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Wednesday Round Up 12/22/10

From vegetarian dinosaurs to vegetarian kids, catch up on some interesting news from around the world.

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  • New research suggests that, contrary to the image portrayed in Jurassic Park and most other prehistoric films, many dinosaurs were far more likely to choose salad over steak.

While Tyrannosaurus Rex sums up the image of a dinosaur wreaking terror by ripping flesh with powerful jaws, many of its closest relatives were more content nibbling leaves.
A new study of the diet of 90 species of theropod dinosaurs challenged the conventional view that nearly all theropods hunted prey, especially those closest to the ancestors of birds.
…Because plant eating was found to be so widespread in Coelurosauria, the hypercarnivorous habits of T. rex and other meat eating coelurosaurs like Velociraptor should be viewed “more as the exception than the rule.”

You can read the full article on the Telegraph here.

  • Here’s an interesting discussion relating to the growing number of children who are opting to turn towards a vegetarian diet in the United States. As is often the case, the statistics only apply to the US and probably would not apply to  South African kids, but is still an interesting trend.

… a small but growing number of children and adolescents are consciously opting for a vegetarian diet. Earlier this year, a nationwide survey of 1,258 8- to 18-year-olds found that 3 percent never eat meat, poultry or seafood, up from 1.4 percent in 1995. That’s an estimated 1.4 million young vegetarians today, says Reed Mangels, nutrition advisor for the Vegetarian Resource Group.

The good news is that – as we all know – kids can thrive on a vegetarian diet. But, as with most eating choices, balance is key.

” ‘Vegetarian’ is not synonymous with ‘healthy'; you have to be making good, healthy food choices and avoiding junk food,” says Hemant Sharma, a pediatrician at Children’s National Medical Center. In fact, he points out, parents of a young vegetarian often need to be extra-vigilant in monitoring their offspring’s diet: “It’s important to pay special attention and to plan different factors of a plant-based diet out carefully, to ensure that growing children get all of the nutrients they need.”

Sharma notes that typically, the more strict the kid is about being vegetarian (i.e., the more foods avoided), the more oversight is needed. “Flexitarians,” who occasionally eat meat, and “pescatarians,” who consume fish, are on the less worrisome end of the spectrum, and true vegans, who don’t touch milk, eggs or even honey, are at the opposite end.

Read the full article on the Washington Post here.

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Laura Cooke is the editor and creator of the Veggie Bunch website and community.

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