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 Post subject: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:45 am 
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There is an urban legend going around on the internet ( and in at least one cookbook that I happened to buy ) that 1 cup of cooked quinoa has more calcium than a quart of milk.

This isn't true. One cup of cooked quinoa has about 1/10 the calcium of just 1 cup of cows milk.

From the USDA nutrition database:
http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/6430

Not to be entirely negative, there are tasty vegan calcium sources that do match and exceed the amount of calcium found in cows milk:
http://beforewisdom.com/blog/milkandbon ... g-calcium/

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:54 am 
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Ummm ok?

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:18 am 
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Which cookbook contains that information?

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:25 am 
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Well, cow feed is fortified with calcium so it is excreted in their lactations. So, sure. Cow's milk has calcium; calcium that has gone through the cow's system from supplement to milk. It's not like they create minerals in their bellies.

Other than that, I'm not too sure what the point of this was other than to promote your blog.

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:26 am 
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I recall that cookbook author making an announcement that they were incorrect and this would be corrected in future editions. If it is the same cookbook that I am thinking of.


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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:28 am 
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Or pre-emptively tell people that something they might rad on the Internet is wrong. If you are going to start posting about things that are wrong that you read on the Internet, then you he a lot of work to do.

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:48 am 
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I think it's important to keep people from spreading facts that aren't really true, if you told someone this and they found out you were wrong they might think, "Well, vegans are full of shiitake!" And I know i've read the thing about quinoa having more calcium in more than one place.

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:02 am 
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yeah, I think it's helpful to point out stuff like this. Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:52 pm 
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Yes, i hear this often, a lot of times from veg. restaurants I go to, or on blogs etc.

Here at my new(ish) job, people have found out I am vegan, and they are very friendly and ask me a lot of questions about protein and calcium. I have had 2 people mention to me that Quinoa has more calcium than milk! they must have gotten that somewhere.

I think its helpful. I sure don't want to give incorrect info to people.


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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:54 pm 
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Perhaps they meant protein and not calcium?


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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:57 pm 
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I've never heard this but then again, I'm not too worried about micronutrients. I figure if I eat a balanced diet, take a multivitamin, then I should be ok.

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:54 pm 
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source appear to be this blog, straight copy and paste (you should probably give credit, unless its your blog*) http://vegetarianinc.com/urban-legend-q ... cows-milk/

*i see now that that post references a post on calcium from your blog linked to in your signature

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:47 pm 
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choirqueer wrote:
Which cookbook contains that information?


I don't want to embarrass the author. Sadly, I also found that piece of misinformation in a new book ( via googlebooks ) by a rather well known author on vegan topics.

I first came across this mistaken idea over 5 years ago on a vegan cookbook authors web site. My *guess* is that it perpetuated out from there, with everyone just copying without checking the facts.

This sort of things happens in academia too. Mistakes can be passed down for generations with people just citing and reciting flawed material.

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:54 pm 
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linanil wrote:
Or pre-emptively tell people that something they might rad on the Internet is wrong. If you are going to start posting about things that are wrong that you read on the Internet, then you he a lot of work to do.


Well, I care about animals rights, I care about veganism and I find nutrition interesting so I have a much smaller subset to handle :).

Vegans, for the sake of the animals and the planet need to be careful about their facts because people who want to dismiss both movements will be quick to find errors we make and paint us as people who don't know what we are talking about -- sometimes in a dangerous way.

Telling people that a food is an excellent calcium source, when it is in reality a poor source is a particularly damning piece of misinformation as people could get serious medical conditions by believing it.

A lot of people don't like eating the vegetables with a lot of calcium in the proper quantities and a lot of people don't like supplements.

If I believe this mistake was true, I never would have bothered to open myself up to those vegetables. I would have just made a habit to regularly eat quinoa.

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:03 pm 
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linanil wrote:
I've never heard this but then again, I'm not too worried about micronutrients. I figure if I eat a balanced diet, take a multivitamin, then I should be ok.


The daily values for calicum are about a gram a day. Vegans examined in studies typically get less than 500 mg a day and have higher bone fracture rates. Jack Norris and Virginia Messina, two vegan nutritionists/authors also belief that there isn't enough justification for the belief that vegans need less calcium.

The most calcium rich vegetable/vegan food that I am aware of is Choy Sum, a vegetable found in Chinese markets. 1 cup cooked has 478 mg, with an absorption rate of 40% making a net gain of just 192 mg. That leaves a lot more calcium to consume, even if you are on an excellent whole foods, balanced diet.

Your best bet is to make/stay with a habit of drinking fortified faux milks, fortified orange juice and using some brands of fortified faux vegan cheeses.

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Last edited by beforewisdom on Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:05 pm 
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SkepticalVegan wrote:
source appear to be this blog, straight copy and paste (you should probably give credit, unless its your blog*) http://vegetarianinc.com/urban-legend-q ... cows-milk/

*i see now that that post references a post on calcium from your blog linked to in your signature


That entire chunk of text is my writing verbatim. I have no idea how it got on the web site you quoted. I don't care about credit, I just want the information to spread and it looks like that is what happening if a site I never heard of is quoting my post. So, its all good.

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:09 pm 
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beforewisdom wrote:
choirqueer wrote:
Which cookbook contains that information?


I don't want to embarrass the author. Sadly, I also found that piece of misinformation in a new book ( via googlebooks ) by a rather well known author on vegan topics.

I first came across this mistaken idea over 5 years ago on a vegan cookbook authors web site. My *guess* is that it perpetuated out from there, with everyone just copying without checking the facts.

