The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Alex Hershaft from FARM will be speaking at Georgetown University November 17th, 2015

Posted on October 05, 2015 by Samantha Gendler, Senior Editor


Alex Hershaft from Farm Animal Rights Movement will be talking about his journey from Holocaust survivor to becoming an animal rights activist. The talk will take place at 7 PM at Georgetown University in Washington, DC on November 17th, 2015. The event is free and open to the public. For details see:


Posted on October 02, 2015 by Samantha Gendler, Senior Editor

toplabel3Don’t forget to stock up on your favorite vegan products from The Vegetarian Site this month! For the full month of October 2015, The Vegetarian Site will give 10% of their sales to The Vegetarian Resource Group!

The Vegetarian Site sells vegan footwear, belts, wallets, bags, and other accessories, food products, books, personal care items, plus much more. They are always adding new items in their store.

Take a look at one cent samples. (Vegan Parmesan)

And the Vegan Dollar Menu

Support The Vegetarian Resource Group by shopping online at: The Vegetarian Site

Visit The Vegetarian Resource Group at These Upcoming Events

Posted on October 02, 2015 by Samantha Gendler, Senior Editor

The Vegetarian Resource Group will be having an outreach booth at the following events this week. Be sure to stop by and introduce yourself!


DC VegFest in Washington, DC; Saturday, October 3rd, 11 am to 6 pm

World Veg Fest in San Francisco, California; Saturday, October 3rd and Sunday, October 4th, 10 am to 6:30 pm

Dietitians attending the FNCE meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, please stop by the VRG booth on Sunday, October 4: 9 am to 3 pm. Monday, October 5: 9 am to 3 pm. Tuesday, October 6: 9 am to 1 pm.

Vegan Restaurants Added to The Vegetarian Resource Group’s Online Guide to Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurants in the USA

Posted on October 01, 2015 by Samantha Gendler, Senior Editor

The Vegetarian Resource Group maintains an online Guide to Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurants in the USA and Canada. Below are some recent additions. The entire guide can be found here:

static1.squarespaceAvant Garden
130 East 7th St.
New York, NY 10009
Avant Garden is an upscale fine dining vegan restaurant. The menu is divided into three different sections, hot, cold, and toasts, and is accompanied by natural wines. Vegetables are treated like “meat,” often roasted, braised and seared. This cozy restaurant is located in the East Village and its snug size makes it ideal for date nights. The restaurant features white washed walls, petrified wood counters, and a chandelier made from branches. A real gem that should visited by all diners alike.

Cosmic Treats
207 Augusta Ave.
Toronto, ON M5T 2L4 Canada
Located in Kensington Market, Cosmic Treats offers an out of this world dining experience! Items offered on their menu are truly unique and range from sweet to savory. Start with barbecued tofu encrusted with sweet chili heat Doritos, and cool off those taste buds with banana split made with homemade cashew ice cream. Yum!

Don’t Have A Cow
110-A Tiny Town Rd.
Clarksville, TN 37042
Don’t have a cow because this restaurant is 100% vegan! It offers a fresh menu with various items from soups, salads, wraps, and sandwiches. They also have vegan cupcakes.

Full Bloom Vegan
11 Island Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Enjoy a breathtaking view from this vegan establishment while dining on appetizers including Grilled Plantain and Veggie Kebob Skewers, Tricolor Potato Latkes (pancakes), or a vegan cheese platter. Main course dishes include Green Curry Veggie Pot with Bamboo Rice, Green Thumb Lasagna with Béchamel Sauce, Pad Thai, Chimichurri Tempeh over Rainbow Quinoa, and more. Exciting side dishes include Mac & Cheese, Spicy Kim Chi, Cheesy shaved Brussel sprouts, etc. Finally, end your meal with an exquisite dessert including Chocolate Ganache Pie, Italian`s Favorite Tiramisu, Raw key lime ice cream with raspberry sauce, or Mocha Salted Caramel Chocolate Lava Cake.

The Goods
1255 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON M6J 1X6 Canada
The Goods is a mostly raw, organic, vegan restaurant located in Toronto. It is the perfect stop on a busy day when you need a quick refuel. They offer many different smoothies, juices, and salads, including a Chuck Norris bowl that has quinoa, rice, arugula, sprouts, a sesame dressing, and much more! Most of their dishes are free of gluten, nuts, and refined ingredients as well, and they are perfect for take-out or delivery. Their menu varies daily and they also offer catering services and classes.

