Friday, 3 January 2020

Diet

Rachel in the comments on yesterday's blog post about my relations being vegans, questions the idea of putting a three-year-old on a vegan diet.  Believe me, I have questioned it too.  But when I think of the rubbish diet that many young children have and compare it with the thought, the love and the time that her parents spend in devising their diet then I don't think it is in my place to criticise.
I read in The Times  this week the huge number of people who have converted to veganism this last year.  Some may call it a 'fad' but surely we are all entitled to eat what we wish.   Each Sunday, as you know, I lunch out with three friends - we have done this for several years.   One of those friends is 98 years young (it would be an insult to her to say 'old'), fit as a flea, no aches or pains, walks far more quickly than I do and has no obvious signs of ageing apart from some short term memory loss and she combats this by writing everything down in her diary.   And this friend has never in her life eaten a vegetable apart from a few raw peas straight from the pod in her garden over the years and an occasional floret of cauliflower in white sauce if pressed (which we always do if it is one of the veggies at our Sunday lunch).   So what is the answer?   I personally no longer care for meat but would not go vegetarian because I couldn't live without a streaky bacon sandwich now and again - and I do love fish (have salmon most Sundays on a bed of spinach) and love sardines on toast.

Perhaps the most important thing in considering our health is to eat (and drink) a varied diet and stick to the maxim 'all things in moderation '.  What do you think?

44 comments:

Rachel Phillips said...

I trust your family have read all the latest research relating to brain and liver development and vegans.

Gwil said...

I don’t think meat is necessary to live a long and healthy life but I think milk in infancy is. The mother can give breast milk to her baby up to the age of four according to a tv documentary I saw about Zulu women. For myself I eat white meat like farm reared chicken about once a week. I also eat fish and eggs. But my diet is mainly vegetarian with a plenty of pulses, beans, and beer (non alcoholic wheat beer like Meisels Weisse or Edelweiss are particularly tasty). For breakfast it’s porridge with a little tsampa or a piece of chocolate or a couple of plums. I have one ache brought on by running 2,000 kms in 2019 which I’m treating with herbal sports creams. I will be raring to go again in 2 or 3 weeks.

Oklahoma Girl said...

I am 75 with no health issues. Have been a Vegan for more than half my life. There is always going to be people who criticize every diet. I believe in balance and making the best choices we know how and respect everyone's right to do the same.

Thank you Weaver for your post and your respect for others.

Rachel Phillips said...

Half ones life at 75 does not include being a vegan at 3 years old I assume, Oklahoma Girl? Brain and liver development is important to get off to a good start in infancy and at the age of 35 onwards I am sure it is all perfectly formed although needs maintaining which can be more easily done. A three year old needs a bit of special attention to get off to a good start.

Oklahoma Girl said...

I was breast fed then when I went to regular food, I was raised vegetarian. I'm not an expert but it's worked for me.

Rachel Phillips said...

There is a significant difference between vegetarian and vegan for 3 year olds.

Heather said...

It is up to each of us to choose what to eat and be aware of what is good and not so good. I prefer my own cooking to ready meals, processed food or even some meals out. I do eat meat but in small portions and enjoy fish too. I also love fruit and vegetables. My one concern about vegan food is that so much of it appears to have been processed and flavoured to resemble bacon, sausage, cream, cheese, etc.
Whatever food you choose - enjoy it, don't waste any and don't eat too much!

Charles said...

My father was convinced that you drank gin at lunch, whiskey in the evening before red wine, and then more whiskey. Brandy was a bit iffy, Brandy and ginger was the trouble, Brandy at lunch a disaster in the making. I tend to agree with him and do not have Brandy in the house. As regards food I think the 5 veg a day rule, which was sucked out of the air works quite well, but there definition of a portion is very small. I think exercise might be more important, as well as having a few tricky things to sort out. Luckily I am trying to sort out my pension, that is tricky enough.

Chris said...

A very interesting discussion, Weave. I have red meat once in a blue moon but eat chicken and fish frequently. I find it hard to eat just vegetables and pulses, mainly due to lack of knowledge or imagination. Any food in moderation should keep us healthy.

Oklahoma Girl said...

They are both healthy diets but we all have our opinions and I respect ypurs.

Oklahoma Girl said...

I totally agree on Vegan junk food and I don't eat any of it. My Vegan diet, as most healthy Vegan diets are is plant food.

I agree 100% with you.

Rachel Phillips said...

Oaklahoma, you appear to be blinkered and unable to see my point. I speak only of a 3 year old, not a 75 year old adult or any other adult. I have no more to say to you except what you eat is your business and I have no.interest in it.

wherethejourneytakesme said...

