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VEGETARIAN JOURNAL EXCERPTS -- JULY/AUGUST 1995


A sampling from the July/August, 1995, issue of The Vegetarian Journal, published by The Vegetarian Resource Group.
CONTENTS

NUTRITION HOTLINE

by Suzanne Havala, M.S., R.D.

HYPOGLYCEMIA AND VEGETARIAN DIETS

QUESTION:I have recently been diagnosed as hypoglycemic. My doctor asked me to follow a diet which is basically this: No sugar, eat three meals and three snacks per day (each of which is to include 1 to 2 ounces protein), limit fruits to one small fruit WITH a meal. As a vegetarian, I have always enjoyed a wide variety of foods and have never worried about the amount of protein I was consuming. I'm sure my meals contain plenty of protein, but how can I get protein into my snacks? I'm getting tired of nuts and crackers with peanut butter for every snack. Can you give me more ideas? J.M., CA

ANSWER: Concentrate on including foods rich in complex carbohydrates and don't worry about increasing the protein content of your snacks. (Vegetarians and vegans eating varied diets containing vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds rarely have any difficulty getting enough protein as long as their diet contains enough energy [calories] to maintain weight.) Foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates include breads and cereals, dried beans and peas, and other vegetables especially the starchy ones such as potatoes, peas, squash, corn and others.

Some snack ideas that would work well are lowfat, whole grain crackers, breads, muffins, and cereals as well as bagels. Soup cups - the "add water and heat in the microwave type" - that include lots of rice, beans, lentils and vegetables are also convenient. Or have a baked potato, baked sweet potato, or bowl of stir-fried vegetables with rice - leftovers from last night's supper, for instance.

The primary points to keep in mind if you are controlling hypoglycemia by diet are to 1) eat frequently - every two or three hours, rather than going for long stretches of time between meals; 2) avoid sweets, and if you do eat something sweet, eat it with a meal rather than as a snack by itself; 3) avoid caffeine-containing beverages such as coffee and tea, which can accentuate symptoms of hypoglycemia; and 4) make sure that between-meal snacks contain complex carbohydrates. A piece of fruit all by itself, or a glass of fruit juice, is mostly simple sugar and doesn't have as much "staying power" as do starchy foods or foods that are high in protein.

NOTES FROM THE SCIENTIFIC DEPARTMENT

VRG MATERIALS USED IN JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF HYGIENE AND PUBLIC HEALTH CLASS

Special thanks to Fannie Fonseca-Becker, M.P.H., R.D., for agreeing to be a guest speaker several times in the Nutritional Determinants of Health and Disease class held at Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health in Baltimore. The professor originally approached The Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) looking for an appropriate speaker to cover vegetarian nutrition, and Fannie eagerly accepted the opportunity. The students received a copy of The American Dietetic Association's Position Paper on Vegetarianism, VRG's Vegetarianism in a Nutshell handout, and our Heart Healthy Eating Tips the Vegetarian Way, and Vegan Diets in a Nutshell brochures.

UPDATE: SCHOOL MEALS REGULATIONS

In January, the USDA published in the Federal Register a proposed supplemental regulation to the School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children. The original Initiative called for sweeping changes in the school meals program, including the switch to a nutrient-based menu planning system and a requirement that school meals meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The proposed supplemental regulation now calls for giving schools the option of using a food-based menu system, providing that it, too, meets the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. A public meeting was held in Washington, D.C., on February 17, 1995, at the USDA to discuss the Food Based Menu proposal. The meeting was a roundtable discussion. Representing VRG, Suzanne Havala, M.S., R.D., joined representatives from 24 other organizations who participated in the discussion.

Of particular interest were suggestions to allow 100 percent soy food products to be served as meat alternates. Under the current system, soy cannot constitute more than 30 percent of a product. The American School Food Service Association (ASFSA) also made a recommendation that serving sizes for meats be reduced. Under the new guidelines, schools would be required to serve more vegetables and fruits, and ASFSA cited concerns that this could result in too great a volume of food for young children to consume. However, by reducing serving sizes of meats, there would be more room on the plate for the larger portions of vegetables and fruits.

