Good Indian food, for example, is very easy to enjoy vegetarian, as the explosion of flavors makes up for the lack of meat.
Disclosure: I’m a part-time vegetarian.
'Part-time' encapsulates the intent nicely.
Personally I've found the 90% aspect easier. I don't have to worry if my vegetarian meals have something like chicken stock in them. It is about eating healthier and a lower carbon diet than being 100% perfect. Just needs to be good enough.
I would not call healthy animal life as suffering. Details matter. We all have seen peaceful cows and healthy fish. What counts, IMO, is fear, stress, pain, and the way animals are dying. That's not accounted in the article.
One may argue that the number of lives taken counts too. And then eating beef or whale meat will kill fewer animals than eating chicken or insects (of we don't count what whales eat). But in my opinion eating insects would cause less suffering.
Overall I think that eating smaller animals more frequently is more natural and oppotunistic. And eating cheaper meat will reduce overall carbon and water footprint.
It's unfortunate, with respect to emissions, cows are worse than chickens, but with respect to suffering on sentient creatures, chickens are worse than cows.
Great news! There's a solution: eating fewer of both.
Not saying that the issues can't be solved, but pisciculture is not a free lunch from the sustainability point of view.
Isn't most of that only true for carnivorous or omnivorous fish? I knew there were problems with finding small fish to feed the bigger fish, but I was under the impression that herbivores and filter feeders could be raised sustainably. I.e. farming tuna would be extremely difficult and costly to the environment, but you can farm things like tilapia and catfish fairly sustainably.
They aren't fish that a lot of people are excited to eat, unfortunately.
Do you have a study that confirms this? As far as I know this is a myth. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytoestrogen#Effects_on_human...
That said, soybeans are mostly used to feed livestock, so if you just eat meat instead of soy, that's likely not any better for environment.
Yes. Check out my other comment about beans in this thread. All the dishes I mentioned there are pretty tasty. And so are lentils, if by that you meant masoor or masoor dal, or even if you meant tuar dal). And all those are high in protein as you say.
A typo? An acronym?
In the case you're vegan because you think it's unethical to kill for food, why should you get a break here? I can't think of other ethical issues where you wouldn't be looked down for going against your firmly held beliefs.
"Mostly plant-based diet" sounds like a better term if you're less concerned about the animal suffering aspect. Vegan would also include not wearing leather for example so it might be a case of you not using the right word.
I wouldn't try to shame someone with a drug addiction but I don't think this is anything similar. What would you say to someone who said they were going to give up plastic straws but gave in and still used them once a week for example? There's certain cases where strong disapproval is more valid and you can't blame lack of self control so much.
I'd argue giving people too much of a break doesn't help either.
I think a big part about why people can't give up meat is that they're surrounded by people telling them it's okay. There's people that know meat is bad for climate change and know killing animals is wrong but won't reduce their meat eating because they see people around them are complacent too.
I'd be interested to see some evidence that promoting the "baby steps" approach is the right one because it could easily be making it worse.
I believe more in a overall balance. You can’t get everyone to be vegan, the earth simply can’t support that.
Genuinely curious, why can't Earth support everyone eating vegan? I thought it took more land, water, soil, and resources in general to produce meat? Is it about transportation, or Arctic climates where fresh fruit and veg is not available?
You're supporting and putting more money into the beef industry by buying leather though. You don't kill cows directly by buying milk either, but the milked cow will eventually be slaughtered for meat too and its male offspring used as veal.
> I believe more in a overall balance. You can’t get everyone to be vegan, the earth simply can’t support that.
Fair enough, but "vegan" isn't the term to use to describe your beliefs then.
I think the other proposition is that, for whatever reason, there's this push to market vegetarian foods as substitutes to lure in traditional meat eaters rather than putting effort toward convincing them that they're alternatives that taste just as good.
Like bean burgers. I absolutely love bean burgers because regular burgers just don't sit right with me half the time. But I don't treat them as a substitute--I treat them as an alternative that is delicious and unique in its own right AND to be enjoyed as such. I mean, let's be honest: There's so many different varieties of beans, and so many things you can do with them, that even speaking as a meat eater, it's almost impossible to get bored with how many different dishes you can make (with no meat)!
