::  Posts  ::  RSS  ::  ◂◂RSS  ::  Contact

Two Kinds of Vegan

October 26th, 2014
veg, food  [html]
"Go vegan!", you hear, "it's cheaper, more environmentally sustainable, and just as healthy and delicious!" The problem is, these aren't all true at the same time. You cut animal products out of your diet, and what do you replace them with?
  • Beans, peanut butter, lentils.
  • Tofu, nutritional yeast, hummus, tempeh, seitan, soy cheese, soy milk, almond milk, almonds, "fake-meat" products.
There are a small number of vegan protein [1] options that are cheaper than the animal-based equivalent, and then there are a wide variety of ones that are more expensive. If you build your diet from the first category it's cheap and environmentally sustainable, but the limited choices mean most people won't find it as enjoyable as what they were eating. On the other hand, the second category offers enough options to suit most palates but it costs more.

And really, we should expect this. When deciding what to eat people balance taste, health, time, variety, and money. Remove some options, and something has to give. If you're willing to accept less taste and variety, you can go with beans. If you're willing to accept more cost you can go with seitan and soy milk. If you're willing to accept less time you can cook more meals at home and become an excellent cook who does more with less.

(This is a motte-and-bailey argument, where the defensible "motte" is "the cheapest diets are vegan" and the expansive "bailey" is "eating vegan is cheaper".)


[1] I'm mostly just talking about lysine here. Fruits and vegetables don't have much of it, and while Grains tend to have enough of the other essential amino acids that it's easy to get enough of those, in order to meet your lysine needs with them you'd need to eat very large amounts. For example, 12.75 cups of corn or 15.5 cups of cooked brown rice will meet all your amino acid needs, but they will also give you 7,300 and 3,350 calories respectively. Instead you need to eat some foods that have more lysine per calorie, and while beans really shine here other options are generally more expensive than animal products.

Comment via: google plus, facebook

Recent posts on blogs I like:

Circumferential Lines and Express Service

In a number of large cities with both radial and circumferential urban rail service, there is a curious observation: there is express service on the radial lines, but not the circumferential ones. These cities include New York, Paris, and Berlin, and to s…

via Pedestrian Observations September 15, 2019

Reframing the evolutionary benefit of sex

From the perspective of an organism trying to propagate its genes, sex is like a trade: I’ll put half of your DNA in my offspring if you put half of my DNA in yours. I still pass one copy of my genes onto the next generation per unit of investment in chil…

via The sideways view September 14, 2019

Bear store

A preschool game that’s been particularly popular and versatile with my kids. Materials: Pennies Collection of counting bears or any other small objects One person is the storekeeper and sets out the bears in any way they want. The other people are custom…

via The whole sky September 9, 2019

more     (via openring)

More Posts:


  ::  Posts  ::  RSS  ::  ◂◂RSS  ::  Contact