They say steak has vitamins

I was innocently perusing the pages of a women’s health magazine when I came a cross a rather offensive ad. It was a full-page advert that proclaimed: That’s right: Steak has vitamins. How do you like us now?

steak ad crumpled up

Hmm. How ’bout Not At All?

The beef-it’s-what-for-dinner-folks (aka the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association) had the audacity to target a health-conscious demographic who they thought might be eschewing beef for healthier options. The ad bragged that beef has B vitamins.

A 3 oz. flank steak has 158 calories and 25% of the daily value of B6, 23% of B12, 7% riboflavin, and 34% niacin.

So what?

B vitamins are a great source of energy, but potatoes have 31% of B6. Portobello mushrooms have 24% of riboflavin. Peanut butter and passion fruit have loads of niacin. And B12? I’d rather get it from fortified bread, soy milk or a Luna Bar.

When you get your vitamins from plants, you don’t have to deal with bad cholesterol, saturated fats, trans-fatty acids or animal protein. If you’ve read The China Study, you’ll know that animal proteins turn on cancer cells. Plant proteins turn them off.

No amount of sugar-coating by the Beef Board will make me eat meat. My dog is chock-full of vitamins but I won’t eat him. A human cadaver has vitamins, but that’s out of the questions. I eat things (plants), not beings.

I’m not really surprised that the beef industry is duping people. I’m also not surprised that a magazine will accept ridiculous ads (ads pay the bills). I just hope people are smart enough to see through all the bull.

Have you seen and ridiculous ads lately?

Veggie menus at school

School is wrapping up for another year, so I thought I’d mention some good news that might get kids looking forward to fall (yeah, right!).

You may have heard that PS 244, Active Learning Elementary School in Queens, NY, adopted meat-free menu in their cafeteria recently. The students led the change at the pre-kindergarten to third-grade school. They were drawn to healthy plant-based options like falafel, spinach wraps, and cucumber salad.

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Now, the San Diego school district is introducing Meatless Mondays to its kindergarten through 8th grade students. The move was voted in by the board as an attempt to introduce healthy eating to the kids and help curb obesity. Starting this fall, students will get to enjoy meals like tofu and vegetable stir fry, baked potatoes, and grilled vegetable paninis.

From coast to coast, kids are learning about veganism. Let’s hope that these two changes are the start of a healthy, cruelty-free trend.

Are you a student or a parent with school-age kids? Maybe you work at a company with an employee food service program. Why not ask them to introduce more vegan food in the cafeteria? It’s never to early–or late–to start a life-long habit that has a profound effect for people, the environment, and the animals.