In United States of America about 10 million people have adopted vegetarianism. All major states have vegetarian associations, which are actively engaged in the propagation of vegetarianism. In U.K, Switzerland, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Japan, U.S.S.R, the vegetarian dietary habit is getting recognition from a large number of people.
What is the rationale behind this movement?
The fast growing sciences have been the major factor in converting the people to vegetarianism. In U.S.A., U.K., and Scandinavian countries, vegetarianism is being advocated by the medical people. The fiber content of diet, low cholesterol contents, prevention of zoonotic disorders has been the major reasons which have appealed the medical people to propagate vegetarianism. The discovery of human onchogene (mutation of gene by meat eating) by Prof. Weinberg from Marsachusetle Institute has revolutionized the programme of cancer prevention. Bowel cancer is very well known to be due to low fiber content in the animal diet. However, the association of breast cancer and other organ cancers appears to be due to mutant cancer gene or some unknown reason.
Prevention of hemorrhoids, varicosity, constipation, hiatus, hernia, ulcerative colitis and peptic ulcer by the fiber rich diet is known to medical scientists since four decades.
Heart attack and Stroke
Recently the relationship between animal food and the myocardial infraction stroke have gained much attention. In U.K. and U.S.A., now the trend is no animal food and less of eggs in the diet. The cholesterol contents of animal food make the atherogenesis faster. 1985 Nobel Prize was awarded to Prof. Goldstein and Brown for their outstanding work on the cholesterol receptor deprivation with high animal food consumption. Most of the rich and elite people have this fatal illness.
Prevention of Zoo noses
World Health Organization (WHO) in its recent publication has brought to notice of 160 zoonotic disorders transmitted through the intermediate host, the animals. Many of these diseases are spread by mere contact and others by eating them (WHO magazine “World Health” – July 1985). Many of you could plead that these zoo noses do happen to vegetarians also. However, the reason could be mixed cooking, unhygienic conditions, etc.
The foreign body setting up the antigen antibody reaction lowers the immune status and increases the chance of graft rejection in the organ transplants. Animal food increases the chance of bacterial and viral antigens to grow further. Thus the immune system is impaired.
Growing requirement of food energy resources has made the scientists to work out the alternative resources. The commercial production of meat is very costly. The conversion rate of plant protein to animal protein is too low. It is; therefore, better to utilize vegetable food directly in human diet rather than animal for protein. Not only the conversion of plant protein to animal protein is lower, the caloric conversion is much lower. It has been estimated that 7 vegetarian calories are required for production of one animal calorie. It is, therefore, evident that the plant food to animal food conversion is not only too costly but too wasteful a proposition in the present day world when all efforts are being directed to remove the caloric malnutrition throughout the world. At the time when millions die of starvation, it is morally indefensible that over half the world’s grain is fed to animals which in turn would be fed to people. The British Parliamentarian, Rt. Hon. Bernard Weetherhill, has expressed that economically, there would be tremendous saving of food energy resources provided the intermediate link of livestock is broken and people start taking vegetarian meals.
The animals and plants form a natural habitat for human beings. This eco-system has greatly been disturbed by fast growing deserts, deforestation and de-animation. The fertility of land, soil erosion, all depend upon the animal life which apparently looks economically useless. Therefore, vegetarianism will promote the preservation of the animal kingdom and promote forestry. The ecological experts are very fast realizing the need for maintenance of our ecosystem and environment.
Longevity of life and Diet
The human survival rate of India is fast decreasing. We have still people who are octogenarians. Attention has been focused on the Soviet Republic of Abkhazia. They live well over one hundred years and are largely vegetarian. They are healthy, vigorous, slim and smart people. A study conducted by the Ethnographic Institute in Sokhumi revealed that arteriosclerosis is rare there except in extreme old age after one hundred years. A nine year study of 123 people over one hundred years old living on vegetarian food revealed one reported case of mental illness.
