[Daily Mining Gazette]
HOUGHTON -- At the age of four, Brialle Ringer made up her mind to go
vegetarian for a simple reason.
"Animals are like my best friends," Ringer said.
Ringer was shopping with her mother, Kristen Hill, for rice milk, kiwi
fruit, avocados and other groceries Wednesday at the Keweenaw Food
Now 12, Ringer said she has been a vegetarian on and off over the years.
"For the past two years, I've been straight vegetarian," Ringer said.
She went vegetarian before her mother, who decided to cut meat out of
her diet because she felt like her eating it made no sense.
"I never really liked eating meat, I found I was always kind of
forcing myself to eat meat," Hill said. "And I'm aware of all the
suffering that animals have to go through because people think they
Tara Lassila, RD, a dietitian at Portage Health who is also a
vegetarian (for the last eight years), said ethical concerns were a
key factor in her decision to stop eating meat, but she also did so
for health benefits.
One of the key things to include is diverse protein sources. Meat
offers a one-stop shop for protein, because animals take in various
types of plant food and synthesize it into what is called complete
Vegetarian humans have to take in multiple different types of protein
in order to get all of the necessary amino acids. Dietitians break
down protein foods into four groups.
Group A is whole grains and cereals, including wheat, oats, rice.
Group B is legumes -- things like peanuts, peas, lentils and lima
beans. Nuts and seeds comprise group C -- cashews, walnuts, almonds and
sunflower seeds. Group D is vegetables including potatoes, dark green
vegetables and other vegetables.
Vegetarian eaters should strive to eat items from all four groups as
regularly as possible.
For more information about vegetarian diets, Tiura can be reached at
Portage Health at 483-1516. Another source of information for
prospective vegetarians is the Vegetarian Resource Group. Their phone
number is 410-366-3843.
Dan Schneider can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org