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Please Don't Shoot the Messengers!

“Better to have bad news that's true than good news we made up.”

- Eric Ries, American Entrepreneur + Author

There are uncomfortable conversations to have in order to fix the white elephants in the pantry. We are ignorant. We are in denial. We are dying. Meanwhile, food animals and Mother Earth are sick, too. Cookhouse Hero hopes that you'll at least consider this: our instincts already know what a healthy lifestyle sounds, feels, tastes, smells, and looks like. When we clear our brain and open our heart, answers are more available. When our body and brain are plugged up with junk foods, chemicals, poisons, possible addiction(s), and mis/disinformation, answers are harder to absorb. 


For some, this plant-focused adventure is a no-brainer. For others, our eyes are opened while kicking and screaming with every bite of broccoli! The following info might be a hard pill to swallow. Yet, truth and knowledge are powerful forces in the world, even if some facts are rather uncomfortable. Read on, listen, learn, and then trust your gut, quite literally.


  • Antibiotics

  • Arsenic

  • Artifical Colors

  • Bleach

  • Casein

  • Excess Protein

  • Feces

  • GMO's

  • HF Corn Syrup

  • H- Trans Fat

  • Inflammation

  • Mercury

  • Saturated Fat

  • TMAO

  • Toxins

  • Food Sensitivities

15 Common Food + Beverage Hazards


The flexitarian diet is a combination of a classic vegan and vegetarian diet. People might also eat chicken at their Grandma's 75th birthday, grilled salmon at their favorite restaurant, pizza on Friday nights with their kids, or turkey jerky during a road trip.



The reducetarian diet can often look like a flexitarian diet. The focus is not only on reducing animals and animal products, but also shedding light on horrific conditions for food animals called CAFOs - concentrated animal feeding operations (animal factories).


Artificial Colors

Vegetarians would follow the vegan-foods-to-avoid list then add eggs, dairy, butter, and honey to their diet. They might be ok to wear fur, leather, silk, or wool, too. For many plant eaters, this approach is often a gateway to veganism or a WPF diet (including CH).

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The classic vegan diet is described above. Classic vegans might be motivated and moved by addressing health issues, stopping animal cruelty on factory farms and in science labs, or changing the direction of climate change.



Climate vegans are people who may have started a classic vegan lifestyle, then began learning about the direct connections between eating animals and our sick planet. They focus on causes and viable solutions.


Excess Protein

Many detox vegans have chosen this path due to chronic illness which conventional medicine didn’t fix. It may also be a choice for those who wish to lose weight, and they tend to stay on this diet for shorter periods of time.

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Rip Esselstyn is the son of WFPB pioneer Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, and the apple doesn’t fall far from this nutrition tree. Rip was a triathlete and fire-fighter before creating a diet plan based on the WFPB approach.

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An ethical vegan (aka: moral vegan) is someone who not only follows a classic vegan diet but extends the philosophy into other areas of their lives, and protest the use and abuse of animals for any purpose.


HF Corn Syrup

The high-carb, low-fat diet is the main focus of many plant-based, whole foods advocates. Processed vegan foods are avoided, with a particular emphasis on fruits, veggies, intact whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

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Hydrogenated Trans Fat

Junk and faux-food vegans, who eat vegan convenience and processed foods, are sometimes eating foods that can be almost as harmful as eating animal products. The chemical, fat, sugar, and salt content is high.

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Plant-powered podcaster and educator, Chef AJ, is a mighty proponent of the No SOFAS diet: no salt, no oil, no flour, no alcohol, and no sugar. Three main points are weight-loss, food addiction, and cooking at home. 

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Dr Fuhrman created the nutritarian diet, a plant-based, gluten-fee, low-salt, and low-fat approach. The main focus is on anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense foods that contain immune-boosting compounds.


Saturated Fat

Saturated fat is one of the unhealthy fats which mostly solidifies at room temperature. It's in foods like butter, palm oil, coconut oil, cheese, meats, and yes, even in olive oil. Too much saturated (and even unsaturated) fat can lead to heart disease and stroke.



When we eat eggs, milk, meat, poultry, and fish, our gut bacteria can make TMA, which is oxidized by our liver into TMAO. This can increase risk of heart attacks and strokes. Heads up: evidence-based studies are often buried by lobbies.



PCB - polychlorinated biphenyl - is a type of industrial chemical banned in the 1970's. Slow to decompose, they remain in soils, rivers, lakes, and other water bodies. Toxic foods contribute to cancers as well as child development and heart-health issues.

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Allergies + Sensitivities

As a child, my family ate the SAD - Standard American Diet. I often experienced stomach aches, and my Generation X wasn't exactly raised among adults who believed children like today. Eventually, I learned that I have a food sensitivity to dairy. Food and beverage sensitivities and full-blown allergies are on the rise globally, and some studies point to thought-provoking findings. 

Keep it simple.

For people who find this info overwhelming (join the club!), I've put together a list of the TOP FIVE HAZARDS on the planet. If we eliminate or significantly limit these foods and beverages, we're doing our body and brain a huge favor (bonus: food animals and global eco-systems will thank you).


  • Cheese + Dairy: high levels of saturated fat, salt, and an addictive compound called casomorphins in casein, the protein in mammal's milk.

  • Animals + Processed Meats: high-fat and antibiotic content, a category one carcinogenic (ie cancer-causing).

  • Processed + Fried Foods: nutrient and fiber deficient, empty calories, carcinogenic (should be called substances, not foods).

  • Egg Yolks: TMAO, saturated fat, and high levels of cholesterol.

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup: empty calories, can cause obesity.

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