9 Misconceptions about vegetarianism


The veggie subject can be angry! Vegetarians know this well: it's hard to escape people's comments about their diet. Behind these reflections, sometimes comical, sometimes annoying, hides many received ideas. Back on nine of them with Elodie Vieille-Blanchard, president of the vegetarian association of France.

Margaux Rambert

Vegetarians lack protein

"And protein?" This sentence, vegetarians hear it all the time! No meat, not enough protein, do we often tend to think ...

The decryption of Elodie Vieille-Blanchard:

"The image that comes up often is that to have muscle You have to consume muscle, but to have good eyes, you will not swallow your eyes and to have beautiful hair, you will not eat hair This type of idea is a kind of magic thought. Few people know that we do not take protein directly from food, but that our body produces its own protein from the amino acids in our diet, and contrary to a common myth, plant-based proteins are not incomplete and contain all the essential amino acids. "

" Vegetable proteins can meet nutritional requirements when a variety of plant foods are consumed and energy needs are met. " This is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which brings together more than 100,000 nutrition specialists across the Atlantic.

In practice: Some vegetable foods high in protein (Per 100 grams of food)

Seeds of lupine and squash: 36, 17 and 30, 23 grams

Beans: 26, 12 grams

Peanuts: 25, 8 grams

Lentils: 24, 63 grams

Broken Peas: 23, 82 grams

Almonds: 21, 15 grams

Chickpeas: 20, 47 grams

In comparison, beef contains, according to the pieces, from 18 grams to 30 grams of protein.

Vegetarians inevitably have deficiencies

Deficiencies in calcium, zinc, iron, vitamins ... The vegetarian diet is generally accused of all the shortcomings. Moreover, vegetarians and especially vegans are often imagined as lean, weak, tired people. Wrongly!

Elodie Vieille-Blanchard's Decoding:

As soon as one becomes a vegetarian or a vegan, the specter of deficiencies appears, yet most omnivores have limited knowledge of nutrition. daily intake of iodine, omega-3, vitamins or calcium On the other hand, we know that meat is harmful, it is classified in foods at risk by the latest report of ANSES (agency national food safety).As for dairy products and fish, they are asking questions. Current knowledge therefore suggests that we will be healthier by not consuming animal products. Replacing the steak with lentils has many benefits. By eating vegetables, fresh fruits, legumes and whole grains, we will have a diet rich in antioxidants, minerals, fiber ... "

In practice: " Well-designed, a vegetarian diet, including vegan, is healthy, nutritionally appropriate and can provide benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. It is appropriate for all periods of life. "This is the latest position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics , published in the December 2016 issue of its journal. For example, in Williams tennis, Carl Lewis, who has nine Olympic gold medals in athletics, and Bode Miller, Olympic alpine skiing medalist, French side, "ANSES should review its recommendations to destination of special populations, including vegetarians, current 2017 ", says Elodie Vieille-Blanchard

The man has always eaten meat and fish

Better, he would not have survived without ... So why to change this diet?

The deciphering of Elodie Vieille-Blanchard:

"The food is the only field where one claims the habits of the prehistoric men! When we use our smartphone five hours a day, treat ourselves when we are sick, sleep in a bed, we do not claim our ancestors! Theories exist about what meat would have brought to the development of the human brain, but they are very controversial. For some paleontologists, it is hunting, developing strategies that has allowed the brain to develop. For others, it is the one of having cooked the meat and having been able to access larger quantities of calories. But even so, invoking history to justify and decide our present behavior is irrelevant. And if the natural must be an argument, what about intensive farming, slaughterhouses and billions of animals that are bred to be killed? Where is the naturalness in this? "

In practice: A conversion sometimes difficult

And the roast Sunday lunch? And the veal stew of granny? Adopting a vegetable diet, is questioning a part of our culinary culture, inherited from our parents and grandparents. " The difficulty is to get away from the comforting dimension of this diet that was prepared by our family, "says Elodie Vieille-Blanchard.Good news: it is possible to revisit all the classic dishes with vegetarian sauce or vegan!

Vegetarianism is a fad

Everyone around us has friends or acquaintances who decide to stop eating meat, fish or anything from animals. Vegetarianism and veganism seem to be booming. To the point that some see it as a fad. Yet this movement is not new. One of his first theoreticians? The Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras.

The decoding of Elodie Vieille-Blanchard:

"Vegetarianism is very old but it has long been marginalized.Today, the novelty is this change of outlook.Vegarism and veganism are much This trend is not a passing trend, but rather a trend in the background: meat consumption has been declining for years in France and Europe, while distribution, they are all developing vegetarian and vegan scales. "

In practice: Twenty-five centuries of debate

Defenders of a vegetarian diet have always existed. To understand the intellectual debates surrounding vegetarianism since Antiquity, read the book Vegetarianism and its enemies , by Renan Larue (PUF).

Vegetarians do not enjoy eating

"But what do you eat, then, apart from vegetables and seeds?", "Vegetarian cuisine is sad, monotonous" ... The image of vegetarians eating that salad is still well established in people's minds.

Elodie Vieille-Blanchard's decoding:

"Our society is not very open to different food cultures, unlike the United Kingdom, for example, which is a much more multicultural country. are less lost when they invite a vegetarian, they have an idea of ​​dishes to prepare.The French culinary culture was built around animal products.A classic meat plate, it is meat or fish with, around, small accompaniments Vegetarian cuisine has several centers: it is a balance, a palette of a multitude of foods, with different textures, colors and flavors. "

In practice: A very good cuisine creative

Alain Passard, Joel Robuchon, Thierry Marx ... More and more great chefs are interested in vegetable cooking. And for good reason: there are a thousand and one ways to marry and accommodate legumes, grains, vegetables, oilseeds, fruits, seeds.

A few blogs to find inspiration: An almost perfect vegetarian, Happy veggie, Antigone XXI, 100 vegetal (The recipes of Marie Laforêt, leader of vegan cooking) ...