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The Institute for Plant Based Nutrition
By James Oswald
IVU News - March 2000

Plant based nutrition is defined as a dietary pattern incorporating food quality algae, bacteria, barks, berries, brans, bulbs, enzymes, fibers, flowers, fruits, fungi, grasses, juices, leaves, microbes, oils, pods, pollens, rhizomes, roots, saps, sea vegetables, seeds, sprouts, stalks, stems, twigs, tubers, vines, yeasts, and their extracts such as infusions, plant source vitamins and minerals. It classifies vegetables as a diverse category which may include fruits (tomatoes), stalks (celery), and tubers (potatoes), for example, and views seeds broadly as including grains, legumes and nuts. In this taxonomy, rosemary is a leaf - as well as herb and spice, a fiddlehead fern is a stalk along with leaves, and Irish moss is considered a sea vegetable leaf cluster.

Perhaps the single most essential nutritional substance is plant chlorophyll which transforms sunlight into proteins, starches and sugars and is immediately assimilated; its molecules are identical to mammalian blood heme with the exception of the former having an ion of magnesium and the latter an ion of iron. Beta-carotene is similarly necessary, along with the amino acids and essential fatty acids. Fiber is also considered essential, equivalent to a nutrient - as in the case of bran in fat binding and cholesterol reduction. In summary, green plants are the essential in human nutrition.

In addition to the consumption of edible plants - their fresh, dried, preserved, frozen and canned parts and substances - diverse other so called processed or manufactured foods can be made by various combinations and procedures. These may result in, for example, kimchi or sauerkraut - fermented vegetables rich in plant source lacto-bacillus; tempeh - soybeans transformed by mycelium; wheatmeat or seitan - produced by washing away starch and retaining gluten; tofu or soy curd - produced by grinding, boiling, then filtering and coagulating the solids; beet pulp - fermented to grow microbes which concentrate cobalt and make it available as cobalamin or Vitamin B12 or provide a harvest of nutritional yeast; wheat grains - squeezed - with or without heat, using high or low pressure and without or with chemical catalysts - to extract oil from which further concentration can isolate Vitamin E; oat fiber - ground into particles so microscopic as to allow them to emulsify and suspend themselves in water as oatmilk; and so on infinitely as long as there is interest in uncovering nature's secrets and constructing pleasing nutritious foods.


Plant based nutrition is holistic. While centered on plant foods, it realizes that human health is not based on food alone.

More vitamins than those currently known and enzymes more numerous than have been cataloged, can be found in, isolated from, extracted and stored in liquids, powders, emulsions or waxes for storage and later systematic nutritional supplementation. Then, combinations of plant materials can be sun, freeze, vacuum or oven dried, powdered and then used in any ways desired.

Plant based nutrition is holistic. While centered on plant foods, it realizes that human health is not based on food alone. Sunshine, air, water and some non-plant source minerals are vital for survival and health. Therefore, it promulgates proper breathing - realizing that oxygen is basic for human life, requires adequate consumption of pure water - with attention to its quantity, quality, temperature and consumption sequence, and minerals from sea and earth sources. These, along with appropriate physical exercise, rest, sleep - and moral, ethical, logical, positive philosophical and spiritual orientations - are formulae supportive of human health. It advocates that plants and all their parts are alive, their quality dependent on their seed genes and the soil in which they are grown as well as the water irrigating them and the air which surrounds them. Plant based nutrition accepts the body as whole and urges the growth and consumption of whole foods, urging maximum consumption of fresh raw nutrients and minimal use of cooking and other forms of processing. Nutritional proteins, carbohydrates, oils, enzymes, vitamins, fibers, minerals and water contained in edible vegetation are alone sufficient to sustain and enhance human life.

At the core of this conception is scientific understanding and comprehension of the reality that there are not any non-plant human foods.


Jim and Dorothy are both retired educators. They founded The Institute for Plant Based Nutrition in 1997

website: www.plantbased.org

 


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