Environment

Plant-based Food Prep.

Nutrispeak By Vesanto Melina, MS, Registered Dietitian As a dietitian, I learned a lot about which foods rated highest in folate or vitamin C, and what made beans, peas and lentils the nutritional superstars they are. Yet my training did not include a course about how to make food taste good. My mother enjoyed teaching children practical skills such as food preparation. All of my birthdays featured participatory cookie-making activities.… Read More »Plant-based Food Prep.

Celebrate with Compassion

Celebrate with Compassion By Vesanto Melina, MS, RD About ten percent of Canadians, and similar numbers in many other countries  are choosing plant-based meals and the trend is accelerating, especially among young people. So you are likely to have at least one vegetarian or vegan at your holiday dinner table. They may be making this choice because they have learned from the World Health Organization that cured meats such as… Read More »Celebrate with Compassion

Redefining Protein Quality:  What’s New About Protein?

NutriSpeak by Vesanto Melina, MS, Registered Dietitian A new paper published by the American Society for Nutrition makes the case for modernizing the definition of protein quality. This is a welcome development. The current definition is outdated and fails to protect public health because it assesses how well various proteins meet human requirements based solely on digestibility and the content of essential amino acids. People may think this narrow definition… Read More »Redefining Protein Quality:  What’s New About Protein?

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?

Plant Protein: getting it right!

NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina and Mio Lainchbury and Arooj Hayat, Moving towards a plant-based diet can initially raise questions about whether you’re getting enough protein—especially if you’re not up on the science. If you’ve been on a plant-based journey for some time, you’re already aware of the many rich protein sources available, especially legumes (beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, and soyfoods). These also are also high in fibre, iron, zinc, and B… Read More »Plant Protein: getting it right!

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