The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Plan a Trip to British Columbia, Canada and Dine in a Vegan Establishment!

Posted on May 12, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

If you plan on visiting British Columbia, Canada, here are some vegan restaurants/bakeries you can try out:

Paradise Vegetarian Noodle House
8681 10th Ave., Burnaby, BC V3N 2S9
(604) 527-8138
Vegan/Vietnamese. Paradise Vegetarian Noodle House specializes in Vietnamese noodle soup. Enjoy such soups as Spicy Noodle, Vegetable Wheat Noodle, Wonton, Veggie Beef Rice Noodle, Veggie Chicken Rice Noodle, and Spinach Tofu. Everything is vegan and no MSG is used. They also offer salads, chow Mein, vermicelli, rice dishes, entrées, clay pots, and more. Paradise is closed on weekdays between lunch and dinner, so please call ahead for hours.
Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. Closed Sunday
Full service
take-out, soymilk, special beverages
VISA/MC/AMEX, $$

Buddha-Full
106 W. 1st St., Ste. 101, North Vancouver, BC V7M 1A9
(604) 973-0231
Vegan/raw foods/organic/juice bar. Buddha-Full specializes in vegan, gluten-free, and raw foods. Menu items include raw nut burgers, raw nut cheesecake, pumpkin curried soup, and more. Try one of the many smoothies. Check out upcoming events on their website!
Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and early dinner. Closed Sunday
Limited service
take-out, delivery, catering, fresh juices, smoothies
VISA/MC/AMEX, $

Chomp Vegan Eatery
3586 Fraser St., Vancouver, BC V5V 0B3
(604) 917-0201
Vegan/organic/gluten-free. Chomp Vegan Eatery is a 100% vegan and gluten-free restaurant featuring organic and local foods. They share space with Fairy Cakes. Selections include various wraps and salads, as well as pizza, chili, and more.
Open Wednesday through Monday for lunch and dinner. Closed Tuesday.
Full service
vegan options
take-out, catering
VISA/MC, $-$$

Edible Flours
2280 W. Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K 2E3
(604) 734-8351
Vegan/bakery. Edible Flours is entirely vegan and also offers gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free, and sugar-free products. Ingredients are organic whenever possible, and they only use unrefined sweeteners. Enjoy such treats as cakes, brownies, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, and donuts. They also serve coffee and tea. Edible Flours is a small, intimate space with some seating available. They are located in the neighborhood of Kitsilano.
Open Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Monday
Counter service
take-out, delivery, catering
VISA/MC, $-$$

Indigo Food Café
2589 W16 Ave., Vancouver, BC V6K 3B9
(604) 537-7288
Vegan/raw foods/organic. Indigo Food Café; serves gourmet vegan raw foods that are wheat- and sugar-free. Tasty menu items include Carrot-Curry Soup, Ukrainian Perogies, Raw Pizza, Collard Roll-ups, and Russian Borscht. They offer many raw foods cooking classes along with catering services. Indigo features live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights, which is why they suggest reservations for those evenings. Outdoor seating is available.
Open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. Closed Sunday and Monday
Full service
take-out, delivery, catering, fresh juices, smoothies, special beverages
VISA/MC, $-$$

Vegan Pizza House
2119 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5N 2T4
(604) 248-5336
Vegan/pizza/Italian. Vegan Pizza House offers an all-vegan menu with pizzas such as Vegan Meat Lover, Greek Special, Vegan Seafood, and Hawaiian. They also offer Spaghetti with Vegan Meat Sauce, Baked Lasagna, and Salads. Gluten-free options are also available.
Open daily for lunch and dinner
Counter service
take-out, delivery, catering
VISA/MC, $$

Lotus Pond Vegetarian Restaurant
617 Johnson St., Victoria, BC V8W 1M5
(250) 380-9293
Vegan/Chinese. Located downtown, Lotus Pond Vegetarian Restaurant is a vegan Chinese Buddhist restaurant. They offer many dishes, including Crispy Taro Rolls, Black Moss Shredded Vegetables Thick Soup, Seaweed Tomato Vegetable Tofu Soup, Shiitake Delight (battered shiitake mushrooms sautéed in a basil sauce), Mock Salmon in Peking Sauce, and Lily Bulb Delight (pan-fried lily bulbs, lotus roots, mushrooms, and snow peas). They also serve chow mein, chow fun, udon noodle dishes, and three flavors of tofu ice cream. Their pay-by-the-pound lunch buffet is a bargain.
Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Closed Monday
Full service
reservations recommended
VISA/MC, $$

