The Evidence for a Vegan Diet, The Atlantic, January 18, 2012
A fine article, not least of which because he says that if you are going to eat a vegan diet:
"You have to do it right, and doing it right means consuming a broad diversity of nutrient-rich plants."He gave an example of the "right" way using his own diet:
"Here is a comprehensive list of what I ate, in one form or another, on the day I wrote this:His example of the wrong way:
Kale, mustard greens, carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, quinoa, amaranth, pinto beans, beets, parsnips, turnips, yellow peas, brown rice, kimchi, purple cabbage, butternut squash, blueberries, a banana, hemp seeds, flaxseed oil, snap peas, an apple, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, pistachio nuts, garlic, broccoli, raisins, granola, avocado, polenta, salsa, a few saltines, a piece of raisin toast with apricot jam, tofu, coffee, olive oil, harisa, chickpeas, tomatoes, a small handful of chocolate chips, a couple of beers ... and a vitamin."
"Someone can live on potato chips, pot, and cherry soda and call himself a vegan."I think he's right, technically at least. But in practice ... Who can eat that way? Unless you have someone preparing your meals? Mr. McWilliams admits to eating at a high-end vegan restaurant one or two times a day. How do single parents with full time jobs manage the style of eating described in that "kale..." paragraph? How do people with limited mobility and limited income? People who depend on public transportation? University students living in dorms? People who live where produce is a relatively expensive and rare commodity?
I have not read Lierre Kieth's book, The Vegetarian Myth, which according to McWilliams has spawned a legion of followers:
"Bloggers have clogged foodie networks with angst-ridden accounts of fatigue, sickness, hair loss, anxiety, diminished sex drive, and mental breakdown after quitting animal products."But I wonder if the disillusionment is due, not to actual inadequacies of a good vegan diet (plus vitamin B12), but to the extra-ordinary effort needed to eat this way.
It may be possible to eat healthfully on a vegan diet, but without help, it may not be probable.