lentil, wild rice, split pea soup mix, so I used that instead. The split peas created this rich thick curry broth that was quite intense, so I cut it with some lemon juice. Now it comes out as a thick creamy broth that is bright and unbelievably delicious.
            The soup itself is pretty basic, garlic, celery, potato, bell pepper, shallot, green onion in generous quantities. 1.5c of the soup mix, 2 tbsp curry, 2L of vegetable stock, and then throw in flax flour, nutritional yeast, turmeric, ginger to really boost it to insane nutrition levels.

            Not sure if the ginger adds much, but as a migraine sufferer all my life, it is my latest attempt to prevent them.

      • Lucypi

        It is not meat itself that people like, it is the way it is prepared. Few eat plain, unadulterated meat. The meat is seasoned or cured or cooked in some manner to make it palatable. However, people eat fruit and many vegetables straight. But they can also be prepared deliciously. Also, palates and preferences change over time.

      • Clint

        From my reading of Epikoros’ previous posts, a lack of knowledge of cookery does not seem to be an issue. It seems from “I would have this meal and we’d top it with flavour (vegetables) and it’d be ok” that prior to going WFPB, you did not know how to cook.

        Given what this video is about, I think finding common ground is what is important. We can agree the WFPB is a more healthy way to eat. That said, Epikoros makes some good points. People like meat. This was the case before modern factory farming and fast food chains. It was a handy way to fill up and get stuff done in hunter-gatherer times, but we kept it up after the advent of crop farming, because people like to eat meat. There we no fears of not getting enough protein then. There were no television ads for steakhouses and cheeseburgers. Yet, we ate meat when we could.

        I began cooking serious food at around 8 years of age. Two of my grandparents came here (Australia) from India. Both were good cooks. Both knew very well how to make great meals from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains,and legumes, and meat. Much of it was passed on to me. I acknowledge that veg dishes can be superb (though,they often aren’t), and grew up eating them. But, I also know that meat has rich flavours not found in veg, and enjoyed by many over much time. I defies rationality to claim that people only like meat because they do not know how good plants are. In fact, people like meat so much, that when they can afford it in whatever quantity they desire, they eat too much of it. This was as true hundreds of years ago as it is today – it was the aristocracy that got sick and fat. Now we can all live and die as Kings, at least in the West. But, we know we shouldn’t, and so we eat plants.

    • Thea

      Epikoros: Like others, I have totally disagree with you on point number 1. I can’t tell you how often I have served people who are addicted to meat and dairy a good plant based dish and they have gushed over it. People may or may not lose their taste for meat and dairy, but well done whole plant food is beyond doubt as tasty as unhealthy foods. There are several reasons “everyone is not on board” that have nothing to do with the taste of the food.

      • Epikoros

        Nope. I’ve been cooking veg for over 25 years. I’ve attended countless veg potlucks, many, many cooking classes, cookbooks, websites, veg restaurants, etc… Lots of good food and BTW, at potlucks my dishes are often the most favorite. But nothing tastes as good as bacon, lobster, butter, etc… Spare me the heath report. I’m just saying if veg food tasted good, there would be a lot more converts. And it’s not just taste. It’s cooking preparation, cooking time, gas! and all the spices you need to make veg food interesting whereas animal products are great practically by themselves.

        • Thea

          Epikoros: I fully take you at your word concerning your personal experience. Here was my point: Given the vastly different experiences most other people have when exposed to good whole plant foods, you appear to be an outlier. You are taking your personal experience, projecting it on everyone else, ignoring and discounting what others are experiencing, and then coming up with (likely erroneous) sweeping conclusions.

          Maybe you can see that just because you are so addicted to bacon and butter that you never lost the taste for it, that not everyone else is in the same boat? Is everyone else lying and you are really the only one telling the truth in regards to the foods they like?

          —–
          Another point I couldn’t resist commenting on: “animal products are great practically by themselves”. Really? You eat raw, unseasoned meat? Because I eat raw, unseasoned fruits and veggies all the time. And I eat boiled potatoes without anything on them, and they are great. Same with oatmeal. Do you eat boiled meat without any seasoning? I think there are few people who enjoy meat by itself.

          • Epikoros

            You should have resisted commenting on eating raw meat because it reflects on your intelligence or lack thereof.
            Everyone eats veg food. If it tasted so great, it would be the majority of their diet. But we see the opposite. As other countries gain more wealth, the first thing they do is abandon their traditional mostly veg diets and add more animal products because they love the taste.

          • Thea

            Epikoros: re: “As other countries gain more wealth…” There are all sorts of reasons for that change which have nothing to do with taste. Again, it doesn’t make sense to take your personal experience and project it onto everyone else. Everyone has different taste buds…


            Also: Please note that personal attacks are against the rules of this site. You need to keep it civil if you do not want your posts deleted.

          • Epikoros

            You drew first blood, that is, you insulted me first. Why not list ‘all sorts of reasons’ besides taste that people gravitate towards meat as they grow wealthier?

          • Thea

            Epikoros: I can’t think of any way in which I insulted you. Insult was truly never intended, and I’m sincerely sorry for whatever the misunderstanding is.

            —-
            Why did I not list all sorts of reasons? Because I was sure you knew them and wouldn’t appreciate a longer post. But since you ask, here are just two: 1) You mention ‘wealth’ as the preceding criteria for plant based cultures to start eating more animal products. Exactly. Animal products are historically more expensive than plants. For that and other reasons, eating animal products is associated with status. Humans are extremely status conscious and status seeking animals. When people can afford to eat more expensive food, they do. To illustrate: My friend and her mother once made a delicious vegetarian meal. They brought it to the table, and the father had a fit. He yelled, “We are not poor!” when he saw that there was no meat. True story and indicative of people’s choices whether conscious or not.

            2) When countries start to change their diet, they are typically importing Western junk food that includes animal products. In other words, they are not all of a sudden eating massive amounts of unseasoned raw or boiled plain chicken. They start eating fried chicken, frozen chicken dinners, and chicken nuggets. These junk foods are *designed* to be especially addictive and to quickly change people’s taste buds. Again, that does not mean that animal products are inherently superior in taste to plant foods. It just means that junk food is addictive. People can and do go back to their traditional plant based diets and find those diets to once again taste great and be greatly satisfying.

            My point remains: I fully believe you when you tell us that you simply can not lose the taste for animal products. I do not doubt that that is your experience, and I feel bad for you. But so many other people who do go to a WFPB diet either lose the taste for their old foods *or* find their new diet to be as equally pleasurable (even if they also retain a taste for animal foods). There are studies showing this to be true. There is even one study where the people were supposed to go back to their old diet and they refused. So, I don’t think it makes sense for you to take your personal experience as indicative of why “everyone isn’t doing it” when it comes to eating a whole plant food diet. I hope that clarification helps you understand the point.

          • Epikoros

            I didn’t mention how you insulted me because I was sure you knew it and wouldn’t appreciate a list. But here you go:
            Ref “You are taking your personal experience, projecting it on everyone
            else, ignoring and discounting what others are experiencing, and then
            coming up with (likely erroneous) sweeping conclusions.”

            This is saying that I live in a cave; that I never talk to others, hear others experiences, read articles and the news, look at surveys, polls, etc…in short, that I’m an ignoramus. Very insulting.

            Ref “Maybe you can see that just because you are so addicted to bacon and butter…”

            Use of the word ‘addicted’ is a pejorative especially when it’s not really applicable to whole foods; maybe in a stretch you can apply that term to sugar but even then, it distorts the historic meaning of the word.

            Ref “Another point I couldn’t resist commenting on: “animal products are great
            practically by themselves”. Really? You eat raw, unseasoned meat?”

            That is sarcastic and condescending. I’m sure you know I meant a steak on the grill or a hamburger tastes great without seasoning, not even salt and pepper are needed. Nothing about eating raw meat which would convey that I’m a ‘savage’.

            Ref “Do you eat boiled meat without any seasoning?”

            Who eats boiled meat?? So your whole tone, your energy was all very negative, very much in line with my experience with the veg community and the proof of my original comment regarding poor communication skills.

