(Hong Kong News) Vegan is the new black! Vegetarianism is a popular trend, and November is World Vegan Month to encourage the public to become vegetarians.
A survey by an organization that promotes vegetarianism found that the “flexitarian” population in Hong Kong has increased significantly from 5% to 40% in 11 years!
The issue of vegetarianism has long gone beyond diet and expanded to all aspects such as daily life and clothing. Whether it’s because of following trends, religious beliefs, caring for animals, or responding to green living, “looking for vegetarian food” is a major trend in society.
Ovo-lacto-vegetarian, five-element vegetarian, vegan, vegetarian, vegan… there are a lot of vegetarian keywords that make people think of various types of vegetarians. What is the difference? Dorothy Ma, the public relations and communications director of Green Monday, a social enterprise that promotes vegetarian food and environmental issues, explained that vegetarian food can be divided into many types. Simply put, in the West, it is divided into vegetarian, vegan or raw. Vegan); while in Chinese areas there are many categories, such as vegan, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, five-element vegetarian, etc. (see “Vegetarian Classification Table”).
Nutritionist Chen Qiuhui has been on a vegetarian diet with her mother since she was born, and she also studied “lifestyle medicine”. She pointed out that among the benefits of a vegetarian diet, “one is environmental protection, which can reduce carbon emissions. In addition, many people choose vegetarian diets to pursue sports performance and have a clearer mind. Lifestyle medicine” encourages the establishment and maintenance of a healthy lifestyle, helping to prevent and treat disease. “
Whole plant diet improves diabetes and heart disease
She continued that studies have found that a whole food plant-based diet can reverse type 2 diabetes and heart disease. In addition to emphasizing vegetarian food, a whole-plant diet also focuses on natural, less-processed whole food. “People who choose a whole-plant diet will pay special attention to physical and mental health. In addition to being vegetarian, they also eat less processed foods, such as canned food, Cup noodles, etc., may naturally improve heart disease, type 2 diabetes, etc.”
Under controllable circumstances, the diet is mainly vegetarian, but due to work or family reasons, the occasional consumption of animal foods is not ruled out, so it is relatively flexible.
A dietary pattern that excludes animal ingredients such as meat and fish, and there are no strict regulations on animal derivatives such as eggs, dairy products, honey, etc.
Ovo-lacto vegetarian/Ovo-lacto vegetarian/Lacto-vegetarian
Ovo-lacto vegetarians can eat eggs and dairy products; ovo-vegetarians can eat eggs but exclude dairy products, while lacto-vegetarians can eat eggs and dairy products. The opposite is true for lacto-ovo vegetarians.
Five pungents refer to onions, garlic, leeks, scallions, and xingqu, which are five types of plants with strong flavors. Buddhism believes that five pungents interfere with inner peace and should be avoided. Therefore, some vegetarians do not eat five pungents for religious reasons; while five pungents can be eaten by vegetarians.
Completely exclude all animal products and derivatives, including meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, honey and bird’s nests, etc.
Mainly eat natural fruits and vegetables and prototype foods, and do not eat processed foods, such as plant meat.
Whole plant diet, and no cooking above 47°C. It advocates keeping food natural and vital, allowing consumers to fully absorb the nutrients it contains.
Ingredients are diverse, but vegetarianism has hidden dangers
Regardless of whether you eat meat or vegetarian, if you want to be healthy physically and mentally, you must eat a balanced diet with a variety of ingredients. How to be healthy and delicious? Nutritionists and Chinese medicine practitioners listed the hidden dangers of vegetarianism and taught everyone to “seek good fortune and avoid evil”, and vegetarian experts also provided good “cooking” ideas.
Crisis 1: Malnutrition
Vegetarians do not eat meat, seafood, eggs or dairy products and are most concerned about lack of nutrients. Chen Qiuhui reminds vegetarians to supplement the following nutrients:
◆Soybeans, quinoa, and pistachios provide protein
Protein is composed of amino acids, of which 9 essential amino acids cannot be made by the human body and must be absorbed from food. Meat and seafood contain all 9 essential amino acids, but most plant proteins contain less than 9 essential amino acids.
