The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

1st Annual National Plant-based Prevention Of Disease (P-POD) Conference

Posted on August 01, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

We are happy to announce that the 1st Annual National Plant-based Prevention Of Disease (P-POD) Conference will take place in Asheville NC, November 14-16, 2014.

This is a 16 hour continuing education conference for health professionals. The public is invited. See: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-1URS1w4YwwdnhuYURqLWY3OU0/edit?usp=sharing

NUTRITION INTERNSHIP

Posted on July 30, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

By Karen Leibowitz
VRG Intern

VRG Interns, Karen and Devlyn, helping a visitor at Richmond Vegfest.

My internship with The Vegetarian Resource Group this summer was educational and an important experience for my future. As a vegetarian dietetics student, it was great to work on several projects with a registered dietitian (RD), as well as meet other professionals in the field of dietetics. I got to staff The Vegetarian Resource Group booth at the Richmond Vegetarian Festival with a volunteer who has a PhD in Nutrition, interview and write an article about an RD from Texas, and hear a local RD’s thoughts on veganism and dietetics over a meal. The projects I worked on helped me gain knowledge on different fields within dietetics relating to vegetarianism.

I also contributed parts to a chapter about school lunch guidelines, and drafted a nutrition evaluation from a week-long vegan meal plan. I learned about obtaining unbiased sources for write-ups, and making sure the wording of sentences don’t include false claims. Through volunteering at booths in farmer’s markets and conferences, it was very encouraging to be able to speak with new vegetarians, curious omnivores, and long-time vegans. I was able to see how vegetarianism impacted people’s lives, and provide helpful resources, thanks to the VRG.

If you are interested in a Vegetarian Resource Group internship, visit: http://www.vrg.org/student/
To support Vegetarian Resource Group outreach, donate at http://www.vrg.org/donate

During the Month of July 2014 The Vegetarian Site will give 10% of Their Sales to The Vegetarian Resource Group

Posted on July 29, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

During the month of July 2014 The Vegetarian Site will give 10% of Their Sales to The Vegetarian Resource Group

The Vegetarian Site (www.thevegetariansite.com) supports a different non-profit organization each month. This month they have selected The Vegetarian Resource Group. The Vegetarian Site sells vegan footwear for men and women, belts, wallets, bags, and other accessories, food products, books, personal care items, plus much more.

Support VRG by shopping online at:
http://www.thevegetariansite.com/cgi-bin/miva?Merchant2/merchant.mv+

“Fast Food Oppression: Are You Loving It?” Music Video Debut

Posted on July 29, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Young Oakland artists address issues of food justice, health and well being in this original song and music video, “Food Justice Oppression: Are you Loving It?”. The video debuted on musevideo.net on July 22, 2014.



The following is an excerpt from musevideo.net:

“Are You Loving It?” has arrived! Are we really loving fast food oppression?

Young Oakland artists L.L.D.B., Pamela Arriera, and Taiwo Murray collaborated with AshEL SeaSunZ (of the green hip-hop group Earth Amplified) to write the track, using a beat created for the project by FX at Youth Uprising. Oakland video students at KDOL-TV helped produce the video, which was shot at People’s Grocery in West Oakland.

Four teens wake up from another evening’s sugar bender to find themselves transformed into fast food icons, sugar and burger addicts under the thumb of their nefarious gang leader, Ronald McDonald. Ronald forces them out to the street to sling sugar and chips to the neighborhood kids, sucking them dry of their money and their health. The kids are trapped– addicted to the fake “I’m Loving It” lifestyle. But when they finally have had enough of Ronald’s controlling ways, the kids leave him behind, and find themselves learning a whole new way of life in the community garden. “Are You Loving It?” is about the real love that’s found by going back to the land and leaving fake food behind.

Groups for Veggie Families with Kids to Meet One Another

Posted on July 25, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

The Vegetarian Resource Group is compiling a list of veggie groups in the USA that cater specifically to families with veggie kids. Below is a list of groups we already know about. If you are familiar with any other similar organizations, we’d greatly appreciate it if you would email the information to us at vrg@vrg.org

The Chicago Vegan Family Network!
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/cvfn/info

Chicago VegKids in Illinois
www.meetup.com/ChicagoVegKids

Los Angeles Area Conscious Parents (Vegan) Group in California
http://www.meetup.com/KidsMakeADifference/

Los Angeles Area Veg Kids Group in California
http://www.VegKids.org/

Our Little Vegan Sandbox – Los Angeles
https://www.facebook.com/groups/188723494653630/

New York City Vegetarian and Vegan Families
www.meetup.com/NYC-Vegetarian-and-Vegan-Families

The Vegan Mob in Philadelphia, PA organize get togethers and camping trips. The group is strictly for vegans.
https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!forum/vegan-mob

Triangle Veg Family Meetup Group in North Carolina
www.meetup.com/trianglevegparent

VSDC Children’s Playgroup (Vegetarian Society of Washington, DC Children’s Playgroup)
family@vsdc.org
http://www.meetup.com/Vegan-DC-MD-VA/

My Vegetarian Resource Group Internship

Posted on July 25, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

By Devlyn Perugini

During my senior year in high school I applied for The Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship. I was one of eight finalists. I wasn’t awarded the scholarship but a year later was offered a two month internship at The Vegetarian Resource Group in Baltimore, Maryland! I thought what an amazing opportunity this would be and arranged to get to the mainland from Hawai’i. Leading up to the internship I was very nervous. I had never done an internship before and didn’t know what to expect. Eventually my nervousness subsided and I was able to enjoy working in the office, running booths, and having great experiences.