            Ref the two reasons you give for adopting meat:

            1) That it’s a sign of wealth. Yes, I know that. Is it because wealthy people like to suffer so they eat food that doesn’t taste as good as a poor person’s diet?? Of course not. The poor in all these countries were never totally veg. They used meat more as a condiment because they couldn’t afford greater quantities. But they knew they loved the taste. As they gained in wealth, they ate more of what they already knew they loved.

            2) Ref “When countries start to change their diet, they are typically importing Western junk food that includes animal products.”

            No, they first put more demand on their own economy. In fact, China’s first millionaire was a pig farmer who adopted factory farming. Once one’s economy can’t meet the demand, then other countries start exporting their goods.

          • Thea

            Epikoros: I have lots of friends who happily admit to being addicted to meat and dairy. They do not see it as an insult. Plus, there are studies showing that dairy is actually addictive in a physical sense. Again, that is not meant as an insult. I’m sorry it came across as one.

            I feel that you continue to miss my point so I don’t think the discussion is worth continuing.

          • Epikoros

            The word ‘addiction’ was adopted by some to mean their absolute love of something. In these cases, it’s a bit like someone saying, ‘I can say that about my wife but you better not.’

            Either way, I gave many other examples of how you insulted me…as you did again in this most recent post: “You continue to miss my point” is also insulting. And I get your point. You’re an animal rights’ activist who will say and do anything to win converts but the reality is you turn people off.

            I’ve expressed myself clearly and I’m confident you understand my position and that you don’t have any rebuttal. Have a Happy New Year.

          • Tired of it

            “so I don’t think the discussion is worth continuing.”

            Somebody man up and stop this useless discussion. Thanks

          • Thea

            I’ll woman up. ;-)

          • Fred

            This is a technique used to disrupt conversations.

          • guest

            I can tell you one. I’m an immigrant from a country where traditional diet is mostly plant based. The animal food is mostly fish. Now people eat more and more meat. Two things happened since I left thirty years ago: 1) Fish kept getting more and more expensive, due to over fishing. 2) Western fast-food joints arrived, and they serve mostly meat and dairy. People there have a habit of embracing every bad thing that comes from the West completely ignoring the good things. Eating at places like McDonalds and walking around with a can of Coke in the hand are “cool” there; it shows that you’ve arrived. In the old days kids have their birthdays parties in the backyard and ate the food the mother made, but now all the birthday parties are at McDonalds. Why? because that’s what cool people do. The word “imported” means “status/well to do”. All this is partly the result of the efforts of the advertising machine (This is , I guess, what Thea mentioned.)

          • jclevine

            You guys understand the irony of this entire conversation, yeah? You’re lowering the signal to noise ratio of this forum for those who are trying to solve problems rather than squabble.

          • Epikoros

            I’m aware of all that but it’s not the point. It might be cool to have a big mac and coke but how long will you continue to do so if you don’t like the taste?? I’m only arguing taste. If it didn’t taste better than what they were raised on, they would quickly say, ‘Westerners are nuts, I’ll take beans and rice over a big mac any day’. But they don’t.

          • Thea

            guest: Thank you for sharing that! What great real-world examples.

          • Jeewanu

            Thea, don’t feed a troll and it will go away

          • Veganrunner

            Perfectly said Thea. I am working and didn’t have a chance to respond but you did it for me!

        • SeedyCharacter

          Epikoros, I think Dr. Kessler in his book “The End of Overeating” helped clarify that foods high in sugar, fat & salt are pretty irresistible. A quickly grilled hamburger with sweet ketchup and a salty pickle is the holy trinity sugar/fat/salt convergence that sold the billions at the McDonalds’, Burger King’s and, KFC’s. Café Gratitude has a loyal but comparatively minuscule following; even in super veg friendly Santa Cruz, California CG nearly closed down until they served less raw food and more fried potatoes and similar fare. I agree with you that way more folks are carnivores than vegetarians/vegans because those 3 flavors, even if crude to the palate, win out. Veggies and fruits are an acquired taste to many, veggies need to be cooked/prepared properly (ever eaten a tough kale salad where the cook didn’t know to choose tender leaves and then to massage them?) I love the richness of flavors within my WFPB diet, but I acknowledge that the vast majority of folks do not share my veg love. And, sadly, many vegans go back to the bacon & cheeseburgers because of the flavors and ease–even when they know about and are on board with the nutritional and ethical advantages of vegan eating.

          • Epikoros

            All this talk about hamburgers is making me salivate. I had brown rice and my homemade kimchi for dinner.

          • SeedyCharacter

            I had butternut squash marinara that I ate by dipping in garlic bread. Then a big salad with pickled cukes (sunomono, Japanese style) and marinated beans on top. Yum!

          • Epikoros

            I’ve made spaghetti squash with marinara sauce a few times. It tasted good but looked gross. One time I brought it to a party and it went over pretty well. What do you use as a base on your garlic bread? Earth Balance? Which type? I think I would use coconut manna.

          • SeedyCharacter

            I used olive oil & Earth Balance with garlic and smoked paprika. I never tried coconut manna . . .

    • Rodger

      Ever read the ingredients label on a bottle of steak sauce or marinate? No meat, just fruits, vegetables and spices. the stuff we should be eating. The meat is virtually tasteless without them. Throw away the steak and nosh on the sauce ingredients instead.

      • Epikoros

        You need to do your home work, i.e., read my prior comments. I said I haven’t eaten meat or fowl for more than 25 years; but when I did, they stood on their own, they needed nothing or very little in terms of spices. BTW, most steak sauce has anchovies.

      • Clint

        The meat you have in mind must have been very bland indeed. Also, the proportion of all meat eaters that use steak sauce is vanishingly small. It may not be good for us, but a lack flavour seems never to have been a big issue.

    • walterbyrd

      Dr. Melanie Joy discussed the issue of taste on a recent youtube video:

      The Secret Reason We Eat Meat – Dr. Melanie Joy
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao2GL3NAWQU

      Dr. Joy is psychologist. She makes the point that our tastes are acquired.

      • Epikoros

        I watched the 1st two minutes and got bored. I’ve either seen it before or something similar. There are cultural and individual aspects revolving around our likes and dislikes. But let’s look at peoples’ basic desire for animal products. You might swear that broccoli and rice tastes great, and meat is awful, fine, I’ll accept your preference.
        Here is something I recall reading from an Anthropology 101 book many, many years ago.
        We know from how societies and cultures evolved, most don’t share your taste, that rice and vegetables are bland. Why didn’t nature imbue them with more flavor? Maybe because compared to hunting, veg food has easier access, you just ‘gather’ it. So nature didn’t make veg food all that delectable because it was at our fingertips and it would naturally be the bulk of our diet.

        Why do animal foods taste so good? Nature knew that hunting was hard work and we wouldn’t bother unless the reward was great, as in great taste. But nature didn’t want us eating too much of it so it was hard work.

        Now if there is something in the video that addresses these origins as to why all societies have animal foods, tell me where to fast forward and I’ll check it out.

        BTW, in case you didn’t notice my prior posts, I haven’t eaten meat or fowl in more than 25 years. In fact, I was mostly vegan for 11 years. But I addressed that in Plants not Pills and you can see those arguments there.

        • Charzie

          Your opinion that meat tastes better is a learned preference, not an inherent quality. Our conditioning and unconscious associations color everything we think and believe. If you never had it you wouldn’t miss it, and if you did taste it at some point then, might have a whole different take. I never really liked the taste and I’m not alone with that. In my case I think it was because my body reacted negatively and so my associations were too. I also never got the dichotomy of “food” animals versus all the rest. Now seafood is another story, but I’ve learned to duplicate very acceptable stand-ins so I don’t feel like I’m missing out or whatever. I’m not “religious” about it, if circumstances arise where my options are limited, I’ll cave, but it is extremely rare.

          All food (nutrients aside) is just taste and texture, anything else we ascribe to it is psychological and beyond our consciousness, generally. For example, my 40 yo carnivorous son thinks that men like meat more than woman, because men were traditionally the “hunters”. There is a lot tied up in that statement, considering he himself could never kill something for food, but the “admiration” of the fabled hunters is learned BS he somehow relates to and entitles him to believe it’s more special or something. Yet, as a cat lover, I asked him what he thought of cultures that eat cats…he could hardly contain his disdain. Playing devils advocate I asked him if he shouldn’t taste it first before deciding it should be taboo, and he thought I had lost my mind. (Pretty common, apparently).

