Vegan vs. Conventionally-Raised Burger

Category: Food In The News

Michael Smith Blog Summer is the time for being outside and enjoying the sun, hopefully in the presence of water. Whether it is an ocean, a lake or a pool, swimming is the perfect summer exercise.

Summer is the time for being outside and enjoying the sun, hopefully in the presence of water. Whether it is an ocean, a lake or a pool, swimming is the perfect summer exercise.

I recently had the opportunity to go out on a boat and enjoy an evening out on the lake. Part of this experience involved some grilling on the deck of the boat. The menu for the evening included either hamburgers or vegan hamburgers - "meat" patties made from anything but the food they were designed to imitate.

I'll admit to having a soft spot for vegan and vegetarian food. This is perhaps because I have spent so much time in health food stores, which are usually teeming with food for Veggies. Part of it is because I genuinely like the flavor of most every kind of vegan and vegetarian food I've tried. I even tried vegetarianism out for a couple weeks a few years ago. In my opinion, there are pros and cons to this lifestyle, although adherents usually only site the positives. Eating this way definitely includes more plant-based nutrients into the diet, but it still no guarantee you'll be eating healthy. Often times, the caloric void created by excluding meat is filled with any number of grain products.

The problem with grains, from the perspective of Know The Cause, is that they are often contaminated with mycotoxins. This is according to research published by Ruth Etzel, MD. Mycotoxins are poisonous byproducts of molds that can contaminate silo'ed grain. Mycotoxins are very toxic to humans, and they are linked in a plethora of human illnesses. Furthermore, a diet rich in grains and grain products will only worsen any sort of fungal condition you might be suffering from.

Often times, imitation meat products that are vegetarian friendly are made from the processed proteins of grain and/or soy - two items not allowed on Phase 1. There are even some imitation meat products that are made from the protein of fungus, which definitely wouldn't be allowed on Phase 1. Finally, black beans are sometimes used for vegetarian "meat". While this might be allowed on Phase 2 if all the other ingredients in the black bean patties were in line with Phase 2 dieting, these would still be considered off limits for Phase 1.

Return to the boat deck; which would be the best option from a Phase 1 dieter's perspective? I have to be honest, I don't think any of them would be considered healthy. If the vegan burgers are made with any sort of wheat or soy protein, they are off limits. What about the burgers? I don't believe the meat in the burgers came from organic, grass fed cows (I should have been so lucky!); instead, it was probably conventionally-raised beef. Beef of this sort was raised on copious amounts of grain and corn - enter the problem of mycotoxin again - and also fed antibiotics, which are, by definition, mycotoxins. Also, because of the way these animals are fed, the fat profile in their meat heavily favors Omega 6. Consuming greater proportions of this type of fat is linked with inflammatory problems.

Ultimately, I was probably in a lose/lose situation as far as diet was concerned. Nevertheless, I was just out for an evening with friends. (I won't tell you which option I picked!) Unless you are experiencing dire health problems, straying from strict Phase eating probably won't be too big of a deal. After all, it is summer - time to relax!