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Exploring the History and Health of the Vegetarian Diet

The vegetarian diet is considered healthy and viable. And vegetarians in San Diego have a wide array of options available to them. As part of our series: "The Food We Eat," we'll explore all the va

Exploring the History and Health of the Vegetarian Diet

Tom Fudge : The abundance of food that's available to us today has given people a lot of choices. And one choice many people have made is to become vegetarian.


There are a lot of different reasons to be a vegetarian , ranging from concerns about heart disease to concerns about animal welfare. And there are many different ways to be vegetarian. Some people choose to go halfway, eating fish and chicken but not red meat. Some people, who go all the way, eliminate eggs and dairy from their diets, becoming what we call vegans.

But whenever you restrict your diet, you have to take account of what you're giving up and realize there are upsides and downsides. Meat, for instance, has lots of iron and protein in it. If you don't get those things from meat, where do you get them?


  • Dr. David Leopold , director of medical education at Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine.
  • Joan Greenblatt, vegetarian and writer of a cooking column for Inner Directions .  She's written the soon-to-be published cookbook: "The Harmony of Cooking."
  • Steven Shapin , professor of the History of Science at Harvard University. Prior to that, he was a professor of Sociology at the UCSD.