Notes from the VRG Scientific Department

The Vegetarian Resource Group in the News

Vegetarian Resource Group Nutrition Advisor Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, was interviewed by Content That Works, a Chicago-based national newspaper syndicate, about the American Dietetic Association’s updated position paper on vegetarian diets. As in the past, Reed was one of this position paper's authors. In addition, Reed was interviewed by EarthSave Radio about vegetarian nutrition and The VRG. Furthermore, Reed and Vegetarian Resource Group Food Service Advisor Nancy Berkoff, RD, EdD, CCE, were the guests on a call-in show focusing on vegetarian children on KPCC, the National Public Radio affiliate in Los Angeles. VRG Co-Director Charles Stahler was quoted by The New York Times concerning the number of adults in the United States who are vegan.

Vegan Outreach

Vegetarian Resource Group Nutrition Advisor Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, and Winston Craig made a presentation called "Can Plant-Based Diet Approaches be Safe and Adequate?" at the American Dietetic Association Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE). Additionally, Reed worked the VRG booth at the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival.

Below is a summary from longtime VRG volunteer Gretchen Chlebowski, who is featured in this issue's Vegetarian Action article on page 35, about her experiences doing outreach at a recent event:

"The 3rd Annual Chicago Green Festival was an indoor event at Navy Pier. Attendees who were unable to take public transportation and instead paid significant parking fees, along with festival entrance fees, may have shifted into browse mode rather than buy mode the minute they entered the festival. Most, if not all, of the food provided for sale was vegetarian. Long lines were at the Soul Vegetarian booth, which provided a vegan southern meal (BBQ, mac and cheese, collard greens, and a muffin) for $10.

I am grateful for the nice group of volunteers who assisted me at The Vegetarian Resource Group booth at the Chicago Green Festival. They are Robert Chlebowski, Debbie Grossman, Judy Grossman, Susan Lincke, Eric Sharer, and Valerie Soszynski. We distributed VRG's magazine to those interested in having a sample copy and talked with people about vegetarian and vegan diets. Some of the questions involved information such as where to find a particular product or our thoughts on which brand of a particular product tastes best. At the end of the festival, an animal rights group offered to take our leftover literature, which we gave to them in one or two boxes. Many vegetarians feel the general public does not yet understand the detrimental impact of a meat-based diet on the environment. Most agree the public needs further exposure to this type of information."