One example that comes to mind that's semi-vegetarian is a black bean enchilada recipe I make from time to time. Just beans. Only non-vegetarian item is the cheese (and sometimes the corn tortillas because of lard, if you get them fresh). Doesn't feel heavy, tastes amazing, and it's super filling. Have a side of refried beans (I like beans), Spanish rice, a salad, and it's like a restaurant-style meal.
Err. Didn't mean to make this reply so long. Sorry. I guess I just love cooking, too.
And yes, it's not that much effort to at least cut out red meat from your diet. Way healthier too.
 The people around you probably won't like the side effects.
(BTW, tip: just a pinch of asafoetida a.k.a. hing, really improves a dish; the zing of hing :)
Also, I saw a video about nutrition by some scientist, who said that peoples (i.e. nations) who eat beans regularly, develop, over time, the ability (maybe via better gut flora) to digest them more easily, without gas being generated.
I may have to try the suggestion of different spices. I'm exceedingly fond of cumin and season my bean enchiladas accordingly, but I've never thought to try an experiment involving consumption of the same amount of beans with or without. This may warrant further investigation.
I appreciate the feedback. It gives me some things to try since, well, I just love all manner of seasonings. Thank you so much for that!
Well, of course! Physiological "hacks" like that which are largely something already known in other cultures and subsequently re-discovered in the West always fascinate me. It's a good reminder that there are a LOT of things we don't know (or think we do).
Plus, I enjoy the conversation even if the topic (flatulence) is somewhat less appealing (or amusing). I've always had some digestive issues with too much fiber and certain foods, but it never really bothered me all that much until the last few years. Onions, for whatever stupid reason, seem to bother me the worst. Which is a shame, because I love them.
But, I'm definitely going to try your suggestions. Plus I've been itching to try cumin in something new, AND you've given me a list of other things to add to my arsenal. Living in New Mexico, there's only so many things you can do with hot peppers before you start to look toward other cuisines (kidding; I love them as well!). :)
You also reminded me of something. When you mentioned a slow tolerance toward certain foods, I'd forgotten that a few years ago I went through this phase where I was eating steel cut oats every day. I tried it again recently and they absolutely bothered me to no end (err, phrasing), yet I don't remember that being an issue when it was a regular part of my diet. I know it's only anecdotal evidence, but I swear they didn't bother me before. Of course, this comes on the heels of discovering that an Instant Pot is absolutely beautiful for cooking them consistently.
Anyway, thank you so much for the advice--and the conversation. I'm sorry I hadn't replied for close to 2 weeks!
I appreciate you!
Of course, YMMV.
The Yoga Institute may be the oldest commercial yoga center in the world.
But I don't know. Could it be a physiological thing? Maybe. I know that I have a bit of, err, sensitivity to certain foods that seem to transform me into a source of natural gas.
80/20 is a great way to look at it. It cuts out all of the food where you just get chicken or beef and it doesn’t actually add to the meal. Now I opt for vegan choices, but if I’m in a place that makes really great meat options, usually with high quality product, I’ll get one and really appreciate it. Makes meat an actual treat. Though the less meat I have the less I actually want it.
I'm okay with that. I don't eat veal or fish for the same reasons. Veal is cruel. And fishing is horribly destructive. Where someone draws a line isn't as important as they do.
 Don't get me started though with Hippie Brahmans that won't eat chicken or beef but eat fish for 'heath reasons'
Especially for someone who is vegetarian to reduce carbon emissions, 90%, 95%, and 100% aren't that different, and hell even 50% is a tremendous reduction especially if it means that it's easier to convince 5 people to do 50% than 1 person to do 100%.
Occasional indulgence was never the problem for the environment, and people should know that's okay to occasionally indulge, it doesn't need to be black and white.
As someone who grew up vegetarian, things have changed drastically in the last 30 years. I grew up eating some truly niche meat-replacement products.
Things like 'Impossible Burgers' and 'Beyond Meat' have changed the experience significantly. There is still a long way to go, and it's not just about taste, but also nutrition. However it has made it much more appealing to use those alternatives, and reduce the use of meat.
