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Re: [Permaculture International] Vegetables and Protein
> Protein? The stuff that flesh is made from. As in proteins,
> carbohydrates and fats. Amino acids in appropriate combinations for
> human diet.
Aha, he took the bait... :-)
"1 : any of various naturally occurring extremely complex substances
that consist of amino-acid residues joined by peptide bonds, contain the
elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, usually sulfur, and
occasionally other elements (as phosphorus or iron), and include many
essential biological compounds (as enzymes, hormones, or antibodies)
2 : the total nitrogenous material in plant or animal substances"
So in short, proteins are certain types of complex molecules.
There is a huge mythology of half-truths, propaganda and complete
misunderstandings about "protein" in terms of human food and health.
As Jeavons and others will illuminate, what it comes down to is this:
Our bodies store "surpluses" of various amino acids.
These amino acids are obtained from our food intake.
When our bodies need to construct all the various kinds of protein
molecules (muscle, hair, etc. etc.) involved in our bodies, they obtain
the necessary amino acids from these surpluses.
When we eat food containing pre-existing protein molecules of whatever
sort, our bodies break those molecules down in order to get at the amino
acids and then re-use them (or store them as "surplus") for our bodies'
protein construction. No pre-existing protein molecules are used
directly by our bodies - they are broken down and then the protein
molecules in our bodies are rebuilt from the extracted amino acids and
other needed bits and pieces.
All our bodies need to construct all the proteins necessary for our
bodies' maintenance is an adequate supply of the necessary amino acids
and other elements. In terms of our bodies building the proteins they
need, it makes no difference what the source of the amino acids was.
They just need to be available and/or extractable.
So all one needs for "protein" is enough dietary variety and quantity to
keep the necessary amino acids and other elements available within the body.
There is no need to "combine proteins" when eating a given meal. As long
as the necessary amino acids pools (and other essential elements) are
maintained on average/over time, our bodies can build the proteins they
need when they need them.
Lappe herself has clarified in later books and talks that her "protein
combining" was not a vegetarian dietary necessity but rather an attempt
to accomodate/placate the established diet dogmatists of the time (who
were persecuting her mercilessly).
As Jeavons points out, what most "malnourished" peoples on the planet
lack is not "protein" as we have been falsely taught to imagine it
(meat, milk, eggs, etc.) but more calories and more dietary variety
(especially fresh foods, fruits and veggies etc.) in order to get the
amino acids and other elements available in sufficient quantities so
their bodies can readily build necessary proteins.
So in terms of "protein," any system of feeing ourselves that gets us on
average the amino acids and other elements our bodies need to build the
proteins they build will do just fine.
Note that when we eat flesh foods, because the protein molecules in them
are quite complex, our bodies use more energy to break them down for
re-use than less complex proteins in non-flesh foods.
And, some bodies are better at this (digesting meats, or beans, or
dealing with lactose, etc.) than others.
As Toby and others have pointed out there are plenty of other
considerations - efficiency and sustainability of food production via
agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, gathering, hunting etc.
etc. and of course other health/nutrition issues such as trace elements,
B12 deficiency and so on.
> E. E. "Mitch" Mitchamore
> www.hillcountrynatives.biz <http://www.hillcountrynatives.biz>
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* John Schinnerer <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
> *To:* International Permaculture List
> *Sent:* Sunday, January 21, 2007 11:41 PM
> *Subject:* Re: [Permaculture International] Vegetables and Protein
> > I realize this is a rather large and open-ended question, but how
> > one obtain sufficient protein from sustainable horticulture?
> What exactly do you mean when you say "protein?"
> >... However, I haven't found much
> > information on WHAT to grow to make a sustainable, healthy
> > between garden and gardener.
> Ecology Action (John Jeavons et al) have IMO some of the best info on
> this. They have worked out calorically via their biointensive systems
> some examples of minimum subsistence planting plans and schedules.
> John S.
> John Schinnerer - MA, Whole Systems Design
> - Eco-Living -
> Whole Systems Design Services
> People - Place - Learning - Integration
> email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
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