          • Epikoros

            Ref “learned preference”; No one taught me that meat tastes better than veg. True, it’s my preference even though I no longer eat it, but my taste preference was instantaneous, not taught. The same is true for everyone. You taste something and you either like it or you don’t; though there is a phenomena of an acquired taste, that is, you don’t like something when you first try it but somehow it grows on you. That happened to me with nutritional yeast. I thought it smelled like vomit the first time I tried to eat it but ‘once you get past the smell it tastes good.’
            I know what you mean when you talk about your body reacting negatively when eating certain foods. When I eat beans my body goes haywire. I do like the taste, though, and I’m always experimenting with making them more digestible. No need to recommend anything. I’ve been working on it for 25 years and I doubt you’ll suggest anything I haven’t tried.
            I agree with your son, that men like meat more than women. I think there is something biological at play in that regard, perhaps related to testosterone.
            Sure, culture plays a role in what foods we eat. Westerners have the luxury of befriending certain animals like cats, dogs, horses, etc…so we exclude them from our diet. In other cultures, they couldn’t afford that luxury.

          • Clint

            I suspect almost all food preferences are learned (but not necessarily taught). Many infants and toddlers (most, in my experience) have a hard time getting used to meat, and prefer fruits and some vegetables, often despite the efforts of their well meaning parents. Most Aussies like Vegemite, yet most people not from Australia find it quite disgusting on a first tasting. I personally like the taste of meat and seafood from all sources I have tried, though I very rarely touch it nowadays, and mostly don’t miss it. I miss cheese much more, but dairy has more immediate negative consequences for me, and so I steer clear of it in any form.

            The men-prefer-meat thing is interesting. Maybe there is something physiological in it. I don’t know. But, I recall that, as a child, I would immediately go for the fattest parts of a cut of meat, finishing the rest only if I was hungry enough. This process reversed as my growth slowed and stopped. Friends and family have said they had the same preference for fatty cuts as a child. Perhaps it is instinctive for growing mammals. It certainly wasn’t taught, as the adults present did the reverse. I also don’t think the psychological reason of a reverence for hunters played a role as some distant fantasy of the noble hunter – I killed, prepared and ate animals as a boy, both in the wild and domestically, and never much liked any of it except the eating after much toil.

          • Epikoros

            Yeah, I picked up a jar of vegemite once. Gross. I thought it would give my meals a meaty or umami flavor, no luck.
            Regarding men prefer meat: ” From livestrong.com “Eating meat, which is high in protein, helps build muscle and stimulates the secretion of the hormone glucagon, both of which contribute to raising testosterone levels. Testosterone, apart from facilitating an
            array of health benefits, is primarily responsible for sperm production
            and sex drive…”

          • Clint

            For me, vegemite does add a hit of umami that I require in some combinations. But, I was introduced to it at a time I can’t remember. I often use it as one would use a brown miso, but in smaller measures.

            The testosterone thing is one hypothesis, but doesn’t seem a very good one. Problem is, male vegans on average, and when controlling for age and other characteristics, seem to have higher testosterone levels than do meat eaters, as far as I recall from the literature.

          • Epikoros

            Yeah, when I used the vegemite, it was about a half a teaspoon to the recipe. It was enough to affect the taste of the food…but not a very good one. On the other hand, I love miso.

            As far as vegans having higher testosterone: It’s been my experience that when people become veg they usually make other life style changes. They figure they are eating healthier, maybe they should quit smoking, drink less, start getting some exercise. Not necessarily, but I can’t remember the last time I saw a veg smoking and only a few I know are overweight. My point is that if veg have higher testosterone, I would want to see the groups that were studied. In other words, if there were no smokers among the veg, was it true for the omnivorous group?

            Let’s face it. If there was real evidence that was statistically relevant that veg have higher testosterone, nearly every guy out there would be veg five minutes after the headline hit.

          • Clint

            Yep, Vegemite fits the bill a food that is an acquired taste.

            While the points you make about other potential determinants of testosterone levels are good ones, if obvious, I’m fairly sure, though not certain, that the studies I had in mind controlled for those factors – smoking, age, weight, activity levels etc. But, you can check for yourself if interested. There is content on this site in relation to testosterone levels, with links to the literature, which makes it super easy to check.

            A lot of vegans have pretty poor diets. Those who go vegan purely for ethical reasons often do not pay any more attention to healthy eating than they did prior. Witness the array of vegan cakes, donuts, and other deep fried ‘treats’ that have appeared with vegan friendly attached to the marketing in the last decade or so. Those who go veg for health reasons often ate healthily prior, or have had major health issues and are trying to clean up their act. Only the last group fit the narrative you wrote above, and they don’t appear to me to make up a majority of those eating a plant based diet (though, perhaps they are).

            As for nearly every guy jumping on veg wagon for a small potential increase in testosterone, I doubt it. There are clear short and long term benefits to eating whole foods and avoiding junk, let alone plant based, yet we don’t see the masses adopting a healthier diet because of it. Young guys that want to up their levels get hold of an external source one way ort another. Older guys get it from their doctor and call it replacement therapy. Both groups get hit with a lot of marketing for supplements, pills and potions of all kinds. Nope, I don’t think any such evidence would change much at all.

          • Epikoros

            Ref “As for nearly e very guy jumping on veg wagon for a
            small potential increase in testosterone, I doubt it.” Well, I agree, they won’t switch sides for “a small potential increase” and I guess my use of the term ‘statistically relevant’ wasn’t a good choice of words. But I do believe that men would sacrifice diet if it meant more sex. How much more? That is age dependent. A teenager is probably happy with 7x a night!
            A fifty year old man would probably switch diet for one more time per week.

            Ref “There are clear short and long term benefits to eating
            whole foods and avoiding junk…yet we don’t see the masses adopting a healthier diet because of it.” Taste exceeds the
            health benefits. When I was a teenager, I smoked. We knew the health hazards.
            We’re convinced that either “It’s not going to happen to me” or “By the time I get cancer, they’ll have a cure.” Also, “Well,
            my parents have been smoking for 30 years and they’re fine…”

            So we have to look at the trade offs. Sex is a powerful drive and that is why I think it’s different than health motivators.

            Ref “A lot of vegans have pretty poor diets. Those who go
            vegan purely for ethical reasons often do not pay any more attention to healthy eating than they did prior.” Okay, I’ve
            been involved in the veg movement for more than 25 years. I’ve belonged to groups that have hundreds of members. Over the decades, I’ve talked too many of them. One thing I noticed right away, is most say that they became veg for health. But when I would ask them, ‘Suppose there was undeniable proof that a
            certain amount of meat was healthy and even PETA agreed with the evidence, would you change your diet?” They always
            say no and agree there is ‘an ethical component to their diet’. My point is that in my experience the overwhelming majority of people become veg for ethical reasons and they focus on healthy foods. They want to set the example, that being veg is healthy. I
            see very little in the way of vegan junk food. Sure, there is some, everyone likes a treat but it’s minimal compared to conventional products.

            Ref “There is content on this site in relation to testosterone levels, with links to the literature, which makes it super easy to
            check.” It’s not worth my time. I’m convinced if there was clear evidence that veg have higher testosterone that can make a difference in their sex life, it would be headline news. Also, one has to have an educated eye for reading studies, to know what to look for in terms of scientifically relevant info. I don’t have that background. Ultimately, it’s what is your experience and who do you trust? For example, I’m a big fan of fermenting vegetables, I’ve
            been doing it for years. Maybe a year ago or so, Dr. Greger had a video on it saying it wasn’t healthy based on the latest study. I was discouraged but didn’t change my eating habits about it. Later, I read that the study Dr. Greger quoted was bogus and it explained why but I don’t remember the details. MedPubs are not science. Obviously it doesn’t mean I should stop watching Dr. Greger’s videos. It’s a good source for general information but I wouldn’t swear by it.

            Did you see Michael Pollen’s program on PBS last night, In
            Defense of Food? I would guess you’re not a fan since he says animal products are part of a healthy diet. I trust him, maybe because I’m aligned with his agenda as I understand it: Health, the
            environment and decent treatment of animals.

