India Knight in the Sunday Times on processed vegan food

greencow

Member
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
14
Reaction score
9
Location
Farnham
Lifestyle
Vegan
Interesting article in the Sunday Times exploring the fact that processed vegan food can be really unhealthy. Its something I've been thinking about for a while. A lot of people I know are now buying vegan food from supermarkets because they automatically assume it's better for them, but as we know, that's not necessarily the case, and a diet based on processed food is like to be very high in salt, sugar and fat (even if it's vegan). It's great that more and more people are eating vegan even some of the time, but they should beware the big food companies which are getting in on the act.
 

rogerjolly

Active Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2017
Messages
220
Reaction score
233
Age
75
Location
Yorkshire
Lifestyle
Vegan
To my mind junk foods are a mere sub-set of processed foods. Most processed vegan foods are great for our health. Think of plant milks (unsweetened) or porridge or corn bread or dried fruit or apple pie or baked potato or grilled vegetables. They are all processed simply because they have had things done to them.

It is the junk foods that have the salt, sugar and fat added to excess. And people are understandably confused when the words “processed” and “junk” are used interchangeably.

But as you suggest it is heart-warming to think of people eating vegan junk instead of non-vegan junk. That way there will be fewer animals being bred for slaughter.

Anyway, even if some people are being duped, I would strongly suspect that vegan junk is somewhat less unhealthy than the equivalent non-vegan junk. :)

Roger.
 
Last edited:

Emma JC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
1,023
Reaction score
1,059
Location
Canada
Lifestyle
Vegan
Highly processed vegan (junk) food like the replacement meats and burgers etc are not healthy and I don't think they claim to be. They are certainly healthier for the animals. :) There are very unhealthy vegan ice creams and desserts just like there are unhealthy non-vegan ice creams and desserts.

We do have some Gardein once or twice a week but we do prefer whole foods or slightly processed as much as possible for the health aspects.

Emma JC
 

greencow

Member
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
14
Reaction score
9
Location
Farnham
Lifestyle
Vegan
To my mind junk foods are a mere sub-set of processed foods. Most processed vegan foods are great for our health. Think of plant milks (unsweetened) or porridge or corn bread or dried fruit or apple pie or baked potato or grilled vegetables. They are all processed simply because they have had things done to them.

It is the junk foods that have the salt, sugar and fat added to excess. And people are understandably confused when the words “processed” and “junk” are used interchangeably.

But as you suggest it is heart-warming to think of people eating vegan junk instead of non-vegan junk. That way there will be fewer animals being bred for slaughter.

Anyway, even if some people are being duped, I would strongly suspect that vegan junk is somewhat less unhealthy than the equivalent non-vegan junk. :)

Roger.
That Roger, is a very good point. It is important to be precise and "junk" and "processed" are not interchangeable.
 

Lou

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Messages
2,360
Reaction score
2,292
Age
64
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
Vegan
I think i have brought this up in this forum before. And since then i have sort of refined my thinking a little bit too.

Language is how we express our thoughts. Even to ourselves. So imprecise or sloppy language results in impercise and sloppy thoughts.

However, almost everyone misuses the term processed foods. But it probably doesn't matter. This may be a really good example of, "well, you know what I mean."

In my mind, the issue is with the word "processed food". Technically and strictly speaking all the food we eat is processed. You wash the dirt off a potato and that is a process. We don't normally think of oatmeal as processed food. But it has had 4 or 5 processes before you pour it out of the box and cook it.

However, if you ask someone to give examples of processed foods, no one is going to list oatmeal. They all will list frozen pizza. And if everyone understands what people mean then that is pretty good. So why muddy the waters.

I've read where dieticians use the words highly processed and minimally processed to help make distinctions. But I have not read anywhere on exactly when minimally becomes highly.

IMHO we really do need some better words in this area. Maybe Junk would be a good word. it may be hard to define but it does have the advantage of the "well, you know what I mean".

Using the word "refined" or the phrase "highly refined" may help. Removing things from food is a process - its refining. Taking all the bran out of a wheat seed changes it from health food to junk food.

But maybe even more important than refining is adding. Adding is also a process. Turning oats into oatmeal is a bunch of steps. but there is no refining and no adding. So it remains a health food. You can even add strawberries and it still remains healthy. But it becomes less healthy when you start adding sugar and salt.

Tofu is more processed than french fries. We really need some better words.
 

TofuRobot

Active Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Messages
783
Reaction score
783
Location
Southern California, USA
Lifestyle
Vegan
Tofu is more processed than french fries. We really need some better words.
This really depends on the french fries. Some french fries start out as potatoes, which are then pulverized, have things added to them, then dehydrated into a powder, then shaped and pressed into some kind of desirable form, then deep fried. Versus cutting a potato and frying it - there's a pretty big difference.

For my own purposes, processed food includes "food" that is far removed from its original form. I seriously don't think we can include chopping or hand-grinding (as in, say, grinding your own flax seed with a mortar and pestle) or washing a potato in the same category as say, a Qorn frozen 'chickn' patty.
 

Lou

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Messages
2,360
Reaction score
2,292
Age
64
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
Vegan
This really depends on the french fries. Some french fries start out as potatoes, which are then pulverized, have things added to them, then dehydrated into a powder, then shaped and pressed into some kind of desirable form, then deep fried. Versus cutting a potato and frying it - there's a pretty big difference.

For my own purposes, processed food includes "food" that is far removed from its original form. I seriously don't think we can include chopping or hand-grinding (as in, say, grinding your own flax seed with a mortar and pestle) or washing a potato in the same category as say, a Qorn frozen 'chickn' patty.
In a way, i see your statements as just backing me up.

One kind of french fry has two processing steps. One has... I don't know.... ten. One is minimally processed and one is highly processed. But how much fat and salt they contain is the important info. Mcdonalds shoots frozen potatoes out of a cannon, deep fry's them, and then adds a bunch of salt. My homemade vegan burrito has way more steps than that. but we know which is healthier almost automatically.

You said, "for my own purposes". We know what we are talking about. We just need better words.
but maybe even your "far removed from its original form" might not work that well. Bread looks a lot different than flour. Apple sauce doesn't resemble apples.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TofuRobot

Forest Nymph

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
1,565
Reaction score
1,192
Age
37
Location
Northern California
Lifestyle
Vegan
Seriously I feel like people like this can go **** themselves. The Standard American Diet is so unhealthy that it's a ******* joke to run an article against vegan processed foods. It's a form of pretentious scare mongering unless you switched to veganism to address cancer or type two diabetes.

Im honestly tired of middle class weight conscious women and death fearing old people scaring meat eaters away from Beyond Burgers.

Vegan processed foods are fine as a part of a balanced vegan diet containing whole foods and varied meals, and the climate and animals really don't have time for this pretentious ******** that could scare New Vegans away making them think it's all rabbit food or a skinny people health club.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Emma JC and Lou

Forest Nymph

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
1,565
Reaction score
1,192
Age
37
Location
Northern California
Lifestyle
Vegan
Seriously I feel like people like this can go **** themselves. The Standard American Diet is so unhealthy that it's a ******* joke to run an article against vegan processed foods. It's a form of pretentious scare mongering unless you switched to veganism to address cancer or type two diabetes.

Im honestly tired of middle class weight conscious women and death fearing old people scaring meat eaters away from Beyond Burgers.

Vegan processed foods are fine as a part of a balanced vegan diet containing whole foods and varied meals, and the climate and animals really don't have time for this pretentious ******** that could scare New Vegans away making them think it's all rabbit food and a skinny people health club.