Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

One thing I've noticed as I get more and more into my vegan diet (which I am still on) is that there isn't as that much information about it as you might imagine. Since the fairly "strict" veganism that I'm tracking right now discounts the value of supplements (some are useful like Omega 3 and B12) and since it's rather simple to do ("eat your veggies"), there isn't a "business model" for the dissemination of information about veganism - at least to the extent that there is for sophisticated and difficult "get thin quick" diets, "exercise in the comfort of your living room" devices, supplement businesses and campaigns driven by the huge advertising budgets of the snacks, meats and dairy industries.

I have a feeling people did more things in an amateur (for the love of it) way in the '60s. Having said that, this whole "social software" space is supposed to be about "amateur content" and it seems like ideas like veganism should have a larger footprint on things like wikis.

Anyway, I went to take a look and noticed that there is in fact a I've started adding a few things and am sorting out structure stuff with the existing "residents" but if you have any tips, recipes, favorite restaurants, theories, books, resources or other vegan things to share, please sign up and contribute. I have a feeling this is a perfect Wikia application.

Disclosure: I am an investor in Wikia.


One of the main reasons I put together was a place for different groups to get together and share recipes. Through the use of taxonomies, you can sort and resort the site for what you want - which allows the one site to allow different groups to play together without stepping on toes. Unfortunately it doesn't have the uptake I was planning, but that's mainly due to my lack of time to promote it.

Joi, like you I am surprised by the lack of information out there. For that reason, I've yet to take the plunge into full-on veganism. I find to be a somewhat useful forum for discussing health and exercise as it relates to the vegan diet, but I'd love to find more resources with a bit of scientific backbone. Perhaps you have some recommendations?

Thanks for sharing the wiki, I will definitely participate.

If youre wondering about the 60's style of veganism, my pop gave me his old copy of "Tassajara Cooking", by Edward Espe Brown some years ago and it's one of my favorite books. I highly recommend it.

Now would this go in "Cooking" or should a new section of "Cookbooks" be added? :)

court, I put a cookbooks section under cooking. Lets put our cookbooks there!

I also put links to and under cooking and external links.

monica: just joined Looks good. Thanks!

I've enjoyed reading your vegan journey Joi. It seems there is so much vegan information out there in terms of online shopping and stuff that I get overwhelmed at times. But as for scientific studies on pure/strict vegans and the health benefits/effects/etc., it is much more difficult as usually the participants are just meat-eaters and vegetarians. Also, I do not know if there is a central cyperspace place that vegans hang out at. I have joined a vegan mailing list (based in another country) that has been very useful at times for general stuff. My best friend and I are hoping to put together a very rough and dirty DIY vegan recipe page aimed at lazy people mostly, too lazy to make food so they become junk food vegans, as we have met several of these types. Perhaps it may help a few people out. Naturally it will be biased towards the area we live in in terms of ingredients and measurements.


Not sure if you saw this. Vegan parents convicted of murdering their child by having him on a vegan diet (which wasn't substantial enough).

Way to go man! Keep up the good work~

One of the most informative books on this subject was a best seller in the '70's,
Diet for a Small Planet, by Frances Moore Lappe. I strongly recommend reading it for a basic understanding of a vegetarian diet. With modifications, it can be used for vegans.
Good luck with your new garden! That composting bin is impressive.

Thanks gi. Just ordered the book.

joi, just curious how do you maintain the vegan lifestyle with all your travels?

Jun, it's really not that hard. I tell the airlines before I fly. However, the vegan food on the plane is rather boring sometimes so I usually eat a huge salad, a cup of beans, vegan soup and a bunch of fruit before I board a flight. Almost all airports have a deli sort of store that has something like this.

Some hotels have good vegan food, but most don't. Usually I go to a supermarket and get a bunch of nuts, fruit and any storable veggies I can.

When I eat out, I always tell my host in advance and they usually arrange something or take me to a veggie place.

When I go out casually, I hang out with my vegan friends like Sean Bonner and Shawn Fanning. ;-)

Every city has great vegan restaurants if you look. Check out

Joi, Just curious how much weight you have lost so far? Has your weight stablised?



Are you sure the human body can thrive ona diet meant for small forest animals ?

Sri: I've lost about 18 kg and my weight has been stable for the last few months. I feel very good at this weight.

Blaine: Humans were mostly vegan until recently.

The best book IMHO to support a vegan diet for health reasons is "The China Study" by Colin Campbell. For a little preview, check these videos out:

I have been vegan since 1995 and I've found the best help I can find in cookbooks. One that I really like is called, Food For Life by Dr. Neal Barnard. Another one that I like is the New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook by Louise Hagler and Dorothy R. Bates.

One site I like in particular that sends out new recipies each week via email is:

You said: " Since the fairly "strict" veganism [...] discounts the value of supplements (some are useful like Omega 3 and B12)" ***

No meaningful and sensible advocate of the vegan diet would discount the use of B12. B12 is produced by bacteria, also in the animals nonvegans eat, so eating animals to get B12 is actually a detour. Pure B12 is produced by a fermentation process similar to bakers yeast, and by integrating 2000 mcg (µg) once a week, your B12 level is bound to stay perfect. Omega 3 is plentyful in the vegan diet and needs not to be supplemented a good ratio of Omega 3 fat acids can be found in canola oil, combo of using olive oil and flax seed oil, or using hemp oil for cold dishes.

If you're interested in scientifically backed facts around the vegan diet, read the nutrition section of , a more detailed version is the book by the same author, Plant based Nutrition and Health

About the "vegan parents". An interesting aspect about such reporting is that thousands of children die by accident or maliciously in the hands of non-vegans, but strangely, it is never reported that "meat eaters" killed their baby. Furthermore, upon inspection, in most cases I've reviewed it turned out that the parents weren't even vegan, but followed some obscure diet which simply got subsumed under vegan by the media. The last case affected a Black couple, and really, headlining these parents as vegans is the same as headlining them as "Negroes". Strangely, when people read "Negroe parents kill child" they are flabbergasted, but reading "Vegan parents kill child" doesn't activate similar infuriation, despite similar offense.

Thanks Anna. I meant that B12 was important and some use supplements. I have a feeling that I'm getting enough from the dirt on my veggies these days. ;-)

I've started to find lots of good sources of Omega-3 in things like flaxseed, but keep supplements handy for when I don't think I'm getting enough.

You're welcome. I usually don't read Blogs, but yours covers two things I'm very interested in, FOSS/CC and the nutritional aspects of the vegan diet.

Reading your veggies/soil/B12 remark, I should point out that the quantities of B12 in soil are so minute that they in no way cover your RDA of at least 3µg and that this method of B12 integration has not stood the test of time. You should not let this refuted information sink in.

B12 really is an exceptional vitamin, it makes bacteria practically one of our food groups besides vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, pulses, legumes, mushrooms, yeasts. I highly recommend a thread on veganfitness around B12 where Ava Odoemena answers questions to this vitamin in great detail. It's a very long thread, but just reading the messages of Ava would get you emancipated on the issue. For scientific backup of the info in the thread, you should, as time allowes read the B12 section of the linked nutrition pages of the Vegan Society, or, even more detailed, read the eternal vegan nutritional classic by Chuck Norris, RD over here:

A more understandable and less scientific outlay of B12 is by Ava in the mentioned thread:

Highly recommended.

Wow. Thanks Anna!