Letters to the Editor: Dec. 29, 2013

djournal-letters-editorVegan choices lead to a healthier lifestyle

With New Year’s resolutions just around the corner, consider the popular trend toward a healthy, eco-friendly, compassionate meat-free diet.

According to Harris Interactive, 47 percent of American consumers are reducing their consumption of animal products. USDA projects this year’s per capita chicken and beef consumption to drop by 8 percent and 17 percent, respectively, from their 2006 peaks. Similar dramatic drops are projected for pigs and turkeys. Milk consumption has fallen by a whopping 40 percent since 1970.

A number of celebrities are going vegan. They include Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Z and Beyonce. Microsoft founder Bill Gates, PayPal founder Peter Thiel, and Twitter founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams are funding plant-based replacements for meat and eggs.

Fast-food chains like Subway and Chipotle are responding to the growing demand by rolling out vegan options. Taco Bell has found that 43 percent of conversations about meat were negative. The Baltimore, Los Angeles, and San Diego school districts, serving more than a million meals a day, have adopted Meatless Mondays.

How about dropping animals from the menu for this New Year’s resolution? Entering “Meatout Mondays” in a search engine brings tons of useful recipes and transition tips.

Eli Palmieri

Tupelo

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Nuclear power plants offer nation best option

Some energy experts may believe the party’s over for nuclear power, but it has many things going its way, some of which are already coming into play.

Since 2001, nuclear power plants in the United States have achieved lower production costs than coal, natural gas or oil. Commercial reactors like Grand Gulf at Port Gibson typically produce large quantities of electricity around the clock, safely and reliably, when needed. In fact, Grand Gulf produces 1,443 megawatts, the highest amount for any single reactor in America.

That’s just one of the unrecognized values of Grand Gulf. Here in Mississippi, nuclear power provides price stability and is not subject to the price volatility associated with gas-fired power plants.

Irrational opposition to nuclear power should not be allowed to block its use in electricity production. If we are to maintain a reliable mix of energy sources in Mississippi, the time to remove obstacles to nuclear power’s future like disposal of nuclear used fuel in a deep-geologic repository is now.

C.T. Carley, Ph.D., P.E.

Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering

Mississippi State University

  • Ells Worth

    I have never seen a healthy looking vegan in m life. A strict vegan diet lacks high quality protein and tends to cause blood clots. In fact my heart doctor was on a diet high in vegetables and had to stop his diet because he had formed blood clots in his legs.
    I am not opposed to anyone that is a vegan, I just wish they would tell all the facts about healthy nutrition. I once was overweight, had high cholesterol, high blood pressure and border line diabetic. After three months on the Dr. Atkins diet I lost forty pounds, my cholesterol was normal, my sugar level was normal, so was my blood pressure.
    A vegan doctor reported that when dr. Atkins fell on ice and died from his injuries that an autopsy showed he was overweight, was diabetic and had blocked arteries, the fact was there was no autopsy performed on Dr. Atkins.

    • TWBDB

      Although not for me personally, I have known quite a few very healthy vegans. The thing that impressed me the most about them was their hyper-consciousness of nutrition. I had a similar experience on the Paleo diet ; really a variation of the Adkins diet. Weight loss, lower blood pressure, more energy, etc. but I give more credit for these added advantages to eating more raw or little cooked vegetables than anything else.

      I love the idea of Meatless Mondays. We didn’t have meat on the table for every meal when I grew up in MS; still don’t do it now. The difference is growing up these days were peas or corn (or both) and cornbread, and may I say YUMMY! Now, I try to substitute the starchy veggies for barely blanched or raw green vegetables, and I have to say again YUMMY!

  • Winston Smith

    I guess it just depends on what exactly you’re eating as a vegan. You can be eating pasta and Oreo’s or quinoa and kale. I still believe it’s difficult (not impossible) to have a healthy vegan diet, but I do think we need to eat more vegetables and less red meat.

    As for the nuclear issue, its a really interesting one, I’m in favor of nuclear power, but we have two giant issues that need to be resolved with it. What to do with the nuclear waste, and how to prevent and fix nuclear meltdowns when they occur. For all the environmentalists that see nuclear power as an environmental catastrophe waiting to happen, remember, the alternative is more than likely a coal burning power plant which is much less efficient and spews pollution constantly.

    • FrereJocques

      Some of the sickest people I know are vegans. They have taken the diet to the extreme, on the mistaken belief that they are eating healthy. I know of at least one person who was hospitalized for what turned out to be malnutrition. His Doctor begged him to eat at least a LITTLE fat with his diet (yes, fat is a necessary part of a balanced diet). Another person was a vegetarian all his life, and then switched to the vegan diet. He still had to have his carotid arteries cleaned out. A lot of good the vegan diet did him.

      Regarding nuclear power, it is the environmental wackos themselves who are holding up the issue of storing nuclear waste. The Government spent decades, and billions of dollars, finding the safest place to store the stuff, and the wackos are STILL not satisfied. Finding a safe storage site is not their agenda; their plan is to PREVENT nuclear waste from being stored ANYWHERE, in the hope that that issue alone will kill the nuclear power industry. A newer generation of nuclear power reactors has been developed that is inherently immune from meltdowns. If these are implemented, and the older plants are eventually retired, we will be safe from that scenario.