This is one of those academic breakthroughs that scholars dream about. It's also one of those revelations that rabble-rousers scour the internet trying to find. Very briefly: I'm researching the history of the American home garden for a class - American Agricultural History. There's no approaching this topic without examining the victory gardens of the World Wars. Victory gardens literally sprung up at the behest of government propaganda - boatloads of it. And by gum if it didn't work - by 1918, over 5 million Americans were "earning the right to stay home" by producing and canning vast amounts of their own food. Um, wait. So the government of a century ago implored us to be producers, not consumers, in the brink of global terror and impending war. Fast forward to the last months of 2001, and we're being implored to shop from September 12th until ever-after. Can you imagine the state of the nation's, the world's economy, if we'd again taken to the soil and not sales rack (or dare I say the sub-prime mortgage)?
Anyway, back to vegetables. For my research, I got my hands on a copy of the original gangsta of victory gardening, the government-issued tome The War Garden Victorious. I literally threw my fist in the air oi-punk style when I read this quote:
There is need for vegetable food. The body is kept in better condition if it does not depend too largely on a meat diet (119).BOO-yah! There you have it, kids. Next time your mom/boyfriend/coworker (not autobiographical, ahem) bugs you about how imperative meat is to your survival, just turn them to this non-scientifically based early 20th-century factoid. Wait, that came out wrong. But you get the idea. A plant based diet is good for you. Though to remind the government it's old opinion would be like reminding your friend about that drunken night when she peed in the sink - they'd both get really embarrassed and try to deny it.