Michael Greger MD is sort of in the Jack Norris/Ginny Messina camp of science-based vegan nutrition experts, but he’s a doctor rather than a dietitian; he also appears to be convinced that veganism (especially if low fat) is the healthiest possible diet.
Norris and Messina, who wrote the recent Vegan For Life, are optimistic about the health benefits of veganism, and I get the feeling that they think it’s possible that a properly supplemented vegan diet could turn out to be the healthiest way to eat. But their approach is more akin to making the best of a bad situation. Morality shackles give vegans less flexibility in their diets and Messina and Norris try to help them work around nutritional challenges so they never have to go back to immoral foods. Greger, however, promotes nutritionally informed veganism as the best way to eat for health reasons, even if you think animal lives are a complete joke.
Until now, Greger has mostly been known to vegans for his lectures at veg fests, where he would talk about about the latest in nutrition. His schtick was to list vegan foods—white potatoes, tofu, wheat gluten, raw mushrooms, blue-green algae, olive oil, coconut milk, etc.— and ask the audience whether they thought the food was “helpful, neutral or harmful.” Vegans are always devastated to learn that he believes coconut milk, raw mushrooms, blue-green algae and white potatoes are harmful (unless they follow a form of veganism that already restricts some of those foods, in which case they feel vindicated), but Greger ends his lectures on an optimistic note, proclaiming that vegans who supplement B12 and avoid harmful vegan foods are the healthiest people in the world. Vegans really love that part.
Now Greger has started a blog on his website, Nutrition Facts. Like the pro-vegan Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Nutrition Facts is a very sciencey, authoritative, unbiased sounding name that gives no hint that the goal is to promote a complete avoidance of animal products. Even the about page doesn’t mention veganism or Greger’s ethical commitment to ending human use of animals, though it does say that he’s the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society.
To draw attention to the blog, Greger is posting a new video on it every single day for a year. Today’s video is called “Antioxidant power of plant foods versus animal foods.” If this video happens to be your only exposure to nutrition science, you might come away thinking that antioxidant content is the most and possibly only important consideration when selecting your food sources.
Just be sure not to eat coconut milk.