The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Do Vegan Alternatives Exist for Enzymes Used in Research Labs?

Posted on December 07, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Jeanne Yacoubou MS

The VRG received an email inquiry in October 2016 from a graduate student studying nutritional science in Germany:
Question: Do you know if there’s any resource for finding vegan alternatives to animal sourced enzymes/other laboratory “ingredients”?
For my master’s thesis I..[am] extracting cardiac glycosides from plants, separating them with chromatography (HPTLC), and then doing a bioassay directly on the HPTLC plate.

This bioassay will be with pig Na+/K+-ATPase because cardiac glycosides inhibit this enzyme specifically.

[VRG Note: Here is an animated depiction of how Na+/K+-ATPase functions in cell membranes: http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/biology/bio4fv/page/atp_ann.htm]

Answer: There have been technological advances in manufacturing on a large scale some proteins such as albumin, trypsin or insulin using non-animal sources:

https://www.emdmillipore.com/US/en/products/biopharmaceutical-manufacturing/upstream-processing/cell-culture/cell-culture-ingredients-supplements/non-animal-origin-supplements/b.ib.qB.2oYAAAFD9.lUTxI9,nav?ReferrerURL=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&bd=1

https://tools.thermofisher.com/content/sfs/brochures/GIBCO_CC19_v3.pdf
http://www.diapedia.org/management/8104090217/animal-insulins
To the best of our knowledge there is currently no commercially available non-animal enzyme source for Na+/K+-ATPase. Major laboratory suppliers use porcine organs:

http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/product/sigma/a7510?lang=en&region=US

It is possible to create Na+/K+-ATPase using yeast as this article describes: http://www.jbc.org/content/271/5/2514.full.pdf

The Materials and Methods section beginning on p. 2 (in paragraph titled “Plasmid Constructions”) identifies the source of the original pig gene from a cDNA library. Libraries for many species are widely available. https://web.archive.org/web/20090303224855/http://image.hudsonalpha.org/

Genetic copies begin from an original gene from the source organism. The process is described in Step 1: http://biotechlearn.org.nz/themes/dna_lab/dna_cloning

In the case of porcine ATPase, the animal DNA, when incorporated into the genetic material of microbes such as yeast, may result in the production by the microorganism of large amounts of the protein (i.e., the ATPase enzyme) coded for by the copied gene.

Interested readers may note that enzyme research may be carried out using animal cells such as those from squid because they are large: http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms8622

Lastly, the microorganisms involved in recombinant DNA technology are often grown on broths containing the dairy protein casein ( a common ingredient in the LB medium mentioned on p. 2 of the article cited above), or on sucrose or glucose (i.e., sugar) which may have been filtered through cow bone char.

If any reader knows of a vegan source for laboratory enzymes please let us know at vrg@vrg.org.

The contents of this posting, our website and our other publications, including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and mistakes can be made. Please use your best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.

For more ingredient information, go to http://www.vrg.org/ingredients/index.php

To support The Vegetarian Resource Group research, donate at www.vrg.org/donate

Join at http://www.vrg.org/member/2013sv.php

CHEWY CARAMEL COCOMELS

Posted on December 06, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

naked-cocomels

By Savannah Lawrence, VRG Intern

Chewy, smooth Naked Cocomels are vegan caramels made with non-dairy coconut milk. They come in four mouth-watering flavors. Keep a bag or two at your desk, and they’re sure to be gone by the day’s end! Original delivers a rich caramel taste with a hint of sweet coconut, and Sea Salt combines salty and sugary goodness into one luscious bite. Vanilla is light but greets your tongue with warmth, while Espresso is heavy and allows you to truly taste every coffee bean. Each flavor is gluten-free, soy-free, and is made with organic, non-GMO ingredients. Naked Cocomels can be purchased directly from JJ’s Sweets at https://jjssweets.com/. They’re also available nationwide at King Soopers, Whole Foods Markets, and Natural Grocers.

Visit https://jjssweets.com/pages/cocomels-store-locator to find a store near you.

