VRG NEWS

VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Editor: Sarah T. Blum
Volume 9, Issue 4
November 2005

CONTENTS

  1. Notes from the Editor
  2. Vegetarian Diet and Sex Drive
  3. Donor Gives Toward Intern Stipend
  4. 2005 Vegetarian Journal Issue 3 Online
  5. Scholarship Contest
  6. Expo Bits
  7. Tofurky Essay Contest
  8. Gift Subscription/Membership
  9. Recipe: Creamed Zucchini/Potato Soup
  10. Upcoming Events and Conferences
  11. Jobs and Internships Available
  12. About The Vegetarian Resource Group
  13. About VRG-News

1) Notes from the Editor

As the weather becomes cooler, the shift from barbecues to indoor dinners becomes apparent. Check the upcoming Events and Conferences section for more details on future vegetarian happenings. And if you need a quick recipe, check out the Creamed Zucchini/Potato Soup in the Recipe section - warm and filling on a chilly fall evening.

The Vegetarian Resource Group welcomes back Jeanne Yacoubou! Jeanne worked for VRG in the past helping with projects such as the Guide to Fast Food, the Guide to Food Ingredients and the Aquaculture project. She is heading up research at VRG and working on a labeling project as well as updating our Food Ingredients information.

We received an email concerning the vegetarian diet and its effect on sex drive, so Reed Mangels, RD, PhD, has investigated this matter. You can find this information under "Vegetarian Diet and Sex Drive."

Have a delectable Thanksgiving!


2) Vegetarian Diet and Sex Drive

Recently, VRG received an email concerning the effect of a vegetarian diet on sex drive. I forwarded this to Reed Mangels, RD, PhD, our nutrition advisor. Here is the question followed by Reed's response:

QUESTION: "I have been reading articles on the internet that say a vegetarian diet may cause a low sex drive. Two things are mentioned: The lack of amino acids reduces the production of testosterone.

"In another study, using healthy adult males, a diet containing soy was compared to a diet consisting of meat protein in terms of sex hormone concentrations. After evaluation, testosterone levels were significantly lower in the soy diet. Not only this but the estimated amount of free testosterone (the type that produces most of the effects males are looking for) was 7% lower after the soy diet as well. (Habito RC, et al. Effects of replacing red meat with soyabean in the diet on sex hormone concentrations in healthy adult males. Br J Nutr 2000 Oct;84(4):14-8.). Also anemia may affect sexual performance in vegetarians. Is there any truth to this and if so, what solutions are there?"

ANSWER: "Thanks for contacting the Vegetarian Resource Group. I'll address each of your questions individually.

1. Does the lack of amino acids reduce the production of testosterone?
Vegetarian diets are not lacking in amino acids if they contain a variety of foods like dried beans, whole grains, nuts, and vegetables. You can read more about protein and amino acids in vegetarian diets on our website at http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.htm.
2. Effect of soy products on testosterone production.
I read the entire article that you mentioned and learned that the results of this study are quite different from the quotation you sent us. Male volunteers were fed diets containing either meat or tofu. However, there was no significant reduction in testosterone levels. The authors concluded that there is "no conclusive evidence that short-term soybean intake has an influence on the circulating concentrations of androgens [testosterone and dihydrotestosterone]". As an aside, this study was conducted to see if soy products could be useful in reducing the risk of prostate cancer. Additionally, several studies have looked at soy intake to see if it has an effect on sex hormone levels in men and no effect has been seen (Allen NE, Appleby PN, Davey GK, Key TJ. Soy milk intake in relation to serum sex hormone levels in British men. Nutr Cancer. 2001;41(1-2):41-6.; Nagata C, Takatsuka N, Shimizu H, Hayashi H, Akamatsu T, Murase K. Effect of soymilk consumption on serum estrogen and androgen concentrations in Japanese men. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2001 Mar;10(3):179-84)
3. Also anemia may affect sexual performance in vegetarians. Is there any truth to this and if so, what solutions are there?
Yes, anemia can affect sexual performance. The solution depends on the type of anemia. Diet-related anemias include those due to iron deficiency, those due to vitamin B12 deficiency, and those due to a deficiency of folic acid. You can read more about iron and vitamin B12 in vegetarian diets on our website
http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm;
http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/b12.htm"

