The Beyond Burger is Bodacious!

It has been just over a year since I ceased eating meat and I could not be happier. Today in America we slaughter on average 75 cows per minute, 24 hours a day and four times as many pigs. My shift came as a result of a growing awareness of the value of life and health reasons. The only thing I have missed eating is a really good burger.

I have now tried dozens of various kinds of patties from quinoa to black beans, garbanzos, soy, oats, seitan and most all other veggie compositions. I finally realized that impersonating a beef burger was not ever going to happen, until now!

The Beyond Burger hit the market months ago at a select restaurant in NY and California then they arrived into Whole Foods in Boulder with the promise of them being in the Texas market sometime this Spring, and they arrived at the WF about an hour away last week. I made my first one last night and you’re going to love them!

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I chose to cook them on cast iron, and unlike any other vegan burger, I have ever cooked no oil is required as they contain plenty and the look, texture, and taste is spot on. Compassion never tasted so good! This burger rewrites all the rules for people since unlike animal flesh it does not promote heart disease or cancer.

The manufacturer Beyond Meat has spent years perfecting this amazing burger with the not so secret ingredient plant heme, which gives it the taste and look of beef and is certain to rival beef burgers easily and its main ingredient is pea protein. Non-GMO, soy and gluten free, this burger cooks up in less than eight minutes and my first bite last night was pure pleasure.

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For vegans and vegetarians this is a layup and for meat eaters here is an option that tastes amazing, and it didn’t require a poor cow to live in a God forsaken feedlot only to be slaughtered and placed into clean little packages. The Beyond Burgers contain as much protein as beef and zero cholesterol.

This kind of effective meat replacement will change the game, and the cows could not be happier. Enjoy your weekend, pick up a package or two to enjoy, share this as you care to and be well!

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Do You Know Jack?

What began as a curiosity after trying bbq jackfruit at a place on the square in Denton has turned into a realization that this IS the next big thing in food. I spoke on it briefly in my last blog as it makes an amazing meat replacement.

The jackfruit tree begins to produce fruit after four years and will produce it for up to 100 years. An average tree grows up to forty feet tall and will produce four to eight thousand pounds of fruit per year. The fruit will vary in weight from twenty to eighty pounds each and sometimes exceed two hundred pounds.
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Low in calories and high in fiber Jackfruit is rich in vitamins C, Riboflavin, A, B6, and others. Its mineral content is robust as well high in Manganese, Magnesium, Copper, Potassium with smaller amounts of Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorus, and Selenium.

I have previously only purchased it in a can from the Asian market. Yesterday I went hunting for a fresh one and was rewarded with one just under twenty pounds. The coloring was as I learned correct for a ripe one. However, it was firmer than expected and inside it was much dryer also, so possibly not quite as ripe as I thought.

Inside the fruit is fiber and seed filled pods

Inside the fruit is fiber and seed filled pods

If you ever feel the need to strengthen your hands buy one like I did. It took a bit longer than anticipated just to make it halfway through the fruit; I will get the other half later. The object is to separate the pods from the fibrous parts and then cull the seed from each pod.
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The seeds are very nutritious and edible too. I will be boiling mine tomorrow for twenty minutes and then eaten as a cross between a potato and chestnut. Once out of the water and slightly cooled peel the skin that remains, if any, that protected it while in its pod. Season and nom.

Oh and before you start this adventure know that this fruit secretes a natural latex so oil your knife and hands to ease on cleanup. My large knife suffered a coating of it, and I ran hot water over it to soften the latex and used dry paper towels to remove it.

www-nutritionaltruths-com-35 In addition to what you see in the pic, I added diced artichokes and salt and pepper. Also only used one jalapeno, one-third of the onion, half the cilantro and four tablespoons of the rice vinegar. Again there are more recipes online for jackfruit ceviche and most anything else with jackfruit than you can imagine.

I Made a ceviche for dinner tonight and will top it with avocado before serving. Tomorrow night it is pulled jackfruit BBQ style and the rest I may freeze for later. There are hundreds of recipes online, and if you’re looking for a no processed meat substitute that is full of fiber and nutrition this would be a great one!

Hope you will give jackfruit a chance one day as it can be bought in cans or premade BBQ, carnitas, etc. in the refrigerated section of your healthful grocery store.

Jackfruit Ceviche!

Jackfruit Ceviche!

Have an amazing weekend, kindly share this as you will and be Well!

