VRG-News: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Editor: Sonja Y. Helman
Volume 10, Issue 6
August 2006


  1. Notes From The Editor
  2. Is The Whole Wheat Label Misleading?
  3. Call-A-Dietitian Day
  4. New Balance Has Non-Leather Athletic Shoes
  5. Raw Foods -- Foodservice Update Online
  6. Veg School Lunch Programs -- Foodservice Update Online
  7. VRG Outreach
  8. Vegetarian Dinner In Honolulu
  9. Upcoming Events And Conferences
  10. Recipes - Mango Lemonade & Cool-As-A-Cucumber Soup
  11. Veganessentials Discount
  12. Moo Shoes Review
  13. Veggie Nuggets
  14. Special Offers From The VRG
  15. Director Of Development Corner
  16. VRG Vegetarian Scholarship
  17. Internships Available
  18. About The Vegetarian Resource Group
  19. About VRG-News

1) Notes From The Editor

This summer has been hot, hot hot! Our recipes this month are the perfect antidote to the heat -- mango lemonade and cool-as-a-cucumber soup (see section 10).

And for sizzling deals, see our special offers in section 14. You cannot beat 5 Simply Vegans for 1/2 price! They are great gifts for family and friends.

The hot ticket next month is the vegan dinner we are sponsoring in Honolulu (details in section 8). Don't miss it -- it's the "cool" place to be. Aloha!

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

2) Is The Whole Wheat Label Misleading?

One of the VRG's main tasks is to answer questions from our readers. We recently received the following question, "I heard that some 'whole wheat' pastas do not have enough fiber. Are the labels misleading?"

Blythe Tucker, a dietetic student along with Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D. answered: "When we think of whole wheat or grain products there is an automatic assumption that they are a healthier product. Yet, some whole wheat or whole grain products have a similar fiber and sugar content as the regular product made with refined white flour. You should be wary of just relying on the text on the front of the box. There are products that have misleading text on them. The Whole Grain Council says producers print 'whole grain' on products which contain only minuscule amounts of whole grains. They recommend looking for their stamp on the front of the box or statements like 'Good Source of whole grain, 'Excellent Source of whole grain' or '100% whole wheat.' The best possible way to ensure that you are getting the most wholesome product possible is by taking the product off the shelf, flipping it over, and reading the nutritional label. The Whole Grain Council lists the following ingredients as indicators that a product is whole grain: whole wheat, whole grain [name of grain], whole wheat, whole [other grain], stone ground whole [grain], and brown rice. Just make sure that these ingredients are the first to be listed, that shows that they are dominant in the product.

"If your main goal in eating whole wheat or grain products is a product with higher fiber content, then you should go a step beyond and read the total carbohydrates in your product, where fiber is listed. White pasta averages one to two grams of fiber per two ounce serving. Good wholesome, whole wheat pasta should have considerably more. I recommend brands with at least five grams of dietary fiber per two ounce serving. Two brands that meet this requirement are Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Whole Grain Pasta, which has six grams of dietary fiber and no sugar per two ounce serving. Also, DaVinici 100% Whole Wheat Pasta has five grams of dietary fiber per two ounce serving.

"It is valuable to your body to reach for the pastas, breads, and cereals made from whole wheat or grain. For the best possible product make sure that that they are not loaded with refined sugar and have a high fiber content. The average adult man should consume between 31 to 38 grams of fiber and the average adult woman should consume 21 to 25 grams daily. Consumption of this amount of fiber can help ward off heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, constipation, and obesity. By eating three to five servings of whole wheat or grain products, you should be able to easily meet these requirements."

This information is not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional.

If you have a question for us, please email vrg@vrg.org. We would be happy to help.

3) Call-A-Dietitian Day

If you have general nutrition questions, Mark Rifkin, MS, RD, LDN, will be available from 2:30pm - 5:30pm EST on Friday, September 15. To reserve a 15-minute time slot, please email the VRG office at vrg@vrg.org or call (410) 366-8343.

Be advised that these sessions are not individualized nutritional counseling. Such advice should only be provided through direct in-person contact with a qualified health professional. There is no charge, but if you do commit, please call on time. Otherwise you are taking someone else's spot.

Mark Rifkin, a longtime VRG volunteer, is a Registered Dietitian and has a Master's Degree in Health Education. He has been presenting on food-related topics for more than seven years. Currently, he is starting a private practice in Baltimore, MD, that will focus on plant-based nutrition for prevention, as well as treatment of various chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, overweight/obesity, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, gout, women's health concerns, cancer, and early-stage kidney failure.

4) New Balance Has Non-Leather Athletic Shoes

New Balance offers numerous synthetic athletic shoes for running, walking, tennis, cross training, as well as cleats. To find out the item numbers of the shoes, email New Balance at customer.service@newbalance.com. They quickly responded to my email with a complete listing. Their website also allows you to find stores that carry their shoes.