3) Donor Gives Toward Intern Stipend

An anonymous donor has enabled VRG to hire an intern in Baltimore with a paid stipend! This is need-based for a graduate high school vegetarian activist. If you are soon to graduate from high school or have graduated from high school this year and are interested, please email VRG with your vegetarian background and explanation of need. For more info, email: vrg@vrg.org.


4) 2005 Vegetarian Journal Issue 3 Online

Cooking With Leaves
Chef Nancy Berkoff envelops international fillings in lettuce, spinach, cabbage, grape, lotus, and other edible leaves.
Tips for Serving Vegetarian Meals in Schools - A Survey of School Food Service Staff
Christina Niklas and Suzanne Havala Hobbs examine the challenges and triumphs of introducing vegetarian foods into school cafeterias.

Vegetarian Resource Group Awards Two $5,000 College Scholarships

Nutrition Hotline
Can the omega-3 fatty acids in fortified foods be vegetarian?

Note from the Coordinators

Scientific Update

Notes from the VRG Scientific Department
VRG dietitians grant magazine, newspaper, and web interviews and perform outreach to college communities and food services.
Vegan Cooking Tips
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Sauces, by Chef Nancy Berkoff.

Veggie Bits

Vegetarian Action
The Greening of School Cafeterias: Introducing Salad Bars into Economically Disadvantaged School Districts, by Enrique Gili.

5) Scholarship Contest

Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, The Vegetarian Resource Group will award $10,000 in college scholarship money to graduating U.S. high school students who have promoted vegetarianism in their schools and/or communities. Two awards of $5,000 each will be given. Applications may only be sent by students graduating high school in spring 2006. Deadline is February 20, 2006. For more information and an online application, go to: http://www.vrg.org/student/scholar.htm.


6) Expo Bits

On September 18, I attended the Natural Products Expo in Washington DC with two vegan friends in tow. We munched ourselves through reliable show staples such as Tofurky and Panda licorice, and discovered a few new treats on the vegan horizon.

Suzanne's Ricemellow Creme http://www.suzannes-specialties.com/ introduced Strawberry Ricemellow which is every bit as tasty as its original counterpart. Maple Orchard Farms http://www.mapleorchardfarms.com/ introduced a whipped maple butter (made from 100% maple sap) that was impossibly creamy and delicious. They also had a maple substitute for honey with an accurate honey consistency. San-J http://www.san-j.com/ let us sample their delightful sauces; my favorite was the Thai Peanut Sauce. Check the ingredients of their products, though, as not all of their products are vegetarian.

This is a sampling of my personal favorites from the Expo; VRG will be reviewing products in The Vegetarian Journal in the months to come.


7) Tofurky Essay Contest

In honor of its 25th anniversary, Tofurky is offering a 60GB Apple Ipod MP3 Player, a personalized Tofurky bowling T-shirt, and a prize pack to the winner of their new essay contest. Entries must be 250 words or less and focus on using Tofurky products in a peacemaking situation. Deadline to enter is March 1, 2006. For more information, go to: http://www.tofurky.com/images/p_funstuff_essayLG05.jpg.


8) Gift Subscription/Membership

Looking for a gift for the special vegetarian in your life? Try a gift subscription to The Vegetarian Journal! The cost is $20 and along with an official membership, you will have year-long subscription to the quarterly Journal. For more information or to subscribe, call 410-366-8343, email vrg@vrg.org, or write to The Vegetarian Resource Group, PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.


9) Recipe: Creamed Zucchini/Potato Soup

Yield: 6

(from Meatless Meals for Working People by Debra Wasserman and Charles Stahler. Call 410-366-8343 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time to order.)