          • jazzfeed

            There would be no “headlines” – the CAFO meat industry would see to that. In the same way, you will not see “Cure for cancer” in any headlines, whether or not it’s true.

          • Epikoros

            The paranoids are after us.

        • mbglife

          I think you’ve got a point. I’ve heard it many times over the years and I think I also recently read or watched a Dr McDougall interview where he says mostly the same thing, that we needed to load up on fat and salt when it was harder to obtain in prehistoric times so it was tasty, but it also was hard to get. He goes on to say that we need to recognize this and limit our desires with our intellect. The scarcity and importance of salt is supposedly why it was used as payment in some cultures (Roman? Greek? Can’t remember.) and is where we get the word “Salary”. Again, supposedly. But regardless of all this, junk food is taking over the diets of most countries where it’s introduced. So that seems to support the point that most people like salt and fat, which is what these meals are based on. I used to “like” (like, not love) the taste of meat (BTW, I find lobster to be flavorless) but I find a well seasoned plant based dish just as tasty. And when I learned to focus on it, plain garbanzo beens are delicious, as well as celery fresh off the stalk or red bell-peppers, or blah blah blah, whatever. Seems that until we figure out what drives people to want meat, we won’t be able to offer an equally tasty alternative. The only thing I had a hard time giving up was cheese. But if you remove the salt and the cultured tastes from it, it’s just flavorless hard oil, which I could have dropped it like a rock.

          • Epikoros

            Thank you. That is all I’m saying, that the majority of people prefer the taste of animal products. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t eat it.
            Ref “Seems that until we figure out what drives people to want meat…” It’s the taste, it’s as simple as that.

          • mbglife

            Yeah, I don’t know how the conversation went south, but it sweetened to me that your committee’s were pretty basic. And I didn’t like that you got called a troll just because you made an unpopular point. You’re a long time vegan that seems to support the goals of the site. I don’t see how that’s being a troll. A few times I have mentioned that if I don’t intake “a little salt” I end up having classic salt deficiency symptoms. The first few times i mentioned it I got pretty beat up. You’d have thought I was recommending a salt lick tossed into morning smoothies (lol). Your comments/opinions seemed pretty reasonable to me.
            Happy New year and good health to you. And congrats in sticking with a vegan diet all these years, even though you’d love a good side of beef on a bun. ;-)

          • Epikoros

            I appreciate your kind words and support. I think you misunderstood me though and I don’t want to mislead anyone. I was mostly vegan for 11 years. In 2001 I was diagnosed with B12 deficiency so I changed my diet by adding eggs, dairy and fish. I still haven’t eaten meat or fowl in that time so it’s been more than 25 years.
            Also, the majority of my diet is vegan. In an average week, I might have animal products twice a week. Regarding my B12 deficiency, I was involved in a lengthy debate about it in Dr. Greger’s video “Plants not Pills” so I won’t go into any of the arguments here.
            Have a Happy New Year!

          • mbglife

            Thanks for clarification. I still don’t think you’re a troll. But I am surprised that the B12 it’s your reason for going back to eggs, dairy, fish. If you don’t mind a little bit of discussion on this point, drop me a line. My email name is also mbglife and I use Gmail.
            Mark

          • Epikoros

            Hey Mark, The only videos of Dr. Greger’s I’ve ever commented on is this one and the one I mentioned earlier where I’m in a knock down, dragged out fight about B12. Please see it here http://nutritionfacts.org/video/industry-response-to-plants-not-pills/ The exchange seemed to last forever. I’ve been watching Dr. Greger’s videos for years, each and every one, and to only comment on two, you’re right, I’m not a troll. But if you have any questions about my B12 experience after you review that very lengthy exchange where every detail is covered 2x, please let me know.

          • mbglife

            Ok. Well do.

          • mbglife

            Hey E. I read most of the thread and my understanding from web research years ago is that same as SM’s reply to you: “Animals don’t make B12. They are made by bacteria. Most people, including omnivores are deficient in B12 and hence supplementation is advised.” Before water was purified we got it through water, along with lots of not so good stuff, which you got in the dirt (which makes me sick too if I don’t wash it off food). Animals get it being uncovered and unwashed outdoors.

            Dr MCDougall also mentions that most people are just barely above deficient and that not being deficient it’s far from being optimal to protect your eyes, nervous system and brain.

            After being vegan for 15 years I tried paleo for a year and it wrecked my health and all my lab results went bad. Going vegan again and then finding this site cured me. Still, after an emergency gall bladder removal (it had been ruptured and decaying by a gall stone years after again going vegan, my surgeon said the gall stone Edward likely a hold over from my animal food diet years earlier as they almost never see vegans with gallbladder/stone issues.

            And finally, the mercury & pcb in fish, which I also ate that year, damages one’s nervous system, already weak for must people with low/er b12.
            I didn’t mean to explain this much because I didn’t want if to sound like a lecture and blah blah blah. So I’ll lane it there and hope you’ll reconsider in b12, even if you stick with animal products. Btw, doesn’t the link of enlarged prostate and prostate cancer being tired to dairy scare the crap out if you?

          • Epikoros

            Hey Mark, If you read more of the thread you will see how B12 is formed, this is from the wiki page: “Neither fungi, plants, nor animals (including humans) are capable of producing vitamin B12. Only bacteria and archaea have the enzymes required for its synthesis, although many foods are a natural source of B12 because of bacterial symbiosis….Biosynthesis of the basic structure of the vitamin is accomplished only by bacteria and archaea (which usually produce hydroxocobalamin), but conversion between different forms of the vitamin can be accomplished in the human body….
            Ultimately, animals must obtain vitamin B12 directly or indirectly from bacteria, and these bacteria may inhabit a section of the gut that is distal to the section where B12 is absorbed. Thus, herbivorous animals must either obtain B12 from bacteria in their rumens or (if fermenting plant material in the hindgut) by reingestion of cecotrope feces.
            Vitamin B12 is found in most animal derived foods, including fish and shellfish, meat (especially liver), poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products”

            So it says B12 is in animal products. At the very least, to me it means that the bacteria is permeating the animal’s flesh and if we’re not getting it directly from the animal, we’re getting the bacteria we need from the animal to make it ourselves.

            Ref ” Before water was purified we got it through water” I drink natural spring water that is filtered but not treated. B12 is not listed as a nutrient. I think the only way to get B12 from water is to drink it downstream from a ‘cow pie’.

            Ref ‘McDougall’s comment that most are deficient’: Perhaps when you go by the DV of the NIH. But the WHO is generally lower and probably more realistic. I judge it by the way I feel. I didn’t go get tested until I was symptomatic, that is, I was fatigued.

            Ref “After being vegan for 15 years I tried paleo for a year and it wrecked my health”: I believe it, I think paleo is an extreme diet, as is vegan. But did you see the youtube video where McDougall interviews Atkins? There he says, ‘We’re polar opposites but we both get good results.’ And yes, I know Atkins died in his early 70’s; I know vegans who died younger.

            Ref ‘mercury in fish’: With few exceptions, I eat the cleaner fish such as salmon, herring and sardines. Also, I have them very rarely, not even weekly. The same is true for eggs and dairy. For example, I’ll go through a dozen eggs in a couple of weeks and not buy them again for a couple of months. The same with cheese. I buy raw organic cheese, about a quarter of a pound, it lasts about a week, and I might not get it again for another month. So because of the small amounts that I eat, no, the food scares don’t trouble me, at least not as much as getting my nutritional needs from supplements rather than real food.

          • mbglife

            Well E, thanks for that additional information. I feel better knowing you’ve done a pretty complete job of getting your information. Although you and I have come to very different conclusions about it and which is the lesser of the two evils (manmade b12 vs. animal for the sources). I find it interesting that while Dr McDougall generally is against supplementing, he is for b12 tablets.

            As an aside, I remember years ago when Atkins was alive and the movie, The Sixth Sense was popular, Dr. Dean Orish quipped: “I see dead people. They’re in the Atkins diet.” I thought that was pretty funny.

            E, I hope your new year’s a healthy one.