5) Raw Foods -- Foodservice Update Online

The spring issue of our Foodservice Update is now online and is all about raw foods. Nancy Berkoff, EdD, RD, CCE writes about kitchen basics, preparation techniques, culturing, and dehydration. She gives ideas for a raw food menu along with websites to help in finding raw food products, books, and information. Several vegetarian raw foods quantity recipes round out the update. You can read the issue by going to http://www.vrg.org/fsupdate/fsu20061/index.htm.

To read past issues, go to http://www.vrg.org/fsupdate/index.htm.

6) Veg School Lunch Programs -- Foodservice Update Online

The Foodservice Update for summer is chock-full of information about a commonly asked about topic -- vegetarian foods in school lunch programs. Included are interviews with people on the front line of the food service industry and companies that sell vegetarian foods. A great article on vegetarian and vegan foods in schools contains statistics of veg options in schools along with helpful resources. Some tasty vegetarian quantity recipes are listed that can be used in the school lunch program. To read this issue, link to http://www.vrg.org/fsupdate/fsu20062/index.htm.

To read past issues, go to http://www.vrg.org/fsupdate/index.htm.

7) VRG Outreach

Ever wish doctors, dietitians, and food service staff knew more about vegetarianism? To help accomplish this goal, The Vegetarian Resource Group will be giving out information at several professional conferences. If you are attending these meetings, please come by our booth and say hello:

If you are traveling to these areas for the meetings, you may also want to check out our on-line restaurant guide for places to eat.

If you would like to support these educational efforts, you can make a contribution at https://www.givedirect.org/donate/?Action=GC&cid=1565.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has published Six Arguments for a Greener Diet, How a More Plant-Based Diet Could Save Your Health and the Environment by Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D. and the staff of the CSPI. Our dietitian, Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D. has written a chapter for the book. To learn more about or purchase the book, link to http://www.cspistore.org/item/SixArguments.html.

8) Vegetarian Dinner In Honolulu

Chinese Vegan Dinner To Be Held
Monday, September, 18, 6 pm
Honolulu, Hawaii

The Vegetarian Resource Group will hold a vegan dinner during the American Dietetic Association Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. Dietitians, local members, and the public are invited. Come meet Chef Nancy Berkoff; dietitians from the ADA Vegetarian Nutrition Practice Group; Debra Wasserman, author of Simply Vegan; and others. Thank you to John Westerdahl, RD, for organizing this event.


Mixed Green Salad
8 Treasure Diced Wintermelon Soup
Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables
Steamed Stuffed Tofu
Shintani Noodles (named after Terry Shintani, MD)
Stir Fried Ong Choy (Chinese Greens)
Steamed Brown Rice, Red Bean Dessert

Location is Legend Vegetarian Restaurant

Cost is $20 for adults before September 1, 2006, and $25 afterward. Price includes tax and tip. Reservations must be made in advance. Please reserve early as seating is limited. Refunds will be made only if we have a replacement for your seat. Call (410) 366-8343 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern time Monday to Friday; fax (410) 366-8804; e-mail vrg@vrg.org; go to the donation button on http://www.vrg.org and write a note in the notes section; or send a check to VRG, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.

Hope to see you there!

9) Upcoming Events And Conferences


Fairfax Station, VA: Cooking Class

Healthy Vegan Snacks & Desserts, Sunday, August 20, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Fairfax Station, VA. Have your cake and eat it, too! Nibbles and noshes to satisfy your sweet tooth and your snack attacks with no refined sugar. Past classes have included homemade granola, Rice Krispie squares, caramel popcorn, fudgesicles, summer fruit tart, killer brownies, key lime pie and chocolate orange mousse pie (both featured at The Vegetable Garden restaurant!), cheesecake, no-bake Napolean, mudpies, organic fruit trifle, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, *PLUS* sample SoyaToo! new soy whip cream, and take home goodie bags overflowing with manufacturers' samples! Class includes recipes, food samples, and manufacturers' coupons. $45/person; $80/couple; $40/VSDC and VRG members. Gift certificates available. Make checks payable to Mimi Clark, 9302 Hallston Court, Fairfax Station, VA 22039. Sorry, no phone reservations. Call (703)643-2011 for space availability.


Washington, DC: Taking Action For Animals 2006

Taking Action for Animals 2006 will be held September 2-5 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC. Sponsored by leading organizations and featuring renowned speakers, this year's event is designed to motivate, inform, and inspire activists worldwide. To find out more, link to http://www.takingactionforanimals.com/.


Orange County, VA: Full Moon Walks, Bonfires, Vegan Barbecue

Join Rikki's Refuge, an all-species, no-kill shelter, for a bonfire and veggie barbecue. Upcoming dates include September, 2, October 7, November 4, and December 2. You can bring your tent and sleeping bag and stay over. You can contact them through their website http://www.rikkisrefuge.org.


Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Vegetarian Food Fair

The 22nd Annual Vegetarian Food Fair will be held September 8, 9 & 10 at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre. Admission is free. This is one of the largest events of its kind in North America. It's a great place to try a variety of vegetarian food along with finding new products and ideas. For more information, go to http://www.veg.ca/foodfair/eventinfo/index.html.


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: The Simplyraw Pie Contest

Don't miss this raw vegan pie contest Saturday, September 9, 2pm - 6pm. Included will be local celebrity judges, free raw pie samples, live music, yoga, healthy lifestyles vendors, a raffle & some great prizes. The contest will be held in Central Park in the Glebe in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Admission is free! For more information, go to http://www.simplyraw.ca/piecontest.php or contact them via email (piecontest@simplyraw.ca).


Honolulu, HI: The American Dietetic Association Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo

There can be no more beautiful backdrop for a conference than Hawaii. The ADA's Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo will be held in Honolulu, on the Island of O'ahu, September 16-19. For more information and to register, go to http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/7539_ENU_HTML.htm.

Kailua, HI: The Hawaii Vegetarian Nutrition And Plant-based Diet Conference

The Hawaii Vegetarian Nutrition And Plant-Based Diet Conference is being held Friday, September 15, 8am - 4:30pm. For more info, go to http://www.vegetariannutrition.net/FlyerHawaiiVN.pdf.

Honolulu, HI: The Traditional Hawaiian Diet

The ADA Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice group will sponsor The Traditional Hawaiian Diet: Paradise with Foods, Herbals and Supplements. This will take place on Sunday, September 17, 7am - 8:30am. Link to http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/7539_ENU_HTML.htm for more information.


Charlottesville, VA: Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival

The 10th Annual Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival will be held Saturday, September 30, 11am - 4pm in Lee Park in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. It is one of the largest in the United States. Admission is free and everyone is welcome to join in the fun. There's a wide variety of great vegetarian food and drink, free samples, live music, street performers, face painting, dancers, a vegetarian singles table, information tables on healthy/green/cruelty-free living, practitioners of complementary medical therapies, games and activities for kids, raffles, and all sorts of entertainment suitable for families, singles, children, and adults. Close to 100 exhibitors/vendors with an array of veggie- and animal-friendly wares participate in this annual event.

The festival also features a dog and cat adoption fair and products for pets, such as organic pet food and treats. For more info, call (434) 977-2011, email info@cvillevegfest.org, or visit the website at http://www.cvillevegfest.org/index.html.

VRG will have a booth at this conference so please stop by and say hello!


Boston, MA: Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

The 11th Annual Festival is scheduled for Saturday, October 21, 10am - 6pm at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center in Boston. Admission, food sampling, and parking are all free! The longest running event of its kind in the country, the Festival is a great day of fun, food, and learning. To learn more, link to http://www.bostonveg.org/foodfest/.

10) Recipes - Mango Lemonade & Cool-As-A-Cucumber Soup

(These recipes appear in Vegan Meals for One or Two by Chef Nancy Berkoff)

Mango Lemonade

(Makes 4 servings)

2 peeled and cubed ripe mangoes or 2 cups thawed, frozen mango cubes
2 cups cold water
1 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar (sweeten to taste with your favorite vegan variety)

Place mango in a blender canister. Cover and process until pureed. Pour into a pitcher. Add water, lemon juice, and sugar; stir. Allow lemonade to cool before serving, or pour over ice.

Total Calories Per Serving: 131
Total Fat as % of Daily Value: <1%
Protein: 1 gm Fat: <1 gm
Carbohydrates: 35 gm Calcium: 15mg
Iron: <1 mg Sodium: 3 mg
Dietary Fiber: 2 gm


Cool-As-A-Cucumber Soup

(Makes 2 servings)

1 cup peeled, chopped cucumber
1/2 cup cold vegetable broth
1/4 cup silken tofu
2 tablespoons chopped green onions white pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1/8 cup shredded carrots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Place cucumber, broth, tofu, onions, and pepper in a blender. Process until just smooth. Pour into serving bowls and top with carrots and parsley. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Note: This cold soup is a great light summer entree and will last for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

Total Calories Per Serving: 36
Total Fat as % of Daily Value: 2%
Protein: 3 gm Fat: 1 gm
Carbohydrates: 5 gm Calcium: 28 mg
Iron: 1 mg Sodium: 257 mg
Dietary Fiber: 1 gm

11) Veganessentials Discount

Online store, VeganEssentials is offering a special discount for a limited time. Take 5% off any order or 10% off any order over $75. To save 5%, use code VRG01 and to save 10%, use code VRG02. These discounts are good until August 26, 2006. VeganEssentials sells only vegan items! Check them out at their website.

