The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

A special discount for VRG followers from May Wah

Posted on June 27, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

May Wah Purple Legs

Fire up the grill, it’s BBQ season and the vegan chicken legs have arrived! As we approach our 22nd anniversary, May Wah vegan chicken legs continue to conquer the vegan barbecues during this grilling season. Save 10% off your $50 purchase today! Promo code JULY42017, ends July 7th.

May Wah is most popular source for delicious meat alternatives including our Vegan Sweet and Sour Citrus Spare Ribs, Ginger Chicken, Spicy Gong Bao Chicken, and our ever-popular Delicious Chicken Legs. Additionally, our products were recently elegantly presented to each guest at PETA’s Animals’ Party on Capitol Hill.

Our products are convenient, delicious, and most important, we can ship anywhere in the USA. Purchase today and show off your vegan grilling skills! Visit http://www.maywahnyc.com/

Sunny, Dreamy Chocolate: Amy’s Brand Chocolate Bars

Posted on June 27, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

Sunny 1-Bar
by Shannon Borgoyn, VRG volunteer

I love chocolate, so I was excited to review Amy’s brand chocolate bars: Amy’s Dreamy and Amy’s Sunny.

According to its wrapper, Amy’s Dreamy candy bar is a filling of “chocolate creamy nougat covered with dark chocolate.” Upon biting into it, I experienced a pleasantly sweet dark chocolate shell. Following the dark chocolate shell, the chocolate creamy nougat met my tongue, it was chocolatey and creamy, but I also noted it had a slightly sticky consistency (vaguely similar to caramel). The nougat was slightly sweeter than the dark chocolate outer shell and was scrumptious. One Amy’s Dreamy candy bar is 150 calories; a serving is one bar.

Amy’s Sunny candy bar is labeled as “coconut & roasted almonds covered in dark chocolate.” When I bit into the Sunny bar, I closed my eyes and savored the dark chocolate outer shell. After the dark chocolate said goodbye, the coconut greeted me: “Hi, hello,” it said, “I’m here. My name is Coconut and I’ll be your flavor today.” Compared to the Dreamy bar, the Sunny bar’s coconut filling was subtly sweet; roasted almond bits were interspersed throughout the coconut. One Amy’s Sunny candy bar is 170 calories; a serving is one bar.

Amy’s candy bars were delicious and sweet. They are so reminiscent of mainstream candy that I felt like I was eating my favorite candies. Most notably, Amy’s labels these candy bars as “vegan”: there is no dairy or eggs listed in the ingredients for both bars. If you are looking for a sweet alternative to your favorite candies, I strongly suggest Amy’s Sunny and Dreamy candy bars.

For more information, check out these links:
Amy’s website: https://www.amys.com/
Amy’s Dreamy candy bar: https://www.amys.com/our-foods/dreamy-candy-vegan
Amy’s Sunny candy bar: https://www.amys.com/our-foods/sunny-candy-vegan

Noshi Food Paint

Posted on June 26, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 7.37.12 PM

We recently received information on a new product called Noshi Food Paint. According to the manufacturer, these are “brightly colored organic purées to paint on top of your food in three delicious,kid-approved flavors, including Strawberry, Peach & Blueberry. Suitable for kids aged 6 months and up.Noshi Food Paint is made in the USA, and all packaging is recyclable.”

We think you and your kids could have a lot of fun using this product! Noshi Food Paint is launching this month into Safeway and Albertsons stores nationwide. It is also available on Amazon.com

Information on the company can be found here: http://www.noshiforkids.com/

My Vegan Hersheypark Experience

Posted on June 23, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Shannon Borgoyn, VRG volunteer

When you’re vegan, dining out can be a challenge. There are those obvious ingredients to avoid (eggs, milk, butter, seafood, and meat), but there are sneaky foods that seem vegan but aren’t. This was the challenge when a friend and I took a day trip to Hersheypark in Pennsylvania in August 2016. When browsing through Hershey’s site, I discovered a park policy prohibiting outside foods and allowing only one sealed bottled water per person (reference FAQs/Security/What items are restricted at Hersheypark?: http://www.hersheypark.com/park-info/faqs.php). Knowing this policy, I scrutinized Hershey’s site to find food options.

