I am writing here because I need to vent. I just watched Oprah's vegan for a week challenge. Absolutely appalling.
First of all, two of the three guest she brought on, did not even promote a vegan diet. Michael Pollan does have an interesting take on north Americans over-consumption of meat and the state of feedlots and where our food comes from. However, he doesn't promote a vegan lifestyle. Why would he be on the show then if the show is about vegan diets?
Then she included a tour of a slaughter house... One the one hand, I think that was a great move. Her point on people being so detached from where food comes from I think was bang on. Even setting up a tour that would allow the slaughter house to ensure that everything was as sanitary and safe looking as possible still got the point across. My problem was, the meat product placement and the catchy phrases from the person giving the tour "The ground beef comes out here and then goes my children's table" Again, not a good fit for a show that is supposed to be highlighting the vegan diet.
The third guest was a vegan author and she got very little air time to talk about her stance on being vegan. Her time to shine was when she went to the grocery store with a family to show them how to buy vegan. A full cart of processed junk. Vegan or not, if your cart is full of cardboard, I think something is very wrong. Not one product she showed was fresh. Everything was packaged, processed crap... and if anyone went to look for these items, they'd quickly discover they are also really expensive.
So, my biggest problem.... Where was the food?? -- As someone who eats a vegan diet, she did nothing to portray what many vegans eat. In fact, I did not see any information on food and how vegans get their nutrition. The only time a meal was shown was a family eating processed crap which did not look properly prepared and was based on animal-based food choices. I am not sure if she was trying to show that when you are vegan you can still eat 'meat sauce' and pizza or if she just did not think it through, but either way it was not informative and if anything, probably turned viewers off of a plant-based diet.
I think I safely say that most vegans do not base their diet on pre-packaged faux meats and cheeses. It is expensive and will never taste just like the animal products it is mimicking. Someone that is just trying to eat vegan for the first time is going to have the memory of what the animal-based version tastes like and probably won't like the faux meat version since it just can't taste the same.
When I decided to be vegan, I didn't go near fake meat, cheese, and other plant based-items for quite a while. After a month or two, I could re-introduce them and my body adapted to the new tastes. The show really should have had a recipe that wasn't a bland 'meaty' plate. Come to think of it, there was no green on that plate at all! Bad, bad, bad...
The show had a real opportunity to show viewers what vegan people eat. Show people that you can base your meals around whole grains and vegetables and get all the nutrients you need. People always ask me questions about what I eat, where I get my calcium, protein, iron etc from. The show didn't even look at this.
Sigh, I could go on and on, but I won't. I don't know why I hoped for something a bit more... I shouldn't have.
OK - End rant.
I'll post recipes later. :)