The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Many stadiums, including the Orioles’ Spring Training home, are becoming more vegan-friendly!

Posted on May 17, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

Me-and-the-Bird-Os-event-2015

Hey, sports fans! I’m Heather Moore, the new volunteer Veggie Happy Manager for the Baltimore Orioles. I’ve been following the O’s my whole life, and I think they’ve been “following” me, too—although that’s probably just a coincidence. I was born in B’more, and I moved to Norfolk, Virginia, with PETA, the organization where I now work, in 1996. Soon after that, the O’s announced that their Triple-A team was going to play in Norfolk, about 10 minutes from my apartment. Years later, when I was considering moving to Sarasota, Florida, the O’s announced that they were going to hold Spring Training at Ed Smith Stadium, which happens to be about 10 minutes from the house I ended up buying. Clearly, I was meant to get Spring Training season tickets.

Since I’ve been vegan for 25 years, I’m just as interested in the options in the concession stands as I am in the action on the field. To continue reading, go to:
http://www.veggiehappy.com/wp/2017/05/o-so-exciting-news-vh-manager-guest-post/

Natures Hampers®: Vegetarian and Vegan Gift Baskets from the UK

Posted on May 16, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 9.24.10 AM

By Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
Natures Hampers is a family-owned and -operated business specializing in all-natural and cruelty-free vegetarian and vegan gift baskets and hampers perfect for picnics in the park, special occasions, and holidays. There are four main categories of hampers to choose from: traditional (ex. chocolate, tea, snacks); beer & wine; activity (ex., gardening, golf) and pamper (bath & body products). Natures Hampers also offers discounts and branding to corporate clients. Owner Jayne Morris relayed to us by email in April 2017:

“We are a vegetarian, family-run business and corporate friends of the Vegetarian Society [of the UK], although we do try to be vegan as much as possible. If you look at our website, www.natureshampers.com, we specialise in hampers that are packed with good and tasty food and drink, and that are a bit of a treat, too! We are always searching for new, interesting and artisan products.

We offer a range of beauty/toiletry hampers with products that use natural oils and scents. We don’t use any products tested on animals.”
Wanting to know more about Natures Hampers, The VRG asked Jayne the following questions. Here is what we learned:

Q: How long have you been open for business?
A: We have been selling hampers for about two years.

Q: Do you have a brick & mortar store?
A: We are online only and operate from a farm in East Sussex, England.

Q: What’s the difference between a basket and a hamper?
A: A hamper in the UK has two meanings: one is laundry and the other is a “picnic hamper.” A basket is a hamper without a lid, but we do use various containers.

Q: Do you have a vegan best seller?
A: Our vegan hampers are generally good sellers. There is a big movement here at the moment to not eat meat or to eat it seldom. Also there is a lot of conversation amongst the community (doctors, public, etc.) about how good for you it is.

Q. How helpful is the Vegetarian Society label in generating interest and/or sales?
A: The Vegetarian Society is helpful, and usually runs the occasional piece/comment if they are writing about gifts…

Q: Are all of your baskets/hampers vegetarian or vegan?
A: Our website is entirely vegetarian. I am a vegetarian (almost vegan) as are most of my family.

Q: Do you ship to the United States?
A: We are not able to sell directly to the USA market because of the various shipping and customs restrictions…although…our hampers can be purchased on Ebay in the US: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=natures+hampers&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.X%22natures+hampers%22.TRS0&_nkw=%22natures+hampers%22&_sacat=0

Q: What percentage of your products are American made?
A: We only buy a couple of products from the US. We try to source locally, so as to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

For information about other mail order sources in the USA and other locations, see:
http://www.vrg.org/links/products.htm#retailer

EVERCREME DEEP NOURISH CONDITIONER

Posted on May 15, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

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Who would think? L’oreal recently had a coupon in the Sunday newspaper for EverCreme Deep Nourish Conditioner, which they stated in the ad was vegan. On their website, they indicate: *No animal derived ingredients or by-products. Formula not tested on animals.

For a list of cruelty-free mail order companies which carry cosmetics, personal care items, and other products, see:
http://www.vrg.org/links/products.htm#retailer

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

Posted on May 15, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

The Vegetarian Resource Group is an activist non-profit organization that does outreach all-year-long. For example, today we are giving a several hour presentation on veganism to 10 University of Maryland Dietetic Interns (all of whom are not vegetarian and will soon be practicing dietitians). VRG tables at different events throughout the USA and also sends literature free of charge to other groups/individuals doing educational activities in schools, hospitals, camps, restaurants, libraries, etc. 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 The Vegetarian Resource Group.

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

EATING VEGAN AT PRET KEEPS GETTING BETTER!

