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VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Editor: John L. Cunningham
Volume 6, Issue 1
January 2002


  1. Notes from the Editor
  2. Volunteers To Help With Restaurant Guide Needed
  3. Worried About Calcium?
  4. Recipe Of The Month: Smoky Black Beans
  5. Question of the Month: Hair Loss?
  6. First Issue of the 2002 Vegetarian Journal Preview
  7. Upcoming Vegetarian Events and Conferences
  8. Internships Available at VRG
    About the Vegetarian Resource Group
    About VRG-News


Happy New Year! I love January. Every New Years Day, I collapse in relief from two months of harried gift-buying, frenzied vegetarian feast preparation, and stressful holiday travel. This year, a transcontinental flight brought to my attention the unexpected ways that the changing times can affect vegetarians.

When I purchased my ticket online, I selected the vegetarian meal option that was offered. Once in the air, however, the situation was different. The recent ban of eating utensils onboard flights restricts the airlines to serving meals that can be eaten without them. Much to my chagrin, my airline picked meatloaf sandwiches. I was very glad that I thought to buy a bagel and some fruit on my way to the airport. (I was gladder still when the passengers on either side of me started complaining about indigestion after eating their sandwiches!)

The reality of the situation is that, as far as the airline is concerned, the safety of the flight comes first and everything else is optional. This is as it should be. As the new restrictions and procedures become routine, the airlines will be able to go back to thinking about such things as alternative meal options. In the meantime, I would encourage my fellow veggies to plan ahead and pack a snack in their carry-on.

I would be interested in hearing your experiences. If you have a favorite vegetarian air travel tip, send me an e-mail at johnc@vrg.org. Have a safe, happy, and healthy January!


We need help with data inputting for the 4th edition update to our Guide to Natural Foods Restaurants. If you can come into the Baltimore Vegetarian Resource Group office, please e-mail John at vrg@vrg.org or call (410) 366-8343.


Do you have friends or relatives who are worried about not getting enough calcium? Are they allergic to dairy products? Do they need to know how to obtain calcium from non-animal sources? Send them a copy of CalciYum! (192 pages, 120 calcium-rich recipes). Because of a generous donation, we can send this nicely illustrated book FREE with a $15 gift membership to Vegetarian Journal. Normal retail cost of CalciYum! is $19.95.

CalciYum! recipes vary from vegan Just Like Tuna Salad and Chickpea Lemon Soup to Shepherd's Pie, Spanakopita and Perogies. Or try Snappy Ginger Cookies, Orange Kiwi Squares, Peanut Butter Marble Cheesecake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie, Sweet Veggie Cupcakes with Almond Butter Frosting, and Dreamy Chocolate Mousse. CalciYum! also features vegan recipes for Pancakes, Cappuccino, and Chocolate Ice Cream. Another helpful highlight of the book is a table listing the amount of calcium in over 75 plant foods.

To order the FREE CalciYum! with a $15 gift membership to Vegetarian Journal, call (410) 366-8343 or mail $15 with request to CalciYum Membership offer, VRG, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.

4) RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Smoky Black Beans

This recipe originally appeared in Vegan Meals for One or Two by Chef Nancy Berkoff, R.D.

(Makes about 4 hearty servings)

2 cups cooked black beans, drained (canned beans are fine)
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 Tablespoon oil or margarine
1 minced garlic clove or 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 fresh seeded and chopped jalapeno or 2 Tablespoons fresh chili or pepper of your choice (you choose the heat)
8 ounces vegan soy sausage (we like Soyrizo or Mexican-flavored soy sausage)
2 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro (or fresh flat-leafed parsley will do)

In a medium-sized pot, combine beans and onions and heat for 5 minutes to combine flavors. In a separate pot, heat oil and sauté garlic for 1 minute. Add bean mixture, oregano, and chili. Reduce heat, cover, and allow to simmer.

While beans are simmering, heat a small frying pan and cook vegan sausage (you shouldn't need any oil). Heat sausage, stirring until it is hot and crumbled. Add to beans. Allow dish to cook for 10 minutes, covered. Serve warm or allow to cool before freezing.

Note: If cooking your own beans, place approximately 3/4 cup uncooked beans in about 1-1/2 quarts of water. Soyrizo is sometimes available in the refrigerated section of the store and it's well worth looking for; if not available, choose smoky or barbecue-flavored soy sausage or soy crumbles. If none of these are available, you can use smoky-flavored seitan or even thinly sliced fake meat deli slices. Also if you can't find Soyrizo in your market go to http://www.friedas.com, a specialty produce company that stocks a lot of soy products which are nationally distributed.

Total Calories Per Serving: 209
Total Fat as % of Daily Value: 7%
Protein: 18 gm
Fat: 5 gm
Carbohydrates: 26 gm
Calcium: 88 mg
Iron: 4 mg
Sodium: 759 mg
Dietary Fiber: 11 gm


Unfortunately, one of the more frequently received e-mails this month was to inquire about a possible link between vegetarianism and hair loss. This question was addressed in our book Vegan and Vegetarian FAQ:

I've been a vegetarian for the past 4 years and recently noticed significant amounts of hair loss. Can you tell me, other than protein, could I be low in certain nutrients?