Physical Strength and Endurance
John Weissmuller, Pravo Nurmi, Chris Evart – Lloyd and many other marathon runners, body-builders, weight lifters has preferred to be vegetarian. The endurance, stamina has been extraordinary among them. In fact, in scientific test using a stationery bicycle, athletes put on vegetables and grains diet averaged three times as long as when eating animal based diet.
Vitamin B-12 deficiency – a myth
Most of the nutritional scientists know that sub-acute-combined-degene-ration; a disease caused by the deficiency of Vitamin B-12 is rare in India. If B-12 deficiency would have been seen so common, many more would have been seen in India. It shows that there is no deficiency of B-12 in vegetarians.
It will thus be not unfair if it is concluded that the worldwide movement for vegetarianism is the need of the time. Your kind support as an individual scientist and ecological expert on the subject matter is urgently needed.
Some Basic Ingredients
BROWN RICE is high in fiber and vitamins as well as minerals. It is mainly available in long or short grain.
MILLET is a very wholesome whole grain – yellow in colour, high in B-complex vitamins and protein. It is rich in minerals including calcium and iron. Slightly nutty flavor. A good rice substitute.
Couscous is best known for its use in Middle Eastern dishes. It is a cracked wheat, that has usually been pre-cooked and then dehydrated; that is why it cooks so quickly.
WHOLE WHEAT made from wheat berries, this type of flour generally retains most of the bran and wheat germ. Stone ground flour is the best because more of the nutrients are retained when it is processed this way.
WHOLE WHEAT PASTRY FLOUR is made from soft wheat berries. It has less gluten than whole wheat flour. That is why pastry flour is used mainly for backing.
SOY FLOUR is made from whole soybeans. This is gluten free flour and is popular with people on gluten-free diets. If you are trying to reduce gluten intake, it may be used in combination with whole wheat flour.
The wheat berry’s centre is known as the “germ”. It is high in B-complex vitamins and vitamin E as well as many important minerals. Though one often sees toasted wheat germ in the super market, it is preferable to use it raw, as toasting destroys some of the vitamins and minerals.
The wheat berry’s outer layer is what is known as “bran”. High in dietary fiber and B-complex vitamins and trace minerals.
Dried beans and peas are wonderfully versatile. Add to soups or add vegetables to them and serve with rice. A staple in many of the Eastern countries, legumes often take the place of meat. They are a good source of protein, iron and B-complex vitamins without the cholesterol and fat of meat.
Lentils cook easily in 45 minutes to 1 hour and are a good source of protein.
TOFU is made from soy-beans, water and a solidifier. It is also known as “bean curd” or “soy cheese”. It is high in protein and calcium. Tofu corns packaged in water to preserve its freshness. It keeps well for one week, if you are diligent about rinsing and changing the water daily. Needs to be refrigerated.
TEMPEH is a cutture of either just cooked soybeans or cooked soybeans in combination with grains such as rice or wheat. It is high in protein, B-12 and other B-complex vitamins.
SAFFLOWER and CORN OIL are the oils high in polyunsaturated (which help to reduce serum cholesterol).
OLIVE OIL and SESAME OIL are excellent for your health.
TAMARI (or “shoyu”). This is a soy sauce that is more naturally fermented than others. Also, it has no additives.
TAHINI is ground sesame see paste which is high in protein and delicious added to dressings, dips and spreads. It’s great for kids when mixed with honey and spread on bread or crackers!
SEA SALT is recommended instead of table salt because it is less refined and is processed without chemicals.
VEGETABLE SALTS is an incredible range of slats that are mixed with various herbs. Some of the most popular are called spike, vegit, lemon pepper, herb mare.
UNSALTED SEASONINGS is a complete range of unsalted seasonings that combine various herbs and are often categorized by cuisine including Italian, Mexican, Chinese and also Garlic with herbs. There are exotic blends such as “Nile Spice” which combines Cummins, coriander, sesame and more. “Cleopatra’s Secret” contains sesame seeds, garlic, chilly powder, cayenne, cumin and more.