The American Dietetic Association (ADA) added the suggestion that snacks be worked into school meals programs, giving children a chance to spread their food intake out over the course of the day. The ADA noted that "grazing" is a more natural eating pattern for children and that adding snacks might make it easier for children to consume the increased volume of food.

The USDA received public comments through the middle of March and will issue its final rule on school meals soon. The results will be reported in an upcoming issue of Vegetarian Journal. VRG submitted written comments, which are reprinted below.

To: Robert Eadie
Chief, Policy and Program Development Branch
Child Nutrition Division
Food and Consumer Service
United States Department of Agriculture

Dear Mr. Eadie:
On behalf of the nonprofit Vegetarian Resource Group, I would like to present the following comments concerning USDA's proposed rule on the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program: Compliance with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Food-Based Menu Systems.

Thank you for the opportunity to express our views.

Sincerely, Suzanne Havala, M.S., R.D.

Editor's note: As we prepare to go to press, Congress is debating whether the school lunch program should be transferred to state control.

ADA ENCOURAGING PRESENTATIONS ON VEGETARIANISM

In its most recent call for abstracts for presentation at The American Dietetic Association's Annual Meeting, the ADA included a topic category list. Under the primary content category of Community Nutrition and Public Health, the ADA included the secondary topic of vegetarianism. The Vegetarian Resource Group has presented abstracts at several professional conferences in the past, including ADA's meetings and the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association.

VRG REACHES OUT TO NUTRITION EDUCATORS

During the spring, VRG exhibited at two nutrition-related conferences. The first was the 12th Annual Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutritionists (SCAN) Symposium. Enette Larson, M.S., R.D., and VRG co-directors Charles Stahler and Debra Wasserman distributed a huge quantity of free information on vegetarian/vegan diets to dietitians specializing in the field of sports nutrition. Enette also was able to answer the many questions these health professionals had concerning vegetarian diets. The dietitians also purchased a large number of books we had displayed to use as teaching tools with their clients.

Charles Stahler and Debra Wasserman also staffed VRG's booth at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Consumer Service's 2nd Biennial National Nutrition Education and Training (NET) Conference held early in April. This year's conference was titled "Teaming Up for Children's Nutrition and Health." One of the topics discussed was the USDA and the Disney Corporation teaming up to promote nutritional issues to children using modern Disney-type marketing techniques such as public service announcements featuring characters from "The Lion King." Along with VRG's booth were other displays including the Dairy Council of Wisconsin, the Egg Nutrition Center, the National Live Stock and Meat Board, the Nutrition Education Services/Oregon Dairy Council, the Washington State Dairy Council, and even McDonald's Corporation.

SCIENTIFIC UPDATES:A REVIEW OF RECENT SCIENTIFIC PAPERS RELATED TO VEGETARIANISM

By Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D.

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS COMMENTS ON COW'S MILK - DIABETES CONNECTION

In March/April 1993, we reported a study suggesting a link between early exposure to a protein in cow's milk and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). Since that time, an analysis of about 20 studies deemed to meet strict scientific criteria has been published (1). This analysis concluded that there was an association between the early introduction of cow's milk and the development of IDDM in childhood.

These results apparently prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics to issue a series of recommendations (2). These include:

While some will question the use of infant formulas containing cow's milk, this statement is a powerful reminder of the importance of breastfeeding and of the potential benefit of avoiding cow's milk in infants.

For further information you may want to read:

  1. Gerstein HC. Cow's milk exposure and type I diabetes mellitus. A critical overview of the clinical literature. Diabetes Care 1994; 17:13-19.
  2. Work Group on Cow's Milk Protein and Diabetes Mellitus. Infant feeding practices and their possible relationship to the etiology of diabetes mellitus. Pediatrics 1994;94:752-754.
SCHOOL LUNCH FACTS AND FIGURES

A January, 1995, supplement to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition offers a valuable resource to anyone interested in issues related to school lunch. It reports on the findings of the School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study. This study, funded by the Food and Nutrition Service of USDA, looked at 3350 students in 545 representative schools. The results present a distressing picture of what our children are eating:

The school lunch and school breakfast programs cost us $5.5 billion in 1992. They provide more than half of US school children with 1 meal a day. Many have asked, "Can't something be done to improve the quality of school lunch?" Characteristics of the low-fat lunches in the School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study are as follows: Facts like these have led to The Vegetarian Resource Group's involvement with school meals reform (see Vegetarian Journal Mar/Apr 1994, p 30, Nov/Dec 1994, p 7, Jan/Feb 1995, p 12, Mar/Apr 1995, p 9). It's a project which affects us all.