Suzanne Havala, MS, RD, answered this question in "Nutrition Hotline" for the November/December 1998 issue of Vegetarian Journal:

"When diet is the cause of thinning hair, the most likely culprit is a sudden change in weight. The medical term for this is Telogen Effluvium. The hair follicles synchronize their growth cycles and a greater number of them reach the "falling out" stage (telogen) at the same time. The hair does grow again, though not necessarily all of it. Rapid weight loss or any physical or emotional stress can cause this."

"Some people lose a substantial amount of weight when they switch to a vegetarian diet, particularly if they were overweight in the beginning. Other times, a person may lose weight simply because he/she isn't eating enough. It's the "iceberg lettuce salad" syndrome: when some people decide to make the switch to a vegetarian diet, they know what they don't want to eat, but they haven't quite determined what they can eat. They haven't mastered the skill of vegetarian meal planning. Consequently, they exist on iceberg lettuce salads and not much else. No wonder they lose weight!"

"If you are getting enough calories to meet your energy needs, and you are eating a reasonable variety of foods on your vegetarian diet, it's not likely that this is an issue contributing to hair loss. However, if you are a "junk food" vegetarian or are simply not getting enough food, then deficiencies of zinc, protein, biotin, and essential fatty acids might be the cause of hair loss or sparsely-growing hair."

"Your hair loss may be coincidental with your switch to the vegetarian diet. An especially stressful event (a divorce, illness, profound grief) can cause hair loss, as can hormonal changes, such as those that accompany pregnancy or childbirth. Again, these stresses could cause Telogen Effluvium, as mentioned earlier. Medical problems, such as hypothyroidism, can also cause your hair to thin. A significant number of women also experience a male-pattern thinning of the hair that happens gradually as they age, although some may find an increase in the rate of thinning over a specific time period."

"If you are eating reasonably well, it's likely that your problem is due to a genetically-determined pattern of thinning, stress, or a medical issue, rather than the vegetarian diet per se. You should check with your health care practitioner to rule out these possible causes."

For more nutrition information, see the Vegetarian Nutrition section of our website.


The first issue of the 2002 Vegetarian Journal Articles include:

Roasting for Flavor and Sweetness by Sally Bernstein
Hungarian Cuisine by Nancy Berkoff
Young Animal Activists-Can They Work Within Government? By Sarah Mugford
What Can You Feed A Preteen Vegan? by Lysa Wieman
Whole Grain Baking by Nava Atlas

The Regular Features include:

Nutrition Hotline: A comparison of vegan and vegetarian diets
Note from the Coordinators
Vegan Cooking Tips: Creamy Vegan Dishes and The Perfect Baked Potato
Scientific Update
Notes from the Scientific Department
Veggie Bits
Book Reviews
Vegetarian Action: Ultrarunning and Vegetarianism

And more. . .

Read excerpts from back issues online at: http://www.vrg.org/journal/

The Journal features informational and recipe articles, product and book reviews, news for vegetarian activists, and up-to-date information about vegetarian health and nutrition. If you are not currently a subscriber to the Vegetarian Journal, why not subscribe today?

Subscriptions to Vegetarian Journal are $20/year in the US (please inquire for subscription rates outside the US). Accepted forms of payment, in US funds, are Visa, MasterCard, checks drawn on US banks, and postal money orders. When joining please send us your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. If paying by credit card please include the card number and expiration date.

If you join online at http://www.vrg.org/journal/subscribe.htm for $30 or more, you will receive a FREE copy of the Vegan Handbook, a $20 value! (US addresses only).

If you choose to join by mail, subscriptions should be directed to:
The Vegetarian Resource Group
PO Box 1463
Dept. IN
Baltimore, MD 21203
Phone: (410) 366-8343
Fax: (410) 366-8804
E-mail: vrg@vrg.org




Soy Happy Day is right around the corner! Please take a few minutes to contact your favorite ballparks while the concession managers are in the process of deciding their menus for 2002. Consumer and fan feedback are being particularly noted and a collective response will undoubtedly make a huge difference. Last year, seven Major League Baseball parks took heed.

For more information visit http://www.soyhappy.org/soyhappyday.htm on the web.



The First Annual South San Francisco Bay Area Veg Fair will be held on Saturday, February, 9 at the Santa Clara Convention Center from 9am to 6pm. Attendees can look forward to seeing fifty vegetarian and vegetarian related exhibits, several cooking demonstrations, as well as lots of samples of great vegetarian food. The speakers will include Dr. Neal Barnard of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine; Lorri Bauston, founder and co-coordinator of Farm Sanctuary East & West; and John Robbins, author of THE FOOD REVOLUTION-How Your Diet Can Save Your Life and Our World.

Visit The Vegetarian Resource Group's booth and say hello to volunteer Phil Becker!

For more information visit http://www.vegfair.com or e-mail info@vegfair.com.