My own vegetarian/vegan mix is also occasionally broken when people don't know that I'm vegetarian, and serve meat. I have long decided not to make a scene. One of my of ex-colleagues never found out I'm vegetarian, because of an incident where they invited everyone out to dinner and it turned out to be at a fancy sushi restaurant (share-plates, yay).
When talking to others I urge them to see, like I do, a long continuum between eating 100% only meat and consuming 0% of animal products. I recommend people reflect on their values (causing pollution and animal suffering) and aim to decrease consumption of animal products to whatever level they are comfortable with. It can be a long process, and we all should be more supportive in helping people align their actions with their values.
Needless to say these kinds of conversations are better when the person is receptive and interested, not when you first meet them.
The confusion can be corrected by using the right term: pescatarian, not vegetarian.
Vegetarian sums up a large chunk of their preferences, even if it isn't accurate.
So I opened up google and typed "Latin meat" - the results did not translate to the latin for meat!
It's called "healthy"
I suspect that they refer to themselves as vegetarians because it's simpler and encapsulates a large chunk of their preferences. It just causes confusion when they go to the waiter. "I'm vegetarian....Oh, I'll have the fish"
In any case I was simply trying to explain why I liked the 'part-time' thing.
I definitely struggle most with the cheeses. I've never really been a big milk drinker, and growing up (both parents are vegetarian) I disliked eggs, so almost never ate them if I could taste them.
I've tried a bunch of the vegan cheeses and they just don't scratch the itch. I live in hope though.
On a side note, it’s really kimchi’s acidity that helps with cleaning palate much like Germans’ sauerkraut or Japanese’ pickled ginger (called “gari”) that you eat with sushi.
Update: this commenter has more info: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25093452
Excessive is relative. If you burn a lot of carbs working fields or in endurance sports you need the carbs.
Here's your plate of rice. Sans Butter and Cream. Go on, eat death then.
Here in Poland, I know many people who like spicy food but none that are elderly or ill.
When you are at mercy of other people (like being taken care of -- when you have medical condition or are elderly), you eat what you are given and it usually is also consumed by other people and basically vetoed by any one of them.
Think about this: it is very likely you can associate driving expensive cars with good health and less chance of dying of all causes (well... except maybe car accident). Do expensive cars improve health? Or maybe most people need to work to be able to drive expensive car and this means they also do better in their life, have means to deal with medical issues and to have varied diet that people who do not work or have low paying jobs?
I think in most western world eating spicy food is a choice and if you can make that choice and don't have to contend with what other people give you you are already ahead.
- tasty even by itself; can even be eaten without cooking
- fairly good in protein although has less per gram than milk, I think because some is lost in the whey that is discarded; but if you make it yourself (see next point), you can drink the whey or use it in soup stock, or to cook any other dish like like a stew
- easy and fast to make it yourself from just milk and lemon juice
- goes well in many other Indian dishes such as mutter (peas) paneer, alu (potato) paneer, palak (spinach) paneer, mix veg paneer, paneer chilli, paneer bhurji, etc.
Googling should find many recipes for all of these.
Read both until end.
Mind your head.
- Refried Beans
- Cajun Style Baked Beans
- Gumbo with pinto beans
- Tortilla soup with chicken and pinto beans
- Peas and rice (kidney beans are used, typically)
- Vegetable soup with white beans
- Spinach/Collards with white beans
- White bean hummus
- Mushroom loaf w/ gravy using chickpea flour, oats, nuts, etc.
- Goes in almost any Asian cuisine (Indian, Thai, Chinese, etc...) fry it for stir fry.
For cooking meatless, I recommend using mushrooms, yeast flakes and yeast extract for adding umami flavor.
You also get vegan protein supplements these days made with peas and various lentils, in case you need something extra.
Both are substantially lower impact than meat protein.
So...do you know how much protein you get on a daily basis?
Also, I eat habaneros and jalapeños, and have a hot sauce collection. A family friend tried to slip me a Carolina Reaper as a "garnish" once, but I didn't fall for it, lol.
I really don't want to live too long because I'm predestined to get ARMD, prostate cancer, and probably colon cancer too. I'd rather carpe diem and die well.