This sort of things happens in academia too. Mistakes can be passed down for generations with people just citing and reciting flawed material.


I'm pretty sure the author would want to know. The only way misinformation can be corrected is by...correcting it. That doesn't need to be an embarrassing thing, it's just...how facts work. If we go around being too embarrassed to point mistakes all the time, that's exactly how they get passed down as you described!

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:53 pm 
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beforewisdom wrote:
linanil wrote:
I've never heard this but then again, I'm not too worried about micronutrients. I figure if I eat a balanced diet, take a multivitamin, then I should be ok.


The daily values for calicum are about a gram a day. Vegans examined in studies typically get less than 500 mg a day and have higher bone fracture rates. Jack Norris and Virginia Messina, two vegan nutritionists/authors also belief that there isn't enough justification for the belief that vegans need less calcium.

The most calcium rich vegetable/vegan food that I am aware of is Choy Sum, a vegetable found in Chinese markets. 1 cup cooked has 478 mg, with an absorption rate of 40% making a net gain of just 192 mg. That leaves a lot more calcium to consume, even if you are on an excellent whole foods, balanced diet.

Your best bet is to make/stay with a habit of drinking fortified faux milks, fortified orange juice and using some brands of fortified faux vegan cheeses.


do calcium fortified faux cheeses exist? i've never had a soy cheese that i could possibly eat in a large enough quantity to get any calcium from it unless it was really loaded with calcium.

Also, as far as absorption goes...aren't the RDIs of vitamins based on the average amount we need to consume, not the amount we need to absorb? Of course we should try to eat foods/take supplements from which the calcium is better absorbed, but is it really necessary to look that deeply into the exact amount we're absorbing from each food?

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:53 pm 
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Oh, that info is in an early edition of VwaV (since corrected as soon as I found out it was wrong.) It doesn't embarrass me that I made a mistake, but I think that the author has posted this in hopes of embarrassing me since he recently flounced? Anyway, that is why I hired a registered dietician to work on my last book, it really helps to have everything verified. I think this thread is an attempt to stir up some sort of drama. Apparently people really hate me today and have nothing better to do!

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:11 am 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
Well, cow feed is fortified with calcium so it is excreted in their lactations. So, sure. Cow's milk has calcium; calcium that has gone through the cow's system from supplement to milk. It's not like they create minerals in their bellies.

is there a chart that has factory farmed milk and pasture milk side by side? (i'm guessing even pasture milk has more calcium than quinoa?)

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:35 am 
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IsaChandra wrote:
Oh, that info is in an early edition of VwaV (since corrected as soon as I found out it was wrong.) It doesn't embarrass me that I made a mistake, but I think that the author has posted this in hopes of embarrassing me since he recently flounced? Anyway, that is why I hired a registered dietician to work on my last book, it really helps to have everything verified. I think this thread is an attempt to stir up some sort of drama. Apparently people really hate me today and have nothing better to do!


Yeah, someone else PMed me that it was in VwaV, so I thought I would try to throw the OP a...scone*?...and give them a chance to back their assertion up, since it's pretty well known (at least around here by those of us who kind of internet-know you!) that you not only appreciate when people point out if you make a mistake in your cookbooks, but actually actively go out of your way to ask people to do so. Which is awesome, and more people should be that way.

*sorry UKers, but here it rhymes with "bone"!

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:03 am 
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The last time the OP was here he got into it with Isa over his analysis of eating disorders. Now he's here posting about an old edition of Isa's first book and linking to his own blog post from 2009.

There's a word for this sort of behavior...it's right on the tip of my tongue.

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:30 am 
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beforewisdom wrote:
linanil wrote:
Or pre-emptively tell people that something they might rad on the Internet is wrong. If you are going to start posting about things that are wrong that you read on the Internet, then you he a lot of work to do.


Well, I care about animals rights, I care about veganism and I find nutrition interesting so I have a much smaller subset to handle :).

Vegans, for the sake of the animals and the planet need to be careful about their facts because people who want to dismiss both movements will be quick to find errors we make and paint us as people who don't know what we are talking about -- sometimes in a dangerous way.

Telling people that a food is an excellent calcium source, when it is in reality a poor source is a particularly damning piece of misinformation as people could get serious medical conditions by believing it.

A lot of people don't like eating the vegetables with a lot of calcium in the proper quantities and a lot of people don't like supplements.

If I believe this mistake was true, I never would have bothered to open myself up to those vegetables. I would have just made a habit to regularly eat quinoa.


I have VWaV (actually two copies) and never noticed this claim. I didn't see why you would feel people are relying on quinoa as a calcium source. I've never seen it mentioned on this web site or any vegan blogs I've read.

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:42 am 
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linanil wrote:
I have VWaV (actually two copies) and never noticed this claim.


I have no idea what title that is. I have seen this claim in two published books so far that shall remain nameless to avoid embarrassing the author. One a legume and grain cookbook and the other a book by a very famous vegan author who writes on food politics.

Quote:
I didn't see why you would feel people are relying on quinoa as a calcium source. I've never seen it mentioned on this web site or any vegan blogs I've read.


There are more web sites and vegan blogs than the ones you read.

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 Post subject: Re: Urban Legend: Quinoa Has More Calcium Than Cows Milk
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:53 am 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
do calcium fortified faux cheeses exist?


At least one.

I use the brand "Galaxy Nutritional Foods" "Vegan" Mozzarella Flavor, the back of it lists 1 slice as having 20% of the DV, not too shabby! :)

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