The US Vegan Navy?

Faye Higbee
vegan

A new pilot program in the NDAA will offer Naval personnel at certain forward operating bases a vegan alternative to meats. The “sustainability” of finding livestock proteins at those bases has been a challenge, so they want to offer something else. Bases such as Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, the US Fleet Activities Sasebo in Japan, and the Joint Region Marianas in Guam would be part of the pilot program. The program is to last 3 years, and the Navy Secretary is charged with providing an overview of the results.

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The SecNav will have to provide 1) the consumption rate of the plan-based items, 2) “effective criteria” that would increase plant-based meat items at other bases, and 3) comparative analysis of the costs to buy, store and serve the plant-based protein versus those for regular meat.(SOFREP)

Not everyone in Congress is happy with the idea.

Some military bases have asked for vegan alternatives, as some vegan service members have been trying to cope with getting enough food to complete their daily duties. Fatigue has been a problme for those service members. The Navy will still provide animal-based protein during the pilot program.

The Navy and other branches are struggling to keep up with beef, pork, and chicken due to the rising costs of meat products and the shipping to bases. According to SOFREP, places like Guam, where food items must be shipped in, one pound of chicken costs $9, and eggs are $5 a dozen.

Less calories or more protein

Are they attempting to wean the Navy (and ultimately others) off animal products? Are plant-based meals more healthy than animal-based ones? Or is this a favor for Bill Gates, who backs both “Beyond Meat” and “Impossible Foods?”

According to Beyond Meat’s website, ingredients for its plant-based patties include water, pea protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, rice protein and other natural flavors, including apple extract and beet juice extract (for color). Ingredients for Impossible Foods burger include water, soy protein concentrate, coconut oil, sunflower oil, potato protein, soy leghemoglobin (a group of protein found in animals and plants) and other natural flavors, according to its website.

“I don’t think eating highly processed foods is healthy. I think people thrive on eating whole foods,” Mackey says. 

Better Health for Women citing John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods (who is vegan)

The fake meat industry has gone wild at this time. But personally, buying anything backed by Mr-depopulate-the-earth- Bill Gates is not on my grocery list. He needs to keep his grubby hooks off my steak.

Fortunately, protein from animals is “complete,” providing all of the essential amino acids in amounts that your body needs. However, plant proteins (with the exception of soy) are “incomplete” because they lack sufficient amounts of one or more essential amino acids.

That doesn’t mean you can’t meet your protein needs from plants. You simply have to mix and match to make up for the amino acids that are in short supply. For example, you can pair legumes, such as beans or peas (which are high in the amino acid lysine but low in methionine), with grains that are high in methionine but low in lysine. Barley and lentil soup is a popular example of this pairing.

Alternatively, you can combine beans with nuts and seeds, have hummus with whole grain pita, or make the classic rice with beans combination.

dietdoctor.com
Screenshot via dietdoctor.com

Some plant-based meats are higher in sodium than animal meats.

“Only 4% of the plant-based meats were lower in sodium than their meat equivalents. The mean sodium content in the plant-based products was mostly less than 500 milligrams per 100 grams (mg/100 g). However, this varied widely, and some products contained up to 1,200 mg/100 g, or 3 grams (g), of salt.”

Medical News Today

The pilot program joins other Navy meal options such as Kosher and Halal. If the service members are vegan, this will be an option better than having to live off a can of green beans and keel over from anemia. A concern arises if the Navy begins to push vegan meals to men and women who prefer normal meals. Mutiny anyone?

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Featured screenshot: betterhealthforwomen.com

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