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#1 Old 10-24-2016, 08:43 AM
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Question I've got a question

I've been trying to eat vegetarian for years but struggle with the protein issue. What do you think about eating insects? I was looking at cricket powder, which is full of protein and iron (mine is always low) and lots of other vitamins. It can be added to other foods. Opinions?
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#2 Old 10-24-2016, 09:30 AM
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Obviously being a vegetarian forum, no one here is going to tell you they think it's OK to eat insects...

How do you struggle with the protein issue? Do you have a lot of allergies or intolerances?

"We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form." - William Ralphe Inge


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#3 Old 10-24-2016, 10:07 AM
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I personally believe that it would be less problematic to eat insects than to eat pigs, cows, chicken, salmon, etc., because of insects' far less developed central nervous system and probable lower degree of sentience. Also, insects are going to be killed regardless, whether in the harvest of vegetables or when eating them directly, although probably more would be killed if the insects are eaten directly.

All of that being said, it's totally unnecessary to eat even insects to get your protein. I'm a vegetarian and follow a mostly vegan diet (exception, occasional cheese in social settings). I'm also a high protein guy. It's very possible to get large amounts of concentrated protein without eating insects or any other meat. Examples: tempeh, tofu, hemp seeds, chickpeas, Beyond Meat Beast Burgers, Quorn Vegan Chik'n Tenders, Gardein Meatless Meatballs. See? No insects required, Healthier for you, better for the planet, and even insects--limited though their sentience and capacity to suffer probably is--don't have to suffer to whatever degree they're able to.

But if you're intent on eating animals (again, not something I recommend), insects would, I believe, be the lesser evil compared to pigs, cows, etc.

Last edited by Dilettante; 10-24-2016 at 10:09 AM.
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#4 Old 10-24-2016, 10:14 AM
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Iron - in your case, I would get a caste iron pan and cook in it.
Good iron sources are
blackstrap molasses (2 TB, 7.2mg)
soybeans (1 cup, 8.8 mg)
lentils (1 cup, 6.6 mg)
chickpeas (1 cup, 4.7 mg)

1 cup, 4.0+mg found in:
tempeh, lima beans, black-eyes peas, swiss chard.

My source is vrg.org

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#5 Old 10-25-2016, 06:48 PM
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I personally gravitate toward fortified foods, when possible. Plenty of breads, cereals, etc. are fortified with iron and other nutrients. Not everyone would go this route, I know; there are plenty of people who are dedicated to whole foods only. I also take supplements, primarily due to a tendency to develop a severe Vitamin D deficiency otherwise, and I figure if I'm going to supplement anyway I might as well add more than one thing to the pill.

Good luck to you!
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#6 Old 10-25-2016, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpkyteroo luebeck View Post
Iron - in your case, I would get a caste iron pan and cook in it.
Good iron sources are
blackstrap molasses (2 TB, 7.2mg)
soybeans (1 cup, 8.8 mg)
lentils (1 cup, 6.6 mg)
chickpeas (1 cup, 4.7 mg)

1 cup, 4.0+mg found in:
tempeh, lima beans, black-eyes peas, swiss chard.

My source is vrg.org

Welcome and Best Wishes!
I eat many of these foods and they are my daily staples. I use blackstrap molasses in hot cereals, in stir fry sauces, in baked breads, in smoothies. I average about 1.5 cups of beans each day. I also average about three or four cups of leafy greens each day, which are also high in iron, calcium (some low oxalate ones like collards, bok choy, kale), and some protein. I had my hemoglobin checked along with other routine blood work at five years vegan and it was 13.7 (smack in the middle of normal range).

I would also mention that adding a concentrated source of vitamin C (example: strawberries in a leafy green smoothie; or red bell peppers in a stir fry with beans; or a fresh orange as a side dish with scrambled tofu) helps increase absorption of plant based nonheme iron. Avoid drinking coffee while eating a meal high in iron also, to maximize absorption.

A meal made up of brown rice (at least a cup), some beans, a cup of steamed broccoli or kale, and some spices or sauce (I like coconut milk, ginger, and curry powder simmered with this) will add up to quite a bit of protein and iron, since all of the foods I mentioned have some protein in them. Likewise, a sandwich made up of whole wheat bread, a banana, and peanut butter, along with a glass of soy milk and a salad on the side (with a variety of leafy greens, tahini based dressing, bell pepper etc) will add up to a good bit of protein as well (an average slice of whole wheat bread has about 3 to 4 grams of protein; 2 tablespoons of peanut butter have about 8 grams of protein; a glass of soy milk has 4 to 8 grams of protein depending on the brand). If you average 20 grams of protein per meal (as the above examples show) and eat three meals a day that is about 60 grams of protein per day which is a fair amount. A snack of roasted pumpkin seeds and raisins, or hummus and raw veggies, or a bowl of mashed sweet potato, black beans, and fresh pineapple for example, can add more protein to that daily total. If you are into hardcore weight lifting or still feel you need more protein, some commercial plant "meats" as someone else mentioned, or homemade seitan (made up of vital wheat gluten), or plant protein powders are more concentrated sources of plant protein that can give you that edge.

Personally I find the idea of breeding insects to feed a large population of people and animals a little disturbing. Insects are already used in many food products and food dyes, and the process to make them into these products is not pleasant. :/ I just don't see a need to continue to exploit animals for food and other products when plants can provide what we need, and simple supplements like B12 can fill in the few gaps.

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#7 Old 10-26-2016, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyTRR View Post
I've been trying to eat vegetarian for years but struggle with the protein issue. What do you think about eating insects? I was looking at cricket powder, which is full of protein and iron (mine is always low) and lots of other vitamins. It can be added to other foods. Opinions?
Could you provide more information about your challenges with protein?
.

_________

“Under the twinkling trees was a table covered with Guatemalan fabric, roses in juice jars, wax rose candles from Tijuana and plates of food — Weetzie's Vegetable Love-Rice, My Secret Agent Lover Man's guacamole, Dirk's homemade pizza, Duck's fig and berry salad and Surfer Surprise Protein Punch, Brandy-Lynn's pink macaroni, Coyote's cornmeal cakes, Ping's mushu plum crepes and Valentine's Jamaican plantain pie."

from Witch Baby, Francesca Lia Block, 1991
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