AR-News: (CA) Does your food have a face? Then change the menu

WeArPetitions at WeArPetitions at
Tue Oct 7 10:25:01 EDT 2003

By Kristi Martin

Looking for a diet to protect your health and preserve the environment? Well, 
do I have the perfect diet for you. 
According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, recent surveys show 
that as many as 40 percent of teens are self-defined vegetarians. Many are 
guided by vegetarian rock stars and movie stars, including Alicia Silverstone and 
Drew Barrymore. 
Many teens I have spoken with say they've considered a vegetarian lifestyle 
but don't want to miss out on all the foods they love. But there are endless 
no-meat Italian recipes and plenty of Mexican-food options, too. 
What about our beloved fast food? 
Take a closer look at the menus at Taco Bell, Burger King, In-N-Out and other 
favorites. Beans can always replace meat. Soy, tofu and other substitutes 
replace the meat in hamburgers, hot dogs, corn dogs and other foods. 
"There is no food that can't be replaced by another," says lactation 
consultant and clinical dietitian Vicki Nizen. 
Some believe they have to have lots of protein from meat, but according to 
Vegetarian Times Magazine, a 16-year-old who weighs 120 pounds needs just 48 
grams of protein a day. Athletic teens need slightly more but shouldn't choose a 
high-protein diet, says registered dietitian Reed Mangels. 
Consuming more protein will not automatically add muscle. 
Need another reason to become a vegetarian? You'll save lives -- a total of 
83 animal lives in a single year. 
In the 21/2 years I've been a vegetarian, I've saved the lives of 208 
This diet takes a lot of will power and determination. But I strongly 
recommend it. 
Kristi Martin is a senior at Mt. Whitney High School. 
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Originally published Tuesday, October 7, 2003
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