Even if you take salt, one secret to varying your preparation of dishes is the combination of spices you use. With “no salt” seasonings you can combine as many varieties as you want to achieve unique flavors and then add the amount of slat you wish.
Indian Seasonings and Spices
TURMERIC (haldi) gives color (though not much flavor) to various dishes and is known for its profound medicinal properties. In ancient times, women cleansed their skin with this root of a plant that is sold in powdered form. It is believed to be a blood purifier and general body toner.
BLACK MUSTARD SEED; a little black seed has its counterpart in the yellow mustard seed used in the West. These seeds are basic to most recipes and provide a subtle flavor.
SAFFRON; gorgeously fragrant and expensive, this spice comes from a crocus flower of Kashmir and Spain. Gives a beautiful orangey color to rice dishes and Indian sweets.
GARAM MASALA is very popular in North Indian Dishes; this is a beautifully aromatic, readymade, powdered combination of a number of spices, including cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and black pepper.
Indian Grains and Legumes
SPLIT MOONG DAL of all the varieties of Indian date or lentils is the most nutritious and very easy to prepare.
MOSOOR DAL is the quickest cooking dal, reddish-orange in color.
BASMATI RICE is very fragrant, long grain white rice that is not as completely refined Western white rice, from North India and Pakistan. Perfect for special rice dishes.
Sea vegetables are wonderful and versatile and are high in trace minerals, fiber and vitamins. There are usually basic cooking instructions on the packages. Varieties include:
NORI is perfect for making vegetarian sushi.
HIZKI is good to add to salads, soups or vegetable dishes.
DULSE is good sprinkled on salads and soups. It is also very versatile in its powdered form.
KELP is highly recommended in powdered form to sprinkle on your food as a good salt substitute.
WAKAME is very nice in vegetable or bean dishes or in soups.
KOMBU makes wonderful, nutritious soup stock. It’s also good in bean dishes.
Sprouts are often considered the best source of raw food nutrition. They have easily digestible form and contain iron, calcium, protein and vitamins B & C. they are delicious, great in salads and sandwiches.
EGG REPLACER – all our recipes are egg less. “Jolly Joan” or other egg replacers work wonderfully well.
ESSENE BREAD – this is“bread” made from sprouted grains alone. It is easier to digest than regular wheat flour brads because it is sprouted.
NUT MILK – for those who wish to avoid dairy products, nut milk provide a very pleasing alternative. Nowadays, it is easy to find soy milk, unflavored or in a variety of tasty flavors or you can easily make your own.
Healthful Methods of Cooking
Steaming your vegs and tofu is one of the easiest and most healthful ways of cooking. Valuable minerals are not lost, as happens with boiling or overcooking steam to the desired tenderness. You can also make use of the remaining water in the pot, by using it when you cook, adding it to soups, etc.
Wok cooking is a wonderful way to prepare vegetables especially if you wish to sauté them, bringing out the flavor using oil or butter. Woks are made from various metals and we recommend the rolled steel, non-electric type.
After you purchase a wok, you must clean it well. Wash and scrub it with a abrasive cleanser to remove the machine oil; then place it on its ring, over your burner, full the wok with water and boil for a couple of hours. It’s a good idea to keep the water level up the very brim of the wok so that a water ring isn’t left as it boils. Pour out the water and, if you wish, you can repeat the process a second time. After this, dry the wok by placing it on the burner over heat. When its dry, rub vegetable oil into the wok using paper towels. You may notice a black residue when you wipe the wok with the paper rowel. This is the protective coating, it comes with and you should continue to wipe the wok with oil until there is no more visible residue.
After each use, it’s important to clean your wok with a wok brush or sponge in sudsy water. Do not use abrasives row, because you are building a well – seasoned wok. It’s sufficient to clean it with the sudsy water and then dry over high heat and then rub it lightly with a teaspoon or so of oil. Then store the wok.