For a complete list of veggie restaurants in the USA and Canada see:
http://www.vrg.org/restaurant/index.php

To support the upkeep of this extensive guide, please donate to The Vegetarian Resource Group at:
www.vrg.org/donate

Organic Vegan Meals Delivered to Your Home or Office By Madeline St. John

Posted on May 11, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

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In Trifecta Lemon Vegetable Heirloom Quinoa, a unique set of flavors come together for a surprising, delicious, and protein-filled meal. The Quinoa is spiced with flavors reminiscent of curry or Indian cuisine (garlic, parsley, basil, tarragon, coriander, turmeric, mustard seed, cumin, fenugreek, paprika, cayenne, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, and sea salt.) As someone who generally has a low-tolerance for spicy food, I thought it was spiced just the right amount. The Quinoa is paired with tangy lemon juice (and grapefruit juice), and mixed in with a variety of roasted vegetables: peppers, onions, butternut squash, and a little bit of cauliflower. The butternut squash is soft and sweet while the peppers and onions add crunchiness. It is also a very colorful meal, between red, green, and yellow peppers, purple-tinged onions, butternut squash, and yellow quinoa. The portion size is hearty and the meal contains fourteen grams of protein. As an added bonus, the Quinoa is organic and without preservatives.

The meal comes in an individual serving microwavable tray. In order to prepare it, all one has to do is puncture a few holes in the plastic sheeting and stick it in the microwave for two or three minutes. It can also be heated on a stove-top or in a conventional oven. This meal is part of a meal delivery service based out of Davis, California, that offers free nationwide delivery with their meal plans.

For information, go to http://trifectanutrition.com/vrg
Use coupon code TRYVEGAN for 30% off your first order.

Eat More Kale®: Chick-fil-A® Debuts Kale-Broccolini® Superfood Side By Jeanne Yacoubou, MS

Posted on May 10, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

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Eat More Kale®: Chick-fil-A® Debuts Kale-Broccolini® Superfood Side
By Jeanne Yacoubou, MS

Beginning in January 2016 Chick-fil-A introduced in all of its approximately 1,900 restaurants nationwide a kale-broccolini salad side dish. http://inside.chick-fil-a.com/superfood-side/

The dish consists of kale and broccolini tossed in a maple vinaigrette dressing and topped with dried sour cherries. It is served with an optional blend of roasted nuts (walnuts, almonds and pecans).

Broccolini is a trademarked hybrid of broccoli and Chinese kale. According to an article on the Chick-fil-A website http://inside.chick-fil-a.com/broccolini-the-biggest-thing-since-kale/ there is only one US grower and supplier of this cruciferous vegetable, family-owned produce supplier and Certified Women Owned® Business Mann Packing® http://veggiesmadeeasy.com/site/. The Superfood Side dish is anticipated to use 20% of the total broccolini supply in the U.S.

The Vegetarian Resource Group spoke with Leigh Jackson of a public relations firm representing Chick-fil-A. She contacted Chick-fil-A’s nutritionist on our behalf who confirmed by email that the Superfood Side is “all-vegetable.”

Superfood Side Ingredients
We followed up with Leigh by requesting more information about the ingredients in the new menu item. On the Chick-fil-A website we found this ingredient statement: https://www.chick-fil-a.com/Food/Menu-Detail/Superfood-Side#?details=ingredients

broccolini, kale, maple vinaigrette dressing (maple syrup, soybean oil, water, brown sugar, onion ([including dehydrated], distilled vinegar, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce [water, soybeans, salt, alcohol], balsamic vinegar, salt, spice, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate added as preservatives, maltodextrin, dextrose, canola oil, yeast extract, natural flavor, calcium disodium EDTA to protect flavor), dried cherries (cherries, sugar, sunflower oil), roasted nut blend (glazed walnuts [walnuts, sugar, natural flavor, canola oil], roasted almonds, glazed pecans [pecans, sugar, natural flavor, canola oil]).