I have been a vegetarian for almost all my life (I am 65) as I would never eat meat from being weened. I met and married a fellow vegetarian and both our children grew up in a vegetarian household. It is well known that vegans and vegetarians live longer than meat eaters and there are many places still in the world that do not eat meat and their children survive.
Whether you are Vegan , vegetarian or a meat eater the key is eating a wide and varied diet to obtain the nutrients you need. I would say even more importantly to eat organic and support organic farming whether that be vegetables or animals.
Each to their own lifestyle I say - I would never question the mother of a 3 year old meat eater.

Oklahoma Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oklahoma Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oklahoma Girl said...

I am also talking about a 3 year old. Wow, why such an attitude? I suppose if someone has a differant opinion than you tespect only goes one way?

Oklahoma Girl said...

I agree.

Alphie Soup said...

I feel your granddaughter is the person best placed to speak about her daughter and a vegan diet
Her posts were always have interesting but I see her blog is hibernating at the moment.
Everyone has an opinion about everything....
Alphie

Joanne Noragon said...

I suppose I'm a vegetarian. I don't eat meat. I do eat bacon. I love it. It's the only meat I can tolerate cooking.

thelma said...

Well a difficult one. Veganism is the new thing on the block at the moment even though it came into being in 1944. A law ruling has even given it a philosophical right in our society, see

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/01/03/veganism-philosophical-belief-therefore-protected-law-judge/

I have fed a lot of people through my life, carnivorous or non-carnivorous, though remain mainly vegetarian myself, I do believe in freedom of choice and actually welcome the fact that veganism is part of the system, less animals eaten and hopefully less cruelty practiced.

carolyn said...

Rachel always seems to present herself as the expert on just about everything.

Mo Finn said...

I feel that not hurting and killing animals is not really a choice as thankfully many just can not do this so can not eat meat, I also think that Rachel is VERY rude.

Librarian said...

Rachel is entitled to her own opinion like everyone else, and could we not simply all agree to disagree on certain topics such as this?
Most commenters here have mentioned this one way or another: balance as the most important thing to consider in our diets. Personally, I really like meat and bacon and some types of fish (not salmon), but if I had to hunt or raise and the kill the animals myself, I would never eat any of it. As for veganism, I love cheese and have not yet come across a vegan alternative that really does it for me. I do not smoke, but I drink alcohol (wine with a meal and cocktails at parties etc.), and I also have coffee every day, and way too many sweets and chocolate. Still, I feel and look healthy enough, I am not overweight, I can walk for hours and run for miles. Balance, yes, that's the point for me.

Jill P. said...

Having been a vegan all my life (my parents were vegan) and now in my 70's I found this topic interesting, despite the rude comments of one person. I can only assume she is an expert on nutrition with many qualifications to her name and therefore thinks she knows best.
In my younger days veganism wasn't the much researched subject it is now, there may be some vegans who haven't a clue about the foods they're eating but who are we to dictate to them? Should we also dictate to the families who eat nothing but junk food? The ones who ingest harmful substances? We're all free to make our own choices, it's not the ideal society we live in but veganism is hardly near the top of the list when it comes to harmful practices!
Having been vegan for over 70 years and brought up my children in the same way, having done much research, I can only tell you that I'm still active, enjoying many activities, my four children have grown up to be fit and healthy, becoming a sports professional, a journalist, a professor at our local university and a riding instructor. I think that shows there's absolutely nothing wrong with their brains or livers!
Each to their own, and live in peace and harmony is a good way to go.

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the veg artist said...

I read an interesting report recently about the absorbtion of nutrients. It concluded that those who never ate meat adapted well to absorbing what they needed from food. In those who sometimes, even rarely, ate meat, the body did not adapt in the same way - it seemed to hang on to the expectation of nutrients from meat.

Tom Stephenson said...

I know someone who put his dog on a vegan diet. The next logical step would be to shave its fur coat off.

Oklahoma Girl said...

I am by far an expert and I can only speak of what has worked for me. I by no means ever intend to insinuate that I am right and anyone else is wrong. I have been adamant about my health most of my life and have done lots of research. I have found, as with most things, you can find pros and cons about just about anything, especially diet. I believe we all just have to do the best we can in this life with the knowledge and experience we have, be it diet or anything else. After all, even the experts disagree. I try to respect everyone's opinion and in the end, all any of us can do, is just live the best life we can.

Oklahoma Girl said...

Sorry, I meant to say, I am by far NOT an expert.