Chen Qiuhui pointed out that soybeans (such as tofu, soy milk), plant meat made from soy protein, quinoa, pistachios, etc. are among the few plants that can provide 9 essential amino acids.
In the past, it was generally believed that each meal should have 9 essential amino acids, and it was recommended to mix and match foods to supplement nutrients. “But new research points out that you don’t need to eat all 9 essential amino acids in one meal. As long as you eat them in the same day, the body will automatically extract them.” Needed.”
◆Agaric and dried fruits are rich in iron
Iron is responsible for blood production and transporting oxygen to various organs in the body. Beans, fungus, dark green vegetables, and dried fruits such as raisins and dates are all rich in iron.
◆Sprinkle sesame seeds on salads and cereals to absorb calcium
Black sesame seeds, soy products, dark green vegetables, or calcium-fortified soy milk and plant milk are all rich in calcium. Chen Qiuhui is used to sprinkling sesame seeds on salads and cereals for breakfast to add flavor and nutrition. 30 grams of sesame seeds contain nearly 300 mg of calcium, and adults need 1,000 mg of calcium per day.
◆Vitamin B12 supplements
Lack of vitamin B12 may cause anemia and affect the nervous system. Sources of vitamin B12 are limited, including eggs, milk, fermented foods, or breakfast cereals with added vitamin B12. You can also choose to take supplements.
“Adults need 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily, but the body’s absorption rate is very low, especially for people with poor gastrointestinal conditions, the absorption rate may be less than half. Foreign ‘lifestyle medicine’ recommends (daily) supplementation through supplements 50 micrograms of vitamin B12.”
Crisis 2: Su Chu is cold
Some people feel unwell after continuing to be vegetarians, often because they eat a single diet. Traditional Chinese medicine doctor Liu Yaohua emphasized that to be vegetarian, you need to know how to match the nature and flavor of the ingredients, eat them regularly, and eat them in regular amounts.
◆Match with the nature and flavor of ingredients
From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, most vegetables are cold in nature, which can damage the spleen and stomach and easily produce dampness, which can cause poor appetite, fatigue, and loose stools. It is recommended to add warm ingredients to balance the food when cooking. Herbs are commonly used in dishes, such as ginger, jinbuhuan, and oregano. , basil, rosemary, etc., most of their properties are warm; take ginger as an example, cut the ginger into ginger rice and stir-fry it with the vegetables. “When the ginger is cut into small pieces, it is easy to smell and it is easier to stick to the vegetables.” , let’s eat too much ginger.”
For people with cold conditions, cold hands and feet, and severe menstrual pain, vegetarianism may aggravate the problem. Liu Yaohua recommends taking good care of your body before starting a vegetarian diet.
◆Not eating from time to time
Eat buds in spring, melons in summer, fruits in autumn, and roots in winter. Although many fruits and vegetables that used to be available seasonally can now be eaten all year round, Liu Yaohua suggests that you should choose to eat fruits and vegetables in their own right and not eat them from time to time. “For example, in winter when the weather is cold and the ground is freezing, eat cold foods such as bitter melon, or It causes cold inside and outside the body.”
◆Timing and quantitative
Eat regularly and quantitatively, especially fruits and vegetables, which are rich in fiber and require more time for digestion in the stomach and intestines, so avoid overdosing.
◆Five colors nourish the five internal organs
Traditional Chinese medicine also pays attention to the balance of “vegetarian food” and the ingredients should be diversified. It is recommended to eat all five colors of vegetables to nourish the five internal organs; the five colors are green, red, yellow, white and black, which correspond to the liver, heart, spleen, lungs and kidneys respectively. By matching these five colors, bias can be minimized.”
Improved recipes to increase motivation
Eat the original taste of fruits and vegetables
There are more and more vegetarian restaurants opening, but some people may think that Chinese vegetarian food is greasy and strong, while Western vegetarian food is boring, so it is better to cook it yourself!
Vegetarian expert Chen Haoran (Elvis) is good at turning original recipes into vegetarian versions, and shares his simple vegetarian combination experiences on social platforms.