Wherever I went in the park, I wanted to know at least one food place with vegan and/or vegetarian options. I found a list of Hershey’s food locations at: http://www.hersheypark.com/things-to-do/dining/locations.php. There are few dishes that are specifically labeled “vegan” or “vegetarian.” These “labels” are found in the dishes’ titles; the dishes’ ingredients can be referenced in the ingredient listings under each dish (see the above link for food locations). Don’t be fooled by titles, as seemingly vegan or vegetarian dishes might contain animal products. For example, the Garden Salad from Decades sounds like it has no eggs or dairy, but it contains cheese (Garden Salad/Decades: http://www.hersheypark.com/things-to-do/dining/details.php?id=30). The best way to find out if a dish fits your lifestyle is to reference these ingredient listings. As of June 2017, the ingredients and allergens are labeled in the dishes of most food places. Some of the listed food places (like Chick-Fil-A) require a visit to their company site to discover food options, ingredients, and other information.

A noteworthy item is fries. The regular fries sold at various food places throughout the park are fried in peanut oil, soybean oil, and/or vegetable oil (“contains one or more of the following: canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, palm oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil”). The type of oil used varies from location to location. A food place called Tower Fries serves regular fries (listed as “Fries”) fried in peanut oil. When I went to Hershey, I pointed out the place to my friend so she knew that I didn’t need special accommodations.

Vegans and vegetarians can shop at the Central PA Kosher Market (http://www.hersheypark.com/things-to-do/dining/details.php?id=41) because they also have meat-free, milk-free, egg-free, and butter-free options. There is the Vegan Delight that contains “falafel balls, quinoa tabouleh, chickpea edamame, on a bed of lettuce, purple cabbage, shredded carrots, and red onion.” They have different types of salads, fries (fried in vegetable oil), falafel (no milk or eggs), and more! When I contacted Hersheypark about vegan options, a representative suggested Overlook Food Court. She said they have “a made-to-order salad and wrap line as well as a line that serves quinoa and rice noodle bowls with tofu.” The latter two dishes she referred to are Overlook’s gluten-free quinoa bowl and gluten-free rice noodle bowl: both contain chicken but could be made without it.

Gourmet Grille has labeled four options as vegetarian (not vegan): Vegetarian Burrito, Vegetarian Nachos, Vegetarian Taco, and Vegetarian Taco Salad. The Vegetarian Burrito contains a flour tortilla with a filling of black beans (made with butter), cheese, salsa, and sour cream. The Vegetarian Nachos features nachos and cheese with black beans (made with butter). The Vegetarian Taco consists of cheese, salsa, and sour cream. Finally, the Vegetarian Taco Salad features a fried tortilla with black beans (made with butter), salsa, sour cream, guacamole, cilantro rice (made with butter), and salsa.

Besides these, Hersheypark has familiar fast food chains: Subway and Moe’s Southwest Grill. The benefit and similarity of these two are that you can create a personalized dish: get in line, choose a dish, and select toppings/fillings. Keep in mind that Subway provides its ingredients lists on Hershey’s site and Moe’s doesn’t. However, Moe’s website (https://www.moes.com/food/menu/ingredients/) can be visited and browsed through to discover ingredients. There are two Subway locations in the park: in Founder’s Way and on the Boardwalk. Moe’s Southwest Grill can only be found in Pioneer Frontier.

Need a snack? If you want fruit, Laff Track Beverage has you covered. They serve fresh fruit with “no added ingredients available”: whole oranges, whole bananas, whole apples, sliced pineapple, and sliced watermelon. These sound perfect for a hot day at Hershey! If you want a pretzel, Laff Track Beverage also sells pretzels not made with dairy or eggs (other places include Coal Cracker Pretzel and Pretzel House). Check out more of Laff Track Beverage’s options at: http://www.hersheypark.com/things-to-do/dining/details.php?id=75. Or try Nut Hut: they have trail mix (contains milk), smoked almonds (no eggs or dairy), or salted nuts (no eggs or dairy). See more of Nut Hut’s options at: http://www.hersheypark.com/things-to-do/dining/details.php?id=39.

