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How to stock a plant-based pantry (and fridge) on a budget

June 12, 2020

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photo of Uma Naidoo, MD

Uma Naidoo, MD, Contributor

Dr. Uma Naidoo is a nutritional psychiatrist and serves as the director of nutritional & lifestyle psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Naidoo trained at the Harvard … See Full Bio
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June 23, 2020

It would be helpful to see the amount of protein in the cooked beans you listed. Thank you for an informative article.

Seth Ferreira, MPH
June 13, 2020

I found some good and practical bits of advice here. This article brought an important thought to mind, as a caveat. I always found it interesting, that throughout history, people tend to go plant-based during economic hardships (e.g., WWII) while inadvertently improving their health and longevity outcomes. Then, once the hardship is over, they begin abusing their bodies, once again, with massive animal product consumption—their disease state quickly returns and once again gives rise to western disease. Will people ever learn? Hopefully, during this COVID-19 pandemic, people just might. With today’s overwhelming evidence of the MASSIVE health benefits of plant-based eating, I think we’re on a better trajectory. I’m a believer that eating an overwhelming whole-foods plant-based (WFPB) diet with minuscule amounts of animal products (e.g., one 8oz serving a week max) can have massive health benefits! Many people often give up attempting an all or nothing mentality because it’s such a big shift overnight. It’s better to live 99.99% WFPB than a dismal 50% or less often eaten today in America. It’s when we consume animal products daily as a staple, they perpetuate the unhealthy microbiota species which interfere with a healthy gut microbiome leading to dysbiosis producing disease-causing metabolites such as TMAO, N-Nitroso (NOC), and toxic ammonia. All three of these, among many others, are what give rise to the destructive health consequences of “the western diet” while leading to “western disease.” This only hastens an already devastating environmental collapse as more people worldwide leave their traditional plant-based culture to follow the westernized animal-based eating lifestyle.

June 13, 2020

“buckwheat noodles (which are gluten-free),” you have to be careful to check the list of ingredients on any package of “buckwheat” or soba noodles, many of them include wheat as an ingredient. US labeling laws are still pretty loose. Organic fruit & veg, beans, etc., are getting more expensive, in fact, the cost of most unprocessed foods (organic and non-organic) has increased substantially over the past year or two, at least in Oregon and NY, for basics such as bread. Those who can afford a CSA membership (or have time to work for a membership) may do better. Ditto people who have at least one freezer and know where to buy, say, 1/2 of a cattle or pig from a rancher/farmer. Or hunt and fish, so they can fill their freezer with venison, elk, fresh water and salt water fish. The meat of both of those options is probably healthier then much of the meat bought in a supermarket. Going by Jack Monroe’s website (author of “Cooking on a Bootstrap”), food is cheaper in the UK, even in parts of London, then it is many areas in the US. That wasn’t the case at one time.
Nice that one of the protein amounts on the list is for cooked beans, but the other are still dried/uncooked quantities or foods usually eaten in relatively small quantities. Perhaps it would be helpful to tell people that 1 cup of dry beans = up to as much as 3 cups of cooked beans? So, if needed, they can calculate how to provide daily protein requirements for x number of people.

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