Also, see:
https://www.instagram.com/jjscocomels/
https://www.facebook.com/Cocomels/
https://twitter.com/jjscocomels

VEGAN FRIENDLY WINE

Posted on December 05, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

copa-de-mosto

I am writing to introduce you to our family of organic wines. All of the wines in our portfolio are imported from small family farmers in Europe. They are made with 100% USDA certified organically grown grapes, and some as indicated below have no sulfites added and carry the organic seal on the label. All of the wines are vegan-friendly. Pizzolato wines are Certified Vegan by the Vegan Society of the UK, using no animal byproducts in processing, and are Non-GMO Project Verified. The wines are available at Whole Foods Market and 365 by Whole Foods Market and other fine retailers nationwide.


See: http://www.naturalmerchants.com/pizzolato-cabernet-No-Added-Sulfites.html

Vegan Options at Ruby Tuesday®

Posted on December 02, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

vegan-options-ruby-tuesday

By Jeanne Yacoubou, MS

After setting a location on Ruby Tuesday’s Allergen & Lifestyle Menu
page http://www.gipsee.com/rubytallergen/Loc.aspx vegan diners may
access information on menu items designated by this restaurant chain as
“vegan.”

Ruby Tuesday’s vegan definition appears after clicking on the question
mark next to the word “vegan” on their Allergen & Lifestyle Selections
filter:

Vegan: No Meats, No Poultry, No Fish, No Eggs, No Milk

After choosing the vegan filter, a screen appears with the following
terms of use:

…[T]he following menu options [are] based on information obtained from
our food suppliers. Every effort is made to keep this information
current and accurate. However, ingredient changes may occur due to
substitutions, preparation variation, and regional availability of products.

…We will update these online menus as our menu selections,
ingredients, and/or preparation techniques change. Please visit our
website upon each visit for the most current allergen/sensitivity and
nutritional information available…

…[F]ood prepared in our kitchens may contain…milk, eggs…fish and
shellfish. While every effort is made to minimize the risk of cross
contamination, we cannot guarantee that our food products are…vegan.
[VRG Note: Ruby Tuesday bolded words in last paragraph.]

From the Lunch and Dinner Menu at Ruby Tuesday, the vegan filter
reveals that the Garden Fresh Salads & Combinations are “okay to eat.”
The Garden Vegetable Soup appears there as well.

Among the Fresh Sides on the Lunch & Dinner Menu, the vegan options that
are “okay to eat” are the following:
baked potato
green beans
grilled zucchini
steamed broccoli
grilled Brussels sprouts with champagne apple vinaigrette

The Brussels sprouts are listed as consisting of Brussels sprouts,
onions, liquid margarine, GSP seasoning (which is garlic, salt and
pepper), and champagne apple vinaigrette.

The Loaded Baked Potato is vegan (“okay with modifications”) only when
ordered with scallions alone. (Butter blend, sour cream, cheddar cheese
and bacon are normally served with this item.)

On the Fit & Trim Menu, the vegan filter identifies the following options:
Garden Vegetable Soup
green beans
grilled zucchini
steamed broccoli

From the Featured Items choices, the vegan filter shows only the Garden
Fresh Salads & Combinations as “okay to eat.” The Garden Vegetable Soup
also appears.

On the Kids Menu, Ruby Tuesday lists the following as “vegan…okay to eat.”
Buttery* Pasta
Buttery* Pasta with Linguini
Gluten-Free Buttery* Pasta
Gluten-Free Tomato-Basil Pasta
Pasta Marinara with Linguini
Tomato Basil Pasta

*According to the website, the “buttery” in the kids’ options given
above refers to “liquid margarine.”

At the Fresh Garden Bar, the vegan filter presents the following as
“okay to eat”:
fresh greens
spinach
iceberg lettuce
garden greens
spring mix
veggies
baby bellas
broccoli florets
green peas
pepper strips
red onions
carrots
cucumbers
tomatoes
zucchini
toppings
black olives
edamame
saltine crackers
sunflower seeds

For this report, The VRG did not investigate the sauces and dressings
available at Ruby Tuesday. Interested readers may contact the restaurant
chain or ask a Ruby Tuesday manager for more information.