Posted on May 12, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

PretStar

On their website, Pret names these items as vegan:

Miso Sweet Potato Banh Mi, Asian Greens Veggie Pot, Chipotle Corn & Avo Veggie Pot,
Chakalaka Wrap, Asian Tofu Sushi Salad, Turmeric Tofu Balance Box, Mediterranean
Mezze Salad, Spicy Black Bean and Mango Wrap, Carrot Turmeric Soup, and Almond Matcha Latte

For more information, see https://www.pret.com/en-us/not-just-for-veggies

There are Prets in Boston, Chicago, New York City, and Washington DC.

For information about eating at other restaurant chains, see:
http://www.vrg.org/fastfoodinfo.php

To find vegetarian and vegan restaurants, go to:
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.

Join The Vegetarian Resource Group at the DC Green Festival May 13-14th! Use your voice and learn about how YOU can help make a difference!

Posted on May 12, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

crowd 5 (1)

Green Festival® is a vibrant, dynamic marketplace where companies and organizations come to showcase their green products and services, and where people go to learn how to live healthier, more sustainable lives.

Green Festival offers something for everyone, with the widest selection of products and services to work green, play green and live green from food, fashion and health to energy, construction and design. People can shop and enjoy vegan, vegetarian, organic foods, hands-on demos, educational activities and inspirational speakers.

Come see The Vegetarian Resource Group at the DC GreenFest show and you will receive $5.00 off your ticket when buying tickets using the code XDC17798D here:
https://www.greenfestivals.org/washington-d-c-2017-may-12-14.html#!014

CONNECTICUT HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR AWARDED $5,000 VEGETARIAN RESOURCE GROUP COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP

Posted on May 11, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

Leah Kelly

Leah Kelly became vegetarian in sixth grade after watching undercover animal rights videos, and within a few years she and her family became vegans. Leah said, “I have always been unusually empathetic. In 5th grade, I would go home crying after witnessing some boys bullying a girl with a disability day after day. I talked to my elementary school principal about the bullying and we created the first anti-bullying club in the school.”

When Leah started school in 10th grade, she founded an animal rights club Coalition for Animal Respect and Equality (CARE). With all the group’s accomplishments, she learned hard lessons that made her stronger and more prepared for future situations. “I’ve learned that most people, even adults and administration, don’t answer their emails even after I’ve tried to contact them five more times. I’ve learned that sometimes people just don’t feel like making the same commitment that I do. I’ve learned that staying calm and compassionate is the best possible way to spread my message. One of the best unexpected results of becoming an activist is meeting so many incredible like-minded people. The vegetarian/vegan community is like an extended family.”

Leah served on the youth advisory boards for YEA Camp, peta2, and Farm Sanctuary. She volunteered on the campaign of a state senate candidate, who speaks out on animal issues.

In 11th grade, Leah worked to implement Meatless Mondays into the West Hartford Public School system. “I had attended YEA Camp for the second time the summer prior and when I got home I planned for this goal. It was a slow process at first. One strategy I’ve learned as an activist is that it’s always beneficial to ask for support. I reached out to the Humane Society of the United States and met Katie Scott, New England Food and Nutrition Coordinator. We started working together on a plan.”

“We talked to the Food Service Director of West Hartford Public Schools, to come up with an easy lunch menu that would meet federal nutrition guidelines, while still upholding the Meatless Monday mission. Meanwhile, I made surveys to get feedback from the school community. I emailed all teachers, collected responses from students in the hallways and in the cafeteria, and even asked parents. I also sought support from the assistant principal and gained approval from the local parent non-profit organization for nutrition in schools.”

“During the soft launch of Meatless Monday, we held sampling stations in cafeterias where students could taste some new meatless options. I wrote posts and articles and made handouts all for the purpose of opening people’s minds to the idea of vegetarianism, even if just one day a week. In April 2016, I looked at the new school lunch menu and was so excited to see the words “Meatless Monday!” typed across each Monday box on the calendar. All 15 public schools in my town were now only offering vegetarian entrées on Mondays. Every school also offered vegetarian options every day of the week. I had helped make history.”

“In May, I met with the current Mayor of West Hartford to talk about Meatless Monday and help her draft a proclamation encouraging … residents of West Hartford to try Meatless Mondays.”

In order to institute Meatless Mondays, Leah had to learn the art of compromise. “Part of the conclusion we compromised on was that many of the popular already existing menu items that happened to be vegetarian would simply be moved to Mondays.” These are not all vegan-friendly. However, Leah stated, “The good news is that at all 15 schools in my district, every single day of the week now offer a vegetarian option, and many of these options are actually healthier than just the Meatless Monday meals. Some examples I’ve found listed on the lunch menus include: various fresh salads (there is a salad bar open as well on many days), veggie burgers, vegetarian beans, Asian mixed vegetables, roasted butternut squash, seasoned green beans, seasonal fresh fruit, vegetables dishes, corn on the cob, vegetable soup, roasted chick peas, vegetarian fiesta wrap, baked potato, chili bean soup, red beans and rice bowl, three bean salad, steamed broccoli, sautéed spinach, carrot raisin salad, tomato and cucumber salad, potato salad, and steamed brown rice.

