Environment

Meat Subsidies: We’re Paying Double

Nutrispeak by Vesanto Melina, MS, Registered Dietitian Our annual subsidies to Canadian farmers have ranged from 6.9 billion dollars (in 2011) to more than 8 billion dollars. Primary beneficiaries from our tax dollars are beef, pork, poultry, egg, and dairy producers. We know that farming can be hard work, with challenging weather and trade agreements. Yet we also that, according to the World Health Organization, meat is a “probable carcinogen”. Cured… Read More »Meat Subsidies: We’re Paying Double

Why go more plant-based?

05/06/2018 Share NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina A half century ago, vegetarian and vegan diets were viewed with concern by health professionals. In decades since, these have been the focus of vast amounts of research. Today, a dietary shift in the direction of plant foods is regarded as a very positive step by knowledgeable dietitians, MDs, nutritional scientists and by a growing number of the general public. Why the shift? Reduced risk… Read More »Why go more plant-based?

Fish farming

11/10/2017 +Share NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina Last month, we explored the cruelty and environmental damage inherent in commercial fishing. This month, we look at aquaculture. Today, approximately half the fish consumed are reared in crowded enclosures whether on land or in water. Globally, between 40-120 billion farmed fish are slaughtered for food each year. The goal in fish farming is the same as in agri-business: to generate the most meat for the… Read More »Fish farming

Something fishy

08/09/2017 +Share NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina Fish has long been viewed as an ideal protein source and the significant source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA. Health authorities have sometimes advised people to consume at least two servings of fish per week. Globally, an estimated one trillion fish are caught each year, excluding illegal catches and bycatch. About half of the commercial fishing industry targets wild fish and other… Read More »Something fishy

Going plant happy

08/07/2017 +Share NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina Catherine Jones and Stéphane Lahaye Are you interested in pursuing a plant-based lifestyle but don’t know where to start? Read on for easy ways to swap out animal products for plant-based alternatives that still provide all the nutrients you need. “How can I get enough protein?” is one of the first questions people ask when cutting out meat. Science has confirmed we can easily satisfy… Read More »Going plant happy

Realism and compassion

06/05/2017 Share NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina For many, doing what comes naturally is an appealing concept. (For a good laugh, look up “Doin’ what comes natur’lly” on Youtube, from Annie Get Your Gun.) Often, the appeal comes from a realistic concern regarding food mass produced in systems never envisioned a century ago, using toxic pesticides and genetically modified organisms. The result can be a rather confused mix of practices. People will eat… Read More »Realism and compassion

Say cheese (nondairy)!

06/04/2017 Share NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina The significant health hazards associated with red meat are so well known by now that people are happy to avoid the Neu5Gc (N-Glycolylneuraminic acid) present in all beef, pork and lamb that increases risk of tumour formation. We also know that the gut microbiota of meat eaters change carnitine in meats to the toxic TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide), increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, including early… Read More »Say cheese (nondairy)!

Earth-friendly diets

01/02/2017 +Share NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina Some people are saying, “Take extinction off your plate.” What? I already take shorter showers. Every week, I deposit my recycling into the right bins. I walk whenever I can. I ride my bike a lot, when it’s not so icy I’ll kill myself. I car-share. Isn’t that enough?It seems not. Agriculture is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions – greater than all… Read More »Earth-friendly diets

Speaking of the environment

28/11/2016 Share NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina » A decade ago, climate change and global warming seemed somewhat theoretical to some of us, but evidence is now showing up in our everyday lives. In many parts of the world, these changes are being linked with the rising frequency and severity of extreme weather events: floods, storms and droughts. Warmer temperatures tend to produce more violent weather patterns. Events of concern in BC include… Read More »Speaking of the environment

It’s the Year of Pulses

15/07/2016 +Share NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina MS, RD • The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has named 2016 the International Year of Pulses. Pulses are edible seeds that grow in pods – peas, beans, lentils. They are also known as legumes. Pulses are packed with nutrients, especially B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, and folate) and minerals (iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc). Their high iron content is especially beneficial for… Read More »It’s the Year of Pulses