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VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Editor: John L. Cunningham
Volume 7, Issue 2
April 2003


  1. Notes from the Editor
  2. Centers for Disease Control Report on Breastfeeding Vegan Mothers
  3. SYSCO'S MoonRose: Get Vegan Food in Your Cafeteria!
  4. Quick and Easy Low-Cost Vegan Menus Online
  5. Disaster Planning for Vegetarians
  6. Vegan Passover Recipes by Chef Nancy Berkoff, RD
  7. 2003 Vegetarian Journal Issue 1 Online
  8. Recipe of the Month: Ruth's Tasty Seitan
  9. Question of the Month: Is Wax Paper Vegan?
  10. Upcoming Vegetarian Events and Conferences
  11. Internships Available
  12. About The Vegetarian Resource Group
  13. About VRG-NEWS


Recent coverage of a poll conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited-- stating that 28% of teenage girls think vegetarianism is "in"--had our phones buzzing with reporters asking for more information. We helped them by referring to our Teen Nutrition page, our Kids and Teens page, and our 2000 Teen Poll. It was a great opportunity for us to reach out to worried parents and assure them that, yes, it is possible for your teenager to thrive on a healthy vegetarian diet. VRG Nutrition Advisor Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, was interviewed to that effect by the Boston Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer, Kidzworld Media Inc., New Jersey Star-Ledger, and Knight-Ridder News Service. Co-coordinator Charles Stahler spoke with Reuters News Service about the important progress that is being made towards including vegetarian options in college and university food services.

In February we were flooded with scholarship applications from young vegetarian activists all over the U.S. The judges definitely have their work cut out for them to pick two students to each receive a $5,000 grant! We are now accepting applications from U.S. High School students who will graduate in the spring of 2004. Here is a link for more information about our college scholarship program. Younger students should not feel left out, as our Annual Essay Contest is still in progress. Anyone ages 18 and younger may send us an essay on any topic related to vegetarianism for a chance at winning a $50 savings bond and publication of his or her essay in the Vegetarian Journal. For the more artistically inclined, VegetarianTeen.com is holding their first ever photo contest. Teenagers can submit a picture of him or herself with their favorite animal for a chance at winning a prize from one of Vegetarianteen.com's sponsors. For more information, visit Vegetarianteen.com.

VRG Nutrition Advisor Nancy Berkoff recently answered questions about Vegan Passover Recipes for Medstar Television. Look for her on your local NBC affiliate in the middle of April.


We asked Vegetarian Resource Group Nutrition Advisor, Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, to respond to the publicity surrounding the January 31, 2003 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Here is what she had to say:

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on vitamin B-12 deficiency in two children in Georgia received wide media attention. The children, who were 15 months and 30 months at the time of their diagnoses, had been breast-fed by mothers who followed vegan or near vegan diets. Information on the use of vitamin B- 12 supplements by the mothers and the children was incomplete. It appeared that if vitamin B-12 supplements were used, use was sporadic and that mothers and children did not have adequate amounts of vitamin B-12. Both children were growing poorly, were developmentally delayed, and one child had seizures, apparently related to the vitamin B-12 deficiency. While it is unfortunate that some media reports suggested that a vegan diet (rather than a lack of vitamin B-12) was responsible for the children's condition, this report does serve as a reminder of vitamin B-12's importance. All vegans, especially pregnant and lactating women, infants, and children need a regular, reliable source of vitamin B-12. Reliable sources include foods fortified with vitamin B-12, such as some breakfast cereals, meat analogs, soy or rice milk, and nutritional yeast (Vegetarian Support Formula). Vegan infants and young children can also obtain vitamin B-12 from breast milk from mothers with adequate nutritional status, or from infant formula. If it is not possible to meet recommendations for vitamin B-12 through food, a daily supplement should be taken that contains at least the RDA for vitamin B-12.


In the past, when activists have tried to get vegan food served at university or hospital cafeterias, one of the major obstacles has been that many items were not available through the normal food service supply chains. Now this is no longer the case. SYSCO Foods, the country's largest food service distributor, is premiering a new vegetarian line called MoonRose(tm). This line is dedicated to vegetarian food service products, both ready-to-use and individual ingredients. The items will be produced by several companies and packaged specifically for SYSCO.