Without our asking specifically about the sugar, this is what Chick-fil-A’s nutritionist relayed to us by email about the dressing when we inquired: “Is the maple vinaigrette dressing all-vegetable?”:

The maple vinaigrette dressing would be considered vegetarian in that it does not contain any meat-, poultry- or fish-derived ingredients. We would not consider this product vegan due to the possible use of the brown sugar being comprised of cane sugar that may have been filtered through bone char.

Sugar is also listed as an ingredient for the cherries and nuts. The VRG wished to know if the statement about the brown sugar also applied to the sugar on the cherries and the nuts. In other words, we asked if the sugar used on the cherries and on the nuts had been filtered through cow bone char.

After a few weeks Chick-fil-A’s nutritionist replied:
“I have good news to share regarding the sugar that we source to manufacture the roasted nut blend; it is indeed vegan. Thus, we have confirmation from the refineries that we source the sugar from that they are not using bone charcoal in any part of their processes.”

In light of this additional information about the sugar in the nut blend, The VRG wondered if the nutritionist’s earlier response about the brown sugar in the maple vinaigrette dressing needed to be reevaluated. So we asked again: Has Chick-fil-A confirmed with their brown sugar supplier that cow bone char was used to filter the sugar?

Chick-fil-A’s nutritionist replied a second time on this point: “We did confirm with the supplier on the brown sugar in the vinaigrette [that cow bone char filtration was possible].” No further information was provided.
Regarding how the sugar used in the cherries was processed, Chick-fil-A’s nutritionist originally stated: “We did confirm that the cherries are vegetarian but not vegan.”

We then asked Chick-fil-A’s nutritionist to clarify exactly what she had intended to say about the sugar in the cherries. We wanted to know if the statement above about the cherries implied that the sugar used on the cherries had definitely been filtered through cow bone char or possibly had been so whitened.

After a few more weeks, Chick-fil-A’s nutritionist responded to us a second time about the sugar on the cherries by informing us that

The sugar on the cherries would be classified as vegetarian, but not vegan, as the sugar has the potential to come into contact with animal products during the whitening process.

Q&A with Chick-fil-A’s Nutritionist
Here are several followup questions we asked Chick-fil-A and the nutritionist’s responses all relayed to us in a timely fashion:

Q: Is the maple vinaigrette dressing optional?
A: No, the dressing is applied to the kale and broccolini in larger portions, and then portioned into the salad bowls.

Q: Are the cherries and nuts optional?
A: The cherries are added to the larger portion recipe before serving it into the bowls so they are not optional. The nuts are optional.

Q: Was an animal-derived anti-foaming agent used to produce the maple syrup?
A: The maple vinaigrette does not contain any anti-foaming agents. Per the supplier, it is considered vegetarian.

We also wanted to know about the side dish’s preparation and Chick-fil-A’s kitchen protocols. The following is what we received by email as replies to our questions below:

Q: Are the kale and broccolini prepared without animal broths, animal fats, etc.?
A: The ingredients in the Superfood Salad are not cooked.

Q: Are the kale and broccolini prepared in pots never used for meat products?
A: The ingredients in the Superfood Salad are not prepared in pots.

Q: Are the kale and broccolini pre-prepared at a central location and delivered to restaurants or is the preparation onsite at each location?
A: The kale is pre-chopped while the broccolini arrives whole and is prepared in restaurant.

Q: How are the kale and broccolini cooked (sauteed, boiled, steamed, etc.?) or are they served raw like lettuce and hand-chopped at each location?
A: The Superfood Side is served raw.

Q: Are the kale and broccolini in this side dish prepared away from all meat products on a designated meat-free surface with sanitized, vegetable-only utensils?
A:We do prep the salad in a vegetable prep area where we prep all of our salads. I don’t know if the surface is specifically “meat free” but it is sanitized. I don’t know if the utensils are only used for vegetables, but they are clean and sanitized. We have separate prep areas for raw chicken vs. the salads, so there wouldn’t be any raw chicken in that area.