On Sunday, February 10, from 2 - 4 PM, join Club Veg at Natural Village in Huntingdon Valley, PA, the new restaurant in the area, for a late lunch. Natural Village features a vegetarian section (of the restaurant, not just the menu) where only vegetarian items are sold. We'll dine on Scallion Pancakes, Wonton Soup, Sunflower "Shrimp," Sweat and Sour Veggie Meatballs, "Beef" with Broccoli, and Tofu with Mixed Vegetables. The cost including tax and tip is $13 for members/$15 for nonmembers.

For Reservations or more information contact the Club Veg Philadelphia Chapter
484-530-2011; philly@clubveg.org



On the weekend of February 15th-17th, the Student Animal Rights Alliance (SARA) is coordinating Liberation Now! at American University in Washington, D.C. At Liberation Now! you'll have a chance to be trained by experienced activists, network with your peers, and have meaningful discussion with other animal rights organizers. Workshops include Campaign Planning, Creative Action Planning, Intro to Grassroots Organizing, The Commonality of Oppression, and Globalization & Animal Rights. The full line-up of workshops and speakers will be announced at http://www.LiberationNow.com.

Registration prior to January 14th is $10, afterwards it is $20. For more information visit http://www.LiberationNow.com



On February 22 through the 24th, Vegetarian Events presents the Compassion for Animals Action Symposium at the Sheraton Gainesville Hotel in Gainesville, Florida. At the symposium you will have the opportunity to hear experts on vegan nutrition, animal ethics, and environmental issues; participate in panel discussions; enjoy vegan meals and morning exercise classes, and network with like-minded individuals. Speakers at the symposium will include: Lorri Bauston, of the Farm Sanctuary; George Eisman, Nutritionist and author of "The Most Nobel Diet"; and Bruce Friedrich, of PETA.

For more information call Chas Chiodo at 386-454-4341 or visit http://www.vegetarianevents.com on the web.



On March 2nd & 3rd, 2002, 10am-6pm, at the Seattle Center Pavilion Rooms, Vegetarians of Washington will host Vegfest, a celebration of healthy vegetarian food. The event features free food samples from a wide variety of brands, the latest information on nutrition from knowledgeable speakers, cooking demonstrations by talented local chefs, and a huge selection of informative books. There will also be a kids activity corner, and some door prizes to win. Admission is $5 for adults. Kids 12 and under are free. For more information, see www.vegofwa.org/vegfest or call 206 706 2635.



The Fourth Annual International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition is being held April 8-11, 2002 at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California.

Major conference topics include:
Vegetarian diets and longevity/mortality
Vegetarian diets: current issues
Vegetarian diets and bone health
High soy consumption: good, bad, and indifferent?
Vegetarian diets for all: a solution to the environmental crisis?

For more information contact:
Office of Extended Programs
Loma Linda University
School of Public Health
Loma Linda, CA 92350
(909) 558-7230
E-mail: icvn@sph.llu.edu



On July 8-14 the 35th Vegetarian World Congress - 'Food For All Our Futures' will take place at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh. Speakers will include Derek Antrobus, Rynn Berry, Rose Elliot, and Dr. Douglas Graham. For more information visit their website at www.vegsoc.org/nvw and www.vegsoc.org/congress or call 0161 925 2000.



Responsibilities depend on background, major if in college, and interest of applicant. Tasks may include research, writing, and/or community outreach. Internships are helpful for students working towards journalism, English, and nutrition degrees. Business majors can obtain experience related to the business aspects of a nonprofit organization. Activists can learn new skills and gain a broader knowledge, as well as share their expertise. Positions open throughout the year for all ages (including high school students living in Baltimore). Internships are unpaid. Send resume and cover letter to VRG, Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203; vrg@vrg.org.



Our health professionals, activists, and educators work with businesses and individuals to bring about healthy changes in your school, workplace, and community. Registered dietitians and physicians aid in the development of nutrition-related publications and answer member and media questions about vegetarian diets. The Vegetarian Resource Group is a non-profit organization. Financial support comes primarily from memberships, donations, and book sales. The Vegetarian Journal, a bi-monthly print magazine, is a benefit of membership in The VRG. (For more information, please see the "Vegetarian Journal Preview" above or back issues online at http://www.vrg.org/journal/.)

If you would like to make a donation, become a member, or find out more about The VRG, contact us at: The Vegetarian Resource Group PO Box 1463 Baltimore, MD 21203 Phone: (410) 366-8343 Fax: (410) 366-8804 E-mail: vrg@vrg.org Website: www.vrg.org


VRG-News is the monthly e-mail newsletter of The Vegetarian Resource Group. This is an announcement list, so subscriber messages are not accepted by the list. If you have a technical question about the list, please contact the list manager, Bobbi Pasternak, at bobbi@vrg.org. If you have any suggestions, ideas, or corrections to VRG-News, direct them to vrg@vrg.org. Thanks!

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Contents of VRG-News are copyright 2002 by The Vegetarian Resource Group. The newsletter may be freely distributed in electronic or print form provided its contents are not altered and credit is given to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.

This newsletter was converted to HTML by Stephanie Schueler.

VRG Home | About VRG | Vegetarian Journal | Books | Vegetarian Nutrition
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PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203
(410) 366-8343   Email: vrg@vrg.org

Last Updated
January 10, 2002

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