Grown Meats

Looking at a recent poll showed that while Baby Boomers who lived the vegan lifestyle was at 2 % Generation X was at 5% and millennials were at 12%, proving that fewer and fewer Americans are consuming animal flesh, animal products, and by-products.

In addition to not eating animals vegans do not use leather for their shoes, jackets, purses, etc. nor do they use any soap, makeup, cleaning product, or item derived from or tested on animals or bugs including honey, wool, down, and silk, etc. It is most often from a compassionate standpoint, while for others it is for the health benefits or both.

As for what vegans eat, I would like to focus today’s blog on two straightforward unprocessed meat alternatives. Go to a place like Trader Joe’s and investigate all the faux meat options they have, it may surprise you. I want to cover two alternatives that you can prepare at home from its natural state and enjoy without too much effort.

Jackfruit is an amazing alternative, grown throughout India and Thailand and the trees grow large with a canopy full of fruit. The fruit itself can range in weight from 35 to 80 pounds. They can be purchased smaller and whole at an Asian market or in the can at those same markets, and they are beginning to carry it at regular grocery stores as well in the can. Ideally get it packed in water or brine. Drain water and slice up the fruit to behave much like a pulled meat and add to any sauce or recipe. Investigate the thousands of recipes online and enjoy!

Jackfruit tree, Opened fruit, fleshy pod with internal nut and BBQ stye

Jackfruit tree, Opened fruit, fleshy pod with internal nut and BBQ stye

Mushrooms are also a great alternative, and they can be portabellas, button mushrooms, and my new favorite is oyster mushrooms. They can be smoked and added to a BBQ sauce or sautéed and treated like meat in your favorite dish. From Indian food, BBQ, and Mexican food they’re my favorite meat replacement. Online find hundreds of recipes for a mushroom-based meal.

Oyster, portobello and button mushrooms

Oyster, portobello and button mushrooms


At the healthy grocery store, you will find dozens of options for alternatives made from processed soybeans like tofu and less processed soybeans making Tempe and from wheat gluten many types of Seitan are available and tasty. Do a Google search, and you will find a myriad of meat-free alternatives.

When I first wrote Nutritional Truths almost two years ago, I was still eating meat but knew the day would come when I would not. It has been over six months ago now since I gave up eating animals and I have not missed it a bit nor do I miss all the internal conflict that had been growing over the past couple years.
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I thank you for taking your time to drop in and maybe learn something new. Please subscribe, share as you may and Be Well!

Straying from meaty meals

This once very full-time carnivore has been fading meat out of my diet for years and for various reasons. Wanted to share my experience without the intention of telling anyone what they should do. However, I do hope you find something in it that serves you well, welcome.

For most of my life, I had consumed every manner of cow, pig, chicken, turkey or deer at every meal for over 40 years. I grew up in a culture like many of us where meat was the center of the meal all else were sides. “We are the top of the food chain, and besides we get all our protein from meat.” was the mantra.

My initial decline started twenty years ago when I dropped frog legs and Cornish hens forever from my plate since they still looked too much like what they were. With meat mostly coming in the form of clean packages I was able to avoid giving thought to its origins.

Fast forward to a few years ago and I had graduated to Meatless Mondays that started out as a single meatless meal once a week, and eventually, it became an all day thing. Add to this reading the China Study and watching Forks over knives and other like-minded documentaries and my thought process around meat and all food began to shift.

Two years ago after I reviewed Earthlings by Mr. Phoenix, I realized the conditions the critters live and die in were often very unpleasant, and it rattled my growing sensitivities. But I continued to consume chicken, turkey, pig, and cow only now every time I consumed them, I thought of them. I could not shake the growing awareness of these animals lives.

A year ago we got our first puppy, and my heart just expanded with feelings of love and appreciation for a dog. I begin to notice after a couple of months that Paisley’s rear legs are angled just like pigs, and I never notice that before on dogs

Seven months ago a trip to the zoo brought me to the point where I realized I could no longer eat cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, lambs, deer or goats. I have felt great about it, and those earlier conflicts are now gone.

Learning to compartmentalize animals seems a cultural thing. These animals over here on the right we love and care for, and we have laws to protect them from abuse or any harm whatsoever, but these on the other side, we shall eat them.

I have friends who have been vegetarian for decades, and I used to make fun of them, sorry about that. I no longer limit my beliefs around animals and food etc. and trusting the process seems to be where I now reside.

Again, eat as you wish and there is much more to cover over the coming weeks around plant-based, Pescatarian, vegetarian and vegan diets. Glad you dropped in, enjoy your weekend, share as you care to and Be Well!

