VRG Educates Dietitians

The VRG once again reached out to registered dietitians at the annual meeting of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) in Denver. On the first day of exhibits, we were busy from beginning to end, giving away six boxes of literature and placing vegan information into the hands of health professionals from around the country. Our booth was near the much larger National Cattlemen's Association exhibit, but it also was not too far from Follow Your Heart, a first-time exhibitor that was pushing vegetarian items for food services. One of our favorite booths was a blueberry association giving away wild blueberry samples.

Even the second day, the crowd at the VRG exhibit never slowed down. We were delighted to hear how many young dietitians said that they use our website, www.vrg.org, for themselves and their clients. We are so excited and proud that, down the line, so many more dietitians will be giving out positive information about vegetarian diets. Though early at 8 o'clock on a Monday morning, 250 health professionals came out at the conference to hear our nutrition advisor Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, speak about plant-based diets. Reed also moderated another vegetarian-related session, which had approximately the same number of participants. After Reed's presentation, representatives from two state dietetic associations approached her about presenting at their annual meetings. A federal government policy person who attended Reed 's talk also asked for further information and vegetarian menus.

Thank you to Bill Conway, MD, who assisted at our booth during the ADA meeting. Considering how hard he works at his practice and how little time off he has, his taking time to help us is greatly appreciated. Also, thank you to Heather Gorn, who has devoted so many hours to coordinating the update of our website. When we do outreach and hear how many dietitians and clients use www.vrg.org, everyone's assistance is appreciated. You can understand how valuable it is to have information that is accepted by health professionals, especially during these times. In addition, thank you to Reed Mangels for the thousands of hours she has spent on research and guiding our nutrition writers and interns.

Kudos to VRG member Robin Kantor, who organized a vegan food tasting at her synagogue to celebrate the 350.org environmental campaign. Others around the country may want to do the same in their area. If you are interested in more information about the environment, this Vegetarian Journal issue is for you! See Debra's organic farming article on page 14, Jeanne Yacoubou's article on meat-to-grain conversion ratios on page 20, and VRG's new environmental brochure on the back cover. Write to vrg@vrg.org to request brochures to hand out. Here's to a healthy and environmentally sound future!