Teen Vegan Health Pitfalls

Many teens today decide to go vegan to stop the suffering of animals, to heal from a disease, or in response to climate change. Because 75% of all agricultural land around the world is used for livestock production, cutting global meat consumption in half would free the farmland to grow fruits and veggies for people and end world hunger. Meat production makes more greenhouse gases than all the planes, trains, and cars in the world, because cows and sheep burp methane and poop nitrous oxide. Organic farming eliminates the poisons in growing food for the people and organic practices reduce global warming.

1. Meat and dairy substitutes: Most new vegan teens choose meat and dairy substitutes to help them adjust to their new diet. Most of these substitutes are produced with conventional farming techniques that allows the use of synthetically created chemical pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, irradiation, and sewage sludge to grow food. Then the food is shipped to processing plants and enhanced with too much fat, sugar, salt, plus additives, fillers, and dyes. There are many nut milks, nut cheeses, and vegan dips and vegan desserts on the market that have been processed with unhealthy ingredients.

2. Soy: Soy milk is one of the most popular plant based milk and tofu is used in many vegan dishes. However, conventional soy has been genetically modified with glyphosate from Round Up Ready in the DNA that has been shown to cause cancer. Soy beans have also been shown to interfere with thyroid functions and the hormone estrogen. 

3. Nuts: For good health, it is recommended for daily intake to eat 15 cashew nuts, 20 almonds, or 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Nuts are a concentrated food with high levels of calories and healthy saturated fat. Many teen vegans overdo coconut milk, coconut oil, and cashew nut cheeses. The demand for almond milk has caused a honeybee crisis, as more than two thirds of all the bees in the United States need to be shipped to the Northern Californian almond groves, where fungicides and insecticides have reduced their number.

Teen vegans can learn to cook whole organic foods at home. Organic brown rice plus organic beans or lentils make a perfect protein. Rainbows of brightly colored organic fruits and veggies are powerful boosts of energy and the magic secret for all around health. Mixing the different veggies brings together all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients the body needs. Teens can then add smaller quantities of concentrated food, like organic nuts, seeds, and beans to their diet and know exactly what is in their food. 

Teens can make a difference to improve air, water, and soil pollution as well as avoiding poisons and unhealthy additives in their food when they choose local organic foods at their Farmers Market or by growing their own organic fruits and veggies in a raised bed garden. Teen vegans that cook at home using the organic fruits and veggies they harvest from their garden can improve their health and happiness as well as the environment.

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