853 Merrimon Ave.
Asheville, NC 28804
Start your morning off with fresh juices, smoothies, or coffee and enjoy raw or toasted granola and various baked goods. Main dishes include Build Your own Pasta Bowl and other bowls, Pizza Pesto, Mac & Cheese, Chili, and more. They also offer a variety of desserts.

Vital Life Vegan Restaurant
14 St. Andrew St.
Toronto, ON, M5 T 1K5 Canada
Located in Kensington Market near Chinatown, this vegan Caribbean restaurant serves dishes such as spinach and kale salad, mac & cheese, TVP curry, barbecued soy, stews, and more. Also enjoy their fresh beverages.

Zhu Pan-Asian Vegan Cuisine
166 Massachusetts Ave.
Arlington, MA 02474
Start your meal with Miso Mushroom Soup or Lemongrass Hot & Sour Soup. Follow this with a choice of salad including Avocado Salad, Mango Salad, and Seaweed Salad. You’ll also find a variety of noodle and rice dishes, as well as main dishes such as Black Pepper Seitan, Malaysian Curry Stew, Kung Pao Eggplant, Lettuce Wraps, and Soy Cutlet Sizzling Platter. For dessert try Brown Rice Pudding, Banana Spring Roll, or vegan ice cream. They do not use MSG!


Posted on September 30, 2015 by Samantha Gendler, Senior Editor


World Vegetarian Day is celebrated each year on October 1st. Share some delicious vegan food with friends, family, co-workers, and others that day! Below are two recipes you may want to try out.


Potato Pinto Salad (from More Fabulous Beans)
Serves 5

In a medium saucepan, cook in boiling water until almost tender:
2 cups peeled and diced potatoes

Add: 10 ounces frozen peas
Return to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender. Drain well.

To make the dressing, combine in a small jar with a tight fitting lid:
1 cup plain vegan yogurt
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon spicy mustard
¼ teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste

Shake dressing until well blended and set aside.

Combine in a serving bowl:
1½ cups cooked pinto beans
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup sliced ripe olives
½ cup minced red onions
½ cup chopped fresh dill weed

Pour the dressing over vegetables and beans and toss until they are evenly coated. Add the potatoes and peas, and carefully toss again until evenly combined. Serve at once or chill for several hours in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to blend.


African Chickpea Stew (from Cooking Vegan)
Serves 6

1 Tablespoon coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable stock or water
2 cups peeled and diced sweet potatoes or yams
1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed
½ cup brown rice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup peanut butter
2 cups thinly sliced kale leaves or collard greens
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground pepper
Hot sauce (optional)

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add the stock, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, rice, and salt and stir until combined. Bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.

Put the peanut butter in a small bowl. Stir in enough liquid from the stew to make a smooth paste. Stir into the stew. Add the kale or collard greens, lemon juice, and pepper. Season with tamari to taste and hot sauce if desired and stir until combined. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until the kale is tender.

Please Donate to The Vegetarian Resource Group Through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC)

Posted on September 29, 2015 by Samantha Gendler, Senior Editor

If you are a Federal government employee, you can support The Vegetarian Resource Group through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). Look for us under Health & Medical Research Charities of America.

Please also remember The Vegetarian Resource Group in other workplace fund drives, matching gifts, etc. See for other ways you can donate to VRG.

Thanks for your support!

CFC_CFC-not 50

Support the Coalition for Healthy School Food at their Annual Fall Gala!

Posted on September 29, 2015 by Samantha Gendler, Senior Editor

Great Chefs Cook for Healthy School Food, next Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 in New York City (Manhattan). It will be a delicious, 100% vegan food tasting, with more than 14 of our favorite restaurants and caterers, a silent auction, raffle, gift bags, and live jazz. A night not to miss that supports getting plant-based foods on the menus of schools and meaningful nutrition education that teaches critical thinking. Information and reservations (required) here:


Last Chance to Sign-Up for The Vegetarian Resource Group Vegan Dinner in Nashville Tennessee October 4th, 2015

Posted on September 28, 2015 by Samantha Gendler, Senior Editor

On Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 6 pm, The Vegetarian Resource Group will host a dinner gathering in Nashville, TN at Sitar Indian Cuisine.


Network with Vegetarian Resource Group staff, volunteers, and other dietitians from around the country during the annual meeting of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dietitians, VRG members, students, and the public are invited. Location is near the Lowes Vanderbilt, a FNCE (conference) hotel.

Samosa (potato and pea turnover)
Papadum (thin and crispy lentil crackers)
Roti (whole wheat bread)
Rice, Tea
Yellow Dal (lentils)
Chana Masala (chickpeas)
Baingan Bhurtha (eggplant)
Bhindi Masala (okra)
Vegetable Patia (fresh vegetables with sweet and sour mangoes)

Refunds only made if we can replace your seat.

