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We have completed two full weeks of VB6. I was doing pretty well but yesterday I had a lot of food cravings including visions of fried eggs, bacon, and macaroni and cheese. Yesterday morning I made “hoe cakes” – Mark Bittman’s version of corn cakes. After eating them my verdict was that they would have tasted a lot better with an egg in the batter, fried in butter and slathered with maple syrup.
Sticking to the diet is complicated because it is not just about eliminating animal products but it is also making a commitment to eat whole grains and minimally processed foods. This is not so easy to accomplish.
Mark Bittman is a writer who makes his living cooking, eating and writing about food. For the rest of us it is not so easy to find the time to make homemade vegetable stock since all commercially available stock and cubes contain more than 5 ingredients and a lot of sodium.
Time or the lack of it is the biggest factor to making VB6 not a diet for many people. Most people will not have the time to cook the lunches he has recipes for and also may not be able to find the ingredients he requires. If anyone can tell me where to find whole-wheat couscous I would really appreciate it.
As far as meat-eating goes Bittman presents compelling arguments about the negative environmental impact of such a diet. This is not a new story. Over forty years ago Frances Moore Lappe wrote several impassioned books about the harmful consequences of meat eating and the much better path of vegetarianism.
Although I don’t think even part-time veganism will appeal to most Americans, I think Bittman’s incremental approach has merit. Some contemporary writers maintain that the American diet, which Bittman labels as SAD (Standard American Diet) has developed because it is what the public wants, a heavy focus on inexpensive meat. That may be true but it does not follow that it cannot be changed.
Because we are a market based society I think changes for environmental and health reasons must be market based. Also the more familiar the new thing is the more likely people are to do it. In terms of energy consumption by cars, if there are fill-up stations that look just like gas stations but provide electric cars with electricity this will be easy for people understand and then respond positively.
In terms of food many of Bittman’s vegan recipes are familiar – they are salads with fruit in them. It is fairly easy to put the beans in and leave the chicken out. The problem for me has become the monotony of it. In the fourteen meals we have prepared we had a cooked, hot dish only four or five times.