Businesses are acknowledging vegans and vegetarians by providing more vegan- and vegetarian-friendly fare. Though some food places aren’t strictly vegan or vegetarian, there might be labeled or unlabeled vegan or vegetarian options. It’s great that Hersheypark provides ingredient lists for food dishes. With some preparation, I greatly enjoyed my Hersheypark experience!

To find out more information, visit these links:
Hersheypark’s site: http://www.hersheypark.com/
Hersheypark FAQs: http://www.hersheypark.com/park-info/faqs.php
List of dining locations: http://www.hersheypark.com/things-to-do/dining/locations.php
Allergens: http://www.hersheypark.com/things-to-do/dining/allergens.php

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 restaurant chains, see: http://www.vrg.org/fastfoodinfo.php

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

Enter The Vegetarian Resource Group’s 2017 Video Contest – Deadline is July 15, 2017!

Posted on June 23, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

pexels-photo-29737

The Vegetarian Resource Group is once again sponsoring a video contest. We will be awarding one $200 scholarship plus two $100 awards. The deadline for entries this year is July 15, 2017.

Create and submit a video relating what you want to tell others about veganism. Some possible topics: food, nutrition, your feelings about veganism and/or vegetarianism, water usage and veganism, veganism and animal rights, or other veggie topics which appeal to you. Humor and feelings are appreciated. All videos should be positive, not be critical of anyone, and not include any footage of animal cruelty. You may submit a video you have already made.

Aspects of judging include accuracy and judges wanting to share the video with others. Entrants give permission to The Vegetarian Resource Group to post and share the video, to link to and from the video, and share the video with the media.

To see the video contest rules, visit:
http://www.vrg.org/videoscholarship.php

Previous wining videos can be found here:
http://www.vrg.org/veg_videos.php

Colorful Paper Weights with a Veggie Theme to Use for Outreach

Posted on June 22, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

Colorful paper weight rocks

If you’ve ever staffed a veggie booth at an outdoor event, you realize that sometimes it can be windy and you definitely need paper weights to old down your handouts. VRG intern Casey Brown and former VRG intern Julia Mathews spent an evening painting rocks with fruits and veggies to use at future events where The Vegetarian Resource Group exhibits. They go the idea from VRG volunteer Whitney Blomquist. We thought some of you would want to do the same. You can always donate them to your local vegan/animal rights/environmental group in your area.

To support VRG outreach, please donate at:
http://vrg.org/donate

Join Us on the VRG Parents and Kids Facebook Group!

Posted on June 22, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

The VRG Parents and Kids Facebook Group is intended to be a group that offers support for families raising children on vegan diets and for vegan kids. We envision it as a place to get advice about a wide-variety of topics: pregnancy, birthday parties, school lunches, Halloween, non-leather apparel, cruelty-free products, summer camps, and more. Please use it to share your wisdom, seek advice, or just find a sympathetic ear. The goal is to offer support.

Consequently, any profane, defamatory, offensive, or violent language will be removed. Feel free to disagree, but do so respectfully. Hateful or discriminatory comments regarding race, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or political beliefs will not be tolerated. We expect that posts should relate to vegan diets and lifestyles. The Vegetarian Resource Group reserves the right to monitor all content and ban any user who posts in violation of the above rules, any law or regulation, SPAM, or anything otherwise off topic.

Please share this information with any veggie families that you know! Thanks.

Visit The Vegetarian Resource Group Booth at Upcoming Summer 2017 Events!

