After deciding we would try a plant based diet, I had to do research on nutrition. I wanted to make sure I was making the correct choices for our long-term health. With the number of times people ask, "Where do you get your protein?" I felt obligated to have a fully informed and complete answer to provide. I have read many books, web-sites, newsletters and so on regarding a plant based diet.
One of the best books I have read so far on this subject was The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas C. Campbell II. This book cites many long-term studies of the impact nutrition has on our health. It clearly identifies the levels of protein in the typical American diet are much higher than what is needed by our bodies and this higher level of protein is what is causing many diseases.
One of the main questions people have is are we getting the correct and appropriate nutrition when eliminating meat from our diet. If I had fast food hamburgers and french fries every day, would anyone ask if I was getting the right nutrition? When I am having a bad day and end up at the cafeteria for a slice of cheese pizza no one asks me where are my vegetables, they are convinced the 1/8 cup of tomato sauce on my slice of pizza is sufficient. But if I have a huge salad topped with baked tofu slices, and some couscous or other whole grain on the side, they think I am not getting enough nutrition.
It seems that our perception as Americans of what makes up a nutritious diet is so skewed at this point - from marketing on television and everywhere else you look. There is little to no profit in convincing people they should be eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Therefore, the message that we should eat highly processed foods continues.