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best nutritional vegitables?

Beverly Erlebacher bae at cs.toronto.edu
Fri Jan 17 11:06:08 EST 1997

In article <19970116101500.FAA14522 at ladder01.news.aol.com>,
 <brateaver at aol.com> wrote:
>I'd say one could survive on it--that is what I mean by live on it. That
>is not true of other foods. I don't know the vit C content, could look it
>up, but I don't suppose it can be high.

You really should quote some context - I assume this is in reply to my
posting that 1600 calories of brown rice will supply an adult's need for
protein, and most likely B vitamins, but I'm dubious about other essential
nutrients such as Vitamin C.  Also, dubious that the calcium and iron
requirements of pregnant and nursing women, children and other people with
higher nutrient needs would be met.

>But I remind you, most of the world lives on rice, and most of those
>people never even heard of a way to divest the grain of its valuable outer
>coatings, to make the rather useless white rice most other people, in the
>"developed" world like to eat. So most of them eat rice with all its good

Most of the world lives on whole grain plus legumes or fish.  E.g. Latin
America, corn and beans, eastern Asia, rice, wheat, corn or millet and
soy.  Southeastern Asia, rice and fish.  India, rice or wheat and lentils,
peas, and milk.  Most of the world also eats some fresh vegetables or greens
with the largely vegetarian diet.  The pre-Columbian European diet was
mostly wheat, oats, rye, barley and peas, fava beans and milk.  Most people
will eat eggs and meat if and when they can.

I don't know what the point of this is.  If it is that it's possibly to
have an inexpensive, adequately nutritious vegetarian diet, of course it
is.  If it's that such a diet can be composed of relatively few foods,
yes, with some care.  If it is that whole grain is more nutritious than
refined grain, of course it is.  

I really doubt that any one single food can provide all the nutritional
needs of a human being at any stage of the life cycle, except breast
milk for young infants, while they still have iron reserves from pre-natal
life.  I invite you to prove me wrong.

Perhaps you can look up the nutritional content of brown rice and compare
it to the RDA for important nutrients.  I don't want to get into fights 
about the validity of the RDA, which has a big fudge factor for individual
variation, and the greater requirements of people in some stages of life.
While you've got the tables out, see if any other foods are a perfect

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