Vegetarian Resource Group Intern, Eben Packwood, contacted Bill Stewart- -president of Real Foodservices and one of the people who spearheaded the MoonRose campaign--to ask him what he could tell us about the realities of how this new product line would be available to institutions. Mr. Stewart said that MoonRose products should be comparable in cost to their egg-, dairy-, and meat-based versions, and that they are easily obtainable from SYSCO operating companies from regional warehouses and can be purchased by any SYSCO services operator. He also assured us that they have permission to sell to all Sodexho and ARAMARK accounts.

Right now, the product line consists of: dry products, such as Vegan Basic Muffin Quick Mix, Vegan Basic Pancake Quick Mix, and Vegan Breakfast "Sausage Style" Quick Mix; frozen products, such as Vegan Soft Serve Deserts, Turtle Island Organic Soy Tempeh, and Health is Wealth Chicken-Free Nuggets; and refrigerated products, such as Soy Cream Cheese and Tofu. For a complete list of products, see the MoonRose website.

If you, or someone you know, might be interested in having MoonRose products introduced into a school, be sure to pass along this information to the appropriate people.


Many of us would like to spend less time cooking. If you know what to buy and have some quick-to-prepare ideas, you can have "convenience food" on a budget. The Vegetarian Resource Group has developed menus using a combination of easy-to-fix meals that are quick, inexpensive, and healthful. This includes two sets of menus: one for adults ages 19 to 50 and another for adults over age 50. If you, or someone you know, find that you don't have enough time to cook, or if you think that cooking healthy vegan meals is too difficult, visit our website.


It may be a blizzard in the Northeastern U.S. or a hurricane in the South; a tornado in the Midwest or an earthquake in the West. Suddenly you are left without electricity and possibly without safe water. Many groups have recommendations aimed at helping the general public cope with these kinds of disasters. They call for use of foods like canned tuna, canned meat, and powdered milk. What about vegetarians or vegans? What sort of plans should they make?

If you have a safe cooking source, you can prepare some simple hot foods. Non-perishable vegetarian foods requiring minimal cooking and which can be heated on a camping stove include canned soups, soups or meals in a cup, instant mashed potatoes, and dry mixes for hummus or refried beans. Also, think of quick cooking brown rice, couscous, textured vegetable protein (mix with tomato sauce and spices), ramen- type noodles, and instant hot cereals.

Visit this link to read the rest of this article.


Trying to figure out what to serve your vegan daughter-in-law? Looking for new parve Passover dishes? Do you find it challenging to get through eight days of matzah with good humor? The 48-page Vegan Passover Recipes is for you.

Chef Nancy Berkoff, RD, has created 34 delicious Passover dishes. Start with Savory Sweet Potato, Cream of Asparagus, or French Onion soups.

The house will smell wonderful while baking Winter Squash with Apricot Stuffing and Apple and Herb Mushrooms. Chef Berkoff's Carrot Pancakes are both colorful and tasty. Eggplant/Matzah Pancakes can be made ahead of time, cooked, and refrigerated for later. For those who don't want to fry these fritters, instructions for baking are included.

Nancy provides the basics: A vegetable stock without chicken fat or added sodium, Savory Spaghetti Sauce, Zucchini/Potato Kugel, and Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage (a new spin on an oldie, but goody).

To order the 48-page Vegan Passover Recipes, send $6 to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203. Call (410) 366- 8343, e-mail VRG, or visit vrg.org


Issue 1 of the 2003 Vegetarian Journal articles online include:

Quick and Easy Low-Cost Vegan Menus
Eat right on a limited budget, by Reed Mangels, PhD, RD

Carrot Cookery
Liven up your meals with this versatile veggie using recipes from Chef Nancy Berkoff.

Vegetarian Action
A look at Project Healthy Beginnings' work to include vegetarian options on school lunch menus, by Jeff Morrison

Scientific Update
-Changes in Diets of Adolescents and Young Adults
-Does the Source of Protein Matter for Building Muscle?
-Flavonoids in Fruits and Vegetables Can Reduce Risk of Chronic Disease
-And More. . .

