The other day, Jeff D. asked some great questions in the comments section of my post 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Went Vegan:
What are your thoughts concerning the inability to get B12 naturally on a vegan diet? It’s necessary for the body but a vegan diet only seems to get B12 through fortified foods and supplements.
Also, what about grains? It seems that a vegan diet relies on a lot of grains (bread, pasta, cereal, etc.). Recent research and acknowledgement of our anthropological history point to the idea that our bodies were not meant to process grains (especially gluten-based ones).
Grains are a topic for another post (check out The Paleo Diet Debunked?, by my friend Steve — a Paleo proponent but whose view on grains is almost identical to mine).
Right now, let’s stick to the B12 question; it’s a common one. Often, it takes a more argumentative and challenging tone, like this:
If we were really meant to be vegan, then why would we need to supplement with B12?
There’s little doubt about the presupposition: a vegan diet, without supplementation or fortification, is deficient in vitamin B12. Some will argue that you can get B12 from chlorella or “dirty produce,” and that before modern agricultural practices there was more B12 in the soil, but that’s not the discussion I want to have here.