For more information see: School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study. Am J Clin Nutr 1995; 61(suppl):173S-257S.

IMPROVING IRON ABSORPTION

There are several food components that keep us from absorbing iron from a meal as well as we might. These include tannins (found in tea), bran, phosphates, and calcium. Swedish researchers found that women absorbed between 30 and 50% more iron when cow's milk was eliminated from meals containing about 1/3 of the RDA for iron. The researchers recommend that, when possible, products containing generous amounts of calcium (cow's milk, calcium-fortified soymilk or orange juice, calcium supplements) be used 2 to 4 hours before (or after, presumably) a meal which is high in iron. Many plant foods, such as dark green leafy vegetables, are good sources of both iron and calcium. Further research should focus on the effect of the calcium in these foods on absorption of iron from the same food.

For further details see:
Gleerup A, Rossander-Hulthen L, Gramatkovski E, et al. Iron absorption from the whole diet: comparison of the effect of two different distributions of daily calcium intake. Am J Clin Nutr 1995;61:97-104.

NATURAL TOXINS IN SPROUTED SEEDS: SEPARATING MYTH FROM REALITY

By Warren Peary and William Peavy, Ph.D.

Natural toxins in food has become a hot and controversial subject recently. In the last few years, some popular writers have attacked sprouts (particularly alfalfa and legume sprouts) as containing natural toxins. These writers may have heard something about a lathyrogen toxin, saponins, canavanine, and maybe other nasty-sounding toxins, and concluded that the sprouts of legumes are toxic in the raw state and so should not be eaten. These statements are taken out of context.

LATHYROGEN TOXIN

One of the natural toxins that has been mentioned comes from peas of the genus Lathyrus. It is blamed for causing a disease known as lathyrism. Lathyrism causes paralysis in the legs in susceptible individuals and is believed to be caused by a toxic amino acid. This sounds scary, but it's not, because peas of the genus Lathyrus are NOT edible peas. The toxin is found only in the seeds of certain Lathyrus species (L. sativus, L. cicera, L. clymenum).1 Edible peas and beans are of the genera Cicer, Glycine, Phaseolus, Pisum, and Vigna. They DO NOT contain any such toxin.

Non-edible peas of the genus Lathyrus include sweet peas, which are ornamentals grown for their scented flowers. In India, where food is often scarce, some people have resorted to eating a non-edible pea known as Lathyrus sativus. It is often called "chickpea" but is NOT the same chickpea eaten in this country or any other developed country. The edible chickpea is of the genus Cicer and in botany is known as Cicer arieti-num.

Outbreaks of lathyrism in India have been blamed on eating large amounts of the non-edible chickpea without proper cooking. Well-cooked, it is safe to eat. But it shouldn't matter to us at all because it is considered an inedible species.

There are at least 1,500 species of legumes within one of three subfamilies of the family Leguminosae (Latin for legume). Of these 1,500 species, only a few dozen are regularly used as human food. Of course there are toxins in many of the raw legumes not usually used for human food; that's why humans have learned not to eat them. This is the first mistake sometimes made in warning about natural toxins - talking about a toxin that's found in some non-edible species people don't or shouldn't eat to begin with!

SAPONINS

The second mistake often made in talking about natural toxins is to call something toxic that, in the body, is not toxic at all but rather, is beneficial. Such is the case with saponins.

