Flexitarian diets seem to be all the rage these days. Vancouver has proclaimed June 10 as Meatless Monday. Bill Gates thinks the Future of Food is in fake meat. Mark Bittman, New York Times food critic, recently created the VB6 diet (Vegan Before 6 pm).
So I might as well jump on the bandwagon and declare myself a pescavegan – a vegan who occasionally eats oysters and possibly other seafood. I got the idea after reading 13 Tips for Vegans by Raw Food SOS. There’s also this Slate article, Consider the Oyster – Why even strict vegans should feel comfortable eating oysters by the boatload. The general idea is that oysters check all the main reasons for going vegan – they’re healthy, ethical, and environmentally friendly. Oysters are high in the nutrients hardest to find in a vegan diet (mainly vitamin B-12). Anyone vegan for animal cruelty reasons will be reassured that oysters don’t have a central nervous system. Farmed oysters are considered sustainable seafood and they’re grown locally here in BC.
I grew up on a pescetarian diet, but I largely stopped eating seafood when Emily and I started dating. Ironically that was soon after moving to the West Coast. I think seafood can be part of a healthy diet, but I have a lot of concerns about over-fishing. From a personal health perspective, my body has taken well to a vegan diet. I’m in the best running shape of my life and haven’t been sick once since going vegan. However I have concerns about my B-12 intake. I was having problems with fatigue in 2011 and blood tests showed elevated levels of bilirubin, which can be caused by B-12 deficiency (among other things). Since then I’ve switched to fortified almond milk and try to eat more nutritional yeast, and that seems to have helped. Oysters might be another solution. I’ve had oysters twice in the past few months. Fresh oysters and smoked that I bought at Whole Foods. I wasn’t enamoured with the taste of either. They fresh oysters didn’t taste like much. Maybe I’m eating it wrong. I’ll have to go to an oyster bar and try them prepared at a restaurant. I leave you with an interesting video about oyster farming in BC.
Mark Bittman is one of my heroes for his “How to Cook Everything” book which taught me everything I know about cooking. I’ve been thinking of tilting my diet a bit more towards the vegetarian/vegan side of the scale myself. I was wondering if you might consider writing a blog post with your top 5 vegan recipe staples? Typically when people blog about recipes it’s usually only when they’ve made something fancy or unusual, but I’m more interested in your staples – the tried and true recipes you go back to weekly or bi-weekly because they are so simple and tasty… That could be an interesting post!
Hey Chad. Great idea for a post. I’ll gladly make a list of my go-to, easy no-brainer vegan recipes. Especially if it inspires you to add more meatless meals into your diet. I’ll have to think about it some more, but off the top of my head it probably includes tacos, a rice bowl of some kind, lentil soup, a stir fry with quinoa, maybe pasta. I’ll put some more thought into it.
The single best thing I’ve done it cut red meat from my diet. High blood pressure runs on both sides of my family, AND I’ve already felt the effects personally of having high blood pressure, eliminating red meats was high on the recommended things to do list. Cutting red meats I found easy to be honest. Ethically I always felt guilty but with all the concerns around red meats, it was rather easy to eliminate.
My main meals are either fish or ‘faux meats’ such as veggie burgers.
One of these days I’ll have to try oysters though. There is something about them that has never appealed to me.
[…] few weeks ago a friend asked me what my vegan recipe staples were – the tried and true meals that I cook every week because […]