Fair warning: I'm an almost always ovo-lacto-pesci-vegetarian for ecological and human species existential threats reasons for about 12 years. I'd like to remove ovo- and lacto-, but it's so dang difficult. Also, an adrenaline junkie.
I'd happily eat a plate of well cooked meat with just a sprinkle of salt. Beef, chicken, pork and lamb all have tons of umami and sweetness to me.
Do you find vegetables equally flavourless?
Thankfully there are plenty of options out there that show that vegetables aren't just that, and the internet makes that all the more accessible now too!
For example: what if people with any kind of chronic inflammation in their bodies (i.e. high disease load), are less able to tolerate spicy food?
I’m not saying this is a true or even likely hypothesis; just that it’s no less worthy of being considered as a hypothesis than “capsaicin promotes longevity” is; and so thinking about it can get you out of the frame of mind where reading a headline like the above one, makes you automatically internalize the headline as if “capsaicin promotes longevity” was what it said.
My personal experience is with Celiac disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and nightshades absolutely destroy me.
Which includes chili peppers, bell peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and potatoes.
Also to the person above who said that Nightshades bother Celiacs; My grandmother is the only Celiac that I know of and whom has nearly died and been longterm hospitalized back before they could figure out what it was, has never had any issues whatsoever from the Nightshades. They end up being favorite foods of hers. She only has flare up issues with wheat gluten.
There's a good reason to think that spicy food improves outcomes causally from a neurological point of view as well as, possibly, a gut microbiome point of view. I would say that the alternative you describe is mechanistically possible but not as plausible.
What I was trying to do, was:
1. to propose a question that needs an experiment to answer (a hypothesis); and to use that question to make clear that the implicit thought people jump to thinking when reading a headline like this is also "a question that needs an experiment to answer" (a hypothesis.)
2. to propose that when you encounter a headline like this, you should do the same — generate alternative hypotheses, in order to remind yourself that the first interpretation you jumped to of the study's correlation was also just a question.
The point of differentiating the two, is that hypotheses, by themselves, do not convey information about the world. You should not update your mental model of the world based solely on the fact that you generated a plausible-sounding hypothesis. A hypothesis is a question, not an answer.
Certain facts about the world are contingent on a given hypothesis proving out. By privileging a hypothesis — thinking about it and no other — you may implicitly raise your expectations of those contingent facts being true. And that can lead you astray. Those facts haven't earned a place in your mental model of the world. They're not paying rent. They're freeloaders. And it's potentially dangerously false to allow yourself to believe them.
The point of generating other hypotheses isn't to find one that could be more true. It's to scrub those contingent-facts of your intuitively-privileged hypothesis from your mind, by throwing other contingent worlds at it — hopefully many such contingent worlds — until your brain just gives up and avoids absorbing any of those contingent facts, treating them all as they should be treated: as mental noise, unworthy of more than a moment's consideration.
Or, to put that another way:
When there's evidence in favor of two things being somehow connected, but nothing has been proven about the way in which they're connected, the only rational thing to believe about that connection... is nothing. :)
I would argue that making these causal inferences without formal proof is actually somewhat essential and desirable, so long as assumptions and uncertainty are recognized, and that they lead to further probing (informed by such inference).
Many people seem to think science is about "finding the truth" (ie.: obtaining "first-order" information about the world), and that's certainly one way to see it... But I think it's more interesting to think of science as being all about finding, quantifying and describing uncertainty.
This might seem pedantic, but you don't need to abandon all uncertainty in order to make causal inference. I think we're saying mostly the same things, in different ways and with different implicit assumptions about what it means to do science. It's obvious from your answer that you also understand all of this very well.
PS.: I have an MSc in biochem: not claiming to be a great scientist, but I do have formal training so I'm at least familiar with the matter :)
1. generate a good few hypotheses;
2. rank them by their seeming plausibility;
3. discard the ones below some cut-off of "being worth the mental effort";
4. and then try to construct isolated contingent mental models of each of the worlds following from each of the hypotheses being true, making sure to store them in your mind as contingent models, rather than as "facts-in-the-world."
