Look, I love a reality tv show as much as anyone else. Remember Bollywood Star Australia where Australian performers had a chance to travel to India and become a Bollywood Star? Fantastic show.
Or if you prefer your reality online, Penny Arcade produced a lovely, fun and genuine search for a new cartoonist called Strip Search. This series is notable because the contestants were super nice to each other and the judges were positive, constructive and just plain generous.
We’ve all watched a few, haven’t we, but in Australia, at least, the biggest of all must be MasterChef. When we had a Brazilian student from Rio stay with us for far too long, our family all sat down to watch MasterChef because it combined sport (Brazilian kid’s love) and food (my family’s love).
But I can never go back to MasterChef. But I’m sorry, MasterChef. I’m so over you.
It’s finished between us
What is it, MasterChef, with the PROTEIN?!??
To listen to you bang on EVERY SHOW, beef or lamb is a protein. Eels are protein. Little helpless milk-fed baby cows are protein. As if protein was only available in animals.
Well, MasterChef. It’s true. Think about it for just one moment. You really need to eat dead animals to grow big and strong? Like horses? Cows? Camels? Elephants? When you think of big boofy creatures, like bulls, for instance, what do they eat? AND did you know, thinking of big and boofy, that gladiators were vegan? Why, even bodybuilders today can be vegan!
In the old days everyone read Diet for a Small Planet. That’s where I learned the facts of life and many, many other people did too.
Apparently, so Frances said, proteins are made up of twenty amino acids and nine of those are essential – that’s what we have to eat every day. If you kill your food, it’s easy. Just take an axe to the cow or strangle your chicken for your amino acids. Or you could eat vegetables – you just have to mix it up. Complement your proteins. Beans on toast is a complete protein meal. Lentils and rice. Dahl and bread. It’s not rocket science.
HANG ON THERE
JUST A MINUTE!!!
SHE WAS WRONG!!
A few years later that same author of Diet for a Small Planet, Frances Moore Lappé admitted in the 10th anniversary 1981 version of the book that sufficient protein was easier to get than she had thought at first:
“In 1971 I stressed protein complementarity because I assumed that the only way to get enough protein … was to create a protein as usable by the body as animal protein. In combating the myth that meat is the only way to get high-quality protein, I reinforced another myth. I gave the impression that in order to get enough protein without meat, considerable care was needed in choosing foods. Actually, it is much easier than I thought.
“With three important exceptions, there is little danger of protein deficiency in a plant food diet. The exceptions are diets very heavily dependent on  fruit or on  some tubers, such as sweet potatoes or cassava, or on  junk food (refined flours, sugars, and fat). Fortunately, relatively few people in the world try to survive on diets in which these foods are virtually the sole source of calories. In all other diets, if people are getting enough calories, they are virtually certain of getting enough protein.”
In 1981, this is. Over thirty years ago!! Award winning and Foundation founding Ms Lappé recognised she’d made a mistake and she apologised and put the facts straight.
But the complementary protein myth still exists. Not only that vegetables don’t have enough protein but that it’s necessary to mix it up. When it’s not!!! It’s worth repeating that about eating enough protein, ‘ … it is much easier than I thought.’ In fact, you just have to eat food!
All food contains protein!! Wake up MasterChef!! You are so far behind the eightball you haven’t even debunked the first myth! Or are you so far enamoured of the meat industry that you can’t even see the truth for the steak?
You might like to take a look at this excellent summary about balanced vegan meals, including a neat tip: when you’re in a hurry grab a ‘grain, a green and a bean meal!’
And, finally, MasterChef, here’s where the television star meets the meat: did you hear about the hunter who thought that the locals would like to eat a tough old giraffe when they could have had some tofu and rice? Go, Gervais. Just get ’em!!
I wish you well, MasterChef, but mainly I wish you’d get your facts straight.
Lots of love,