            Mark

          • Epikoros

            McDougall has to support B12 supplements because he knows it’s not available in a vegan diet. And if he suggests eating animal products to get B12, then he would open a pandora’s box. Check out his interview of Atkins…but please remember, I don’t support a paleo diet. It’s just interesting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBi2VABLNb0

          • mbglife

            Well, I think I’m missing your point. I don’t see what the debate about b12 matters if cultured b12 is harmless and if it helps avoid the hormones, PCBs (in salmon and other fish), toxins, fats, and problematic proteins in animal products. (The biggest prostate cancer and BPH risks comes from dairy, which is designed then calfs into cows in months time.

            Having been impacted by animal products I don’t ever want that “stuff” in my body again. And I’m not trying to be argumentative, but man, I really worry about your diet, especially I’d you don’t test for b12 and only go by how you feel. As McDougall saId, by the time you feel the symptoms of being low, damage has been done and it’s not reversible. I supplement and test annually and my B12 is safe at a high level (around 800). E, I just don’t see it.

          • Epikoros

            As I recall, I discussed all these issues in Plants not Pills. As I said there, just as we once said vitamin D and E supplements were helpful and harmless, we now know the opposite. But let’s say it proves true that b12 is ‘harmless’ because it’s water soluble, the other two are fat soluble, so what? We know that vitamins D and E are safe when absorbed the way nature intended, in other words, nutrients work together as in the sum being greater than the parts. When you take a pill, it’s an extract deprived of it’s support system. So too with B12, it’s best to get it the way nature intended.
            I also explained in Plants not Pills how we, as humans, have different biological/chemical makeup. Some of us have genes and hormones that enable us to digest different foods. For example, some digest beans easily whereas others, like myself, am bowled over with pain from the gas. As I also explained in Plants not Pills, I’ve been experimenting for 25 years on various ways of prepping and cooking the beans as well as with probiotics, etc…

            Ref “PCBs” As I said earlier, I eat low on the food chain and they have the lowest amount of those toxins plus I eat them so rarely I am confident it’s inconsequential.

            I also explained in Plants not Pills how my family history is one of health and longevity despite doing virtually everything “wrong” so that gives me added confidence in my diet and lifestyle.

            Ref “I really worry about your diet, ” I don’t think so. Isn’t it more honest to say you are worried about your agenda? That others reading this might find my argument for eating natural whole foods instead of popping pills as being persuasive and abandoning veganism??

            Ref “especially I’d you don’t test for b12 and only go by how you feel. As
            McDougall saId, by the time you feel the symptoms of being low, damage
            has been done and it’s not reversible.” Yes, I was worried about that but when I felt tired all the time back in 2001, I got tested and learned of the deficiency along with high homocysteine levels…I discussed all of this in Plants not Pills so I’m not going to explain it again. I’ll just say the doctor gave me an injection of B12, put me on a high dosage, I got tested a couple of more times over the next few years, I was at a high level and quit getting tested. You’ll see more in depth discussion on my part at Plants not Pills.

            I occasionally take supplements but not on a regular basis. I eat animal products when my energy seems low and I get a boost from it. Please, spare me ‘it’s from all the hormones they put in animals”. Well, as I said, I eat organic. Do some farmers cheat? Probably. But my the same token, you’re getting poisons in your food even if you eat organic veg.

          • Veganrunner

            I believe he eats fish? Cheese maybe? He says meat and fowl. So that would leave dairy and seafood. Not that it matters. He absolutely can eat what he wants. (I use salt to cook. :-)

          • mbglife

            I still try to keep the salt low. Which is why I would over time forget or get too low and find myself at the doctors feeling miserable and having my doctor say, your sodium is a little low. As soon as I’d add some salt I’d start to feel better but muscle pain would last a month. More that it’s happened several times I’ve learned my lesson and add a tiny amount if I don’t eat canned beans or sauce that has some. But good to know I’ve got a partner in crime. ;-)

          • Fred

            You should become a hunter? You could munch on veggies as you hunt…

          • Epikoros

            I doubt that you see how you are so representative of those in the animal rights movement who communicate from such a deep sense of bitterness and hostility. Good luck converting people.

        • brec

          I’m unclear as to why “nature” — I assume evolutionary pressure — provided us with a taste for meat if it’s not good for us. If plants were scarce at times and places, I’d think simple hunger would have been sufficient motivation for hunting.

          • Epikoros

            Meat is good for us in small doses. It was maybe a year and half ago that National Geographic completed a survey of today’s ‘primitive tribes’. Regarding their diet, it found that about 30% of their calories were from animal products.

        • walterbyrd

          You have a completely closed mind. You will not try new things, you will not consider any opinions that are different than the opionions you already have.

          You have decided that meat tastes better, and you flatly reject any argument that it is a matter of what you have acclimated to.

          Why even discuss the issue, when mind is completely closed?

          • Epikoros

            In other words, you have no rebuttal. You even uptick yourself, gimme a break.

    • MikeOnRaw

      Really, taste is the only thing that keeps meat eaters eating meat? This when nearly every meat or meat dish I have ever seen is filled with spices and flavor enhancers? I see that as an excuse but not a real reason.
      Then the other reason is because there are vegans that are dicks? There are meat eaters just as bad, and just like there are nice meat eaters, there are also nice vegans. People passionate about their lifestyle can be very zealous, regardless of their lifestyle. Have you tried to talk to a cross-fit lifestyle person, yikes!
      My point is, don’t let surface issues keep you from seeing what is best for you, the planet, and the animals. Plant based foods will taste as good as you want them too and if you stay away from processed foods you no longer are stuck tasting what others think it should taste like.

      • Epikoros

        I’ve addressed these issues above. Please read entire thread.

    • DidiDens

      I highly recommend “The Pleasure Trap,” by Dr Douglas Lisle. In it, he explains a lot about how taste preferences are developed – and changed. Humans are predisposed to like highly concentrated calorie choices, as an evolutionary adaptation to scarcity. However, that does not mean that those taste preferences are hard-wired, or immutable. On the contrary, we can habituate to a flavor range that is healthier for the body. That said, I agree that vegan food has to taste good to help people transition away from calorie-dense foods. That is one reason I love making food that surprises people when I tell them it is vegan. :-)

      • Epikoros

        Well said. Isn’t ‘an evolutionary adaptation’ essentially being hard wired? I agree we can control our behavior but not our desire. So one can say “I love meat” and choose not to eat it for whatever reason.
        Below in this thread I mention something regarding anthropology. But yeah, my only point was that people are mostly driven by taste. You and millions of others like veg food but most people prefer meat. Please see my other comments below.

        • DidiDens

          Actually, it both is and is not hard-wired, depending upon the specifics of the discussion. The triggers are hard-wired – as in the serotonin being released in the pleasure centers of the brain when we eat something that is at the high end of our range for caloric density (people have different ranges based on their eating habits). However, the addiction to foods that are not ideal for optimal health is something that can be healed. Only part of it is physiological craving. A large part of the issue is actually habituation and cultural normalization. For example, taste has a large component that is totally psychological, rather than physiological. What is considered an acceptable taste for the average Japanese person (e.g. umeboshi paste) is generally considered inedible to the American palate. That doesn’t mean that Americans can’t habituate to that taste, but rather that the first bite will probably not go well. This is just one example to explain a bit of why I find the argument about the flavor of meat being hard-wired to be disingenuous.

          Also, our brains have the potential for an enormous amount of plasticity. We learn all the time, and not always at the conscious level. An example of that which applies to this conversation would tie into the fact that the microbes in our gut that help break down food actually change as we eat a more plant-based diet. When we eliminate meat-based products entirely, the gut flora is radically different than that of a meat eater. When a vegan then eats a significant amount of meat (the exact amount varies per person), he or she will actually get moderate to severe stomach distress. This is because the body no longer has the appropriate flora to break down the meat enzymes. In turn, this becomes operant conditioning “positive punishment,” and helps re-wire the brain to associate the negative physical effect with eating meat. That can be very effective (speaking from personal experience here!) as even once-loved foods can become associated with nausea.

          • Epikoros

            I’m enjoying your input, thank you. At the same time, I’m troubled by semantics.

            Ref “the addiction to foods that are not ideal for optimal health is something that can be healed.” Is ‘addiction’ the appropriate term when it comes to whole foods? I see where sugar might be addictive in terms of how our brain responds to it, what parts are
            activated, etc… But sugar isn’t a whole food. Also, I was taught that coffee is
            ‘habit forming’, yet I certainly experience the withdrawal headaches when I
            stop drinking it. So is it more appropriate to identify coffee as addictive?

