You are what you eat. You aren't what you don't. Another rite of passage into adulthood is a flirtation with vegetarianism, in one form or another. We- twenty-somethings with an artistic bent- had been living in a group of houses. J was one of us, a young woman who, after having worked in a restaurant for several years, forswore the eating of meat in any forms. She got into it, really into it, for her brown rice was not a side dish, it was dinner. However she was getting more and more lethargic, her complexion grayer and grayer. One day, as she was preparing dinner, she dropped a pot of boiling water on her foot. She had to go to the ER, they took a blood test and her iron count was extremely low. She didn't give up on her vegetarian lifestyle, but she did get some pills and started to plan her meals better. I had never given my diet any thought at all before that. We all started to eat better, exploring different cuisines, meatless or not.
Now we have an almost unlimited choice of foods; globalization has made its biggest impact on the palate.