Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Peas and Protein

Peas contain protein and other vital nutrients.  This is generally a good thing.  If you grow peas, clean and cook them, and put them in your mouth, they are good for you.

If instead you run the peas through a factory to make things like pea protein isolate and artificial meat substitutes, they're probably not good for you.  That's because these are now ultra-processed products, which contribute to early death via various health problems.  Here are my thoughts on what constitutes ultra-processed food and why it tends to cause trouble.  People hear "pea" and think of the things in a garden, but they're buying things in a package, which is not at all the same.  It's junk food, with the high-fat high-sodium profile typical of that category.  It's just savory instead of sweet.  A little bit probably won't hurt you, but consider how much meat most people eat.  If you ate that much fake meat, it would probably do significant harm.

Some corporations are already trying to breed and/or gengineer peas to produce more protein.  I came across several articles about gengineered peas causing allergic reactions in mice, but couldn't find one clean enough to link.  It took humanity thousands of years to break wheat.  It won't take nearly that long to break peas.

Interest in pea protein is booming.  This would be great if it were encouraging people to eat more peas.  But it's not.  It's trying to tempt people into buying ultra-processed products of which former peas constitute some percentage of the end result.

Here, cook some actual peas.  If you have the Elder Scrolls Cookbook, the pea soup recipe in there is mind-blowing.

If you want a meat substitute, consider these vegetable replacements for meat.
Tags: food, reading, safety, science
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