Reaching The Latino Community

The Vegetarian Resource Group's poll information about the number of vegetarians in the United States was featured at See the write-up and video at html. Over the years, the media have cited our poll information, businesses offering new products have perused it, students have included it in their marketing papers, and entrepreneurs have used it when starting up vegan businesses.

To take our information a step farther, we looked at the number of vegetarians who remain vegetarian and how various factors may impact the outcome. (See page 10.) We are presenting an abstract about this research at the American Dietetic Association's Annual Conference in Boston in November 2010. If you are attending, please stop by our booth or come to our vegan Thai dinner. (See for details.)

In past VRG polls, we have found that a relatively high number of Latinos say they don't eat meat, fish, or fowl. Other polls on related issues have also come up with high numbers for the Latino population, which surprises many people.

After VRG Intern Veronica Lizaola did outreach at a Latino festival, she stated: "The majority of the Latino population was really interested in the information we had about diabetes and the vegetarian diet. Those who only speak Spanish took the 16-page handout in Spanish and were really happy about the sample menu inside. Those who could speak English took free copies of VRG's book on diabetes. So many people were impressed with our commitment and complimented us for taking the time to be there. It was definitely helpful that Mark Rifkin, a registered dietitian, was present to answer any questions. Many people had very specific queries about problems they were facing, such as with blood pressure, and each case differed from the rest.

"The coloring books were also popular for the children, and I was really happy that I gave out copies of our new Spanish coloring book, El Arco Iris Vegetariano (The Vegetarian Rainbow). The Walters Art Museum stand was across from ours, and the kids could use the markers that were available there to color our booklet."

Veronica continued, "This event really helped me interact with the Latino population. Even before the start of my internship, I had made that a priority, as I am of Mexican heritage. I was also able to learn about the amount of sugar in so many products, ranging from brownies and cookies to soda. Mark had different test tubes labeled and filled with the amount of sugar each product contained. This definitely has made me more aware of what is being consumed. I have no doubt the individuals who talked to us left with that same awareness, or even more!"

Thank you for all your financial and volunteer support, which enables VRG to continue our outreach to the Latino population and to others.