Saponins are a compound found in legumes and legume sprouts. They are toxic to red blood cells only in vitro (outside of the body in a test tube) but harmless when ingested.2-3 In fact, Saponins appear to be beneficial, being responsible for a major part of the cholesterol- lowering effect of legumes.3 Perhaps it is more than coincidence that the increase in the incidence of heart disease in the 20th century in the Western countries coincides with a decline in the consumption of saponin-rich legumes. Saponins also seem to be anticarcinogens; in one study they inhibited colon cancer.4

Even some of the most beneficial nutrients, such as vitamin C, can be shown to be toxic under certain laboratory conditions. Vitamin C is considered an important antioxidant, and substantial evidence shows that it is involved in cancer prevention.5 Yet under the right experimental conditions, in the presence of iron (Fe III) or copper (Cu II) ions, ascorbic acid can actually cause the formation of harmful free radicals.6 Does this mean you should try to avoid vitamin C? Absolutely not! These experimental conditions do not appear to be relevant to what goes on in our bodies.

CANAVANINE

The third mistake made in warning about some natural toxins is failing to say that the amount encountered in a food is so minuscule that it is completely insignificant. Such is the case with a toxin called canavanine, which is found in alfalfa seeds. While some writers may make canavanine sound like a dangerous carcinogen - it isn't. Canavanine is a non-protein amino acid that's toxic in high amounts. In the dry seed it serves as a storage protein, a growth inhibitor, and a defense against natural predators. As you might guess, as the sprout grows, canavanine falls rapidly to insignificant levels.7 The text, Seed Physiology, clearly states that "Canavanine...is non-toxic to mammals at low concentration."8 Canavanine is so irrelevant that the 1980 text, Toxic Constituents of Plant Foodstuffs, doesn't even mention it. A 150-pound human would have to consume 14,000 milligrams of canavanine all at once for it to be toxic at the same level it is toxic in mice.9 This is an incredible amount! It is doubtful that with a generous helping of alfalfa sprouts, you would get more than a few milligrams. There is NO canavanine at all in other legumes that are commonly used as human food.7, 10

Even in toxic amounts, canavanine has nothing to do with cancer. In very high, toxic amounts it can cause a lupus-like anemia in susceptible animals due to an alteration in the red blood cells. These studies are not relevant to the human diet. The minute doses found in the diet are completely irrelevant and harmless.

Just remember that most substances can show some kind of toxic effect at a high enough dose. Vitamin A, selenium, copper, zinc, and iron will all kill you at a high enough dose. So don't stop eating alfalfa sprouts any more than you would any other food because of some minute toxin that may be present. They are a good source of vitamin C, folic acid, and other protective compounds.

ANTI-NUTRIENTS IN SPROUTED LEGUMES

As far as the sprouts of other edible legumes go, the only other toxins for which any concern has been raised is for a class known as anti- nutrients. These are sub-stances that bind enzymes or nutrients and inhibit the absorption of the nutrients. The commonly alleged anti- nutrients are protease inhibitors, amylase inhib-itors, phytic acid, and polyphenolic compounds such as tannins. With proper soaking and germination, none of these is anything to worry about.

Around the world, studies have been and are being conducted on the use of germinated seeds as a low-cost, highly nutritive source of human food. It is well-established that when legumes are properly soaked and germinated, their nutritive value increases greatly, usually to levels equal to or exceeding those of the cooked bean. (Nutritive value is the ability of food to provide a usable form of nutrients: protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals). This has been shown for mung bean, 11-13 lentil,13-14 chickpea (garbanzo bean), 15-17 cowpea (blackeye pea), 18 pigeon pea,19 fava bean,20-21 fenugreek seeds22-23 (a member of the pea family), green & black gram,15-17 kidney bean,24-26 moth bean,27 rice bean,28 soybean,13, 29-36 and legumes in general.37-40

The increase in nutritive value in the raw sprouted seed is due to an explosion of enzyme activity, which breaks down the storage-protein and starch in the seed into amino acids, peptides, and simpler carbohydrates needed for the seed to grow. The seed is literally digesting its own protein and starch and creating amino acids in the process. Because of this process, sprouted seeds are essentially a predigested food. At the same time, the anti-nutritional factors such as enzyme inhibitors and other anti-nutrients are greatly decreased to insignificant levels or to nothing.11, 20, 22, 33, 41-65

Soaking alone causes a significant decrease in anti-nutrients, as the antinutrients are leached into the soak water. Soaking for 18 hours removed 65% of hemag-glutinin activity in peas.66 Soaking for 24 hours at room temperature removed 66% of the trypsin (protease) inhibitor activity in mung bean, 93% in lentil, 59% in chickpea, and 100% in broad bean.42 Then as germination proceeds, anti-nutrients are degraded further to lower levels or nothing. Soaking for 12 hours and 3-4 days of germination completely removed all hemagglutinating activity in mung bean and lentil.56 Soaking for 10 hours and germination for 3 days completely eliminated amylase inhibitor in lentils.62 Normal cooking removes most or all of the anti-nutrients.