Since complete ingredient statements for each menu item component do not
appear on the Ruby Tuesday website, those concerned should inquire by
contacting this restaurant chain:
https://www.rubytuesday.com/footer/feedback/guest

The contents of this posting, website and our other publications,
including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal
medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified
health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient
information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure
about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and
mistakes can be made. Please use your best judgment about whether a
product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or
confirmation on your own.

For information on other chains, see http://www.vrg.org/fastfoodinfo.php

For information on vegetarian and vegan restaurants, see
http://www.vrg.org/restaurant/index.php

Support The Vegetarian Resource Group Year-Round – Become a Monthly or Quarterly Donor!

Posted on December 02, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

imgres

The Vegetarian Resource Group is an activist non-profit organization that does outreach all-year-long. We table at different events through the USA and also send literature free of charge to other groups/individuals doing educational activities in schools, hospitals, camps, restaurants, libraries, etc. around the country. Our ability to continue doing this depends on people like you! Your donations allow us to promote the vegan message whenever we’re called upon for assistance. Please consider becoming a monthly or quarterly donor to VRG.

Thanks so much for your support. You can become a monthly or quarterly donor online here: vrg.org/donate

Are You Looking for Vegan Sources for Non-Leather Shoes, Wallets, Purses, Belts, and Much More this Holiday Season?

Posted on December 01, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

The Vegetarian Resource Group maintains an extensive list of companies that sell non-leather shoes, belts, purses, jackets, and much more. Some of the more unique items you’ll find are vegan cowboy boots, dance shoes, hand drums, motorcycle gear, musical instrument cases, tool belts, etc. Support these companies during the holiday season and let them know The Vegetarian Resource Group sent you to them!

The Guide to Leather Alternatives can be found here: http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/leather.php

To support this type of research, please donate here: www.vrg.org/donate

fw16-collection-banners-shoes1-en_1

VEGAN MEALS DELIVERED TO YOUR HOME

Posted on December 01, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-10-41-09-am

Go to: http://trifectanutrition.com/vrg

Use coupon code TRYVEGAN for a 20% discount on your first order.

You Can Help Food Service Advisors Add More Vegan Options!

Posted on November 30, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

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Quite often food service advisors would like to add more vegan options to their food offerings; however, they are not sure where they can purchase vegan products. You can now help get more vegan food on college campuses, in hospitals, at sports stadiums, in assisted living communities, and other locations.

The Vegetarian Resource Group has compiled an extensive list of vegan products available in food service size. Share this information: http://www.vrg.org/fsupdate/FSUProducts.php

To support this type of work, please donate here: www.vrg.org/donate

Sedona Health and Nutrition Conference

Posted on November 30, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

healthyworldsedonahostsconference4web

The science and practice implications of plant-based nutrition

Professional Presentations for Health Care Providers and the Community

Friday, January 13, 2017
Sedona Marriott Courtyard
4105 W. State Route 89A, Sedona, AZ 86336

For information, see http://healthyworldsedona.com/health-nutrition-conference/

Today is Giving Tuesday – Please Support The Vegetarian Resource Group!

Posted on November 29, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

Gift wrapped piggy bank on red white background for Giving Tuesday savings concept.

When making your Giving Tuesday donations, please remember The Vegetarian Resource Group. Visit: www.vrg.org/donate

Here are some of the ways your donation will be used throughout the year to come:

$25 Sponsors sending Vegetarian Journal for a year to a Vegetarian/Vegan or Animal Rights Group located overseas in a poor country.

$50 Would go towards sending vegan literature to dietitians to give out to their clients.
$100 The cost to send a box of vegan literature to a student vegetarian/animal rights/ environmental organization for outreach on their campus.

$200 Allows VRG to send Vegetarian Journal for a year to 20 high school students applying to the Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship.

$300 To print VRG Banners to use at outreach tables throughout the USA.

$500 Will enable us to give runner-up scholarships to high school seniors who promote veganism.

$1,000 So we can reprint our Spanish coloring book and continue outreach to Latino communities. See: El Arco Iris Vegetariano

Thank you for your support! We greatly appreciate it.

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