Working in the office was nice because I followed a schedule that helped me organize all of my projects including writing a Teen FAQ, Veggie Product Reviews, and a Vegetarian Action article! I also had side projects such as writing summaries of VRG outreach booths and events, and working on restoring the Vegetarian Game for the VRG website. I never worked in an office before but I was able to adapt quickly. Everyone in the VRG office is very friendly and encouraging. Their support helped tremendously.

What I loved doing the most was staffing the VRG booths. That’s where I felt like I made the most positive impact. I really enjoyed talking to people about their vegetarianism, veganism, or interest in learning more. I was happy to be able to help people. We had booths at The Charles Village Festival in Baltimore, The Richmond VegFest in Virginia, Taking Action for Animals Conference in Washington, DC, and The Waverly Farmer’s Market in Baltimore. All of these booths were unique and taught me something new. On top of all of the work, making connections that ultimately led to friendships was amazing.

Throughout this internship I have learned so much, for which I’m thankful. I have a new found confidence in my veganism and feel completely capable of continuing to spread this good work. I realize that promoting vegetarianism and veganism is my passion. It’s what I do best. I also have a deeper understanding for animals and how truly important it is to help and love them. Admittedly, this internship has taught me how to be a better college student as well. That has always been a goal of mine and now I know what to do. This includes planning ahead, staying on task with a schedule, and organizing my time wisely. I am very excited to apply what I’ve learned to this coming school year and my life. I am so happy to have done an internship with The Vegetarian Resource Group.

For information about VRG internships, see: http://www.vrg.org/student/index.php

Taking Action for Animals (TAFA)

Posted on July 24, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

By Devlyn Perugini
VRG Intern

On June 27th to 29th, The Humane Society of The United States presented Taking Action for Animals at Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. About seventy vendors participated in the exhibit hall including The Big Cat Rescue, Compassion Over Killing, Farm Sanctuary, Mercy For Animals, Vegan Outreach, The Humane League, and The Vegetarian Resource Group.

Interns Devlyn and Karen patiently awaiting the arrival of TAFA attendees .

VRG college interns Karen and I, volunteer Matt, and staff member Nina ran The Vegetarian Resource Group booth. We were able to answer questions and distribute vegan information. Karen talked to a woman who is interested in starting a vegetarian outreach organization in Georgia and South Carolina. She asked for information to get started. I noticed that we had several compliments from booth visitors saying, ‘Thank you for being here!’ It was very rewarding to see how many people appreciated our work. Matt (a vegan nurse) was happy to be able to talk to booth visitors and enjoyed connecting with them. Nina was eager to answer questions and was very encouraging. She helped booth visitors feel more comfortable with a vegan lifestyle. A lot of people inquired about vegan restaurants and traveling as a vegan. We were able to refer them to our website for the restaurant guide. (See: http://www.vrg.org/restaurant/index.php)

TAFA was great because we were able to reach and help a lot of people (many of whom were not vegetarian) and were able to connect with other organizations.

ZPIZZA VEGAN OFFERINGS

Posted on July 23, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

On their website, ZPizza says:

What are my vegan options?

Pizzas (all of these request Vegan Cheese to replace mozzarella):

Berkeley Vegan with marinara sauce
California
Casablanca (no ricotta or parmesan)
Greek (no feta)
Napoli (no parmesan)
Provence
Tuscan (no feta)
Mediterranean Rustica (no feta)
Moroccan Rustica (replace basil pesto)

Salads:
Arugula (no cheese, no Balsamic Vinaigrette)
California
Greek (no cheese, no Balsamic Vinaigrette)
Pear and Gorgonzola (no cheese, no Balsamic Vinaigrette)

Shareables:
Mediterranean Plate (no feta)

If you’d like to build your own pizza or order a salad, below are acceptable vegan ingredients:

Pizza dough – organic flour, olive oil, yeast, sugar, salt
Gluten-free crust
Vegan cheese by Daiya Veggie
Veggie crumbles by Gardein
Tomato sauce
Marinara sauce
Mexican salsa
Roasted garlic sauce
Caramelized onions
Roasted eggplant
All fresh vegetables

What are the ingredients in the vegan cheese?
Filtered water, tapioca and/or arrowroot flours, non-GMO expeller pressed canola and/or non-GMO expeller pressed safflower oil, coconut oil, pea protein, salt, vegan natural flavors, inactive yeast, vegetable glycerin, xanthan gum, citric acid (for flavor), titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral).