Fruit and vegetables paired with herbs
Those who are new to vegetarianism may consider plant-based meat. Chen Haoran said, “Although it is not encouraged to eat plant-based meat regularly because some of it contains higher sodium, plant-based meat is easier to handle and I occasionally use it, such as boiled vegetarian beef tenderloin Wellington, Padang beef and bak kut teh. , let everyone see that vegetarianism has many changes, and change the stereotype of vegetarianism.”
Western food recipes focus on matching fruits and vegetables with different herbs, and pay attention to eating the original taste of fruits and vegetables, especially Italian and Mediterranean dishes, which use fruits and vegetables of different colors in the dishes. The colors are rich, which not only easily arouses appetite, but also makes it easier to take photos and “ask for likes” online. Increase the driving force of vegetarian diet.
Tempeh instead of minced meat
Those who prefer Chinese or Southeast Asian cuisine may consider replacing the meat in the original recipe with suitable vegetables or plant-based meats. For example, Indonesian high-protein ingredient “tempeh” is used to replace the minced meat in Thai minced meat buns, and fried cauliflower is used to replace the chicken in Korean fried chicken. When cooking, just follow the original recipe recommendations for seasoning and cooking methods.
Protect animals and pursue health
Practicing veganism in food, clothing, housing and transportation
With the vegan trend, it is no longer just a “word of mouth”, but also a way of life.
In terms of clothing, food, housing and transportation, we must practice veganism in all aspects, simultaneously protect animal rights, respond to carbon reduction and environmental protection, and pursue a healthy life.
Many products may appear to be animal-friendly, but they may be adulterated with animal ingredients during the production process. Dorothy, Green Monday’s public relations and communications director, and nutritionist Chen Qiuhui, remind them to be careful about breaking the “fasting bowl”.
red lipstick food
Strawberry-flavored, tomato-flavored foods, and different shades of red lipstick. Where does the red come from? It turns out that the natural pigment “cochineal” is derived from the blood of female cochineal insects and contains animal ingredients. The manufacturer may not indicate it directly on the ingredient list. You can pay attention to the food additive number E120, or the English names carmine and cochineal.
Cheesecake, chocolate mousse, jelly, fudge, etc. may add gelatin (also known as isinglass) in order to fix the shape during the production process. It is mainly made from collagen protein in pig skin and beef bone and is by no means vegetarian. Vegetarians can use large vegetables and cold dishes as coagulants.
In the early stages of winemaking, the winery will leave grape or rice residue in the vessel for preliminary fermentation. After completion, the wine will become turbid and impurities need to be removed before filtering. The traditional and quick method is to use animal ingredients such as protein, gelatin, and fish oil. Wait for fining agents to be added to the wine to absorb impurities.
For vegan wine or sake, use non-animal materials such as carbon, limestone, and plant casein to remove impurities, or wait for a longer settling time to allow the impurities to sink to the bottom, and then take out the clear wine above.
See certified ingredients clearly
Veganism opposes any product that exploits animals. The ingredients of food and clothing fabrics are relatively simple and clear, making it easier for vegans to avoid animal products. However, the ingredients of cosmetics or skin care products are complex and difficult for consumers to judge on their own.
Gary Mak, founder of the vegan lifestyle store Vegan Concept, pointed out that vegan products do not contain animal ingredients and do not undergo animal testing or experimentation. Currently, there is no unified “vegan certification” in the world, but many international third-party organizations have established their own certification mechanisms, so different certification marks can be seen on products.
Both raw materials and finished products cannot contain animal ingredients, and animals are not allowed to be tested.
◆Cruelty-free: means the product is not tested on animals.
◆No animal testing:Usually based on rabbit patterns, because the most notorious animal experiment is to apply test products on the eyes or skin of rabbits to observe whether adverse reactions or death occur.
Gary reminded that animal-free testing certified products may not necessarily be vegan, and may also contain animal ingredients. “For example, honey and beeswax are not considered true vegan products because they are products that exploit bees or obtain them without authorization. To ensure that you buy It is a vegan product, so you need to pay attention to the vegan certification mark and check the product ingredients.”
Fight against livestock farming and save the planet
Vegan concept extends to life
Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who emerged as early as BC, have advocated that animals should not suffer, and encouraged the world to avoid eating any meat from a moral perspective.