You can reason with inferences over contingent facts, but—especially in situations where several of the hypotheses you generate are equally plausible—it's very useful to sort of mentally "tag" those contingent-facts as contingent, so that you'll realize when you're using them in your reasoning; back up; and "drive down all the roads" (i.e. work out what the answer would be under all the contingent models you're holding onto) instead of just one.
However, if after some actual effort there's only one plausible hypothesis you can think of, then sure, just update on it directly. If there's only one contingent world, keeping it tagged as "contingent" in your mental model isn't doing any useful work for you. You can just learn it, and then unlearn it later if it's not true. (And, of course, that comes up all the time in regular life. Some things really are just "predictable.")
In domains that are about resolving uncertainty — like scientific research — I would say it's pretty unlikely that you'll ever run into an interesting hypothesis (i.e. the kind you get a grant to study) that is so plausible that its alternatives — or even its null hypothesis! — can be entirely mentally discarded in advance of doing the experiment.
But, on the other hand, this doesn't matter so much; science is nice because it actually is quite tolerant of its participants' mental models being all over the place! "Scientific rigor" is externalized to the scientific process (enforced by peer review) — sort of like rigor in programming can be externalized to the language, and enforced by the compiler. There doesn't need to be much of anything happening within the minds of the researchers. (Thus incrementalism, scientific positivism, etc.)
But this isn't true once you leave the realm of process rigor, and enter the realm of regular people deciding what they should do when they read about scientific studies: how they should—or shouldn't!—seek to apply the "potential facts" they hear about from these studies in their everyday lives.
This is especially relevant in areas where non-scientists are closely following — and attempting to operationalize — the cutting-edge of scientific research, where there is not enough aggregate evidence to prove much. In such domains, it's the consumer of the science that needs good epistemic hygiene, not the scientists themselves. (Good examples of such areas: nootropics; sports nutrition; macroeconomics; and, amusingly, software engineering.)
People in general point to scientific evidence only when it backs their stake, or worse, world view.
As soon as scientific evidence is shown that counters their stake or world view, then we go straight to "correlation is not causation."
I like to think people are more fair than that.
In this case in particular I tend to eat as much spicy food as I can. I have about 20 bottles of hot sauce within arms reach as I type this, I add some set of peppers onions and garlic to basically any meal I cook, and I usually order thai hot when it's offered even though it definitely kicks my ass.
And yet when I read this headline I immediately jumped to correlation.
The principle behind modifying the gut microbiome to achieve good outcomes requires the intestinal flora to change: that means, for example, that some bacteria must die and some bacteria must proliferate. This is one of the main reasons why curcumin (from turmeric), for example, is the subject of much research in the field.
Anti-microbial properties don't apply equally to all species of microbes, and such selective action is essential for modulating the microbiome.
Disturbances of the gut flora do tend to lead to poorer outcomes more often than not, but this is not a hard rule. It's rather that complex machines are fragile, and most modifications done in flight lead to adverse outcomes: without prior knowledge and generally speaking, it's a bit like adding or removing a random line of code in a large application.
Fungi tend to compete with bacteria; if modern lifestyles generally tend to result in a overly fungus-heavy gut biome, a food with anti-fungal properties could restore healthy balance.
This really should be paired with the fact that Soouth Asians (indians) are 4x more likely to have a heart attack than any other population.
I am an indian and I did 2 nutrition startups.
Most South Indian food is unhealthy - heavy carbs laced with oils. Delicious but unhealthy.
A small part of North Indian food is healthy - roti, daals, veggies etc.
Wheat is not native to India and rice is considered a superior complex carb. Wheat has also been hybridized so many times while multiple varieties of ancient rice still exists in South India.
One of the words for ‘outsider’ in Sanskrit is Mleccha. It also means..’wheat eater’.
Rice growing countries like China, India, Japan and many Asian countries have a far healthier diet than countries with a wheat heavy(non vegetarian and hence grain heavy) cuisine.
North Indian - daal, roti, 1-2 vegetable sides, yogurt
South Indian - sambar, idli (rice, urud daal), other urud daal based breads
Empirically we know something is wrong somewhere.