ANTI-NUTRIENTS AS PROTECTORS

Some of the substances commonly referred to as anti-nutrients are actually powerful cancer-protecting phyto-chemicals. These include protease inhibitors and tannins. The problem in most diets is that we don't get enough of these substances.

Substantial research shows that protease inhibitors are one of the most powerful anti-carcinogens we have in our arsenal. They have proven to be particularly protective against cancer of the colon, breast, and prostate. 67-72

Tannins have also been shown to give substantial protection against cancer (including cancer of the stomach and lungs) when ingested orally.72 Tannins and other polyphenols may play a role in fighting tooth decay. Evidence shows that some tannins inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay.73

Phytates, like tannins, may also interact with digestive processes in a beneficial way. Small amounts in food slow down the absorption of sugars and regulate insulin levels. This is beneficial in the prevention and treatment of diabetes and hyperlipidemia (high blood fats).74

Small amounts of protease inhibitors, tannins, and phytates are beneficial and can be considered to be a normal part of our nutritional ecology.

ENDNOTES

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Warren Peary is an investigative health journalist. William S. Peavy holds a doctoral degree from Kansas State University in horticultural science. They can be reached at 316 Horton Lane NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114.

VEGETABLES FROM THE SEA

By Carl Karush and Susan Asanovic, M.S., R.D.

"Vegetare" means to animate, enliven, quicken, excite - the very qualities we expect to experience from a healthy, vegetarian diet. "Vegetables" are usually associated with the land, growing in the good earth.

Consider, however, that plant life began in the sea; after all, the oceans cover three-quarters of our planet. In the fertile region where the sea meets land flourish the "Sea Vegetables," ocean plants nourished by ocean minerals and filtered sunlight.

Underrated as useless "seaweed," these inter-tidal plants have been relished as human food around the world - remnants have even been found in Paleolithic burial plots. Sea vegetables' culinary and healing qualities are noted in ancient Chinese medical classics and medieval Japanese court poetry. Both in Japan and Hawaii, sea vegetables were skillfully cultivated for use by nobility. Native peoples from New Zealand Maori to Alaskan native Americans still consume varieties of nori regularly.

In the North Atlantic bio-region, the Irish, English, Danish, maritime Canadians, and Icelandic people have treasured their dulse for centuries. In fact, Icelandic law codified the harvesting rights to wild dulse more than 1,000 years ago.

What firmly links sea vegetables between ancient tradition and today's dietary lifestyle needs? Nutrition. The ancients had empirical knowledge of the value of sea vegetables to overall health and well-being. Modern science shows sea vegetables to be a concentrated vegetable source of needed minerals and trace elements, neatly and naturally packaged in a form that includes vitamins, fiber, and small amounts of protein.

Low in fat and calories, nutrient-dense sea vegetables contain unique marine phytochemicals believed to be the basis of traditional healing uses in Oriental and aboriginal diets. These compounds may also provide an exciting area of future research in "nutraceuticals."

Vegetarians, as well as people who wish to reduce meat consumption, may find sea vegetables' taste and nutrition appealing.

SEA VEGETABLES IN THE KITCHEN

Sea vegetables serve as a vegetable side-dish or a flavoring herb. Sea veggies' salts, sugars, and amino acids smooth out flavors in a sauce and enliven soup stocks, while providing textures from creamy to crisp. Their organic minerals lend a hint of saltiness. Being a nutrient-dense and flavor-dense food, sea vegetables go a long way, even in small amounts. Sea veggies are relatively inexpensive to use.

Cooking with sea veggies can be as simple and easy as you like. Preparation time is minimal - an optional light soak or rinse, a few minutes of cutting, and in some recipes, a quick toasting. In addition to traditional macrobiotic sea vegetable dishes, vegetarian chefs are creating new Americanized recipes; so cooking styles and preparation methods vary.

