Yes, you read the title right.
I’ve long thought natto was just a slightly disgusting fermented soybean product that might be easy to eat a couple of tablespoons of per day for ample vitamin K2 in our diets. But I hate slime and strings so I never planned on trying natto. But just today I tried it for the first time, just a tablespoonful.
Well. Never again! It’s awful. Period.
I won’t even attempt to describe the texture and taste. One has to experience it firsthand. All I can say is that anyone who claims to like or even love natto has some vastly different sort of taste buds than I do, or that they’re in the natto business and plugging for the stuff. Wow. Nasty!
One good thing though:
My dog Tyler likes natto! At first he took a small taste and got a freaked out look; then he dug in and wanted more, so I let him eat about a tablespoonful. The rest of what I bought (about 1/2 cup) will be going to Tyler a little bit at a time. Best of all, it’s good for dogs!
Thank goodness dogs like disgusting smells, tastes and textures. Although my other dog Mattie just looked at the stuff, smelled it closely and said, oh HELL no! So we see again how dogs are total individuals with their own ideas. I’m with Mattie on this one.
Look at these adorable animals contemplating and munching on natto:
I don’t get how anyone can take a second bite.
What’s all this about? you might ask.
Well, it’s about vitamin K2 being yet another of those vital nutrients that vegans are said to be stupidly depriving ourselves of by not eating “hard cheeses” and other animal products. Turns out this is a nasty load of bunkum. I do believe natto being touted as the only ample source of “real” vitamin K2 for vegans is a diabolical punishment devised by certain unnamed vested interests. This belief came about after I tried to gag down a tablespoonful.
Read all about vitamin K2 HERE …Informative article, EXCEPT for the mention of one animal study, and of tempeh as a source of preformed K2. Tempeh has to be fermented with bacillus bacteria to have K2 and almost all tempeh in stores is NOT…it’s fermented with Rhizopus mold…so has little or no preformed K2.
So anyways, back to natto. You wanna be a vegan, do ya, well here then, you gotta eat natto or have all your bones and teeth dissolve! But no, we do not. I actually wish I hadn’t tried natto, that’s how bad it is. It inspired me to type and type and rant and rant.
To boot, most natto isn’t vegan!
To make things even worse, it turns out natto is often not vegan. Most is made in Japan and fermented using bacteria that was grown on gelatin which is made from animal skin, cartilage and bones or from fish, and the brown sauce that usually comes with it contains fish.
So there you go, vegan, see how impossible your little ethical way of life is? Give it up! Have a bacon-cheeseburger!
Nah, untrue, meat/dairy/egg pushers. Not buying your lies, won’t even take them for free.
I’ve studied vitamin K2 in depth and have come to three in-depth conclusions:
1) Vitamin K2 is separate from K1 in that K2 regulates calcium* placement in our bodies, keeps calcium out of where it shouldn’t be, and places it where it’s needed, in bones and teeth. It’s totally different from the function of K1 which is mainly for blood clotting ability, but anyone can search and read about K1’s vital functions.
*Calcium is easy to get as a vegan as long as you’re eating plenty of good food (like greens), and fortified plant milks are an extra assurance. See HERE for full advice and scroll down for food list. Also note that for proper calcium absorption you need enough vitamin D (not megadoses!) and magnesium. Vegan D3 supplement is available, aside from the natural source: sunshine. NOTE that too much vitamin D supplement will cause you problems with K2, so go easy on the D supplement. And magnesium is in many plant foods, easy to get.
2) Nutritional requirements don’t even mention vitamin K2—when they list vitamin K it always means K1, not K2—likely because of THIS STUDY…which shows me that K2 is formed as needed in our distal small bowel as needed, possibly regardless of our K1 intake.
In that study they deprived the human subjects of K1 then measured how much K2 their bodies produced, and determined how it was produced…which turned out to be through bacterial synthesis in the small intestine.
If I’m misunderstanding the linked study, I hope someone more knowledgeable will let me know how by commenting below (without being snippy).
3) All that aside about K2 being formed in our bodies as needed, it’s still a very good idea to eat lots of leafy greens for calcium etc. and vitamin K1 (which is also a vital nutrient that most people are lacking in). Most everyone, except for people taking the blood thinner Warfarin, can eat a good amount of greens. And people with NORMAL digestive tracts NOT MESSED UP BY ANTIBIOTICS, etc., can convert vitamin K1 to K2.
Kale is especially rich in K1. It’s said that the conversion rate is about 15%, so with 1 cup of cooked kale providing 1180% of your needed vitamin K1, you’d be getting plenty of K2 from the conversion. There are several other plant foods containing lower but good amounts of vitamin K1, such as spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts; and lesser so, grains, avocados, etc. So getting ample K1 as a vegan should not be hard at all. Thus, our K2 should be no problem either as long as we’re eating good nutritious food with a conscious effort to eat greens daily.
IMPORTANT: The K vitamins are fat soluble so should be eaten with a bit of fat like avocado, nuts, etc., for proper utilization.
If still in doubt about your K2 need being met, you can use a supplement or find some vegan natto and gag it down like a brave little trouper.
Ew. I’ll rely on the greens.
Now, isn’t it all special?
Just think. All this fuss, simply because vegans don’t consume dead animals, their eggs and their babies’ milk. Because we eat vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, nuts, etc. If we were eating pancakes, bacon, eggs, weird lunchmeat sandwiches on white bread, sweet soda pop, sugar & fat loaded milkshakes, mystery meat sausages, rich pastries, etc., i.e., tons of salt, grease, grossness, flour, and sugar, like most normal people do, no one would be bothering us about nutritional devastation.
It all resembles a sort of mass insanity borne from a collective guilt over knowing that what goes on in slaughterhouses, etc., etc., is just unspeakably wrong. Nightmarishly so. So people must demonize veganism, or at least convince themselves it’s impossible and dangerous.
About 96% of humans are naturally highly conscience driven (with 4% being true sociopaths with zero conscience). But most people allow themselves to be turned into quasi-sociopaths, for convenience. We turn some people into sociopaths, and support and coddle true sociopaths, to have someone to do our dirty, sadistic tasks which we prefer are kept hidden.
If you haven’t already, it’s easy to escape from that degradation and insanity: go vegan and stay with it. And eat your greens!