I smiled at your method of de-seeding pomegranates in Issue 4 2014 of Vegetarian Journal, which is a traditional way, but also loses a huge amount of the natural juice found in the pomegranate and makes the seeds taste watery.

There is a much easier way! Cut a pomegranate in half. Put a large plate or a bowl underneath the pieces. Pick up one half and use your thumbs to push down on the center where the stem is and loosen up the seed, kind of like you are going to turn it inside out (but you're not). Once you've loosened up the insides a bit (you can kind of sense it), place the loosened half, seed side down, in the palm of your hand, fingers open. Take a wooden spoon and gently but firmly whack the outside of the pomegranate and be amazed as within 30 seconds ALL of the seeds will have fallen out into the bowl, and virtually none of the pith. No water, no wasted juice, no mess.

This is actually not my invention. I saw it on the internet and thought it was too good to be true — but it's not, it's amazing.

The dry seeds can be frozen for months. I also run them through the juicer sometimes!

Rhonda F., via e-mail


I just saw the notice for the 2015 VRG Essay Contest (See: www.vrg.org/essay for details). The 2014 winner wrote a great essay in Issue 1 2015 of Vegetarian Journal, and she also has the same name and is the same age as one of my granddaughters. I am spurred by that to say that I would like to see the contest prize increased to $50.00, and I will donate the additional $25.

Bill M., via e-mail


Just wanted everyone there to know that my partner shared the Vegan Diet in a Nutshell brochure at a recent meeting of the Board of the Alliance for Animals and the Environment — to rave reviews. The gist of the comments was that members have been on the lookout for an attractive and concise brochure like this. They will distribute them at upcoming tabling events — like the Women's Expo here this month. Thanks.

Vicky T., via e-mail