Typical American Diet

If your diet is anything like mine was when I was eating meat and dairy–the typical American diet–it contains a LOT of animal products. Consider:

Typical breakfast foods include

milk on cereal

eggs & bacon or sausage

butter on toast

cream cheese on a bagel

yogurt with fruit

oatmeal with milk

Typical lunch and snack foods include

lunch meat, tuna or chicken salad sandwiches with mayonnaise and cheese

salad topped with meat and/or cheese

string cheese

cheese and crackers

cream of soup

Typical dinner foods include

a main dish of beef, pork, chicken or fish

side dishes that contain butter and cheese

salad topped with meat and/or cheese

and of course, ice cream for dessert.

Even if we use meat and dairy that is low fat, from organically raised animals, drink raw milk, or eat small portions, our diet typically consists of many servings of animal products per day. For both our health and environment most of us could stand to reduce the amount of animal products in our diet. I believe this can be done without too much trouble and without losing the pleasure of good food, and hope that I can convince you to give it a try. You may not want to go completely vegetarian or vegan, but why not cut SOME of these animal servings out of your diet?  It does not have to be all or nothing and you can make a big difference by taking small steps. In talking to friends and acquaintances, though, I have realized that it can be hard to know where to start (as it was for me), and many vegan products seem very foreign.  So this section will offer substitutions I have tried which I hope will be helpful. My focus is on milk, cheese, butter/sour cream/yogurt/mayonnaise, meat, and fish and eggs.