the nutmeg cookery is certified! / B12 isn’t a classroom, it’s an essential nutrient

Posted on Updated on

It’s official…I have completed my certification in plant-based nutrition from Cornell! What does this mean? Basically that I can continue to rant about how bad sugar, dairy and meat are for you, but now when you ask for my credentials I can flash my medieval-lettered certification letter in the air with a cheshire cat grin. I am still in no way a nutritionist, which would have been a much longer road and one that I never want to take. Translation: 2+ years of cinderblock classrooms with stale pencil air and a whole lot of chemistry. I guess I’m more of a learn-online-in-the-privacy-of-my-own-faery-garden kind of girl.

So to mark this milestone, I’m going to talk about my favorite controversial nutrient. The elephant in the room of vegan nutrition, and the go-to deficiency question (after where do you get you protein…see my answer here) of omnivores everywhere. B12 isn’t a classroom, it’s a nutrient manufactured by microorganisms that dwell in the intestines of animals and in the soil. It is an essential nutrient, which means that we cannot produce it ourselves and therefore must ingest it dietarily. In our pre-industrial past, this wasn’t an issue. Translation: we used to eat dirty vegetables…now we have veggie wash and hand sanitizer. We are so damn sanitary that we can no longer supply our bodies with the minute amount of B12 we need. Unfortunately, the anti vegans of the world jump around and excitedly point their chubby fingers at our need for supplementation of B12 as the proof that veganism isn’t “natural” because how could a perfect diet need supplementation? To them I say, what exactly equates a “natural” diet? If natural means raising sentient beings in a torture chamber with a diet of fish meal, corn and soy, then mercilessly slaughtering them, and stuffing their remains in styrofoam and plastic wrap and selling them to the masses for dinner, then yes–vegans are wholly unnatural.

Toast exhibiting the signs of a B12 deficiency...
Toast exhibiting the signs of a B12 deficiency…

The issue is not that the vegan diet is unnatural, it’s that our world is changing. Due to our increased fear of germs and the continuing deluge of pesticides on our crops, we cannot find the B12 we need. It’s similar to the epidemic of the Vitamin D deficiency. Our diets haven’t changed that much, we just don’t go outside anymore!

Solution? Eat dirty veggies and run naked with the unicorns in the sunshine.

P.S. this is the B12 supplement that I take.

P.P.S. this is a picture of some of my buddies.

Image found here

7 thoughts on “the nutmeg cookery is certified! / B12 isn’t a classroom, it’s an essential nutrient

    Andrea Kladar said:
    June 14, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Is there a “love” button rather than “like”? 🙂 Great article. I love that you point out where B12 comes from. A lot of people don’t know that.

    Andrea Kladar said:
    June 14, 2013 at 12:42 am

    P.S. Congrats on your nutrition certification from Cornell University!!

      J. Z. Manley responded:
      June 14, 2013 at 12:48 am

      Thanks Andrea!! 🙂

    Tina Manley said:
    June 14, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Lovely to know you are certified!! Well done!
    Glad to know that not washing all veggies is good for you!
    Can’t wait to see you here and go shopping for vegan food, nice farmers market just down the road!!
    See you soon xxx

      J. Z. Manley responded:
      June 14, 2013 at 10:10 am

      Very excited!! I would love to go to your local farmer’s market! Yum! We can eat dirty veggies together 🙂 xo

    Jean taylor said:
    June 14, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Hi Jenny
    I do love your writing and also your recipe ideas
    Well done on your certificate
    Just a small point – it may be different advice on your side of the pond but here our soil is pretty contaminated – 70 hospitalised from E. coli – directly traced to soil – one death !
    Poss clostridium botulinum – resulting in botulism( very rare ) and toxoplasmosis -can be from cat poop and incredibly dangerous for pregnant ladies
    So continue to run naked in the sunshine ( vit d a huge problem here with our crap climate ) but beware eating grubby veg !!
    Looking forward to seeing you soon and cooking for you both ( very clean veggies though) !!!

      J. Z. Manley responded:
      June 14, 2013 at 10:09 am

      Hi Jean!
      I know, the sad reality of our soil forces us to scrub and wash our produce like crazy – I do think sticking with organics helps a lot, although organic soil may become contaminated as well. I joined a local CSA here and am enjoying very organic, local, and lightly dusted with soil veggies 🙂
      Very excited to see you!! xoxo

Comments are closed.