12) Moo Shoes Review

Moo Shoes delivers on their mission of "fashion with compassion"

By Ben A. Shaberman, member and volunteer

For many years, I wanted animal-free footwear, but as many vegans like me know, very few stores carry non-leather shoes. I knew there were options for purchasing vegan shoes over the Internet, but the idea of buying shoes unseen seemed risky. I have a hard enough time buying shoes that I can actually try on first.

A friend recommended that I check out Moo Shoes, and I am pleased to report that my purchase of a business-casual pair of shoes (Montana style) from them has been a great experience. I received excellent service over the telephone from a sales representative who helped me decide which style would best meet my needs. It was easy to place the order, and I received my shoes promptly via UPS. And, most importantly, I like my Moo Shoes. They are comfortable, attractive, and amazingly scuff-resistant. The rubber soles are permanent and appear to be durable, at least over the three months I've worn the shoes. Plus, they have a nifty "Vegetarian Shoes" label on the inside, if you'd like to tout your animal-free footwear to your friends and family, or anyone else who wants to look inside your shoes.

Moo Shoes has all kinds of vegan-friendly footwear and accessories for men and women. Visit http://www.mooshoes.com or call 1-866-59-VEGAN to peruse and shop their product line. Moo Shoes also operates a retail store in Manhattan.

13) Veggie Nuggets


Veggie Dogs at RFK Stadium!

RFK Stadium, home to the Washington Nationals and DC United, is now offering Lightlife's Smart Dogs which are vegan. These veggie dogs can be found in stands 208 and 228.

RFK Stadium also hosts rock concerts and other major events. Contact and menu info on RFK Stadium can be found at Soy Happy http://soyhappy.org/venue.htm#Nationals.


Get a Masters Degree in Humane Education

The International Institute for Humane Education offers a long-distance M.Ed program in Humane Education. As they say on their website, "Humane educators inspire people to live examined, intentional lives so that what they do today helps the planet, animals and all people tomorrow." The deadline is September 1. For more information, email Mary Pat Champeau, M.Ed. Program Director at masters@iihed.org, call (207) 667-2011, or go to the website http://www.iihed.org.


ARFF Is Hiring

ARFF (Animal Rights Foundation of Florida) is hiring! The three open full-time positions are campaign coordinator, outreach coordinator, and veterinary technician. All positions are in sunny, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. For more information, link to http://animalrightsflorida.org/employment.htm or go directly to their home page at http://animalrightsflorida.org/.

14) Special Offers From The VRG

Simply Vegan

The 4th edition of Simply Vegan is here! The nutrition section and vegan products information has been updated. We are offering a 1/2 price special. For $38 you get 5 books and shipping is included; if purchased separately, the cost would be $75. To purchase, go to https://www.vrg.org/secure/order.htm and select "Other - See Notes Field" in the drop-down box. Then write "5 Simply Vegan" in the additional notes section. Or you can call us at (410) 366-8343. This offer is good until September 15, 2006. Or to purchase one copy, link to http://www.vrg.org/catalog/simplyvegan.htm. The cost for one is $15.


The "Help Us Clean Up The Office" Sale!

The VRG is now offering a vegetarian slide show, "Vegetarianism - A Lifestyle You Can Live With" for the low price of $10! The kit includes 34 slides and a 10-page speaker's guide. The presentation runs an hour in length, depending upon the speaker and topics covered. These slides are great for vegetarian group meetings or to show students. Jim Dunn, one of our wonderful volunteers, created the slides and text. The cost includes shipping. To order, go to https://www.vrg.org/secure/order.htm or call us at 410-366-8343 M-F from 9am - 5pm EST. Get them while they last!

15) Director Of Development Corner

How often have you wanted to make a gift in honor of a loved one or friend, but weren't sure which charities are vegetarian friendly, pro-environmental, or pro-animal rights? Please remember The Vegetarian Resource Group. You can make a gift in memory of a loved one or as a living tribute to honor someone you care about on a special occasion, such as a wedding or birth. For more information, please link to http://www.vrg.org/memandhon.htm. If you have any questions, please email Sid Bravmann, Director of Development, at sidbrav@vrg.org or call (410) 366-8343.

16) VRG Vegetarian Scholarship

The VRG will again award $10,000 in college scholarships. Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, we will give two $5,000 college scholarships to graduating high school students who have promoted vegetarianism in their schools and/or communities. The students must be graduating high school in spring 2007. The deadline is February 20, 2007. For more information or to read about past winners, go to http://www.vrg.org/student/scholar.htm.

17) Internships Available

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/donate/?Action=GC&cid=1565

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 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.

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Contents of VRG-News are copyright 2006 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- The Vegetarian Resource Group
PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203
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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.