VRG NEWS

VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Editors: Sonja Y. Helman & John L. Cunningham
Volume 11, Issue 8
December 2007

CONTENTS

  1. NOTES FROM THE EDITORS
  2. THE ELEANOR WOLFF INTERN SCHOLARSHIP
  3. VRG TO HOST VEGAN CHINESE DINNER IN HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA
  4. CALCIUM CITRATE IN MINUTE MAID APPLE JUICE
  5. CHARITABLE DONATION FROM IRA
  6. VRG DEAL-OF-THE-MONTH - VEGAN SEAFOOD!
  7. RECIPE - ETHIOPIAN-STYLE "SHRIMP" AND SWEET POTATO STEW
  8. CALL-A-DIETITIAN DAY - JANUARY 11
  9. UPCOMING EVENTS AND CONFERENCES
  10. VRG SCHOLARSHIPS & INTERNSHIPS
  11. About The Vegetarian Resource Group
  12. About VRG-NEWS

1) NOTES FROM THE EDITORS

The Vegetarian Resource Group has just published Chef Nancy Berkoff's newest book, Vegan Seafood: Beyond the Fish Shtick for Vegetarians. With this 96-page book, you can avoid fish but still enjoy the taste of the sea with Ethiopian-Style "Shrimp" and Sweet Potato Stew, "Tuna" Noodle Casserole, "Fish" Sticks, "Crab" Rangoon, Eggplant "Caviar," Gefilte "Fish," Spicy "Fish" Cakes, "Fish" Tacos, "Tuna" Salad, and "Crab" Enchiladas. Included are sections on omega-3 fatty acids for vegans, cooking with vegan "fish," and "seafood" stocks and sauces. This is a great book to give to all your friends who think vegetarians have to eat fish and to your vegetarian friends who wouldn't eat fish anyway! Please see Section 6 for how to purchase this book and for our special offer.

We often receive inquiries from people looking for veggie-friendly books for kids. Fortunately, there are a lot more of these kinds of books available now than in the past. We have compiled a thorough list for teens, children, and parents. Dasha Bushmakin, Debra Wasserman, Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, and parents on our parents email list [ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vrgparents/ ] helped create this list. To access the list, please go here: [ http://www.vrg.org/family/Vegetarian-friendly_Kids_Booklist.pdf ].

Speaking of kids, you may want to check out Nickelodeon's website for parents to see what Reed Mangels, our Nutrition Advisor, wrote about teens and vegetarian diets: [ http://www.parentsconnect.com/questions/teen_vegetarian_diet.jhtml ]

To support our outreach, please visit [ http://www.vrg.org/support.htm ]. If you would like to donate stock to us, please check 'securities' on the donation page [ https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?Action=GC&CID=1565 ], call (410) 366-8343, or email vrg@vrg.org. Thanks!

We wish you and yours a happy, safe, and peaceful holiday season!


2) THE ELEANOR WOLFF INTERN SCHOLARSHIP

The following is a thank you letter written by Bobby Smith, previous winner of the VRG Eleanor Wolff internship:

"My internship is going really well. I'm doing clerical database work, research, packaging, and I'm also writing articles for the Vegetarian Journal. This internship is really opening my eyes to the behind-the-scenes work of grassroots activism and the hard laborious work of non-profits. The two conferences I attended (Book Expo America in Manhattan and American Library Association in DC) exemplified how VRG makes connections, popularizes vegan literature, and spreads the word about much-encompassing issues surrounding vegan and vegetarian lifestyles. Everyone who I met--in and out of the office--affiliated with VRG has been extremely friendly, personable, and inspiring. The hands-on work, conferences, and amazing group of people at VRG has made my experience and work really rewarding.

With the help of Jeannie and a few others in the office, I've become vegan. I was always afraid to take what seemed to be the impossible step of giving up dairy products. The transition has been smooth and I actually feel healthier. I always have had a varied and nutritious diet; veganism has actually gotten me to try things I wouldn't try before I was vegan, thereby expanding, not limiting, my dietary choices. Admittingly, if one is to make the switch to veganism, there's no better place to work than VRG.

I'm currently at Ithaca College studying journalism and politics and aspiring to write for a progressive political magazine. I also was accepted to the American University nationally recognized international relations program. Wherever I end up, I will undoubtedly bring what I've learned from VRG with me and continue the vegan/animal rights activism on campus.

I couldn't thank both of you (donors to the Eleanor Wolff Scholarship) enough for making this opportunity a reality for me. Being the first person in my extended family to attend college, I've been exposed to educational and networking opportunities that were not possible for anyone else in my family. My VRG internship is another example of one of those great opportunities, and it is because of your generous contributions that I'm able to be here. So in conclusion, my internship has been a wonderful experience and thank you again!"

Eleanor Wolff became a totally committed vegan late in life once she learned and understood that there were many reasons for making this change. The Eleanor Wolff scholarship is a $2,000 paid internship (plus $1,000 toward housing) for a student who 1) wants to be an effective change agent in a society based on meat, 2) is motivated to use knowledge gained from the internship to make a significant impact within their world, 3) Could not participate in this development effort without a little financial assistance.

Currently, one internship scholarship per year is offered. VRG also has unpaid internships available (see Section 10).

Editors' Note: Bobby has since transferred to American University and is still spreading the word about veganism.

Click here to read an article Bobby wrote for The Chronicle of Higher Education


3) VRG TO HOST VEGAN CHINESE DINNER IN HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA

On Sunday, December 23, 1 p.m., The Vegetarian Resource Group will hold a vegan Chinese dinner at Huang's Mandarin House in Hollywood, Florida (near Ft. Lauderdale).

