It's 2012 and there are more food buzzwords then ever. From vegan to "eat clean" to Paleo to natural to dairy free to gluten free to even vegetarian, all these terms can get rather confusing. Today I'm going to focus on one such buzz word: Vegan. First, what is vegan? Vegan is not consuming ANY animal products (eggs, honey, dairy) in addition to meat. Vegan's still eat wheat, sugar, other grains, chemicals, etc. Processed junk.
And this is what I personally don't understand. Why is honey "bad" for you, but yet Oreos are on the approved vegan list? Here is an Oreo ingredient label.
Many processed ingredients (they pretty much all are) jump out at me, but at top of the list include enriched flour and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). If you are reading this, you are probably already aware that HFCS is not a health food. HFCS has been linked to weight gain and increase in appetite (why people crave more soda). Furthermore, HFCS is made with corn and most of the corn is GMO. It all ties together. This is a lab-made ingredient, not something straight from the earth or tree. HFCS is a processed food. And we all know what processed foods do to the human body.
I did a little research and found websites that listed MANY commercial brands of Vegan friendly junk (it's not food). The list was quite extensive. In fact, many, if not all, of the brands are on the GMO/Monsanto list. And this is where I have a few issues with the vegan "diet."
- Processed food is processed food.
- How can you buy a Monsanto sourced product that is directly or indirectly supports the complete opposite of health?
- Packaged food that has a long shelf life is not a health food.
- Soy based (read past articles on this site about the harmful affects of soy).
- Candy is not good for you no matter how you label it.
So just because it is labeled vegan doesn't mean it is good for you, it just means that it doesn't have any animal byproduct ingredients in it. In a perfect (healthy) world, I would love to see processed foods not a part of the vegan's diet.
Now, I'm sure there are vegans that don't have a diet of processed crap. And if you are reading this, I applaud you for that. But if you are a vegan and eating processed crap, it doesn't make you healthy, it just means you don't consume meat or animal byproducts.
(Note: I'll write about honey and bees in part 2 of this series.)
Now for the positive. This is what I do like about some vegan food.
1) They are dairy free. In fact, just this week I had a "cheesecake" that was made with just nuts and coconut and fruit. So yummy and delicious.
2) While I do eat some meat, I appreciate that vegan's/vegetarians don't. More kale!
We need to consume less (or never) processed, lab-made food. We need to eat as close to the earth as possible. Veggies, fruit, nuts, water.
These are my observations, research and opinions. Is the vegan life for me? No. I don't eat grains, processed junk or sugar, but I do eat lean meats, fish and eggs. Are some of the vegan ways for me? Yes. I don't consume dairy.
Food for action: are you vegan? What is your vegan life like? What is your take on eating processed food? I would love to hear from you!
photo credit: mihoda