Taste Test
In April 2016 the writer purchased a Superfood Side at a surburban Maryland Chick-fil-A restaurant. Here are her comments.

Kale was the major component in the Side although broccolini is listed as the first ingredient on the statement given above. Both the kale and broccolini looked fresh. They were well-coated in the maple vinaigrette dressing but there was no excess liquid at the bottom except for a few isolated drops. There were approximately ten medium-sized cherries placed on the top of the kale/broccolini that easily could have been removed by a diner. The approximately one tablespoon of a nut blend came in a separate cellophane package.

The kale and broccolini’s natural taste was overpowered by the maple vinaigrette dressing which the writer found too acidic. At least the mildly maple flavor aftertaste compensated somewhat for the acidic vinaigrette.

The cherries sweetened up the entire dish too much for the writer’s taste so she removed most of them. The nuts enhanced the overall flavor of the Side.

The Side was packaged in a #5 plastic container. Made of polypropylene, #5 plastic is becoming more accepted at most recycling centers or look here for how to recycle #5 plastic: https://www.preserveproducts.com/recycle/programs/171/gimme-5-program.

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

To join The Vegetarian Resource Group, join at http://www.vrg.org/member/2013sv.php

If you’re attending the NH Dietetic Association Meeting, visit VRG’s Booth!

Posted on May 09, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

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The Vegetarian Resource Group will be tabling at the New Hampshire Dietetic Association Meeting on Wednesday, May 11th in Concord, NH. Also, VRG Nutrition Advisor Reed Mangels, PhD, RD will be giving a talk at this event titled “Vegetarian Diets for Pregnancy and Lactation.” Be sure to stop by and say hello.

Details on the event can be found here:
http://www.eatrightnh.org/events/

Several New Restaurants Have Been Added to The Vegetarian Resource Group’s Online Guide to Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurants in the USA and Canada

Posted on May 06, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

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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: http://www.vrg.org/restaurant/index.php

To support the updating of this online restaurant guide, please donate at:
www.vrg.org/donate

Apteka
4606 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
f you’re looking for a hip and casual Central and East European vegan restaurant with a unique drink menu, look no further than Apteka. Choose from the ‘small plates’, like cykoria i sliwki: Belgian endive or pickled prune with beech and oyster mushrooms. From the ‘big plates’, try their pierogies, and for dessert, try a tarta jablkowa, an apple tart with dried fruit compote. Along with their pierogies, they are also known for their full bar.

Blossom De Jour Express
1000S 8th Ave.
New York, NY 10019
Located in the Columbus Circle Subway Station Turnstyle area (enter at 57th or 58th Streets), this take-out restaurant offers items such as Un-Chicken Avocado Griller, Spicy Green Bowl, Quinoa Burger, Burrito Grande, soup, and desserts.

Brooklyn Whiskers
760 Bushwick Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11221
Brooklyn Whiskers is a vegan retail and wholesale bakery. They offer a variety of pastries, pies, cookies, and cupcakes, as well as breakfast and sandwich options. If you are looking for a nice start to the day, stop in and try one of their rotating pastries, a tofu scramble served on a warm croissant, and coffee. If you are there in the afternoon, you can try their Balsamic Yam sandwich, which is served with cashew spread and arugula, and you can try one of their many desserts. They have a variety of gluten-free options, and even offer delivery service within New York City.

Fruition Vegan Kitchen
472 High St.
Medford, MA 02155
The eclectic menu at Fruition Vegan Kitchen is sure to have a dish to please everyone. Dishes range from classic like the Greek Salad to inspired like the Jerk Seitan Bowl. Be sure to check out the rotating selection of desserts. Closed between lunch and dinner, so call ahead for hours.

Garden Café
14860 Olde Hwy. 80
El Cajon, CA 92021
They are located in the Red Caboose across from Flinn Springs County Park. Enjoy coffee, tea, smoothies, and grab-and-go items such as Spicy Thai Peanut wrap, Mediterranean wrap, raw chocolate pudding, and more. They have outdoor seating.

Graze
1888 Eastland Ave.
Nashville, TN 37206
Graze is focused on providing deliciously nutritious plant based foods sourced from local farms and businesses. Whether or not you’re an herbivore or localvore, you’re sure to find something you’ll like among the selection of entrees, small plates, custom freshly pressed juices and smoothies, cocktails, and desserts.