What are the ingredients in the veggie crumbles (meat replacement)?
Water, soy protein concentrate, wheat gluten, canola oil, malt extract, wheat starch, natural flavor (maltodextrin), yeast extract, salt, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, spices.

Why did zpizza make the switch from soy cheese to vegan cheese?
Sid’s goal had always been to offer a vegan cheese, but for a long time, there was not a product available to us that could withstand the high cooking temperature of our ovens. The soy cheese we carried had casein (an animal protein) so our vegan guests and those with dairy allergies still weren’t able to consume it. When we found Daiya, the vegan cheese in stores now, we knew we had a great product that all of our guests could enjoy. If you prefer to order soy cheese, it is available at some locations so please check with the store manager.

For more information, see:

http://www.zpizza.com/menu#selectStore

For information about more restaurants, see:

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

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 judgement about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.

LOOKING FOR HOMES FOR VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN EXCHANGE STUDENTS

Posted on July 23, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Build Friendships Worldwide Via PAX

Would you like to have close friends in far away places?

My parents in Montana were just visited by Jen Tu, a Taiwanese college student my parents had befriended 40 years ago. Jen learned to cross country ski in our fields and in our barn he taught me and my siblings how to play ping pong. Last week, in celebration of his retirement, he brought his extended family to Montana to visit Yellowstone National Park.

Just a short while ago I sent off an email to Dalila, telling her how much we miss her. This wonderful French student lived with us last year and attended City College HS. My younger daughter, Michelle, has been iMessaging with Dalila nearly every day since she left a month ago and today Michelle said she wished Dalila could be with us here in Montana. Back in Paris, Dalila has already been visited by friends she made at City and even some of my relatives!

PAX, the Program for Academic Exchange, is looking for families who would love to develop such lasting friendships by hosting a student for this coming academic year (starting in late August of 2014 through the beginning of June of 2015). Their ages range from 15-18 years old. Host families come in all shapes and sizes and include single parents, retirees, ‘empty nesters’, young couples with small children, as well as two parent families with teenagers.

Students will attend public high schools—enrollment will be handled by me, the regional PAX Community Coordinator. Host siblings are not required to attend the same school.

I presently know of two vegetarian and one vegan student in the Baltimore area that are anxiously awaiting news of their placement with an American Family and to begin developing a relationship with their host family via the internet. If you or someone you know is interested in opening your home to one (or two) of these students, please contact me. Please See below for some information about these students.

Meredith Safford
410-382-5359
merrysafford@yahoo.com

You can find more information about PAX online at www.pax.org

Fun-Loving Vegan
Christina, Female (STE053)
Interests: Volleyball, Basketball, Guitar, Drawing, Painting, Skateboarding
Christina has been described by her best friend as a “creative, happy person that likes to make jokes and laugh a lot.” Although she lives in Germany, she is ethnically Greek and very proud of her background. She loves visiting Greece with her family in the summer and being able to spend time with all of her relatives. She is eager to show Americans how “warm-hearted and kind Greeks are towards strangers.”
Profile: http://forms.pax.org/profilepdf/a256c1f2e3d742e79eae60f38f971ac1.pdf
Essay: http://forms.pax.org/profilepdf/a256c1f2e3d742e79eae60f38f971ac1_essay.pdf

Nahia, Spain, Female (STPE017)
Profile: http://forms.pax.org/profilepdf/0a69116af2054ec992b3e929aa2a9b17.pdf
Essay: http://forms.pax.org/profilepdf/0a69116af2054ec992b3e929aa2a9b17_essay.pdf
Interests: Horseback Riding, Photography, Hiking,
Running Special: Vegetarian
Nahia is a pleasant student who is eager to learn, especially English.

Alisa, Germany, Female (ICX074)
Profile: http://forms.pax.org/profilepdf/5ef4ff86fa4f4f9d8d0c4801755dabe7.pdf
Essay: http://forms.pax.org/profilepdf/5ef4ff86fa4f4f9d8d0c4801755dabe7_essay.pdf
Interests: Horseback Riding, Martial Arts, Gymnastics, Singing, Drawing, Painting
Special: Vegetarian-does not eat meat, fish, gelatin
Alisa is a positive, open-minded teen with high academic ability. She attends a school
where all of her classes are in French, and she also takes Japanese and English.

TACO BELL ENZYMES

Posted on July 21, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

In answer to a reader’s question, VRG Research Director Jeanne Yacoubou learned:

“The enzymes in the flatbread and tortillas are microbial and plant-derived…The Doritos Locos Taco shell contains enzymes from animal origin (cow). None of the ingredients contain L-Cysteine.”

Jeanne is working on followup questions concerning other ingredients in Taco Bell’s bread products and in the cheese sauce as an online reader asked.

For more information on quick service chains, see:

http://www.vrg.org/fastfoodinfo.php

To support Vegetarian Resource Group research, go to: www.vrg.org/donate or http://www.vrg.org/member/2013sv.php

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.

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