Vegetarianism is Growing
In the past, vegetarianism was not as common as people who became vegetarian did so mostly on moral grounds. They didn’t like the idea of killing something to eat it. There are around 300 million people in India for example, who are vegetarian for religious and moral reasons.
In 1971 only around 1% of Americans embraced vegetarianism, but today perhaps 5% do, with an additional 2% being vegan. In fact, as many as 10% say they eat basically vegetarian meals, but may eat meat on occasions.
Increasingly though, the reasons for choosing vegetarianism have changed. Although the ‘killing animals’ aspect is still there, more and more people are vegetarian for environmental reasons ( after all, one unit of animal protein takes 10 times the land needed to produce one unit of vegetable protein) and even more for health reasons.
However when creating vegetarian meals, it has become increasingly difficult even to obtain healthy vegetables. GMO-tainted crops are everywhere and because of a lack of strict regulation, terms like ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ may have little meaning. So we end up eating pesticides, preservatives and GMO foods even when we make an effort not too.
In the end, the only truly safe food has become the food you grow yourself, from seed to table. That way you know exactly what was done to it (and what was not!) and you can eat fresh produce with your family knowing that it is safe, truly organic and GMO-free. As long as you use a seed source that guarantees its seeds you can feel safe at the table.
Of particular concern to vegetarians is making vegetarian meals that are high-protein.
Beans are well known to be especially high in protein, but some are hard to grow at home. Not so Lima beans, which are easy to grow. They are 30% protein and amazingly healthy. Pick the pods as soon as they are full – the beans inside will be tender and tasty and the plants will continue to flower and produce more pods.
Native Americans grew lima beans among their corn and squash plants and made SUCCOTASH:
- 3 cups of corn kernels
- 4 cups freshly picked lima beans
- 2 red peppers, seeded and diced
- 2 zucchini , diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- Fresh sage and thyme to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook all these vegetables together in a skillet with a little olive oil for about ten minutes, adding the herbs towards the end of the cooking.
Lentils are another food that provides protein for vegetarians. Sprouted lentils are 12% protein. Sprouted along with other tasty seeds they make a great:
INDIAN-STYLE SPROUTED LENTIL SALAD:
- 4 cups sprouted lentil mix
- 1/2 cup cucumber, quartered and sliced
- 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup radishes, sliced
- 1/2 cup tomato, diced
- 1/3 cup green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbs. fresh oregano
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 Tbs. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. curry powder, or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
By growing or sprouting your own vegetables you can make healthy, organic, GMO-free vegetarian meals.