To read these articles go to: http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2003issue1/

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 U.S. (please inquire for subscription rates outside the U.S.). Accepted forms of payment, in U.S. funds, are Visa, MasterCard, checks drawn on U.S. 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! (U.S. 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

8) RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Ruth's Tasty Seitan

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

Serves 2

8-ounce package seitan, thinly sliced
1-1/2 Tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 Cup water

Heat seitan, oil, and spices over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add flour and water and heat for 2 minutes longer. Serve hot over mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta.

Variation: Substitute wheat gluten for seitan.

Total calories per serving: 239
Total fat as % of daily value: 15%
Protein: 21 gm
Carbohydrates: 16 gm
Fat: 10 gm
Calcium: 23 mg
Iron: 4 mg
Sodium: 277 mg
Dietary fiber: unknown

9) QUESTION OF THE MONTH: Is Wax Paper Vegan?

According to Star-K, a kosher certification agency, "most wax papers are coated with paraffin, a petroleum based wax. However, most wax suppliers manufacture both paraffin waxes and tallow based products." (Tallow is from an animal fat.) These are often produced on the same equipment. Before certifying any wax papers, Star-K ensures that the supplier produces paraffin exclusively, or that they have adequate systems in place to prevent contamination. If you rely on a kosher certification, you may want to check on that agency's policy. According to the Reynold's website, Reynold's(r) Cut-Rite Wax Paper(r) is manufactured with a triple coating of paraffin wax onto tissue paper.




On May 23-24, 2003, Farm Sanctuary will present the Farm Animal Forum, a national activist training and education seminar, at the Puck Building in New York City. Attendees will be able to take part in strategy sessions on investigating, exposing, and stopping farm animal abuse, expert issue presentations, activist networking and campaign updates, "Meet the Authors" book signings, Friday night veal protest and leafleting, "Cowtail Party" Saturday evening social, and Sunday "Veggie Day in the Park" volunteer events.

Speakers and presenters will include: Gene and Lori Bauston, Founders of Farm Sanctuary; Sue Coe, Author of Dead Meat; Dr. Michael Gregor, vegan nutrition expert; Mike Markarian, President of Fund for Animals; Wayne Pacelle, Senior Vice President of H.S.U.S.; Miyun Park, President of Compassion Over Killing; Matthew Scully, Author of Dominion; and David Wolfson, Author of Beyond the Law.

Cost of registration is $50 per person. For more information visit www.farmsanctuary.org, or call (607) 583-2011 ext 241.



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 approach 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 modes of life in 21st century Russia. Topics of presentations, round table discussions, and seminars will include: technology and machinery for the processing and production of vegetarian foods, soy foods, diabetic 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.


Our health professionals, activists, and educators work with businesses and individuals to bring about healthful 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 print magazine, is a benefit of membership in The VRG. (For more information, please see the Vegetarian Journal online.)

If you would like to make a donation, become a member, volunteer, or find out more about The VRG, contact us at:

The Vegetarian Resource Group
P.O. Box 1463
Baltimore, MD 21203
Phone: (410) 366-8343
Fax: (410) 366-8804
E-mail: vrg@vrg.org
Website: http://www.vrg.org
Donate: https://www.givedirect.org/donate/?CID=1561

The contents of this newsletter, and our other publications, including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and mistakes can be made. Please use your own best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.


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!

If you are a new subscriber, you might enjoy reading past issues of VRG News online at http://www.vrg.org/vrgnews/index.htm.

If you wish to cancel your subscription to VRG-NEWS, send an e-mail message to listserv@listserv.aol.com with the following message: SIGNOFF VRG-NEWS

If you wish to subscribe to VRG-NEWS, send an e-mail message to listserv@listserv.aol.com with the following message: SUB VRG-NEWS {your first and last name}

Do not include the {} when you enter your name. The newsletter will be sent to the e-mail address from which you are subscribing.

Contents of VRG-NEWS are copyright 2003 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.

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
April 10, 2003

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