Dulse may be the most versatile sea vegetable. It can be eaten right out of the bag, chopped and added directly to salads, toasted for crisps in sandwiches, and sautéed with root vegetables. Add dulse to a potato salad in summer or a New England chowder in the winter. Dried dulse (and kelp, laver, or alaria) may be quickly and conveniently scissors- snipped into bite size pieces and added to favorite soups or sautéed with stir-fries.

Nori sheets are used as wrappers for sushi - rice and vegetables - and are the most widely known sea vegetable. Hijiki, arame and sea palm are wonderful in salads after simply soaking from a few minutes up to an hour. Some dishes require only a light rinsing to reduce surface salts and to make the plant easier to chop. (Please remember that sea vegetables swell to many times their dried volume when soaked.)

Add 6-8 inches of kelp or kombu to the pot when cooking legumes. Both these close sea vegetable cousins contain a natural form of MSG (glutamic acid) that tenderizes beans and enhances their flavor and digestibility. It is a possible cause or trigger of MSG-like reactions.

Laver, nori, dulse, and kelp are often toasted and crumbled on grains. Wakame or alaria is featured in miso soup, the popular traditional Japanese breakfast dish. Alaria, wild and more powerful, takes a little longer to cook and must be chopped before adding to the pot.

Contemporary American enthusiasts have worked hard to make sea vegetables accessible for us to enjoy as a regular part of a balanced, whole foods diet. These folks are dedicated to careful, ecologically sensitive hand- harvesting from unpolluted areas such as eastern Maine and northern California, as well as importing foreign varieties. Dulse, kelp, alaria, laver, and sea palm are popular North American sea veggies. Nori, hijiki, arame, wakame, and kombu come from the Orient. All can be found in natural foods stores.

NEW ENGLAND CHOWDER WITH DULSE
(Serves 4)

A low-fat vegan version of an American classic.

2-3 medium potatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon oil
1 ounce dulse
1/2 pound corn, fresh or frozen
1 quart plain soy milk
White or yellow miso to taste
Ground pepper to taste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon tarragon (optional)

In a medium pot, bring 1 cup water to a boil, add potatoes and cook until tender.

In separate pot, sauté onion in oil until transparent. Add dulse. Cook 5 to 10 minutes, then add cooked potatoes, corn, and soy milk. Reduce heat to simmer; do not boil soy milk. Add miso, pepper, and optional tarragon and serve.

Total Calories Per Serving: 272
Fat: 6 grams

NOODLE SOUP WITH KELP
(Serves 4)

Enjoy this delicious soup!

1/2 cup dry kelp, a piece approximately 8-inches by 12-inches
6 cups water
4 ounces noodles (somen, ramen, or your favorite)
1 Tablespoon miso
1 cup finely chopped mixed vegetables

Check kelp for small shells; then simmer in water about 7 minutes (low boil>

Remove kelp and reserve broth. Let cool and slice into thin, 3- or 4-inch noodle like strips. Replace kelp strips in the broth and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Add noodles and cook until slightly underdone.

Stir miso in a cup with some broth. Add to pot, along with chopped vegetables. Simmer 3 minutes longer and stir before serving.

Total Calories Per Serving: 141
Fat: 1 gram

NATIVE AMERICAN CREAMED CORN WITH LAVER
(Serves 4)

Adapted from a Tsawatainuk tribal recipe from British Columbia.

1/2 cup laver, tightly packed
2 cups fresh or frozen corn or 15-ounce can creamed corn
3/4 cup plain soy milk
1-1/2 teaspoons oil
2 Tablespoons red bell pepper, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly roast the laver in a dry skillet over low flame 3 to 4 minutes until crisp. Crumble into small pieces.

Combine laver with remaining ingredients in a casserole dish. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees and serve. Total Calories Per Serving: 108
Fat: 3 grams

MAINE MISO SOUP
(Serves 3)

Try adding some chopped parsnips and/or mushrooms to this soup.

Approximately 1/2 ounce alaria (about 1/2 cup tightly packed)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
1-1/2 cups cut cabbage
1 Tablespoon miso (hacho or mugi)
Parsley, scallions, or chives, chopped

Place alaria in a pressure cooker and add just enough water to cover alaria. Pressure cook for 15 minutes. Let cool and chop.