Juice Bar & Healthy Grill
330 Magnolia Ave.
El Cajon, CA 92020
This café uses local and fair trade ingredients whenever possible. Dishes offered include Acai or Pitaya Bowl, Italian Seitan Sandwich, Chickpea Salad Sandwich, BBQ Jackfruit Burger, as well as several raw salads. They have outdoor seating available.

La Botanica
2911 N. St. Mary’s Strip
San Antonio, TX 78212
Offering a variety of alcoholic beverages, La Botanica in the St. Mary’s Strip may be more like a bar with vegan food than a vegan restaurant. The food has Louisianan, New Mexican, Mexican and Texan influences and options include tacos, ceviche, and empanadas. Music plays and there are board games available.

Leaf Teahouse
212 N 9th St.
Boise, ID 83702
Leaf Teahouse is committed to providing high quality, loose-leaf teas from around the world. The daily menu features a selection of fresh salads, healthy small plates, and snacks to complement their wide variety of teas that can also be purchased in bulk. As Leaf Teahouse provides a community space for local musicians, this is a great place to relax with a soothing beverage and meal.

Paisley Vegan Kitchen
630 Brevard Ave, Ste A
Cocoa, FL 32922
Visit Paisley Vegan Kitchen for completely vegan comfort food made from scratch. For patrons with dietary restrictions, the restaurant has dedicated gluten-free work spaces and fryers. Start off your meal with an appetizer, like their Chesapeake Bay Crabless Cakes, and follow with some of their macaroni and cheese or mushroom ravioli. For dessert, try their peanut butter chocolate cheesecake. The menu also includes a selection of salads and sandwiches.

Postmodern Foods
762B Walker Rd.
Great Falls, VA 22066
and
2920 M St. NW
Washington, DC 20007
Enjoy organic fresh juices, raw dishes including Massaged Kale Salad, Raw Taco Salad, and Pad Thai with Spicy Almond Sauce. For dessert you can order Chia Pudding or Raw Donut Holes.

Start From Scratch Bakery
9543 South Dixie Hwy.
Pinecrest, FL 33156
You can either visit this vegan establishment or order goods online. Baked items include cookies, pie, and cake. For lunch or dinner try soup, salad, sandwiches, and more.

Tamiri Bites
12809 66 St. NW
Edmonton, AB T5C 0A4 Canada
Tamiri Bites is bakery that produces treats that are vegan, raw, gluten-free, and refined-sugar free. Don’t leave without trying one of their fifteen flavors of cashew-based cheesecake, raw cookies, or a savory Pad-Thai bite to-go. For a nut-free dessert, try their coconut bites. Visit their website to find out the several coffee shops, restaurants and supermarkets that carry their products.

The Butcher’s Son
1941 University Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94704
The Butcher’s Son is a vegan delicatessen offering a wide variety of traditional deli foods with a vegan twist! Try a croissant for breakfast, or a bagel with toppings on the weekends. The lunch menu is complete with sandwiches, salads, and desserts. Some favorites include the Pulled Pork Sandwich and the Fried Mozzarella & Meatball on Garlic Bread.

The Herbivorous Butcher
507 1st Ave. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
The Herbivorous Butcher is a brother and sister owned company that sells everything a butcher sells, but vegan! Stop by to pick up some vegan meat, jerky, cheese, and butter. Try their yucca chicken apple sausage, huli huli ribs, bulgogi, dill havarti, smoked gouda, or a spring chive butter for vegan versions of typical butcher selections. For a meal, The Herbivorous Butcher provides a to-go sandwich selection that changes week by week.

Unity Vegan Kitchen
415 Jessie St.
Vegan Kitchen is a gourmet vegan food trailer located in East Side Food Park. Made entirely from scratch on premises, their menu consists of entrees like their quinoa tofu salad and sun dried tomato pesto and tofu sandwich along with a weekly special served Wednesday through Sunday. Also, don’t leave without a dessert! Try their pineapple cobbler or avocado pecan chocolate chip cookies. Unity Vegan Kitchen is great for anyone looking for a quick, convenient, and hearty dining experience.