Unknown said...

The BBC and the NHS websites both say it's absolutely fine as long as the caregivers watch the diet carefully. I don't know much about it but I presume they would not publish that guidance without having done much research and consulted many actual experts. There will always be alternative theories and opinions but that would be good enough for me.

Granny Sue said...

I raised my four oldest sons on a vegetarian diet in the 70's, for 7 years. I did it because at the time the meat industry was putting some questionable chemicals in meat. We ate meat again when we could raise our own. My sons grew up strong and healthy, with little need for dentistry work, and no broken bones. They were seldom sick. Only one developed strong allergies (to strawberries and shellfish). Today my husband and I eat little meat--mostly bacon or sausage on the weekend, and chicken, turkey or venison occasionally during the week. I never have liked beef. I think many of us tend to eat less meat as we get older, but like other posters here, we each decide what is best for us, and no one else needs to worry about it.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Does anybody mind if I just eat what I like?

Meanqueen said...

Quote.
I suppose I'm a vegetarian. I don't eat meat. I do eat bacon. I love it. It's the only meat I can tolerate cooking.

Nope, Joanne, not a vegetarian. Bacon is meat.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Wow, have I put the cat amongst the pigeons and stirred up a can of worms to mix my metaphors. But what I find so interesting in how carefully you have all thought about it and justified your own attitudes to it. I don't think any of you intended to be rude - it is just that the whole issue is one in which people tend to feel s
trongly. When I was a child in the thirties and forties the vicar of our church was a Vegetarian. I still remember his name - Rev John Jay. It was the first thing anyone ever said about him - not his religion, his temperament, his family - just what he ate (and said in hushed tones). Passions rise on the issue and the more comments there are the easier it is to come over as 'rude' - I am sure no such thing was intended. My family enjoyed good healthy meals while they were here as I am sure they do at home - I have absolutely not qualms about their diet - they all three look the picture of health.
Thank you for taking such an interest and for having such a good discussion. That's what blogging is all about as far as I am concerned - it was next thing to having you all here in the room chatting.

Jll P. said...

Having us all there in the room chatting is a lovely way to describe it, it also shows what an open minded person you are, happy to hear other's views. Some comments will invariably come across as seemingly abrasive to other people, isn't that just the way when people feel strongly about an issue. A good discussion I thought.
However I thought the comment about Joanne being mistaken that she was a vegetarian was unkind and uncalled for. Who are we to pull somebody down for choosing to call themselves anything, whether it's a way of eating or anything else. A little thought before speaking, Is this kind? wouldn't go amiss.

mrsnesbitt said...

Happy New Year Pat - yes I am back! Veganism, vegetarianism, whatever the ism it is down to the individual. Acticists often are so passionate they come over as aggressive and pushy by trying to force their views on others. I too am cutting down on meat and devised an amazing vegetarian recipe over the holidays which I will share later. Dxx

Sackerson said...

I've been a vegetarian for over 40 years. I have enjoyed a rich, varied diet in that time and have spent many happy hours fell running, hill-walking and mountain-biking. Many top fell runners over the years have been vegan, even.

After a few decades of not eating meat, you really lose the conditioning that tells you that meat is ok. I do have to prepare meat for other people and it's weird to see how other people think meat looks appetising when to me it looks like bloody chunks of slaughtered sentient beings. It's quite an eye opener and calls into question our capacity for objectivity: it makes you realize how much the way we see things is affected by the way we think and feel about the things we're looking at.

Anyone wondering whether veganism is safe for very small children should check out this. As with any diet, it's nothing to worry about if you do it properly:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/vegetarian-vegan-children/

Rachel Phillips said...

No carolyn, not professing to be an expert, I posed a question. Recent medical research about infants and veganism which I had seen reported in the newspaper, available for all to read, prompted me to ask the question which Weave then took up as the introduction to this post.

Mary said...

Many people point me out as "a vegetarian", almost as funny as calling me "an alien" because I'm from another country!!!!
I consider myself just an aging "non-meat eater", having not eaten any type of meat or poultry in 42 years, but enjoying all other foods that present themselves as part of a healthy diet. I confess to being a "cheese-aholic" so will never become vegan. I also have never eaten pretend/faux 'meat' foods, other than a beanburger now and then.

Great conversation here and it really does all boil down to personal choice. Remember, we are what we eat, good health is assisted by good fresh food, correct portions, and prepared with love. One should enjoy food, it's definitely one of the most pleasant things in life when you can sit with people and enjoy a meal together.

Rachel Phillips said...

Thank you Librarian.

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