In a paper published in the journal, PLoS ONE, scientists at Wageningen University in The Netherlands proposed that eating mealworms is a more sensible way of acquiring protein in the diet than eating chicken, pork or cattle. Per the article:

 

Compared to a kilogram of edible protein in meat from cows, chickens or pigs, production of the same amount of mealworm protein emits fewer greenhouse gases and requires much less land to grow. The findings support the argument that environmentally conscious eaters may do well to include beetle larvae in their diets. "This study demonstrates that mealworms should be considered a more sustainable source of edible protein," the team writes in a paper published yesterday in the journal PLoS ONE...Among the things that the worm-like larvae have going for them, they don't emit methane. Also, they are prolific. Depending on the species, females release up to 1,500 eggs over a lifetime. Larvae develop quickly and they convert their food into protein efficiently, at a similar rate to chicken but better than pigs and cattle.

 

http://news.discovery.com/earth/mealworms-beat-beef-as-sustainable-...

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I only take B12 supplements on occaision....just in case.

The vegan dietician Jack Norris has a good webpage on B12.  He's an RD, that's a science-based degree in nutrition.  It sounds like you are highly at risk for B12 deficiency. 

Jack Norris has recommedations for B12 supplements for vegans.

For people who haven't been taking B12 regularly, he says

If you have not had a regular source of B12 for some time, buy a bottle of 1,000 µg (or greater) B12 tablets. Chew 2,000 µg once a day, for 2 weeks.

then follow the recommendations for regular supplementation. 

B12 deficiency may raise the risk of heart disease as well as cause neurological problems. 

Jack Norris has suggestions for measuring your B12 status - he says the B12 blood level isn't a reliable test - but his main suggestion seems to be to just take the supplement as recommended.

There's a guy I see around town here a lot, a runner.  He gets places by running :)  I saw him in the supermarket, at the vegetable counter ... he said he was a strict vegetarian (vegan diet).  This guy must be very healthy in many ways, but I noticed his head was wobbling - symptom of B12 deficiency.  When I saw him some time later, I told him he might be B12 deficient.  He said he took some B12 occasionally.  I told him about the http://veganhealth.org website. 

His head doesn't wobble any more.  I can't be sure of why, but I like to think he took my suggestion.  He was lucky, B12 deficiency can cause permanent neurological damage by the time one notices a problem. 

Anyway, please take that B12 regularly, I don't want you to become a statistic. 

I had my B12 checked two weeks ago...it was perfect.  I eat a lot of Red Star nutritional yeast, and drink/use fortified soy milk.  I only use sublingual tabs on occaision, because there is plenty of B12 in my diet.  But thanks for your concern.

My parents are omnivores, but I have warned them to have their B12 levels checked as well.  Since many people can't absorb B12 from food as well as they age.  Many of us lose the ability.  So I suggested testing and possible shots...or at least sublingual tablets. 

And if this dietician thinkd B12 blood test are not reliable...what is he using as a guide to recommended dosage??  If he can't measure a supposed deficiency...how can he propose a correct dosage??

Right, he says the B12 blood test isn't reliable, which is probably what you got. 

It sounds like you didn't read the webpages I gave.  He mentions a test for B12 status that is reliable.

Jack Norris - along with Ginny Messina, also an RD, has much useful information for vegans on the http:/veganhealth.org/ website, not just about B12 but other nutrients of concern for vegans like calcium and the amino acid lysine.  He's very helpful by email. 

Yes, if the soy milk you drink has B12 added and you are using that regularly, then you do have a reliable source of B12.

If you take B12 every day, such as in fortified soy milk, then you don't need as much as if you just take it now and then.  You could compare how much is in the soy milk to the table he gives of B12 requirements.

If he can't measure a supposed deficiency...how can he propose a correct dosage??

Because with B12 the toxic dosage is very high.  So if there's any doubt about one's B12 status, taking the amount he recommends isn't going to cause harm, and it costs little. 

Some people have a problem absorbing B12, you don't have to be vegan to have a B12 deficiency.  I don't know if for them, Jack Norris' recommended dose would be enough.  So there's likely still a place for B12 testing.

A few years ago I tried hard to convince a vegan woman to take B12.  Like some vegans she had anti-supplement attitudes and was telling me stuff like "you get plenty of B12 from the soil" and if I gave her science citations to back things up she'd tell me I was thinking in a "typical Western" way ... blah blah.  This sort of thing is scary, she seemed kind of anorexic and risking her long-term health at a very young age - I also unsuccessfully tried to convince her that weighing enough to have menstrual periods is important.  I'm glad you're more reality-oriented!

