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Tofu for All?

Updated on December 21, 2014

Watch this TED talk from Graham Hill, the founder of TreeHugger.com, where he outlines his reasons for adopting a somewhat vegetarian lifestyle.
After you've watched the video, discuss Hill's contentions. Do you think everyone's health would benefit from a switch to a vegetarian diet? Why or why not? Are there any groups of people for whom a vegetarian diet might NOT be a good idea?

I found this video very interesting mainly because I actually am a vegetarian and I live with my family who are all meat eaters. After watching TED talk from Graham Hill, I think the weekday vegetarian is a great idea. There are a lot of people who care about animals, their health, and the environment, but don’t want to completely cut meat from their diet. I personally believe everyone’s health would benefit from a switch to a low meat diet. My family has recently begun to eat much less meat; whereas they used to eat meat every day they now have meat for dinner one to three times per week. While I would like to say that everyone should be vegetarians there are also a good number of reasons why certain people should not be vegetarians.

When a person decides to cut meat entirely from their diet they have to find new sources for protein, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin D (Kresser, 2014). This is not as hard for vegetarians as it is for vegans who cut all animal based products from their diet, but it can still be a struggle. Protein can be found in dairy products, protein drinks, protein bars, and in protein powders. Iron can be found in pumpkin seeds, nuts, squash, beans, lentils, some whole grains, fortified cereals, tofu, and in iron supplements. For vitamin A vegetarians need to eat sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, squash, cantaloupe, red peppers, and/or take a vitamin A supplement. For vitamin D vegetarians have to eat Portobello mushrooms, tofu, fortified cereals, eggs, dairy products, and/or take a vitamin D supplement. People who are not willing to accommodate foods with protein, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin D in their diet might not benefit from becoming a vegetarian and could in fact suffer for it.

References

Hill, G. (2010, February). Why I'm a weekday vegetarian. Retrieved December 7, 2014, from http://www.ted.com/talks/graham_hill_weekday_vegetarian

Kresser, C. (2014). Why You Should Think Twice About Vegetarian and Vegan Diets. Retrieved December 7, 2014, from http://chriskresser.com/why-you-should-think-twice-about-vegetarian-and-vegan-diets

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