            Ref “This is just one example to explain a bit of why I find the argument
            about the flavor of meat being hard-wired to be disingenuous.” I think using the word “disingenuous” is disingenuous. Eating meat was universal whereas becoming veg was cultural and extremely rare. Humans didn’t choose meat out of ease. It was a lot easier to gather than to hunt. But it was the hunter and not the gatherer who was always
            held in highest esteem as he brought home the bacon.

            Here is something I recall reading from an Anthropology 101 book many, many
            years ago. ‘We know from how societies and cultures evolved that rice and vegetables are bland. Why didn’t
            nature imbue them with more flavor? Maybe because compared to hunting, veg food
            has easier access, you just ‘gather’ it. So nature didn’t make veg food all
            that delectable because it was at our fingertips and it would naturally be the
            bulk of our diet.

            Why do animal foods taste so good? Nature knew that hunting was hard work
            and we wouldn’t bother unless the reward was great, as in great taste. But
            nature didn’t want us eating too much of it so it was hard work.’

            Ref “When we eliminate meat-based products entirely, the gut flora is
            radically different than that of a meat eater.

            I have a different perspective. A couple of decades ago, I used to attend
            lectures by the veg giants at that time. I remember Dr. Klapper said that
            Eskimos wouldn’t be able to adapt very well to a veg diet; That they might be
            better off reducing meat and adding vegetables but that their flora could never
            make such a radical adjustment.

            I’m not an Eskimo and as I said earlier, I haven’t eaten meat or fowl for 25
            years. For the 1st 11 years, I was mostly vegan. To this day, my
            flora hasn’t adjusted to beans. I tried everything you can imagine: Different
            spices, soaking methods, kombu, bay leafs, ginger, beano, probiotics, I even
            make my own fermented veg…but beans, any type including peanut butter to tofu,
            throw my digestive system into a gas factory.

            Ref “When a vegan then eats a significant amount of meat (the exact amount
            varies per person), he or she will actually get moderate to severe stomach
            distress.”

            Not in my experience. I didn’t have any trouble when, after 11 years of
            being vegan, adding occasional fish, dairy and eggs to my diet. I felt a lot
            better. I know a bunch of other people
            who had the same experience. One funny anecdote, though you might not
            appreciate it: My brother was vegan for a few years. Then one day he was at a
            steak place with his friends. He would normally get a salad and plain baked
            potato. But he ordered a 1 pound steak. His friends said, ‘What are you doing,
            you’re a veg?’ And he said, “Not
            anymore.” And I said, one pound is a lot of meat, did you get sick? And he
            said, “Nope, never felt better.”

          • DidiDens

            I also am enjoying this discussion. Thank you. :-)

            I called eating meat an “addiction” for multiple reasons, and it was deliberate. Addictions are not good for you, although they do give pleasure, and it can be challenging to rewire the brain away from indulging in the addictive substance (see http://www.asam.org/for-the-public/definition-of-addiction). From what I can tell, and historically speaking, the over-indulgent risks of eating meat were never truly possible previously – at least not on a scale such as what we see now. The diseases we see that are diet-centric (heart disease, cancer, stroke, gout etc) used to be considered “the diseases of kings” or “the diseases of affluence.” From what I can see, there are quite a few cultures (including in India, China, and Japan), where eating meat was historically much more rare than it is now. Even now, outside the USA, a portion of meat is likely to be less than 4 ounces, while an American will routinely consume an 8 or 12 ounce portion. If you have read The China Study (T. Colin Campbell, PhD), you already know that there is a large body of correlative evidence suggesting a link between the amount of meat one eats and the probability of diseases of affluence. Personally, I enjoy digging through PubMed for the most recent studies, and there is starting to be a snowball effect with more and more studies consistently showing similar results from research facilities all over the world. It is quite exciting!

            However, that is not the gist of our conversational thread. We have been discussing taste, the fact that agreeable and disagreeable tastes are mutable and even trainable, and both the physiological and psychological ease or difficulty of transitioning to a whole food plant based diet. In that regard, I have heard of people such as you describe who can flip back and forth with no ill effects. I would love to see a study somewhere sometime to see how common rare that is. I suspect this person would be an outlier, but that is based on anecdotal evidence from my own circle of friends. I don’t disbelieve you at all, as I am convinced that the range of human possibilities is wide and far-ranging.

            We may know that eating broccoli is good for us, but that doesn’t automatically grant a taste for it. There are ways to encourage the development of a taste for a specific food (operant conditioning again), but that carries no guarantee, obviously. As true as that may be, it is also true that knowing that meat or cheese is bad for you doesn’t automatically translate to a distaste for either. I acknowledge this portion of the case you make, but I also believe that the taste distaste for a food group is not proof that it is healthy or desirable for optimal well-being. I believe you acknowledge this by stating that you see the flavor of the food as being an issue (aside from your positive experiences in India).

            I would simply state that, in my opinion, the desirability of meat as a food is mutable for a large portion of the population. Some people might always crave meat, no matter what happens to them. Perhaps you fall into that category? Others have and will continue to find that their culinary tastes have changed and the meat is no longer appealing. I think that, with our varied perspective, this would be the closest we might currently come to common ground?

            Thanks again for the conversation!

          • Epikoros

            Ref “addiction”: Okay, it sounds like you’re saying you chose the word addiction for other than scientific reasons, that is, I believe you’re agreeing that eating meat is not an addiction in the scientific understand of the term, is that a fair conclusion?

            Ref “large body of correlative evidence suggesting a link between the amount
            of meat one eats and the probability of diseases of affluence”

            Well, I like your use of the word “correlative”, thank you. I’m aware of Campbell’s work but I haven’t read him but I’ve read just about everyone else such as Drs. Barnard, Ornish, Klapper, McDougall and Lappe and John Robbins and others. My favorite right now is Dr. Fuhrman, I like his unique approach. I guess you wouldn’t recommend either him or Ornish as they both allow yogurt?

            Ref “We may know that eating broccoli is good for us, but that doesn’t
            automatically grant a taste for it. There are ways to encourage the development
            of a taste…” A ton of cheese sauce!?

            Ref “I believe you acknowledge this by stating that you see the flavor of
            the food as being an issue” That is the heart of my argument. I began this thread by simply saying that the only real way to win the hearts and minds, i.e., stomach, of omnivores is by winning their palate. Instead, most veg I know try to win them over by grabbing them by the testicles. You don’t have to take my word for it, just read through other comments posted here.

            Ref “I think that, with our varied perspective, this would be the closest we
            might currently come to common ground?”
            Sure, if you want to address what I wrote above, you’re welcome to do
            so. Otherwise, it can be understood as rhetorical. Have a Happy New Year.

  • YO

    Black pepper bad for humans? Are we only looking at the “good points/data” on black pepper
    and not considering the bad? It has an initial irritating effect on the mouth – would this not indicate
    an aversion to early human consumption?

    DR FUHRMAN SAYS TO AVOID BLACK PEPPER:

    “In order to maintain excellent health and true internal cleanliness, you
    must avoid all harmful, irritating substances (such as salt, pepper,
    and hot spices) and eat a diet rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants.” Says Dr Fuhrman on his blog.

    • Leslie

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3103424

      Possibly harmful to GI tract.

    • Wade Patton
    • DNFischer

      Pipeline in black pepper inhibits a class of Phase-2 detoxification enzymes (glucuronidation) in the liver. This may not be a big deal if you consume whole black pepper in small quantities, which is what you do when you use black pepper as a spice, unless you have Gilbert’s syndrome.

      • DNFischer

        Sorry the auto spell checker spelled piperine wrong. Maybe that’s what happened to the lawyers with the word meat.

      • guest

        What you say seems to have a scientific basis. However, I have Gilbert’s syndrome and suffer from attacks of lethargy, stomach problems and depression from it on occasion. However these have been less frequent since going vegan, my stomach ills have cleared up to the point where they’re barley noticeable, and since taking the advice of a naturopathic doctor to take a supplement called d-limonene, I’ve had no attacks other than a slight twinge once in a while, and this is in spite of using pepper daily, including with my turmeric to increase its absorption by bypassing phase-2 detoxification. So, in practice, pepper doesn’t seem to be a problem.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Dr. Greger explores the literature on black pepper and never put it on the “danger” list so I am not sure what’s going on.