1 small onion, chopped
3 Tablespoons oil
3 or 4 medium zucchini, chopped
2 large white potatoes, scrubbed and cut into small cubes
6 cups water
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

Sauté onion in oil in a large pot for 2 minutes. Add chopped zucchini and cubed potatoes. Sauté for 5 minutes longer. Add water, oats, and seasoning. Simmer for 15 minutes. Puree mixture in a blender, reheat, and serve warm.

Total calories per serving: 168 Fat: 8 grams
Total Fat as % of Daily Value: 12% Protein: 4 grams
Iron: 2 mg Carbohydrate: 23 grams
Calcium: 35 mg Dietary fiber: 3 grams

10) Upcoming Events and Conferences

***********************************************

Baltimore, MD: VRG's 24th Annual Pre-Thanksgiving Vegetarian Potluck

November 20, 2005

Held on Sunday at 5:30 p.m., this annual event has moved to the newly built Bolton Street Synagogue located at 212 West Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21210. Includes lots of homemade vegan dishes and a chance to meet up with new people and old friends. The cost is $4 per adult plus a vegan dish that serves four. Children are admitted for free. For more information, email vrg@vrg.org or call 410-466-8343. If you live near or in Baltimore, you might be interested in signing up for our local events newsletter. It features major local events, potlucks, volunteer opportunities, and general vegetarian happenings in Baltimore and the surrounding areas. To sign up, email vrg@vrg.org.

***********************************************

Bethesda, MD: VSDC Life-Affirming Thanksgiving Celebration

November 24, 2005

A gourmet vegan feast organized by the Vegetarian Society of DC and held at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, MD. Light appetizers will be served from 12pm to 1pm and a sumptuous buffet will be available from 1pm to 5pm. Socializing, good food, and guest speakers, including Erik Marcus, are all a part of this celebration. Registration is required by November 18th. The cost is $46 for VSDC members, $49 for nonmembers, half price for children under 12, and no cost for children under 3. For more information, including a menu description, go to: http://www.vsdc.org/thanksg.html.

***********************************************

Grand Rapids, MI: Vegetarian Awakening

April 3-4, 2006

The First Annual Vegetarian Awakening Conference will be held at Grand Rapids Community College. A conference aimed at vegetarian and vegan chefs; the keynote speaker is Howard Lyman and many prominent chefs from the vegan/vegetarian community will be speaking. Food demonstrations and taste testing are included in the price of admission along with five all-vegan meals. For more information, go to: http://www.vegetarianawakening.com.

***********************************************

Dallas, TX: 13th Annual Soy Symposium

April 24-25, 2006

Held at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Conference Center near the Dallas airport. To make reservations, call 1-866-782-7897 and mention "Soy".


11) Jobs and Internships Available

Assistant to Directors/Volunteer Coordinator

Vegetarian non-profit seeks very responsible, detail oriented, hands-on Jack or Jill of All Trades knowledgeable in vegetarianism to maintain member records, manage volunteers, work with other groups, support development work, and assist directors with a broad array of organizational tasks. Applicant should thrive on getting the task done, but also be able to prioritize and strategize. Position is in Baltimore. Send resume, writing samples, salary requirements, and cover letter to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203, vrg@vrg.org Att. Assistant to Director Position.

Editor/Layout

Vegetarian non-profit seeks staff member knowledgeable in vegetarianism to edit, design, and lay out books, brochures, handouts, flyers, mailers, and web pages, plus other organizational duties. Position is in Baltimore. Send cover letter, salary requirements, and writing and layout samples to Editor Job, The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203; vrg@vrg.org.

Internship: VRG

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 toward 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.


About The Vegetarian Resource Group

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/give/givefrm.asp?Action=GC&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.


ABOUT VRG-NEWS

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 2005 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.



The Vegetarian Resource Group Logo © 1996-2014 The Vegetarian Resource Group
PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203
(410) 366-8343   Email: vrg@vrg.org
       Last Updated
       Nov. 25, 2005

The contents of this website 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.

Web site questions or comments? Please email vrg@vrg.org.