To pay, send to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203, call (410) 366-8343 Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, or go to and write in the comments Nashville Indian dinner and names of attendees.

Join The Vegetarian Resource Group at 2 Events this Weekend!

Posted on September 25, 2015 by Samantha Gendler, Senior Editor

On Saturday September 26th, 2015 The Vegetarian Resource Group will have a booth at the Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival in Virginia. The VegFest takes place 11 am to 5 pm in Lee Park. For details see:


On Sunday September 27th, 2015 Great Sage in Clarksville, Maryland will be generously donating 10% of the day’s proceeds to The Vegetarian Resource Group. VRG volunteers will be there during brunch hours and would be happy to meet you! This vegan restaurant has a fantastic menu. For more information see:


Urea in Sun® and Method® Household and Personal Care Products: Vegan

Posted on September 24, 2015 by Samantha Gendler, Senior Editor

By Jeanne Yacoubou, MS

The VRG received an email from a reader Linda who wrote:
Hello. I’ve noticed urea can be in things like dish soap. Is this a vegan ingredient? I’ve read it was originally discovered in urine, but that it is also made synthetically and the name just stayed.

We responded by saying “In all cases which we’re aware, urea in household products is produced synthetically today from ammonia and carbon dioxide, both non-animal-derived.”

Interested readers may learn more about ingredients including urea (p. 2 second column) used in dish detergent here:

For more general information about urea’s industrial uses today:

Sun Products

The VRG followed up with Linda by asking if she had read “urea” on a label of any products she uses. She replied:

Sun Products; I heard Sun detergent was vegan. I think their dish soap might be good, but you can confirm too. I also heard Method is vegan.

The VRG called Sun products and spoke with representative Fran in September 2015. When we asked about urea she wanted a specific product name to look up. Our question was generally about all Sun products. Fran replied:

Urea is chemically synthesized; not derived from animals. It is used as a moisturizing agent.

An Internet search located a Sun detergent ingredient label which listed urea as an ingredient. When we noticed it was out of stock on the vendor’s website, we took the SKU/UPC code and went to the Sun Products Corporation website and entered it on a page where ingredient disclosures could be accessed.

No product with that code resulted although many similar ones did. Checking through a representative sample of Sun product ingredients in this way, no listings included urea.

The tool is user-friendly in accessing complete ingredient information. The function of the ingredient in the product is also stated. Interested consumers should select “Ingredient Disclosure” in the field labeled “Document Type.” Entering either the SKU/UPC code, product type or product name should be sufficient to see ingredient lists.

Method Products

The Method Products, PBC (public-benefit corporation) website contains a list of ingredients used in its products. There is also information on the ingredients’ functions in products and environmental and health summaries. Some ingredients are accompanied by source information. Urea is not present on the list.

To confirm whether urea is in any Method product we sent the company an email from their site contact form. We received this reply from Brian:

All Method products are suitable for vegans…Only our Nourishing Hand Wash contains urea, which is synthetic.

From Method’s FAQ page:

Q: Does Method contain any animal byproducts?

A: No, all method products are vegan and cruelty-free.

The VRG also asked Method about the lipase entry in their ingredient list. Lipase in dairy cheese is often animal-derived and we wondered if this were true in household products. We received this reply:

All Method products…do not contain any animal byproducts, including the lipase ingredient in our Laundry 8x.

When we looked at the ingredients listed for Laundry 8x we didn’t see lipase among them. We followed up with Method and received this reply:

When we initially launched the Laundry 8x, only a small batch of it had lipase in it. We have long ago reformulated the Laundry 8x and it no longer contains it. Only Laundry 8x detergent containers that list it on the label have it. I apologize for the confusion.

Method provides a list of definitions for words commonly used on its site such as “naturally derived” or “natural” in a Green Glossary:

There is some ingredient source information included as well.

Method’s Greenskeeping Toolkit provides even more ingredient information.

NOTE: While researching urea The VRG read on several websites such as that there is a urine-derived pharmaceutical product on the market. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals®, a subsidiary of Pfizer® sells Premarin® an equine estrogen intended for human use. It is derived from the urine of pregnant mares.

We spoke with Steve a pharmacist at Pfizer who confirmed this. He stated that their product is “purified from urine.” We asked about its efficacy compared to widely available synthetic estrogens and Steve informed us that to his knowledge Premarin has only been tested against placebos and not tested against synthetic estrogens.

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.

To support Vegetarian Resource Group research, donate at

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