      • AuntyVal

        When asked the question, “Is black pepper one of the hot spices we are supposed to avoid?” Dr. Fuhrman’s response was, “Black pepper is one of those spices like other hot peppers that are safe and even healthful in small amounts but irritating in large amounts. In this case it is the dose that makes the poison. So use small amounts if you like the hot flavor, but keep it mildly hot, and not at every meal.”

        He also gave this reply to a mom who was concerned that her 10 year old was using too much pepper, “I am concerned that lots and lots of black pepper can irritate the gastric lining and that chronic irritation could be a health risk. I think you have to but some in a dish for the day and limit his use to that amount. Not more than 1/2 teaspoon a day of ground black pepper.”

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          Well that makes more sense to me! Thanks so much for adding this I am always amazing by our community here I am going to miss it! :-(

    • AuntyVal

      That statement was in a blog post about a 5-day cleanse.

      When asked the question, “Is black pepper one of the hot spices we are supposed to avoid?” Dr. Fuhrman’s response was, “Black pepper is one of those spices like other hot peppers that are safe and even healthful in small amounts but irritating in large amounts. In this case it is the dose that makes the poison. So use small amounts if you like the hot flavor, but keep it mildly hot, and not at every meal.”

    • Joe Caner

      The only negative thing I ever read about black pepper was that it can cause, ahem, anal itching in some people. This was particularly interesting because at the time I was a heavy user of black pepper and I also experienced the afore mentioned malady.

      I replaced black pepper with green and red chili peppers and soon after experienced relief from the symptoms. I now use it very sparingly and only in conjunction with turmeric per Dr’ Greger’s information regarding how black pepper boosts the efficacy of turmeric. ( http://nutritionfacts.org/2015/02/05/why-pepper-boosts-turmeric-blood-levels/ )

  • Wade Patton

    Corporations are the mechanism (the legal persons) that allow men to behave without morality, or concern for the overall good of mankind, but ONLY the advancement of the Company.

  • Victoria Alice Westwood

    Dear Dr Greger/ Mr Gonzales, I enjoy discussing nutrition topics with friends and patients alike based on your excellent website – I was discussing co enzyme Q10 recently and wondered if you were going to review any research into whether or not it is necessary for health either as a supplement or from meat in certain individuals or whether this is yet another myth? Many thanks.

    • Thea

      Victoria: There is certainly enough interest in CoQ10 that I wouldn’t be surprised if Dr. Greger covered the topic in a future video or blog post. But in the mean time, note that Dr. Greger explains the conditions under which CoQ10 can be created by our own bodies (meaning supplements would not be necessary) in his new book, How Not To Die. Also, in the list of supplements that Dr. Greger mentions in the book, CoQ10 is not one of them. Hence I’m thinking that CoQ10 has great marketers, but not great reasons for us to take it. That’s my 2 cents anyway.

      • Victoria Alice Westwood

        Wonderful thanks thea, I have ordered my copies of the book and await their shipping to the UK with eager anticipation!

      • jj

        Supplementing with CoQ10 Can be beneficial to some people. We are all individual.

  • jclevine

    There is an unfortunate reason, I think, for the current schism in the WFPB movement (is that the most common acronym now?). There are 2 main groups promoting it: health advocates and animal advocates. Those 2 groups have their own differences. And even with those 2 groups you have deeper sub-groups with often even more differences.

    Health is divided into the raw, nutritarian, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, macrobiotic, and (many) more — all disagreeing on how their diet is the *true* way to eat perfectly. Below (or above?) is a perfect example: the folks arguing over black pepper. *Black pepper*? Really? And I’d even say black pepper is one of the less controversial elements of a diet. I think everyone who reads this forum has seen all sorts of contentious arguments about all sorts of foods/spices/methods.

    And then there’s the animal rights groups. The militants, the bleeding hearts, PETA, animal sanctuaries, philosophers, scientists and on and on and on. There are so many schisms.

    So you have schisms within schisms all the way down. And, on top of that, undoubtedly there are trolls sent in by the big corporations to stir up trouble which is like throwing a piece of meat (bad analogy?) into a lion’s den. It doesn’t take any effort at all to get people in these organizations worked up and focusing on the wrong problems.

    And if all the organizations are lumped together (as they will be by the general public), any transgressions by one group will burden all the others. PETA makes a stupid ad and then all of a sudden every even semi-related organization has to answer for it.

    I’m not entirely sure how we handle this problem. At the moment, I’m starting a purely “healthy eating” advocacy group in my city, Toronto, based off the movie Plant Pure Nation. I’ve literally just started it within the last couple months. (Shameless plug: Check out http://www.meetup.com/Plant-Pure-Pod-Toronto/ if you’re in Toronto! :D).

    At the moment, I’m under the impression that the best way forward is to concentrate on health and health alone. If you hear someone say something very minor that you disagree with and won’t destroy someone’s health (like, say, black pepper :-P) just bite your tongue and include them. The squabbles over calorie restriction, avocadoes, and nuts can begin after we’ve won.

    Even though I am just as strong an animal advocate as I am a health advocate, I’m going to keep them separate for now. It’s off-putting to enough people to just stop eating meat for completely selfish reasons (not dying). Don’t throw animals, morality, and philosophy into the mix. Animals will still benefit regardless of why people stop eating meat.

    Lastly, I’d say this is a much more difficult battle than the battle against smoking for many reasons, but there are 2 major ones:

    1. Meat is everywhere. And not everywhere as in smoking in the 50s. It’s ubiquitous to a degree that would (and should) terrify any WFPB diet advocate. It’s a long, long, steep, difficult journey.

    2. I always liken diet to religion. People are essentially indoctrinated literally from birth on what to eat and what is ok. They’ve been told this their whole life by almost everyone, including their doctors. It becomes part of your identity. And when people threaten something part of your identity, well, I think it’s safe to say they get a little defensive.

    This is a very difficult battle and I’d love to hear others’ thoughts.

    • Thank you, JC! I’ll send your link to my friends in Toronto. I agree with you, “Even though I am just as strong an animal advocate as I am a health advocate, I’m going to keep them separate for now. It’s off-putting to enough people to just stop eating meat for completely selfish reasons (not dying). Don’t throw animals, morality, and philosophy into the mix. Animals will still benefit regardless of why people stop eating meat.”
      In my field, bringing into the mainstream, the study of dreams and problem-solving, I decided in 1979 before my first big media tour, actually before writing my first book in ’77, to focus only on dreaming connected to real world issues. I admire the untapped power of hypnosis for pain control, anxiety reduction, sleep facilitation, and self knowledge (all of which I used in my internship at the San Francisco VA hospital), BUT one battle at a time. Trying to show people that their dreaming minds were nightly results of their own minds helping them out was a big enough task in a world that thinks their minds deal in nonsensical trash every night! Add the “far out” claims of clinical hypnosis, and you might as well limit your audience to 10 people!
      When going against the grain of uncritically held beliefs, it behooves us not to threaten too many beliefs at once.

    • Colin Wright

      Well said! A very difficult battle, indeed, with many nuances. It may be nearly impossible to “unite” different factions in the food movement but we can learn from other people’s movements in the past and present (civil rights, feminist, labor, etc.). Successful movements seem to build popular support by pushing incremental reforms that simultaneously educate as they grow political power. Coalition-building seems essential here to push legislation, but radical groups also have their place to play by pushing the agenda forward. At the same time, a bigger picture is essential to understand the terrain we fight on, and the larger social forces at play. Corporations don’t just seek to maximize profit, but they are driven to seek growth as investors seek a constant return on their investments (hence the global “nutrition transition”.) Regulating corporations can only go so far and their rise now threatens ecological stability, as their media and lobbying powers grow . So not only should we seek political allies in other parts of the public health movement but also among other groups seeking a more just, democratic and sustainable future, in my view. At the same time, we can support each other and grow the WFPB movement, not only with local meet-ups groups (way to go!) but by promoting other alternative economic arrangements (local growers, farmer’s markets, food coops, etc). Mind you, the great thing about organizing around the WFPB diet is that we bring “instant” health to people who will listen to us. Could there be a greater gift?