Posted on June 21, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

Baltimore VegFest_ Casey Brown, Marissa Thobe, Michaela Sadlowski, and Nicole Turner

If you’re attending any of the events below, be sure to stop by The Vegetarian Resource Group’s booths at the following events and say hello:

Richmond Vegetarian Festival
Bryan Park
4308 Hermitage Rd
Richmond, VA 23227
Saturday, June 24th, 12- 6 PM
(Rain date: July 8)

Jaina Conference
New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center
97 Sunfield Avenue
Edison NJ 08837
June 30th, July 1st, and July 2nd

Waverly Farmers Market
400 E. 32nd Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
July 15th, 7 AM – 12 PM

FARM Animal Rights Conference
Hilton Mark Center
5000 Seminary Rd
Alexandria, VA 22311
August 3rd – 6th from 10:15 AM – 6:00 PM

Western New York VegFest
LaSalle Park
Buffalo, NY 14201
August 6th from 11 AM – 7 PM

Vegan SoulFest
Baltimore City Community College (BCCC)
2901 Liberty Heights Ave
Baltimore, MD 21215
August 26th from 12 PM – 7 PM

Vegan Food Items at Valley Mills H‑E‑B Plus in Texas!

Posted on June 21, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Anna Lam

The chart linked to below is a compiled list of foods labelled “vegan” at the Valley Mills location of H-E-B Plus! at 1821 South Valley Mills Dr. Waco, TX 76711-2119 on April 13th and 23rd, 2017. The Valley Mills location features a wide selection of vegan products, and the below list is of those products specifically marked as vegan, but does not preclude the variety of fresh produce and other food items that may qualify as vegan. H-E-B Plus! is not a vegan store, but indicates many certified vegan items with a green “V” next to the price. All items were also labeled “vegan” on the package. The items listed below are those that were available on the aforementioned dates, and the variety of vegan goods at the store are subject to change.

See: http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/SupermarketList_6_5.pdf

VRG EXHIBITS AT CENTRAL PA VEGFEST

Posted on June 20, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

Central PA VegFest

By Casey Brown, Intern

The Vegetarian Resource Group recently had a booth at the Central PA Vegfest in Lancaster, PA. This was the first annual Vegfest in this area, and it did not disappoint! The event included many speakers, vendors, non-profit organizations, and other activities including community yoga. It was fun for the whole family and had activities for children to get involved.

While here, the other interns and I were able to meet with and speak to numerous individuals from the area. Many people who visited our booth were new to vegetarianism/veganism or were interested in transitioning. They were excited to receive a variety of our resources so they could learn more about the lifestyle. Our Vegetarian Journals were a favorite among everyone since they include many recipes and product reviews. The “My Vegan Plate” handouts were also popular because they are a great visual tool to help plan out balanced meals. VRG’s Pennsylvania dining guides went quickly since everyone was interested in learning more about veg-friendly restaurants in the area. Multiple parents stopped by looking for more information on how to help their teenager’s transition to vegetarianism or veganism. We were able to recommend our “Vegetarianism in a Nutshell” and “Vegan Nutrition for Teenagers” brochures to provide these parents with more knowledge on these lifestyles. We also had a 12 year-old boy stop by since he had recently gone vegan. He was very interested in gathering more resources and learning more about volunteer opportunities for children his age, and he was excited to have found our group! We also spoke with a cardiologist who recommends vegan diets to the majority of his patients. He was thrilled to have found our handouts and knew they would be perfect guides to provide to his patients since he has limited time to meet with them. A dietitian also stopped by to pick up some resources she can refer her patients to. It is always exciting to meet health professionals that are educated about vegetarian/vegan diets.
Overall, we had a great time at the event and were able to connect with many individuals. We met many long-time vegans, individuals interested in transitioning, and people there in support of their vegan/vegetarian friends. We were glad we were able to provide everyone with more information and resources.

We were so grateful to be a part of Lancaster’s first annual Vegfest and we cannot wait to attend many more! The next event The Vegetarian Resource Group will be at is Richmond Vegfest in Richmond, VA on June 24, 2017. We hope to see many of you there!

To volunteer at future VRG booths, contact Brigette at vrg@vrg.org.

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

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

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