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VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Editor: John L. Cunningham
Volume 6, Issue 10
October 2002


  1. Notes from the Editor
  2. New Vegetarian Products from the Natural Products Expo
  3. Recipe of the Month: Pumpkin Casserole
  4. Question of the Month: Glucosamine and Condroitin
  5. Upcoming Vegetarian Events and Conferences
  6. Job Opportunities and Internships Available
    About the Vegetarian Resource Group
    About VRG-News


Earlier this month at the Natural Products Expo East in Washington, D.C., VRG Co-coordinator Debra Wasserman was invited to join a panel of experts to discuss the vegetarian market sector in Europe and North America. The information contained in our recent article "The Market for Vegetarian Foods" by Caryn Ginsberg and Alissa Ostrowski http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/market.htm was well received by the manufacturers and retailers that attended the discussion. The panel concluded that the vegetarian sector is experiencing tremendous growth that is likely to continue in the future. We hope this news will encourage these manufacturers and retailers in the mindset that catering to vegetarians is profitable as well as ethical!


We also spent some time walking the floor of the Natural Products Expo. Here's a peek at the new vegetarian products we found.

The famous Moosewood Restaurant of Ithaca, NY is teaming up with Fairfield Farms Kitchens to produce organic, vegetarian, 'heat & serve' soups that should be available soon in Natural Foods Stores. The vegan options will be: Texas Two-Bean Chili, Tuscan White Bean and Vegetable, Hearty Mushroom Barley, and Mediterranean Tomato and Wild Rice.

Turtle Mountain will introduce three new flavors of their Organic Soy Delicious frozen dessert. The new flavors: Twisted Vanilla Orange, Old Fashioned Vanilla, Mocha Fudge, will be available in pints.

Good Health Natural Foods introduced Apple Chips, which are dehydrated apple slices that come in regular and cinnamon flavors. A simple idea, granted, but it is well executed.

Turtle Island Foods is now offering Tofurky Wild Rice Stuffing as a separate heat-and-eat entré.

Road's End Organics, the makers of Nacho Chreese Dips and Pasta and Chreese box dinners, is now offering Chreese Packets. Mix the contents of the packets with boiling water to create a sauce that can replace cheese in many recipes. The flavors available are Original, Original Gluten Free, Mozzarella Style, and Alfredo Style.

3) RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Pumpkin Casserole

(The following recipe appears in Simply Vegan by Debra Wasserman and Reed Mangels, PhD, RD.)

Serves 5

29-ounce can unsweetened pumpkin
3 apples, chopped
1 Cup raisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 Tablespoons molasses
1/2 Cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a loaf pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Total calories per serving: 297 % of calories from fat: 12% Protein: 6 gm
Carbohydrates: 58 gm Fat: 8 gm Calcium: 94 mg
Iron: 4 mg Sodium: 15 mg Dietary fiber: 8 gm

4) QUESTION OF THE MONTH: Glucosamine and Condroitin

Maybe it's because this is the time of year when the chill starts creeping into our bones and stiffening our joints, but we've been getting many questions about Glucosamine and Condroitin recently. These substances were discussed by Reed Mangels Phd, RD, in our book Vegan and Vegetarian FAQ.

Q: I am a vegetarian and have joint pain. Are things like glucosamine and chondroitin considered okay?

A: Glucosamine is extracted from the shells of crabs and other crustaceans and chondroitin is made from cow trachea or shark cartilage (Center for Science in the Public Interest's Nutrition Action Healthletter, October 2000).

There was an article in the Autumn 1998 issue of Vegetarian Dietetics on "Vegetarian Diets in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis" that might be of interest to you. It is accessible online at www.andrews.edu/NUFS/arthritis.html.

Q: I was recently referred to another physician by my doctor. He said he had several vegan patients who had joint problems (something I am trying to overcome myself). He told me that vegan foods lacked an amino acid needed to produce collagen. I asked him if he meant one of the 8 essential amino acids and he said no. He went on to add that I could get this amino acid by eating plankton (not any old seaweed), something that should be in any big health food store. Well, I live near several very well stocked health food stores & co-ops and nobody ever heard of selling plankton. Have you heard of this?