In southern India cuisine, green chilis, red chilis, dried red chilis and dried red chili powder is a staple of daily food.
We have pickles that are exclusively made from red chilis, one of the most famous ones.
Indian cuisine had other ‘spices for heat like mustard seeds, long pepper, ginger etc. it’s a more complex multi layered heat than chili peppers.
Also Szchewan* peppers are actually from the citrus family and not true peppers. Their numbing feeling enhances the ‘spice factor’. It’s a neurological hack. This can be used to make dishes seem spicier than they really are.. and this is native to China.
It is also possible that chili peppers existed in the indo-Malay region and Korea before Europeans bought chili peppers from South America.
Korean peppers ..for example..are genetically distinct from South American chili peppers
Neat fact: Sichuan peppercorns were banned from being imported to the USA until 2005 because they could carry some disease that hurt orange trees.
Basically, these sort of peppers were native throughout southern North America, Central America, and much of South America. Furthermore consumption of these peppers likely predated their cultivation by thousands of years.
No, they don't.
They originate in North America, specifically, northeastern Mexico.
They did a meta analysis (summarizing many, many studies) focusing on chili peppers and mortality, and reported the results. What’s interesting in the graphic in the link provided is that the correlation is present in basically every study shown. It’s very strong evidence for a correlation. On the other hand it’s very hard to explain causality without bringing out general terms like “antioxidants” or, possibly much more likely, confounding variables. It would be helpful to look at confounding variables, but those aren’t available yetis the study is not public. Simply put, it’s an interesting presentation but you can’t draw much useful inference without actually seeing the content of the presentation. That and their study has not meant the rigors of a peer-reviewed article yet.
My prior if you'd asked me would've been "c'mon, you really think so?" Not impossible but quite unlikely.
"People who eat chilis live 25% longer"?
"25% of people who eat chilis die without any cause"?
[...] One such message produced by capsaicinoids is substance P, which transmits pain signals. The brain responds by releasing another type of neurotransmitter known as endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural way of relieving pain by blocking the nerve’s ability to transmit pain signals. Additionally, the neurotransmitter dopamine, responsible for a sense of reward and pleasure, is also released. In essence, for some people eating large amounts of spicy food triggers a sense of euphoria similar to a “runner’s high”.[..]
So they haven’t nailed down causation. Wonder if people who eat chili pepper generally consume less food because of the spiciness.
Jury is still out on that of course!
No, we don't (consume less food).
which is absolutely massive. so either chili peppers are the new superfood which trumps all others or the more likely boring explanation is that chili pepper eaters had the best health outcome of all N foods studied. Suffice to say that chili pepper fans are different to the populace in more ways than one. these kinds of broad studies seem to be a waste of time in my honest opinion. Studies seem to be attempting to crown one particular ingredient or lifestyle and apply that over the whole population thereby destroying the effects of certain diets on the individual. I'm positive that more imformation could be gained by trialling small dietary changes with a control group and measuring the mentioned health markers.
It goes without saying that its easy for me to criticise but I still appreciate all the studies
Could the reason be capsaicin , which has some medical uses (though the Wikipedia article says there’s no clear evidence from an older citation)?
Indigenous people who domesticated wild flora & fauna as food sources.
Sadly, most Indians eat wrong Cinnamon bark.
- South Indian Vegan(10 yrs & going)
Fortified wheat-flour & dry Soybeans cover my protein & vit-B12 req.
What's the alternative you propose? "From all causes" sounds even more as if it describes every cause individually.
IIRC scurvy is making a comeback in the developed world as poor people live in food deserts on convenience sludge instead of real food.
Sugar, fat, salt, msg, chilli.
While we refuse to use MSG, and are not sure about salt, chilli will make you healthier.
Not as much as this article claims. But it is good for you.
I've found it to be the best spicy I've ever eaten: it does not leave the mouth (no throat or lip burn, does not go up your nose), the crescendo is soft (if you dilute it), and takes no more than 20min to go away after your last bite.
I end up drinking about a liter of ice water and have to pause my eating several times. I often end up shivering after due to the sweating and the ice water.
But it is, I recall it once was the hottest sauce in Hot Ones.