The Vegetarian Society, the world’s first organization advocating vegetarianism, was founded in 1847. It inherited this idea and also proposed the concept that vegetarianism is beneficial to health.
In 1944, British carpenter Donald Watson and five friends believed that in addition to being vegetarian, they should also exclude ingredients derived from working animals as much as possible, such as milk, eggs, honey, etc. They coined the term vegan. It is formed from the first 3 and last 2 letters of vegetarian, evolving into a new vegetarian model.
Vegans not only focus on food ingredients, but also extend their concepts to daily life, such as refusing to use animal-made products such as leather, silk, wool, etc., as well as products that involve animal testing.
As environmental issues have attracted much attention, veganism has gradually integrated into related concepts; for example, veganism opposes animal husbandry, because the rumination of cattle and sheep will produce a large amount of methane gas and increase carbon emissions; cutting down trees to open up pastures will reduce carbon dioxide absorption; for feeding Animal crops can be used to solve the third world food crisis, etc. Source ◇Vegetarian Society, Vegan Society
Well-known brands launch vegan products
Mushroom cactus leather
Crocodile skin, pure wool, silk and other animal materials are common raw materials for luxury goods. However, as the public gradually pays attention to sustainable fashion and ethics, many well-known brands have announced that they will bid farewell to animal fur and launch animal-friendly vegan products. Leather” new trend.
Luxury brand Hermes and sports brand adidas launched mushroom leather handbags and sports shoes respectively; another sports brand Nike uses Pinatex, a vegan leather made from pineapple leaves. There are also brands that use cactus leather developed by Mexican company Desserto to inject environmentally friendly concepts into their products.
◆Recycle apple pomace to make shoes
Hong Kong brand KIBO specializes in making sports and casual shoes made of environmentally friendly vegan leather. Founders Natalie Chow and Simon Chow felt that the fashion industry was causing damage and waste, so they used recycled leather scraps and plastic bottles to break down and recreate recycled leather. In recent years, they have used apple pomace to make vegan leather.
Marketing director Sibyl Ng pointed out that apple leather is made by recycling apple pomace from mainland juice factories, extracting plant fibers, and processing and compressing it to make vegan leather. It is certified by the United States Department of Agriculture and PETA. Each pair of casual shoes uses about 15 apples. Made from pomace. The first benefit of using vegetable leather is that it does not harm animals. Secondly, it can reduce carbon emissions and recycle waste to reduce harm to the environment.
◆Toxic algae used as soles to reduce carbon emissions
Lane Eight, an environmentally friendly sports shoe brand, abandons animal materials and uses natural, renewable or recycled materials to make shoes to reduce the carbon footprint of its products. Founders James and Josh Shorrock noticed that most sneakers today are made from petroleum-based materials and are manufactured in factories powered by non-renewable energy. The brand cooperates with the technology company BLOOM to collect toxic algae to make an algal bloom foam interlayer, which is used as the midsole of shoes, saving more water and reducing carbon emissions than traditional methods. The knitted uppers are made from recycled plastic yarn, using an average of 11 recycled plastic bottles per pair. When designing the second series, vegan Tencel made of eucalyptus and cotton was used to make the uppers, and vegan suede was also chosen as the leather material, making the shoe body lightweight and as durable as real leather.
◆Using plant extracts
BYOB (Blend Your Own Beauty) is a skin care brand produced in Hong Kong, focusing on natural, vegan and cruelty-free products. The brand boasts the use of natural ingredients or plant extracts such as activated bamboo charcoal and hemp seed oil, and all products are produced in GMP-certified Hong Kong factories.
◆Kimbal herbal skin care
Hong Kong vegan skin care brand Botanic Pretti5 boasts a blend of oriental herbs and Western technology. The products are developed by traditional Chinese medicine and are based on Chinese herbal medicine. They use high-quality herbal materials that are beneficial to the skin, such as snow fungus, skullcap and other natural plant ingredients, and are formulated with different formulas. .
The brand cooperates with Japanese professional laboratories, and all products are developed and manufactured in Japan. It claims that the ingredients and production process are in compliance with the principle of cruelty-free and does not involve animal by-products and testing.
Text ◇ Zhou Qunxiong, Chen Zhenji, Zhang Shumei “Ming Pao”