Scientific Linkage (6_3_12)

Roasted Beet Oh Family. My brother is visiting and upon finding out that I am vegan — yes, have continued outside of my original 3 months and very happy doing so, don’t know how long it will last but it feels right and good… anyway, as we sit down to dinner last night I get every vegetarian and vegan’s favorite question: how do you get your protein? <sigh>

There are three rules to abide by: 1. Never get into a land war in Asia. 2. Never argue with a sicilian when death is on the line. 3. Never argue with a vegan about protein.

I understand that it usually comes from a loving place. As such I make jokes but eventually answer the question. Now perhaps I haven’t mentioned this before but I am the daughter of 2 lawyers. Dinner conversation at the family table is always opinionated and animated. So this opening question kicks off a 2+ hour “conversation” that winds through nutrition, animal cruelty, politics, the effectiveness of boycotts, personal decisions, counter culture movements and finally back to facts and science. I pride myself for staying calm throughout but did take hard stances based on — you know — facts.

We finished dinner with my brother frantically Googling his assertion that he knows “most vegans and vegetarians don’t  get enough protein.” Unsurprisingly (to me anyway) after 45 minutes he didn’t find it. Because there is no such data. There is actually a wealth of data to support the opposite. He tried to back into some NIH guidelines and advisories but nothing that says “most vegans don’t get enough protein.” The data doesn’t exist because it isn’t true.

This is all, of course, a long way of setting up my first link…


If you are getting enough calories you are getting enough protein. Period. End of Argument. Can we move on please?

While we are on the subject, we should all be careful of our nutrition “science” and mass media headlines.

While we are having fun with science, let us talk about runner’s high. Yep and Yay.


Beautiful, inspiring and sad. She was so young. Live every day well.

The ultimate list of things to be careful of.

I am inspired by this piece on transformation and the power of story: an interview with Ken Burns.

Intentional Enjoyment

To show that I have humor about the whole thing, Dilbert does it best.

Finally, I’m intentionally enjoying self promotion with a message: my piece on Hack Library School to kavetch less and smile more.


  1. Facts. Pesky little things. The Cattlemen’s Association tells us Beef is What’s for Dinner. The Dairy Association asks us if we’ve Got Milk. And so we “know” that’s where protein comes from. Where is the Nut and Seed Commission in all this? How about the Leafy Green Vegetable Association? If the facts can’t speak for themselves, perhaps the Associations can. 🙂

    • Food is so darn personal! Far be it for me to try and separate someone from their opinions with my silly science.
      It’s funny, one of the other “points” made — after the first time protein question was asked an answered — was that to simply keep meat off my plate wasn’t doing enough to change the world. If I “really cared about animal cruelty” and wanted to make a difference in the food industry, somehow organization and participation in larger, political efforts was needed. I disagree. Those things are great for those that want to do them but I think that the best we can do is make our own personal decisions, based on the facts as we know them (particularly about our own bodies) and if not individually, in aggregate that will make for change.
      If you want to create the LGVA I will totally join though!

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