Prepare vegetables; then sauté onion and celery in sesame oil five minutes. Add alaria, carrot and cabbage, and water to cover. Simmer 20 minutes.

Purée miso with a little soup broth, stir into pot, and turn off heat. Garnish with parsley, scallions, or chives.

Total Calories Per Serving: 66
Fat: 2 grams

Carl Karush works at Maine Coast Sea Vegetables in Franklin, Maine, 04634; (207) 565-2011. Susan Asanovic is a registered dietitian who resides in Connecticut.

VEGIE BITS

THE ANIMALS' AGENDA

The Animals' Agenda is a bimonthly magazine published by The Animal Rights Network, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1979. The publication is dedicated to informing people about animal rights and cruelty-free living for the purpose of inspiring action for animals. Subscriptions are $22.00 per year, $39.00 for 2 years, and $55.00 for 3 years. Orders may be sent to: The Animals' Agenda, P.O. Box 6809, Syracuse, NY 13217. Telephone inquires/orders may be made at (800) 825-0061.

A VEGAN'S JOURNAL

A Vegan's Journal is a newsletter written and published by Bill Maddex, who describes his efforts as ". . . a forum for my rumination - and if you're lucky, your education - about my struggles to become a great vegan cook and have fun at the same time." AVJ is packed with ambitious recipes and lively accounts of Maddex's culinary brainstorms, frustrations, and exhilarations. For further information, write to AVJ, c/o Bill Maddex, P.O. Box 2552, Madison, WI 53701-2011.

WORLD NATURAL MEDICINE FOUNDATION

The World Natural Medicine Foundation is hosting the 3rd World Congress of Medical Acupuncture and Natural Medicine. The Congress will take place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, August 8-12, 1995, at the Edmonton Convention Centre. The theme of the Congress is "Integrated Complementary Medicine for All in the 21st Century." For further information on the Congress, write to The 3rd World Congress of Medical Acupuncture and Natural Medicine, 9904 - 106 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA T5K 1C4. The telephone number is (403) 424-2011 or (800) 815-2011. The fax number is (403) 424-8520.

VEGETARIAN INN

The Sweet Onion Inn is a vegetarian inn located in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Room rates include breakfast and dinner made with whole and unprocessed foods (fresh and organic whenever possible) which are free of animal products, including eggs and dairy. Also, baskets-to-go are available for lunch. Reservations can be made by telephoning (802) 767-3734, faxing (802) 767-9227, or by writing to Sweet Onion Inn, P.O. Box 66, Hancock, VT 05748.

WHEAT ALTERNATIVES

Super Foods - Allergy Recipes, by Marjorie Hurt Jones, RN, contains over 60 recipes (not all of which are vegan) featuring six alternatives to wheat and corn: amaranth, buckwheat, kamut, quinoa, spelt, and teff. In addition to the recipes, Super Foods contains a brief history of each grain, nutrient values, gluten infor-mation, and mail order sources. Super Foods sells for $4.95 plus $1.00 for postage and handling. To order, write to Mast Enterprises, Inc., 2615 N. 4th St. #616, Couer d'Alene, ID 82814-3781.

COMMON GROUND CAMP

Common Ground is a cooperative, intergenerational camp which welcomes people of all ages, ethnicities, and lifestyles. Located in South Hero, Vermont, on the shore of Lake Champlain (the nation's sixth largest fresh water lake), the camp features 30 platforms with large tents and cots included. Common Ground serves locally-grown organic food when possible, with an emphasis on vegetarian cuisine, and will accommodate special dietary needs if notified in advance. In addition to traditional camp activities such as swimming, hiking and horseshoes, Common Ground offers t'ai chi, yoga, holistic healing, writing, parenting, and other eclectic activities. For information, write to Camp CommonGround, RR1, Box 1347, Shelburne, VT 05482, or call toll-free at (800) 430-COOP.

