10. Protein

It would appear at the moment that after an 85 million year journey our evolutionary quest came down to protein. And we are still on the move, now faced with an imperiled planet driven by our need for it. It has led to unimaginable cruelty against animals, acute starvation as a result of privatizing the availability of food, uncountable square miles of farmland destroyed in the interest of oil and other resources; you name it, it is happening. Both ethics and sheer survival demand that we evolve or perish. And yet our need for protein is as enormous as ever. Adding to the withering crisis we find the big business carpetbaggers salivating to meet a new multi-billion dollar market, often lying and deceiving as they go.  The crux of the matter still remains protein.

I was horrified to read an article that claimed that spinach was 49% protein, kale and broccoli 45% protein, mushrooms 38%, parsley 34% (and so forth), while beef was only 25.8%, chicken 23%, and eggs 12%. No, no, no, no, no!!! This is a lie!!! But how would someone just embarking on a transition to a vegetal diet know that? Note that protein is measured in grams, not percentages. I want to take you directly to an article called “How to Get Enough Protein on a Plant-Based Diet” and here’s the link:


Allow me to quote the opening paragraphs:
“How much protein do we actually need? Well, in the United States, the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for protein is 0.8 to 1.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. To calculate your weight in kilograms, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2. That number is about how many grams you need each day. Approximately 15-25% of your total calories should be from protein sources. Although protein is an essential nutrient, which plays key roles in the way our bodies function, we do not need huge quantities of it.

Many Americans consume about twice the amount of protein necessary, and it’s important to note that excess protein can’t be stored in the body; ultimately, its elimination strains the liver and kidneys. Excessive protein consumption is linked to certain cancers (i.e.: colon, breast, prostate, pancreas), kidney disease, and even osteoporosis. If you’re consuming a variety of clean, whole foods, you should get all the protein you need, without taxing your body.”

The article provides superb definitions of the various types of protein humans require and the vegetal sources for those proteins. The authors have also included an excellent chart of about 100 fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables, and the GRAMS of protein found in specific serving sizes of each. Other good sources of information can be found with the following links:




Wikipedia has a good entry that explains protein in depth.


Vegetarian and vegan diets must be met with a working knowledge of protein and some basic science. Don’t allow big business to dictate to you what is healthy; do your homework. We can meet our protein demand while living more ethically with regard to the plants and animals with which we share our lives. And remember, capitalism is nothing more than supply and demand. So long as the consumer demands something the market will provide it. Demand sustainable, non-toxic agriculture. And never forget that while factory-farmed meat is being eaten, humans are also eating the cruelty too. Those of you not prepared to become vegetarian must avoid consuming cruelty at all costs. Please look to free-range organic or Kosher as possible solutions for your appetites.

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