ISSUE #6: Pop Quiz & Chili Enough for You?

A year or so ago I was working on a community education class to help explain the benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet. One of the ice-breaker exercises was a pop quiz to see how much people already know. I thought it’d be fun to share that with you today. People tend to come at this lifestyle from 1 of 3 different directions; 1) health, 2) environment, or 3) compassion, so I tried to include questions that address each of these. Good luck!

1.     What % of Americans are protein deficient?

2.     What % of Americans don’t get the recommended daily allowance of fiber?

3.     Where do the animals we eat (cows, pigs, chickens, fish) get their protein?

4.     What is the medical term for a protein deficiency?

5.     What vitamin is missing from a vegan diet?

6.     What is often (up to 50%) the first symptom of a heart disease?

7.     The world population is currently 7.4 billion. What is it estimated to grow to by 2050?

8.     Which industry contributes more greenhouse gases, the entire Transportation Industry or Animal Agriculture?

9.     What US government agency looks out for the Agriculture Industry?

10.  What US government agency advises Americans on what they should eat?

11.  Today a pound of chicken cost $1.60. Adjusting for inflation, how much would this same pound of chicken have cost in 1935? [Try to get within $1.]

12.  # of land animals killed each year? [Try to get within 10 BILLION.]


1.     Just 3% of Americans are protein deficient. Why are we constantly bombarded about needing more protein?

2.     97% of Americans don’t get the recommended daily allowance of fiber. How come we don’t see commercials recommending we get more fiber?

3.     All animals get protein from the plants they eat. They aren’t sitting around producing protein out of thin air.

4.     Kwashiorkor is the medical term for a protein deficiency. You’d think for how “lacking” we are of protein, we at least know what it’s called by the doctors.

5.     No, the whole-food, plant-based diet isn’t “perfect,” it’s lacking vitamin B12. However, a simple supplement will fix that.

6.     As scary as it sounds, death is often the first symptom of a heart disease. I don’t like those odds.

7.     The world population is expected to rise from 7.4 billion now to 9.7 billion by 2050. Good luck feeding everyone with factory-farmed beef, let along grass-fed beef.

8.     Yes, Animal Agriculture contributes more greenhouse gases than the entire Transportation Industry. As the Mad Cowboy, Howard Lyman, says, “You can’t call yourself an environmentalist and eat meat. Period.”

9.     The USDA looks out for the Agriculture Industry.

10.  The USDA advises Americans on what they should eat. Can you say “conflict of interest”?

11.  That same pound of chicken cost $1.60 today would have cost $5.07 in 1935. Government subsidies anyone?

12.  65 BILLION land-animals are killed each year. Yes, that’s with a “B” and it doesn’t even include the number of sea-animals killed each year, which is estimated in the trillions.

How did you do? Obviously, some questions were harder than others, but hopefully you were able to get at least half of them right.

I figure I better provide a little more information than just a pop quiz. Given that we’re in the thick on winter in Minnesota, now is the perfect time to share my favorite chili recipe. There was a debate in our office just this week as to whether or not this can be called “chili” because it doesn’t include meat. Instead of meat, sweet potatoes are the “secret” ingredient. Call it what you want, but I’ve used my variation of this recipe to win the company chili cook-off 2 of the last 3 years – against chilies with meat. Feel free to eat it right away, but the leftovers are even better.

I’ve linked all the past newsletters to my website, along with some other articles I’ve written. If you like what you’ve been reading over the last 6 issues, the best way to support me is to share these emails with others or point them to my website where they can subscribe themselves.


What I’ve been and listening to and reading:

I hate to keep recommending the “competition,” however, I really enjoy reading the Peak Performance Newsletter by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. Typically, they each provide their take on a certain topic and then share a handful of links to articles that they’ve enjoyed during the week.

 Of course, the week wouldn’t be complete without listening to the Finding Mastery Podcast and the Rich Roll Podcast. While I tend to like all of their podcasts, I really enjoyed this Finding Mastery episode with Kevin Carroll. One of the cool things about these podcasts is that they’re typically with someone I’ve never heard before. But that’s when I typically learn the most. One word of warning if you start going down this health & wellness path, you may start seeking out spiritual advisors, like Guru Singh. Sure, you might not be ready for this yet, but I encourage you to give a listen. Guru Singh is a re-occurring guest on the RRP and in this episode they talk about how to be true to yourself in a world that wants everyone to conform to society.


Quote of the day:

“The sad truth is that the information we get about health often has more to do with politics and money than with science and fact.” - Rip Esselstyn, author of My Beef With Meat

Chad Austin