This is an opinion piece. I am not a nutritionist (besides they are “in on it”), but am a health hobbyist experimenting on myself. I am a nearly lifelong vegetarian. I develop software for a living.
The science is in! New research proves protein comes from the sun.
Actually, no. Maybe in sort of a circle of life, Hakuna Matata way it does, but the notion is as scientifically sound as everything else we’ve been taught about nutrition in my lifetime.
Since 1973 whenever it comes out that I don’t eat meat the following occurs:
First someone exclaims “No meat?!” then:
- Where do you get your protein? Or:
- Is it for health or the Peta sort of thing? (and someone will make the “People Eating Tasty Animals” joke) Or:
- I couldn’t live without my meat. (all nod) Or, if only males present:
- You eat <censored sexual reference> don’t you? (All ROFL and drink.)
We are here to address bullet one “Where do you get your protein?”
Isn’t it funny that you can live off Coke, pizza, burgers, fried foods, etc. and no one is concerned, but let them find out you live off fruit and vegetables and they are suddenly worried about your diet. “Where do you get your protein? Do you take calcium supplements? What about B vitamins? No milk? Where do you get your vitamin D?”
For the first 30-ish years, when asked about protein, I said I ate cheese, which people reluctantly conceded might be OK. Now being vegan, I fall back to saying I eat nuts, or beans and rice, which often elicits an affirmation of the “complete protein” myth from someone. It holds that you must combine complimentary proteins. This is a fallacy first put forth in Frances Moore Lappé’s 1971 bestseller “Diet for a Small Planet.”  It has been accepted as fact and is now “common knowledge.” Current thinking is that you don’t have to eat these foods together to get the protein.
Per Wikipedia, proteins are “linear chains of amino acids.”  Most foods contain amino acids. To get enough protein you probably just have to eat food.
Why all the hysteria over protein? It’s just one of many vital nutrients. Conspiracy! It’s a scam to fleece the mooches. The meat/dairy industry in collusion with the FDA has created an artificial demand for protein by setting an arbitrarily high target for protein in dietary guidelines. The purpose is to move more product, not to make healthy humans. Likewise with calcium, and the danger of UV rays, but one scam at a time. In the future current meat advertising will be understood to be just as ludicrous as old ads promoting the health benefits of Coke, opiates and cigarettes.
Even quack medical doctors begrudge that there might be some link between health and diet. A few may even go so far as to recommend eating more fruit and vegetables and to limit meat intake–but only after a heart attack.
Instead of worrying about getting enough protein, people should be concerned about getting enough light, by eating raw plant-based foods and spending time outdoors.
Originally posted by Steve Swann at 12/4/2010 9:21 PM