“A few months into my senior year I received a text from a student at Bacon Academy in Colchester, CT, who had heard of me from a chance encounter with a mutual acquaintance. Her school was interested in implementing Meatless Mondays and so she, her classmate, and two teachers took the day off to drive to West Hartford to sit down with me and the Food Service Director to learn about our journey … They invited me to talk to their Community Activism class in the spring. Small world. It turns out that past VRG awardee Lauren Hickey, who also worked with Katie Scott, started a farm-to-school initiative in their school district. I’ve recently been in touch with Lauren, who is using her VRG scholarship at Bowdoin College and has just decided to try to bring Meatless Monday there. The meeting with these girls from Colchester reminded me of something very important: a movement doesn’t exist in a bubble or in a single town. It exists everywhere. Every action we take influences another. I had helped the Meatless Monday movement by inspiring people I didn’t even know to follow my lead.”

The deadline for the next Vegetarian Resource Group college scholarship contest for high school seniors is February 20, 2018. For details and information about other winners, see: http://www.vrg.org/student/scholar.htm

To support Vegetarian Resource Group internships and scholarships, donate at: www.vrg.org/donate and indicate the purpose.

You can send a check to VRG, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203 or call (410) 366-8343.

VEGETARIAN RESOURCE GROUP 35TH ANNIVERSARY VEGAN DINNER IN CHICAGO

Posted on May 10, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 6pm

The Vegetarian Resource Group will host a vegan dinner at LYFE Kitchen in Chicago (at Fairbanks and Ontario) on Sunday, October 22, 2017 during the annual meeting of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Meet VRG advisors Reed Mangels PhD, RD, Catherine Conway MS RD, Charles Stahler, Debra Wasserman, and vegetarian dietitians from around the country. The public is welcome.

MENU
Edamame Hummus
Kale and Cranberry Salad
Ancient Grain Stir-Fry Bowl with stir-fried vegetables, beefless tips, quinoa, black rice,
cilantro, and sweet chili-ginger sauce
Vegan Thai Red Curry Bowl with garlic-lime tofu, broccoli, eggplant, peppers, peas,
whole grain wheatberries, Thai basil, and coconut curry sauce
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie
Tea or Coffee
The meal will be served family style. Note: Seating is limited!

TO RESERVE
Send $35 per person (includes tax and tip) with names to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203; Call (410) 366-8343 9am-5pm Mon.-Fri. EST to charge over the phone. Or pay at www.vrg.org/donate and write Chicago Dinner in the Comments.

 # Attending X $35/person = $_____
Donation towards professional outreach: $_____
Total enclosed: $_____

Names of attendees:
Address:
Email:
Phone:

An anonymous donor has pledged to match up to $15,000 in honor of VRG’s 35th anniversary!

Posted on May 10, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

The Vegetarian Resource Group celebrates 35 years of vegan activism in 2017. For those who would like to support continued research and outreach, we will be listing donors names/messages received by May 12, 2017 in Issue 3 2017 Vegetarian Journal.

Donate online at: www.vrg.org/donate or call (410) 366-8343 Mon.-Fri. 9am to 5pm EST.

Please list my name in the Vegetarian Journal’s 35th Anniversary issue as a:
_____ $25 Donor
_____ $50 Supporter
_____ $100 Sustaining Member
_____ $500 Vegetarian Resource Group Life Member
_____ $1,000 Garden of Eden
_____ $5,000 Circle of Compassion
_____ $10,000 VRG Patron
_____ $25,000 Program Sponsor
_____ I would like to remain anonymous

Thank you so much for your support!

Banana Wave Banana Milk

Posted on May 09, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

bananamilk_carton_potassium2

Fresh Start Beverage Company has released a product called Banana Wave, which is a banana milk alternative. It is advertised for use as a beverage, to make smoothies or hot beverages, and for baking and cooking. It has 150 calories per 8 ounces, with 5 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and 125 mg of sodium. It is listed as Vegan, kosher, and gluten free.

Ingredients include water, banana purée, organic soybeans, gluten-free oats, flaxseed oil, organic cane sugar, carrageenan from seaweed, and a vitamin mix.

According to VRG’s Food Service Advisor, Chef Nancy Berkoff,, when poured, the product is light gray, pleasantly thick and has a light banana flavor. It does well as a beverage when chilled, works well as a cooking liquid for items that tolerate a slight banana flavor, such as hot cereals, rice (think: coconut rice or rice pudding), and baked items. It also freezes well as an ingredient for a frozen dessert.

For further information on this product, see:
www.bananawave.com

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