    • David Johnson

      I agree one should not mix the two views. I am a vegan for both reasons – originally, for ethical reasons, but now also for health (older, so wiser). Years ago I used to respond to the question – “why don’t you eat meat?”, with “I don’t eat what I won’t kill”. But these days I never mix the two in discussions. I know many people interested in healthy diets but many fewer who are seriously interested in animal welfare. (Also, I do not force my dog to be a vegan.)

  • Panchito

    In a way, I see the opportunity to disagree as healthy. Most people don’t have the capacity to tell the difference between good or bad. For example, some non vegan health food leaders look like walking rotten zombies. Sally Fallon and Stephen Sinatra (and more) made a crowd of followers. Their animal food stories sounded credible but their long term results proved that logic alone is misleading. They did not feel the need to unite.

    • David Johnson

      I agree. Yes, it can be confusing to be exposed to conflicting views but in my mind, trying to create an artificial consensus is not the way to solve a communication problem.

    • Jeewanu

      “Most people don’t have the capacity to tell the difference between good or bad.”

      ~ A thunderhead of judgement was gathering in my gaze~

    • Tom Goff

      Dare I mention Jimmy Moore?

  • PRA

    Being a vegan,Once a year, I treat my self to a new year “whatever I want to eat meal”.. My question to JG, which is the least assaulting to the vegan system.. 1. a slice of carrot cake 2. wild caught salmon 3. grass fed steak or free range chicken.. would appreciate your feedback!

    • Panchito

      Why would you identify as a vegan and ‘treat’ yourself by eating a dead animal?

      • PRA

        Panchito, keep your sarcasm to yourself! plus I wasn’t addressing you!!

    • Jeewanu

      We do the same…or at least used to. But now some 5 years into WFPB we just don’t have the desire. This year my indulgence was bean burgers “deluxe” with a sprinkle of parmesean.

      @panchito, ~little boxes, little boxes…~

    • Daniel Wagle

      What about a Vegan slice of carrot cake? I think it is alright to indulge in perhaps something less healthy once in a long while, as long as what you are indulging in does not have animal products in them. I am not completely pure. I do not eat meat on holidays, however, many desserts I might eat might have dairy and eggs in them. I never eat an egg or drink a glass of milk, but not everything I eat is completely free of dairy and eggs. I have, recently, however, stopped eating milk chocolate, and the coffee creamers I now use are completely free of dairy derivatives.

  • MikeOnRaw

    I wish we could keep all the groups trying to find health from splintering. But how do you bring Vegan’s and Paleo and Atkins folks all into the same room and have them agree on anything?

    • Jeewanu

      my enemy’s enemy is my friend

    • Daniel Wagle

      Being against processed junk might be a commonality, although we won’t agree about animal products. Paleo persons might agree that processed meat is not that healthy.

      • MikeOnRaw

        I think everyone can agree that processed foods in general are not a “healthy” alternative. But they can be healthier than others. I.e. is Just Mayo, a plant based spread healthier than Miracle Whip? Sure. But would mushing up an avocado and adding some spices healthier than Just Mayo? perhaps.
        Yet the sticking point with vegans will always be animal products. For a vegan, there is almost ZERO justification for eating or using animal products. That whole plant based foods are healthiest as well, is just a bonus.

    • Jim Felder

      The issue is that there are groups like the WFPB movement that are evidence based, and there are those that are wish based like Paleo and outright anti-science like all the variations on the low-carb concept. I find it very difficult to join in common effort even when there are dietary elements we agree on when their dietary philosophy is so diametrically opposed to mine.

      I guess I could stand 80% with Paleo dieters if they actually followed a paleolithic diet where starchy and non-starchy vegetables and fruit made up the large majority of the diet, meat was a rare feast, eggs were an occasional spring treat, milk was for babies, and only idiots (and soon to be extinct ones at that) passed up the opportunity to eat any grains, legumes and tubers they could find. But the several Paleo books I have read seem to make a fetish out of eating large quantities of meat at every meal “like Grog”. This paleo-fantasy makes finding common cause tough.

  • Trena

    I have a question about the “daily dozen” in Dr Greger’s new book. Are the numbers of servings minimums or maximums?

    • targets!

      • Trena

        Thanks! I think I get too many whole grains and not enough beans. Love your emails, I learn something new every day. And I LOVE the book. My favorite Christmas present!

  • Vegetable Man

    Apparently those meat-head lawyers can’t even spell ‘meat’ (“…red meet and other products.”)!

    • Jeewanu

      Its all part of their “health prevention” plan!

  • Mike Quinoa

    Off-topic, but I bought the most excellent “How Not To Die” on Saturday (nabbed the last copy). It’s one of those lovely fat books that’s hard to put down, with a mind-boggling number of reference notes (about 131 pages worth!). I think this book will be the leader in taking the plant-based message mainstream. (Other recent plant-based books by vegan docs I would also recommend are “The Whole Heart Solution” by Joel Kahn, MD, “Proteinaholic” by Garth Davis, MD, and one that’s been out a little longer, “The End Of Diabetes,” by Joel Fuhrman, MD.) It really illustrates the momentum that the whole foods, plant-based lifestyle is gaining.

    • Jeewanu

      Breaking it down into sections specific to a particular disease was brilliant. Now there is a handy reference. Before we would tend to scan through the indexes or “google it”.

    • Nick Presidente

      I went to the store Saturday, only 2 copies left in the entire chain, and that store was a good 40 mins away. I went to amazon.ca and it was sold out too. So I get to wait.

    • guest

      I noticed something uncommon about the references: The same reference appearing next to each other in the same chapter has been given two different numbers, which artificially inflates the number of references. (The standard practice is to give the same reference appearing in the same document – in this case the same chapter -the same number. ) This could be a computer issue that the editors didn’t notice or the publisher’s effort to make the list of references appear longer. (Book publishers are no angels.)

      • Mike Quinoa

        Might be less confusing to some people done that way. Dr. Greger mentioned in an earlier blog post that there were”100+” references in the book. Even allowing for duplication or triplication of effort, there’s still probably a good 100 pages of references—so, not so bad.

  • Joe

    A serious question: What about Paleo and Vegan ? These are two very different factions, with very different moral perspectives – but my honest opinion is that the common ground is more important than the differences. Meat and grains will be argued about no matter what, but surely both groups can share their desire for high quality vegetables, zero dairy, no CAFOs, and of course local, unrefined, clean food.

    So I’m interested. Hypothetically, would you sit down at the table with your opposites if it meant an end to CAFOs, GMOs and other industrial atrocities? Or is this unthinkable?

    • mbglife

      I tried paleo when I was trying to address a decline in health that ultimately turned out to be a medical problem needing surgery. I can tell you two things. Paleo ruined my health and impacted me years later with a gallbladder removal, and paleo advocates love dairy. Ago cross that off your list of common ground. Your point on plants is otherwise a good one, but that’s not the focus of the debates.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      I think it’s important to find common ground, which as you said is more important than the differences. It helps build constructive conversation by first agreeing. Not sure if you’ve seen this amazing comparison, but one of my favorite RDs posted this on Paleo Diets.

    • Joe Caner

      Yes!

  • laguna

    Greenpeace is not a model to follow. They are a leftist anti capitalist group whose leaders commute in private jets.
    other than that, good video.

  • Wade Patton

    BEWARE! there’s a fake cookbook on Amazon. Imitation may be flattery, but this appears to be outright fraud. You’ll know it if you see it. Disregard if this info has been passed around. I just bumped into it.

    My book (the real deal) is on the way.

  • Tikiri

    Go Dr Greger and Team! Thank you for leading the way!

  • I love that you began this video with the logo from the international food relief and political organization Food Not Bombs. Food Not Bombs gives out free donated vegan food on the streets to anyone, worldwide (hundreds of local chapters). I recently brought Keith McHenry from Food Not Bombs to speak at L.A. City College and show his posters. http://foodnotbombs.net/new_site/

  • so many issue about healthy food in now days… and i really excited to know more..
    i have a blog btw about the best premium coffee in South east asia..
    http://iceteainfo.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-history-of-gayo-coffee.html