VEGETARIAN SOUP STOCK

The Organic Gourmet offers a wide line of food products including an instant soup stock and a pure vegetable broth. Both products are made with vegetables grown organically in remote mountains of Bavaria and contain no chemicals, preservatives, or artificial flavorings. The Organic Gourmet also offers four different varieties of miso paste. For further information on The Organic Gourmet product line, write Scenario International Co. at P.O. Box 24177, Los Angeles, CA 90024-0177, or call them at (310) 470-9166. Their fax number is (310) 470-8778.

VEGETARIAN BBQ RIBS

NoBull Foods is now producing all natural BBQ Fib Ribs.TM The ribs are available in four flavors: Original, Mild Hot 'N Spicy, Jalapeno, and Oriental BBQ. BBQ Fib RibsTM are meatless, ready to eat, free of cholesterol and sodium nitrites, and they require no refrigeration. Touted as having "the flavor of meat with the goodness of wheat," the ribs are microwavable and can be substituted in most recipes which call for ground meat or meat strips. Check your local natural foods retailer or write NoBull at 6987 North Oracle Road, Tucson, AZ 85704. You can telephone NoBull at (800) 828-7648.

VEGAN FROZEN ENTREES

Celentano has developed new all-vegan recipes for its "Vegetarian Selects" line. Entrees included in this line are: Lasagne Primavera, Stuffed Shells Florentine, Eggplant Rollettes, and Manicotti Florentine. The frozen entrees are available in stores now. All ingredients are listed and pictured on the front of product boxes. Contact Celentano at 225 Bloomfield Ave., P.O. Box 4204, Verona, NJ 07044-2011. Celentano's phone number is (201) 239-8444 and their fax number is (201) 239-6351.

CANDY BAR ALTERNATIVE

Wellspring Foods has created the Dandy Bar,TM the healthier alternative to the candy bar. Made with moist dates, fresh roasted nuts, and other ingredients, the Dandy BarTM is wheat and dairy free and contains no refined sugars. Write to Wellspring Foods at P.O. Box 31996, Seattle, WA 98103, or call them at (206) 217-4226.

EGG FREE, DAIRY FREE SANDWICH SPREAD

Vegenaise(r) is an egg-free, dairy-free dressing or sandwich spread with real mayonnaise taste. Vegenaise(r) is available in two varieties, original and grapeseed oil, and is sold in sizes ranging from 16-ounce jars to a 30-pound bulk size. Low in sodium, Vegenaise(r) contains no animal-derived ingredients or cholesterol. Look for it in the dairy case of your local natural foods retailer or contact Earth Island at 7848 Alabama Ave., Canoga Park, CA 91304. The phone number is (818) 347-9946.

READY-MADE POLENTA

San Gennaro's Traditional Italian Polenta is organic and fat-free. San Gennaro's claims their polenta has a nine-month shelf-life with no refrigeration. Best of all, it's ready to serve and has recipes printed on its package. The polenta is distributed by The Food Merchants, Inc., 5060 W. 102nd Ave., Westminster, CO 80030. Contact Food Merchants by phone at (303) 466-5574 or fax at (303) 469-9630.

NATURE'S BURGER NOW FROZEN

Fantastic Foods has customized its meatless burger for foodservices by introducing frozen, pre-grilled Nature's Burger patties. The burgers can be pan fried or grilled with no mixing or preparing the patties. For more information, contact Fantastic Foods at 1250 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma, CA 94954, or call (707) 778-7801.


About the Vegetarian Journal and the VRG

These articles originally appeared in the July/August, 1995 issue of the Vegetarian Journal published by:
The Vegetarian Resource Group
P.O. Box 1463
Baltimore, MD 21203
(410) 366-8343
E-mail: vrg@vrg.org
WHAT IS THE VEGETARIAN RESOURCE GROUP?

Our health professionals, activists, and educators work with businesses and individuals to bring about healthy changes in your school, workplace, and community. Registered dietitians and physicians aid in the development of nutrition-related publications and answer member and media questions about vegetarian diets. The Vegetarian Resource Group is a non-profit organization. Financial support comes primarily from memberships, contributions, and book sales.

The contents of this article, as with all The Vegetarian Resource Group publications, is not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional.

This article may be reproduced for non-commercial use intact and with credit given to The Vegetarian Resource Group.

Copyright 1995 by The Vegetarian Resource Group.



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