2017 House Agricultural Appropriations Bill proposes to exempt industry-funded commodity research and promotion programs such as the American Egg Board from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Posted on May 05, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

2017 House Agricultural Appropriations Bill proposes to exempt industry-funded commodity research and promotion programs such as the American Egg Board from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

A paragraph in the 206-page 2017 House Agricultural Appropriations Bill – spotted by Hampton Creek’s new VP of policy Tiny May – proposes to exempt industry-funded commodity research and promotion programs such as the American Egg Board from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

For more information, see:
http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Regulation/Hampton-Creek-smells-a-rat-in-ag-appropriations-bill-over-FOIA

VEGAN OPTIONS ON SCHOOL LUNCH MENUS

Posted on May 05, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

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By Hana Takemoto
The Vegetarian Resource Group Intern

When I began my internship at The Vegetarian Resource Group,
I also began exploring a few topics of research. One of
them that came up in the discussion was vegan options on school
lunch menus. After taking a look at the lunch menu during the
lunch period at my school, Atholton High in Howard County, it
became apparent that few vegan options existed. From that point on,
I began my quest to investigate how to add vegan options to the
lunch menus of high schools in Howard County, Maryland.

My conversation with the Area Field Representative of Food &
Nutrition Services at Howard County Public Schools revealed that
last year, several vegan items were added to Atholton’s salad bars.
These items were hummus, a black bean salsa, and pasta fazool,
none of which, according to the field representative, were a big hit.
The vegan Boca Burger was once on the menu but is no longer served
due to unpopularity and cost. She also told me that if a student were
to have an idea of a food item or recipe that he or she would like
considered, she could be contacted to see if it meets the guidelines.
Along with the field representative, I also spoke with the food service
supervisor at my school, who also offered interesting information:

School meals in Howard County have to meet federal and state requirements.
In order for the meals to be reimbursed, food service workers must
follow the “Offer vs. Serve” policy: high schools are under the United
States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations that state that a
student may choose any three of five options at lunch. One of the
choices must be at least a 1/2 cup serving of fruits or vegetables or a
1/2 cup serving of a combination of fruits and vegetables.

The five options are:
1. Milk
2. Fruit
3. Vegetables
4. Meat/meat alternatives
5. Grains
(“Meal Pattern Requirements” I-1)

Some, but not all of the time, fruit, vegetable, and grain dishes are
vegan. The “meat alternate” previously mentioned can be the following:
● Yogurt
● Peanut butter and other nut or seed butters,
● Cooked dry beans or peas
● Eggs
● Cheese
● Certain enriched macaroni with fortified protein
● Tofu and other soy products (2.2 ounces of commercially
prepared tofu containing at least 5 grams of protein is creditable as a
1.0 ounce equivalent meat alternate) as of January, 2012
● Alternate protein product that meets certain requirements
(“Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast
Programs” 8)

USDA states, “ …the most appropriate way to ensure that the product
meets Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) requirements is to request that
the product be manufactured under the CN Labeling Program following a
Federally approved quality control program,” (“Crediting Tofu and Soy
Yogurt Products” 2). The CN Labeling Program is the Child Nutrition
Labeling Program. This program gives food manufacturers the option to
include a standardized food crediting statement on their product label.
In fact, there is a whole other process of applying for the CN Label,
detailed here: http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/CN_Labeling.pdf

Currently, if a vegan student wants to buy lunch, he or she can reject
the milk and meat option and opt for the fruit, vegetable, and grain
options. If the student wants a meat alternate, he or she can ask food
service workers at their school if there are any options.

What does this all mean?
If a student wants to eat a vegan lunch at high school in Howard County,
he or she can either bring their own lunch from home or buy a lunch off
of the school menu. A student may also choose to combine those two
options. If there are not enough vegan options so that the student can
eat a sufficient lunch at school, he or she may seek to incorporate more
vegan-friendly options into their lunch by supplementing what is offered
with one or more vegan items from home, like a vegan milk, beans,
imitation meat, or anything else the student would desire. For example,
a student could bring from home a bean salad to supplement a
school-bought lunch that includes a salad from the salad bar, apple
slices, and a bread roll. If the student wants to request a new vegan
food, he or she has the option of contacting the field representative of
their high school. The field representative can assist the student in
finding an option. As important as adding the option is, a priority is
that the student works on promoting the vegan food to others in the
schools, or else this choice won’t stay on the menu.

