What’s for Lunch?

Organic Vegetarian Set Lunch at Lotus Vegecafe in Toyohashi, Japan

The Menu

  • Nanban-style Veggie Chicken with Tartar Sauce
  • Veggie Spring Roll
  • Tomato and Tofu Caprese Salad
  • Beans and Pumpkin
  • Summer Vegetables Agar Jelly
  • Braised Eggplant with Konbu
  • Japanese Spring Onion and Sea Weed Mixed with Plum-flavoured Miso
  • Sprouting Carrot Salad with Thousand Island Dressing
  • Vegetarian Pho
  • Cooked Sprouted Brown Rice

In Pictures: Food of Revive Kitchen Three (リバイブ キッチン スリー) in Hibiya, Japan

Plant-based Cuisine

The Restaurant

What’s for Lunch?

Organic Vegetarian Set Lunch at Lotus Vegecafe in Toyohashi, Japan

The Menu

  • Fried Wheat Gluten Skewer with Red Miso Sauce
  • Cabbage with Mustard Dressing
  • Spring Roll with Japanese Scallion
  • Shaved Burdock and Nuts
  • Tomato and Chickpea with Mushroom Sauce
  • Mushroom and Grated Daikon
  • Seaweed and Vegetables with Satay Sauce
  • Japanese Millet and Vegetables Salad
  • Summer Vegetables and Barley Miso Soup
  • Cooked Sprouted Brown Rice

What’s for Lunch?

Vegetarian Set lunch at Lotus Veggie Cafe in Tokyo, Japan

The Menu

  • Spanish-style Eggless Omelet
  • Roasted onion marinated with sesame nanban sauce
  • Soybean protein satay
  • Stir-fried burdock with black vinegar sauce
  • Vegetable mixed with finely shredded kelp and soy sauce
  • Whey sauerkraut
  • Caprese salad with soy milk cheese and tomato
  • Vermicelli salad with pound-pound tofu
  • Pumpkin cold soup
  • Cooked sprouted brown rice

University Scientists Make Plant-based Vitamin B12 Breakthrough

Sandy Fleming wrote . . . . . . .

Scientists have made a significant discovery about how the vitamin content of some plants can be improved to make vegetarian and vegan diets more complete.

Vitamin B12 (known as cobalamin) is an essential dietary component but vegetarians are more prone to B12 deficiency as plants neither make nor require this nutrient.

But now a team, led by Professor Martin Warren at the University’s School of Biosciences, has proved that common garden cress can indeed take up cobalamin.

The amount of B12 absorbed by garden cress is dependent on the amount present in the growth medium, and the Kent team was able to confirm B12 uptake by showing that the nutrient ends up in the leaf.

The observation that certain plants are able to absorb B12 is important as such nutrient-enriched plants could help overcome dietary limitations in countries such as India, which have a high proportion of vegetarians and may be significant as a way to address the global challenge of providing a nutrient-complete vegetarian diet, a valuable development as the world becomes increasingly meat-free due to population expansion.

The Kent scientists worked with biology teachers and year 11 and 12 pupils at Sir Roger Manwood’s School in Sandwich to investigate the detection and measurement of B12 in garden cress.

The pupils grew garden cress containing increasing concentrations of vitamin B12. After seven days growth, the leaves from the seedlings were removed, washed and analysed.

The seedlings were found to absorb cobalamin from the growth medium and to store it in their leaves. To confirm this initial observation, the scientists at Kent then made a type of vitamin B12 that emits fluorescent light when activated by a laser. This fluorescent B12 was fed to the plants and it was found to accumulate within a specialised part of the leaf cell called a vacuole, providing definitive evidence that some plants can absorb and transport cobalamin.

Vitamin B12 is unique among the vitamins because it is made only by certain bacteria and therefore has to undergo a journey to make its way into more complex multi-cellular organisms. The research described in the paper highlights how this journey can be followed using the fluorescent B12 molecules, which can also be used to help understand why some people are more prone to B12 deficiency.

The discovery also has implications for combating some parasitic infections. Not only did the researchers demonstrate that some plants can absorb vitamin B12, they were also able to use the same technique to follow the movement of fluorescent B12 molecules into worms. These results demonstrate that this is a powerful model to learn about how B12 is absorbed and, as worms must use a different absorption system to mammalian systems, there is the possibility of exploiting this difference to try and treat worm-based parasites such as hook worms.

The research is now published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology.

Source: University of Kent

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Good news for vegetarians – plants can be made to absorb B12 . . . . .