The menu will include:
Hot and Sour Soup/Vegetable Soup
String Beans in Garlic Sauce
Curry Vegetarian Chicken
Orange Crispy Tofu
Chinese Greens
Vegetable Chow Fun
White and brown rice
Oranges

Cost is $25 per person ($8 for children under 12), including tax and tip. Reservations must be prepaid by Dec. 20. Call (410) 366-8343 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern time Monday to Friday; fax (410) 366-8804; or send a check, no later than Dec. 15, to VRG, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.


4) CALCIUM CITRATE IN MINUTE MAID APPLE JUICE

by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS, VRG Research Director

We called Minute Maid recently about the calcium citrate in their apple juice served at McDonald's and Burger King. According to Kemisha, a Customer Service Representative at Minute Maid, it appears to be mineral/vegetable.

Kemisha described the process used to make the calcium citrate. The calcium citrate is formed by heating limestone ore to get lime (calcium oxide). The lime is hydrated (with water) to get calcium hydrate. The calcium hydrate is neutralized with citric acid leaving calcium citrate. The citric acid is a corn fermentation product.

The calcium citrate in all Minute Maid Apple Juice, available in supermarkets, is prepared this way.


5) CHARITABLE DONATION FROM IRA

In August 2006, Congress approved special rules under a new law that provides an excellent gift option for donors. If you are 70 1/2 or older and you own a traditional IRA, you are allowed to transfer up to $100,000 from your IRA to a Charity such as The Vegetarian Resource Group as a gift. But this special option expires December 31, 2007. (Congress may extend this.) Though you are not allowed an income tax charitable deduction for this gift, you will not have to report this distribution from your IRA as additional income on your personal income tax return. What's more, this distribution will count toward your required minimum distribution for the year! In order to qualify for the special rules under this new law, this transfer must be a "direct transfer" from your IRA plan to the Charity. Talk to your IRA plan administrator about its procedures for completing this special gift option. For more details, see [ http://tinyurl.com/2kslao ].


6) VRG DEAL-OF-THE-MONTH - VEGAN SEAFOOD!

by Nancy Berkoff, EdD, RD. You can receive 5 books for only $30. This is half price! One book is $12. For this special offer, shipping is free (media rate shipping in the United States only). If you live outside of the U.S., shipping charges will still apply; contact us for rates at vrg@vrg.org.

To order, visit [ https://www.vrg.org/secure/order.htm ] or call (410) 366-8343 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday. If ordering online, please type 'VRG-NEWS - December' in the 'Additional Notes' section. You can also mail a check made payable to The Vegetarian Resource Group to VRG, PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and U.S. currency. Maryland residents: please add 6% tax to your total. Thanks!

This offer is good until January 3, 2008 so don't wait!


7) RECIPE - ETHIOPIAN-STYLE "SHRIMP" AND SWEET POTATO STEW

(This recipe appears in Vegan Seafood - Beyond the Fish Shtick for Vegetarians by Nancy Berkoff)

(Serves 6)

1 cup water
1 cup chopped sweet onions
3 Tablespoons fresh chopped and seeded chilies (you choose the heat)
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
3 fresh peeled and small-diced sweet potatoes (about 3 cups)
3 cups diced canned tomatoes
2 cups drained canned garbanzo beans
1 cup fresh, or frozen, thawed green beans (cut in 1-inch pieces)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups vegan "shrimp"++
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Put water, onion, chilies, ginger, and garlic in a large pot. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add cumin, cinnamon, and red pepper. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, green beans, vegetable broth, and peanut butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in "shrimp" and cilantro and cook for 5 minutes. Serve over steamed rice.

Note: If peanut butter is not desired, you may substitute ¼ cup vegan cream cheese or 1/4 cup coconut milk.

++vegan "shrimp" can be found in Asian groceries, ordered from the web at such online retailers as [ http://www.vegieworld.com ], or you can substitute cubed, smoked tofu.

Total calories per serving: 316
Total Fat as % of Daily Value: 13% Dietary Fiber: 9 g
Protein: 10 g Fat: 9 g
Carbohydrates: 50 g Calcium: 121 mg
Iron: 4 mg Sodium: 1,048 mg


8) CALL-A-DIETITIAN DAY - JANUARY 11

If you have general nutrition questions, Mark Rifkin, MS, RD, LDN, will be available from 2:30pm - 5:30pm EST on Friday, January 11, 2008. To reserve a 20-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 has a private practice in Baltimore, MD, that focuses 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.

In addition, Mark is offering a 20% discount on any service for VRG members. This is for his private practice and is not affiliated with The VRG or Call-A-Dietitian Day.


9) UPCOMING EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

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

LOMA LINDA, CA: INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON VEGETARIAN NUTRITION

The 5th ICVN is a scientific conference on the health effects of plant-based diets.

WHEN: March 4-6, 2008
WHERE: Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California

For more information, please visit [ http://www.vegetariannutrition.org ].

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

CHICAGO, IL: SOY SYMPOSIUM

Save the date for the 14th Soy Symposium, Soy: New Horizons. Registration starts November 15, 2007.

WHEN: April 17 & 18, 2008
WHERE: Downtown Chicago, Illinois

For more information, please see the Soyfoods Association of North America website [ http://www.soyfoods.org/news/events/ ].

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10) VRG SCHOLARSHIPS & INTERNSHIPS

VRG Scholarships

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 2008. The deadline is February 20, 2008. For more information or to read about past winners, go to [ http://www.vrg.org/student/scholar.htm ].

VRG Internships

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, bequests, 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?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 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 us at vrg@vrg.org. If you have any suggestions, ideas, or corrections to VRG-NEWS, please direct them to vrg@vrg.org. Thanks!

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Contents of VRG-NEWS are copyright 2007 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.



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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.

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