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Did you hear the one about the Vegan Butcher?

A few weeks ago I did a blog on Americas very first Vegan Butcher Shop opening up in Minneapolis named the Herbivorous Butcher. Business has been busy for them ever since they opened their doors. I recently placed an order with them and will cover that in a sec.

First I had to share a zany write up about this Vegan Butcher Shop that was written on the National Hog Farmers Blog, and it is a doozy! Even more interesting are the comments that follow. Both are found HERE.

The press release from the National Hog Farmer mentions how unethical it is for the shop to call themselves butchers when they don’t kill anything. They also spoke of how much more water is used to grow vegetables than hogs and with a little research, one can see this is not the case at all.

Living in their world may explain such erroneous statements and besides if your paycheck is coming from such an organization chances are you have bought into whatever the organization is up to. In America, we harvest over thirteen thousand pigs per hour per day or 3.61 swine per second, all day long.

With it now confirmed that bacon and most pork products are a known carcinogen at the end of last year I can understand why the industry would bristle at anything outside the norm and replacement foods without having to slaughter a living critter is unthinkable. Turns out the alternate choices for pork are amazing!

I received my Vegan starter kit two days ago and could not be more pleased with the offerings. From a porterhouse steak to Cajun seasoned jerky each product is better than the next! My kit also included Korean Ribs, Sriracha and Italian Brats, maple breakfast sausage, pastrami, teriyaki jerky, and smoky ribs.

Each one I have tried thus far has been wonderful, and the base for many of these is wheat gluten. The spices are key outside of the texture, and this place knows what they are doing. As more folks learn about the ability to avoid heart disease and cancer through diet, I would expect the demand for compassionate, safer and tasty solutions only to grow from this point forward.

I expect Herbivorous Butcher Shops will one day be in many cities and while one may purchase these types of products at the local healthy grocery store nothing beats the taste of, fresh, small batch, locally sourced, handmade foods. And this will happen no matter what anyone inside the critters for food industry or anyone else has to say about it.

Vegan starter kit

Vegan starter kit


The tide is turning in America the last few years as we are consuming fewer cows and pigs, and they don’t mind a bit. If you have never tried a meat alternative product then I invite you to try one and don’t stop there, try another. Let’s make it easy and you just go to Chipotle and try their Sofritas (tofu) rather than beef or chicken and enjoy! Feel free to share this with others and Be Well!

Till we meat again

Welcome to another Friday and this week I would like to cover the topic of killing critters. As for the whole Lion Cecil thing, the media sure seemed to care about it more than almost all else. Not sure why though when one looks at all the killing of animals we do every second here in America.

In America on average we slaughter 100,000 Critters per hour twenty-four hours a day. Including cattle, swine, and poultry. The figure does not include fish and seafood. I have written before on the amount of water it takes to raise a pound of beef (1800-2500 gallons), and from a logical perspective that is not a reasonable trade-off.

At eighteen I took my first rifle, a 30/30, into the rocky mountains and shot my first and last rabbit. I was shown how to dress it (gut it) and then had a friend cook it for me, and we ate it. Yes, kind of like chicken. I have had zero interest in killing one ever since. Watching a critters life run out of them can do that for you.

I used to go deer hunting almost every Thanksgiving and I enjoyed spending time with those I hunted with but never managed to shoot a deer. I do miss the camaraderie, as it was about sharing stories and laughter. My wife is convinced I have become a softy over the years and never wanted to kill a deer in the first place.

Today I have less interest in eating meat than I ever thought possible. I am sure at some point I too will likely drop my name into the vegetarian hat. When I eat a meatless or an animal product-less meal, I always feel better about it. Since reading the China Study, critter flesh has taken a back seat.

At brunch this morning I tried vegan “pulled pork” for the first time and was not disappointed. It was made with jackfruit and though a bit heavy on the vinegar it was really good. There are hundreds of meat replacements available and avoiding soy may limit them but is well worth it.

I never thought I would care about such things, and yet I do. If you’re a huge fan of meat, I get it. Consider learning more about industrialized meat and the benefits of grass-fed and pasture raised meats. Consider joining many folks for meatless Mondays and see how satisfying meatless can be. I used to be of the opinion that “we are at the top of the food chain” and today it is more the thought of “nothing had to die for this meal”.

Have an amazing weekend. We are wrapping up editing on the audio version of Nutritional Truths, and I should be telling you next week it is available on iTunes etc. Please share this as you deem appropriate and Be Well!

Graham Herd

Graham Herd