NOTE FROM THE COORDINATORS
Vegan Products Multiply
Remembering back to the 1970s, just about the only soymilk commonly available was powdered soymilk through the mail or greatly sugared drinks sold in Asian stores. So it’s amazing that in this issue, VRG’s Nutrition Advisor, Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, reviews more than 200 vegan milks, from almond to rice to oat (page 6).
Almost weekly, we are contacted by companies developing new vegan products. They want to know what’s appropriate for vegans. In order to answer this question, we conducted a survey of vegetarian and vegan groups, animal rights organizations, and religious groups (see page 20). This will help us give businesses a fuller answer.
In a magazine advertisement geared towards food and beverage manufacturers, the egg industry stated that “93% of consumers prefer to see common names for ingredients on food labels.” Thus, they inferred that eggs versus egg replacers is important for consumer acceptance. What do you think? For your non-vegan friends, would they be more inclined to buy a product that had eggs in the ingredient list? Does it make a difference if the label says “egg replacer,” “banana,” “potato starch,” “flax seed,” or gives a “chemical sounding” name? Is the word “egg” considered a whole food to non-vegans and a positive selling point? Please e-mail your opinions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month’s Veggie Action (page 35) is on the James Lick High School Garden. Thank you to Laura McGuiness who wrote the article while interning with VRG last summer. Though she’s back in college now, Laura continues to volunteer for VRG by converting Vegetarian Journal articles into HTML for our website and by editing our Maryland email newsletter. To subscribe, go to http://www.vrg.org/local/. Our national newsletter, VRG News, is at http://www.vrg.org/vrgnews/.
Kudos to all the volunteers who helped us respond to hundreds of scholarship applicants in February. And we especially appreciate Matthew, who has been coming into the office weekly to help with miscellaneous tasks.
Soren, who has volunteered for The Vegetarian Resource Group since he was in middle school, has now headed to Peru and Bolivia to do volunteer work. We wish him lots of luck and hope to see him again in the future. Welcome to Nina, who has taken over his duties of coordinating volunteers and outreach booths around the country. Her long-term goal is to own a vegan restaurant. We look forward to her trying out recipes with staff and volunteers in the office.Thank you all for your support.
Debra Wasserman & Charles Stahler
Coordinators of The Vegetarian Resource Group