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VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Editor: John L. Cunningham
Volume 6, Issue 3
March 2002


  1. Notes from the Editor
  2. Recipe of The Month: Winter Squash with Apricot Stuffing
  3. Question of the Month: "Are there leather scraps in synthetic leather?"
  4. Upcoming Vegetarian Events and Conferences
  5. Internships Available at VRG
    About the Vegetarian Resource Group
    About VRG-News


Last month Gannette News featured a story about the Guide to Fast Food. The response from hungry vegetarians all over the U.S. was tremendous. We can only imagine what it might have been like if they hadn't printed the wrong web address!

This month, VRG is on the move. As I mentioned last time, from March 8 through 11, VRG will have a booth at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, California. On Friday, March 8, Chef Nancy Berkoff, R.D. will be at the Nutribooks booth of the Expo to sign her new book Vegan Meals for One or Two. If you will be attending this trade show, stop by and say hello to Charles Stahler and Debra Wasserman. This also means that we will be featuring new vegetarian products in VRG-News very soon, so watch this space!

After the expo, Debra will travel to New York City to give a presentation to the Humane Education Committee on March 20. This will be a great opportunity for her to educate the educators about vegetarianism!

Have a safe, happy, and healthy March!

2) RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Winter Squash with Apricot Stuffing

(This recipe is from Vegan Passover Recipes by Chef Nancy Berkoff, R.D., which can be purchased on our website.)

Serves 6

The house will smell wonderful while you are baking this dish. Use a selection of winter squashes to create variations.

Vegetable oil spray
2 cups uncooked matzah farfel or 4 whole matzah, crumbled
1 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped celery (complete with leaves, if possible)
1 garlic clove, minced
1-1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped cashews (optional)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
3 acorn, butternut, or small winter squash, cut in half and deseeded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large pot, such as a Dutch oven, spray oil and allow to heat. Add farfel, onion, celery, and garlic and allow to sauté for 6 minutes, or until very soft. Add stock, apricots, and cashews (optional) and allow to simmer for 12 minutes, or until mixture is thickened. Stir in parsley and pepper.

Place squash, cut side down on a baking sheet or shallow casserole. Add water to cover 1 inch of the squash. Spray squash skin lightly with vegetable oil. Bake for 20 minutes, until halfway cooked (still fairly tough). (This can be done in a microwave also, cooking on HIGH for 10-12 minutes.)

Remove squash from oven, turn upright and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Fill each squash half with stuffing. Bake for 50 minutes, or until squash is soft (easily pierced with a knife).

Serve an entire half for an entrée portion or one quarter for an appetizer portion.

3) QUESTION OF THE MONTH: "Are there leather scraps in synthetic leather?"

The most frequently asked question this month actually was "How can I apply for the VRG $5,000 College Scholarship?" (Which is easily answered by visiting the scholarship page on our site.) However, I thought this question would be more interesting for those of you that aren't seeking money for college.

When a reader's husband inquired about the synthetic leather Nike Comfort Skates sold by L.L. Bean, he was informed that this product was manufactured with scraps of leather used as a binding material. She emailed The Vegetarian Resource Group with these questions: Have you heard of synthetic leather that actually contains leather? How does one distinguish between this sort of thing and a truly leather-free product?

After following up on the Nike Comfort Skates and receiving several different answers, VRG Intern Raena Blumenthal contacted a Product Support Representative at L.L. Bean. She contacted Nike's office of Research and Development in Quebec where the Bauer Nike Hockey Skates are manufactured. Nike confirmed that there are no animal products in the synthetic leather in these skates. The synthetic leather is made of nylon fibers mixed with a polyurethane substrate.

According to an investigator at the Federal Trade Commission, there is currently no clear law on whether an item labeled "Synthetic Leather" has to be completely leather-free. However, if you find out that there is leather in a "non- leather" labeled product you should file a complaint with the FTC.

We have a sampling of several popular companies that claim to use synthetic leather that is not made with animal products. For a listing of companies that use non-animal sources of synthetic leather visit The Vegetarian Resource Group's Shopper's Guide to Leather Alternatives.




On March 16 and 17 the International Institute for Humane Education will conduct their Sowing Seeds Humane Education Workshop at the Che Café Collective on the campus of the University of California, San Diego. Teachers, humane educators, representatives from animal protection, environmental and social justice groups, and advocates wishing to develop their teaching and communication abilities will all benefit form the workshop. In addition, anyone interested in becoming certified through the IIHE's Humane Education Certificate Program, or who are applying to the affiliated M.Ed. program in humane education is encouraged to attend. Attendees will learn techniques for teaching about such topics as animal agriculture, diet, and nutrition; environmental and wildlife issues; human rights and ethics; vivisection and health issues; consumerism and population issues; humane and sustainable futures; and how all these concerns are related.

The sliding-scale registration fee is $200-$300. Students with a valid ID are $100. For more information visit http://www.compassionateliving.org, e-mail iihe@comassionateliving.org, or call (207) 667-2011.



The Fourth Annual International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition is being held April 8-11, 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 June 28 through July 3, Animal Rights 2002 program will feature 120 presenters from every faction of the Animal Rights movement. They will present at five Plenary Sessions, 100 Workshops, 50 Campaign Reports, and 16 Rap Sessions. Other functions will include 80 Exhibits, 100 Videos, Newcomer Orientation, Welcome Reception, Evening Receptions, Awards Banquet, US Animal Rights Hall of Fame, Planning Meetings, Group Workouts, Employment Clearinghouse, and a March on Washington. The speakers will include Carol Adams, Neal Barnard, Robert Cohen, Howard Lyman, Ingrid Newkirk, and over 100 more.

For more information visit http://www.animalrights2002.org.



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 http://www.vegsoc.org/nvw and http://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, P.O. 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 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.

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March 7, 2002

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