There should be more transparency and ease with which students and
parents can learn about these guidelines. If I were a student
individually seeking to add different items to my high school lunch menu
to better suit my dietary needs, I probably would have given up by now.

Is it worth it?
What if students still didn’t buy lunch, even if a wide variety of
vegan options were offered? My concern lies in the usefulness of having
more vegan options on the school menu. As a vegan student, I bring my
own lunch because of convenience, not because of the lack of vegan
options on the menu. Therefore, I speculate that having a more
vegan-friendly menu might not be a big enough push for non-vegan
students to try out the vegan options at school. Currently, my
investigation is leaning towards learning what impact bringing new vegan
options would have on the community at Atholton High School. I am in the
process of distributing surveys to Atholton students in the effort to
learn more about how to introduce vegan items in a way that would bring
the most positive change.

Works Cited
United States. Dept. of Agriculture. Crediting Tofu and Soy Yogurt
Products. USDA, Feb. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

United States. Dept. of Agriculture. Meal Pattern Requirements. USDA,
Aug. 2014. Print. 18
Apr. 2016.

United States. Dept. of Agriculture. Nutrition Standards in the
National School Lunch and
School Breakfast Programs. USDA, Jan. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

Also see
http://www.vrg.org/fsupdate/index.htm#School
http://www.vrg.org/teen/#food

EARTH – Environmental Animal Rights Team of Hoboken, New Jersey

Posted on May 04, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

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Thank you (The Vegetarian Resource Group) so much for your help! I started the group, EARTH – Environmental Animal Rights Team of Hoboken, with a few friends at the end of last year, and we have been holding vegan outreach events where we leaflet and write chalk messages, vegan dinner social events, now the Green Fair, and we will be screening Cowspiracy at the library soon! In the future we plan on visiting an animal sanctuary (and bringing non-vegans!) and doing a range of activist activities. We also attend other events in the community and join other AR groups when we can. We’re just getting started, so any publicity would be wonderful! Here is some of our information:

Email: earthoboken@gmail.com
Facebook: facebook.com/EARTHoboken
Twitter: @earthoboken
Instagram: @earthoboken
Meetup: earthoboken.org/meetup

Please note that VRG provided many Save our Water brochures for EARTH’s table at a Green Fair in New Jersey. We also provided many other groups throughout the USA with this brochure for Earth Day events in April. If you would like to support The Vegetarian Resource Group’s outreach efforts, visit: http://www.vrg.org/donate

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo — Enjoy These Vegan Recipes!

Posted on May 04, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow and we thought you might want to celebrate with some delicious vegan recipes from a previous Vegetarian Journal article written by Nanette Blanchard. The dishes included are Jicama and Orange Salad, Sopa de Pasta (pasta soup), Calabacitas (squash dish) , Green Chillies Stuffed with Frijoles (beans), Red Chili Sauce, and Easy Capirotada (bread pudding).

See: http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2007issue2/2007_issue2_cinco_mayo.php

To subscribe to Vegetarian Journal, visit: http://www.vrg.org/bookstore/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=3

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Green Festival Community Award: PLEASE VOTE FOR THE VEGETARIAN RESOURCE GROUP

Posted on May 03, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

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Green Festival Community Award: PLEASE VOTE FOR THE VEGETARIAN RESOURCE GROUP

http://www.greenfestivals.org/awards/green-festival-community-award.html

Green Festival is committed to supporting inspiring organizations & projects that educate and benefit their local communities with The Green Festival Community Award, a $5,000 grant awarded to a deserving non-profit, chosen by the public!

The Green Festival Community Award is a great way to gain exposure, support and resources for new or ongoing projects. Organizations get up close and personal with the community through extensive online outreach and social media recognition, and in person, as finalists meet and greet with Green Festival attendees to pitch their ideas. Projects must be locally-based, with creative ideas, measurable goals and a direct benefit to the local, sustainable community.

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