I looked at it, but I am skeptical that he somehow knows that a blood test is unreliable when all the other doctors seem to think it is OK.  Not that most doctors know much about nutrition.  I take sublingual sometimes and a multi-vitamin sometimes (it only has 100% daily value) and the nutritional yeast I use has it and I sometimes eat Luna bars and they have it.  Lots of foods marketed to vegans add B12.  So I get way more than the 100% daily recommended amount on average.  Which is why I don't really worry about it.  I had it checked because I was going to have my D level checked anyway.  I was pretty sure B12 would be fine and D would be low.  I don't get much sun in the winter and work indoors.  So I sentfor a nice high dose D3 made from lichen.  I'm trying to get a bit more sun too, but I get to work before light and by the time I get home it is only light out for a couple of hours. 

Unless that lady was getting nice dirty vegetables I would worry too.  Since lack of B12 causes brain damage I don't want to mess around with it either.  It was actually an omnivore athlete who first told me about the sublingual pills.  Even omnivores have to watch their nutrients.  I love how people with crappy diets always want to lecture me about my "unhealthy" diet!!  Usually while I have a big bowl of kale in front of me. 

Humans get B12 from vegetables, but ours are so clean they may not be a reliably consistant source...

This is also an unproven idea that's passed around by vegans.  Jack Norris addresses this.  One should NOT rely on B12 supposedly coming from plant sources.  Vegans often neglect to get enough B12, and one should not cause or reinforce such attitudes. 

Hey Luara,

After looking at the info you posted I have upped my B12 supplements.  Like you said, it can't hurt.  And there's no reason to even chance not having enough!!  I also got my omnivore parents onto B12 sublingual supplements.   Since I've gotten such great results from my lifestyle change, my mother is more likely to take my advise.  She has no interest in going vegan but has cut down her meat consumption.  When she visits I make her yummy vegan meals and she can't wait to try the recipes.  She made veggie potpie stew for my father the day after she got home.  Last time they were on a seitan kick for weeks after she went home.  I even got her to eat brussel sprouts!! Little by little.

Pretty sure they have a synthetic now.  And if they hadn't used pigs, they would have come up with another way to do it.  So sorry, I'll go on "knocking" the killing of pigs.

Wow..."Glucovera"...that doesn't sound too much like a scam.  Magic pills don't make you healthy...eating healthy food makes you healthy.  If it is made from aloe vera and you think aloe vera is good for you....just eat aloe vera...I believe they sell the juice in bottles.  Once someone processes a plant and puts it in a pill, you've usually lost something valuable in the process. 

Oh, I doubt it would do you any harm.  I just doubt it has any actual health benefit.  Too many "magic pills" ou there.   I have several co-workers taking green coffee bean extract to lose weight.  Of course there's no way in hell they will reduce their calories and exercise to lose weight...but paying for a magic pill that will disappoint them like all the other magic pills they've taken??  Sure..they'll do that!  They are all impressed with the weight I've lost over the past 4 years.  But none of them is willing to track their food, eat healthy and work out.  Everyone knows HOW to be healthy....but so few will DO it.  I don't get it.  All I needed was being put on high blood pressure meds in my mid thirties to scare the shit out of me and get me to change my lifestyle. 

I don't ask my doctor about any of it either.  Most doctors knwo very little about nutrition and mine looks like Jabba the Hut in a lab coat.  I see the nurse practitioner for check ups because I can't stand to look at the doctor!  That should tell people there is no magic weight loss pill.....FAT DOCTORS!!!  LOL  If they had a pill to make them thin or healthy....they'd all be thin and healthy! 

Sorry about the hep C, that must be awful.  I know lots of medicines can put a strain on the liver.  It must be quite difficult to balance all that and stay well. 

Even meat eaters need their veggies, and LOTS of them!  My health has improved tremedously and I have learned to love my dark leafy greens.

Thanks for the compliments.  I know most people have no interest in going vegan.  But I take exception when they attack it as a way of life.  It's the best decision I ever made and I look forward to being a happy healthy vegan for the rest of my life!

Are you two legumes and grain-eating vegans? 

When I heard about vegan diets before being vegan myself, their major source of protein was always legumes.  It seemed very boring to me to eat legumes every day!  The various carbs are more varied. 

After I found out about my delayed food allergies - I probably have celiac disease and a lot of people with celiac disease have delayed food allergies to other foods besides gluten grains - I ended up with being vegan basically.  But grain-free and legume-free and without a lot of plant foods I can't eat (nightshades, melons, cherry family, apples, citrus, nuts, etc. etc. etc.)  What really pained me was to quit cocoa!

There aren't a whole lot of foods I'm not allergic to, but the delayed food allergies aren't forever, they have faded in the 10 years I've been gluten-free, so eventually I'll be able to eat a lot of those common foods again, including stereotypical vegan tofu-and-rice meals.  I plan to stay dairy and gluten-free, though. 

Wow, tough break Luara.  I'm lucky to not have any food allergies (so far).  I like beans, grains, legumes, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, and seitan (wheat gluten) for protein.  I try to eat a good variety of foods, focusing on vegetables.  Quinoa is my favorite "grain" since it "brings a lot to the table" nutritionally....and it's yummy!! 

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