A: The only thing that I can think of are two supplements that are reported to ease arthritis pain - glucosamine and chondroitin (derived from crabs and crustaceans and cow trachea and shark cartilage, respectively. See question above.). While they can be found in some foods, they are usually taken as supplements. Neither of these are amino acids, but they are non-vegan products recommended for arthritis treatment. Another possibility are omega-3 fatty acids. These are fats, not amino acids, but increased consumption has been linked to a reduction in symptoms of arthritis. One common omega-3 fatty acid is DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

As an aside, I've read a few studies that found a vegan diet relieved some arthritis symptoms. This seems to contradict the idea that something is lacking in a vegan diet and leads to joint pain.

Reed Mangels, PhD, RD




On October 19-22 the American Dietetic Association will host the annual Food & Nutrition Conference at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA. On Sunday, VRG Nutrition Advisor Suzanne Havala- Hobbs, on behalf of the ADA Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, will participate in a discussion on "The Impact of Interest Groups on Federal Food and Nutrition Policy Throughout the Life Cycle." VRG will have a booth at this conference.

For registration or more information visit www.eatright.org/fnce/index.html



On Saturday, October 19, the Boston Vegetarian Society will hold the seventh annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event brings together exhibitors of vegetarian natural foods from across the country. Atendees will have the opportunity to learn about new veg products, talk to food producers, enjoy speakers, cooking demos, restaurants, educational exhibits, children's activities, and exhibitors of products and services that support a vegetarian way of life. Admission and parking are free. VRG will have a booth at this event.

For more information, visit www.bostonveg.org/foodfest, e-mail foodfest@bostonveg.org, or call (617) 424-8846.



On Saturday, October 26, the Vegetarian Society of the District of Columbia and American University Animal Rights Effort will be cosponsoring a one-day mini-conference to highlight the tremendous benefits of a vegetarian diet and lifestyle. VegFest will take place in the Ward Circle Building (lower level) at American University in NW Washington DC, at the corner of Nebraska Avenue NW and Massachusetts Avenue NW.

For details, visit www.vsdc.org or call 202-362-VEGY



On March 22-23, 2003, the Vegetarians of Washington present their second annual VegFest at the Seattle Center Pavilion Rooms. Attendees will be able to sample food from over 80 vendors, view cooking demos by vegetarian chefs, and listen to vegetarian health professionals speak on vegetarian nutrition and health.

Admission is $5 for adults. Children under 12 are free. For more information, visit www.vegofwa.org or call (206) 706-2011.



On May 27-30, 2003, the Eurasian Vegetarian Society in cooperation with the Soklniki Culture and Exhibition Center will host Vegetarian World. Among the goals of Vegetarian World are: to form an ideological and moral approaches to problems of vegetarianism in Russia as a part of the global vegetarian movement; to favor the development of business cooperation of vegetarian food manufacturers, trade companies and suppliers of equipment and source materials; and to assist the formation of public and governmental policy aimed at promoting healthy mode of life in 21st century Russia. Topics of presentations, round table discussions and seminars will include: technology and machinery for processing and production of vegetarian food, soy foods, diabetics diets, vegetarianism and ecology, and vegetarianism and economics.

For more information, visit www.vegworld.ru or e-mail evs-ru@bk.ru.




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 non-profit 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 The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203; vrg@vrg.org.


Green Earth Travel seeks interns for their Washington, DC, area location. Applicants must be interested in learning about ecotourism and vegetarian travel. Responsibilities include: maintaining the website, making calls to tour operators, making bookings, requesting brochures. For more information, contact Donna Zeigfinger by phone: (301) 571-4603 or by e-mail: greeneatvl@aol.com.


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://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: mailto:vrg@vrg.org Website: http://vrg.org/index.htm


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.

Thanks to volunteer Stephanie Schueler for converting this article to HTML.

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Oct. 24, 2002

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