By: Sam Marquez and Cindy Pasillas
Thanks to Samantha Marquez and Matt Adams of Tulare Western High School, a vegan menu is being introduced to our school and possibly the other high schools in the district.
With the following information and slideshow created by Mr.Adams, we convinced our lunch staff and representative of food services to include more vegetarian and vegan options.
According to nutrionfacts.org,
“Vegans may have fewer nutrient deficiencies than average omnivores while maintaining a lower body weight without losing muscle mass. Those eating plant-based diets appear to experience enhanced athletic recovery without affecting the benefits of exercise. The arteries of vegans appear healthier than even long-distance endurance athletes and those on low-carb diets. In fact, the Paleo Diet may increase the risk of toxin contamination, DNA damage, and cancer.”
“Despite the powerful egg industry’s best efforts to put a “healthy” spin on egg consumption, eggs contain high levels of cholesterol and may contain carcinogenic retroviruses, heterocyclic amines, toxic pollutants (such as arsenic, perfluorochemicals like PCB, phthalates, flame retardant chemicals, dioxins), and Salmonella (see here and here). Consuming just one egg per day may significantly shorten our lifespans, increase the levels of the cancer-promoting growth hormone IGF-1, and increase our risk of heart disease, kidney stones, stroke, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and some types of cancer (such as pancreatic, breast, and prostate).” (nutritionfacts.org)
“Dairy products are not only high in saturated fat, but they are low in a number of beneficial dietary components such antioxidants, ergothioneine, an amino acid that may help protect our cells; and fiber, a nutrient that 97% of Americans are deficient in. Along with saturated fat, dairy products also contain cholesterol, trans fats, endotoxins, Neu5Gc, choline, all of which may raise the risk of inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and increased overall mortality risk.The hormones in dairy products (including skim milk) may not only promote acne, but also contribute to risk of premature puberty, multiple pregnancies (which are riskier to both mother and children), breast cancer, prostate cancer, other hormone-dependent cancers, declining sperm counts, excess estrogen, and heart disease.” (nutritionfacts.org)
Dairy products are basically empty calories with little nutritional value, and do more harm than good.
This is what Dr. Micheal McGreger of nutritionfacts.org had this to say about meat consumption:
To make a long story short, the World Health Organization classified red meat and processed meat as a Class 1 carcinogen to humans. Meaning that having too much of it, which varies person by person, is associated with many different issues within your body. Such as different types of cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol, infertility, and so much more.
I’m not trying to convert you to become a herbivore, but most people simply aren’t eating enough whole foods. Whole food meaning nature’s best friend. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, potatoes, rice, legumes, whole grains, etc.
As of Monday, March 13th 2017, we only have one of the four planned vegan options actually in the carts. That being chili beans and tortilla chips.
The vegan meal is overall superior to anything else they have to offer if you look at it nutritionally. The chili has 9 grams to the almost 14 the pizza does. Zero grams of cholesterol; 8 grams of fiber to the 4 grams. A better source of carbohydrates as the 62 grams of it comes from black beans rather than white pizza dough. More iron and a compatible amount of protein.
Again, the chili compared to the cheese burger slices is not beatable. Though most people would argue that since the cheese burgers have almost double the protein, it’s the healthier option. The higher protein content might be true, but so is the fact they have 6 grams of saturated fat, 34.4 milligrams of cholesterol, a total fat content of 13.1 grams and only 3.1 grams of fiber!
Most people have the notion that chicken is the healthiest form of protein, but that’s not the case. The chicken sandwich in almost every way struck out by the chili.
This is the only item of the newest addition to Tulare Western High School’s lunch menu!
Three more additions will be made according to the kitchen staff. A “beef” teriyaki bowl, a “chicken” patty burger, and hummus with chips.