VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Editor: Sonja Y. Helman
Volume 13, Issue 4
August 2009


  14. About The Vegetarian Resource Group
  15. About VRG-NEWS


For the month of August, TheVegetarianSite is sponsoring The VRG! This means that a portion of your purchase price will go to helping our outreach. Visit TheVegetarianSite for all your vegan needs -- food items, shoes, accessories, books, and more! All of their products are vegan. Their website also has a lot of interesting articles, recipes, and news items. Visit [ http://www.TheVegetarianSite.com ] to start shopping!

We'd like to thank Gretchen Chlebowski, Eric Sharer, Susan Lincke, and Julie Conry for assisting with the VRG booth at the Naperville Veggie Fest in Illinois. Thank you for all your help!

Did you know that VRG is on the social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter? We would love for you to join so you can always know what we're up to!

Facebook [ http://www.facebook.com/thevegetarianresourcegroup ]

Twitter [ http://twitter.com/VegResourceGrp ]


In addition to sending free materials out every day to health, vegetarian, environmental and animal rights groups in all 50 states, The Vegetarian Resource Group does outreach at local and national vegetarian festivals as well as other relevant conferences. This fall VRG will have a booth at the following events:


If you have general nutrition questions, Mark Rifkin, MS, RD, LDN, will be available from 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. EST on Friday, September 4, 2009. To reserve a 20-minute time slot, please email the VRG office at vrg@vrg.org or call (410) 366-8343.

Please 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.


by Reed Mangels, PhD, RD
VRG Nutrition Advisor

When a British psychiatrist's patient refused to take non-vegetarian medications, the psychiatrist contacted drug manufacturers to determine whether or not their products contained ingredients derived from animals. He inquired about antipsychotic, antidepressive, and antimanic medications and found that almost three-quarters of them were vegetarian. Those that were not included medications in capsules (made from animal-derived gelatin) and medications containing animal-derived lactose and magnesium stearate. He did not ask if the products were tested on animals. Products vary from company to company and in different countries; this report was from the UK. In some instances, another company may make a vegetarian version of the medication. Changes in medication should not be made without consulting with your health care provider. McAllister-Williams H, Ramplin S. Vegetarian psychotropics: a survey of psychotropic medications suitable for vegetarians. Hum Psychopharmacol Clin Exp. 2009; 24: 248-250.


by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director

Celia, a salesperson for Azukar Organics, emailed me that their coconut sugar contains no animal ingredients and is not filtered through bone char. For more information, please see the company's website [ http://www.azukarorganics.com/cocosugar.htm ].


by Kristen Lambert
VRG Intern

When I first boarded the plane traveling from Salt Lake City to Baltimore my stomach was upset with a mixture of anxiety and excitement. Earlier that year I was offered an internship with The Vegetarian Resource Group, which I happily accepted, and I was now beginning my multi month journey. Previously in my life I had never traveled further East from Utah than Colorado, especially not alone, so this was a big step in the direction of personal independence.

The plane ride, compared to a Greyhound bus ride, was over in no time, and before I knew it I was at the Baltimore airport being greeted by Jeannie McStay and Charles Stahler of the VRG. The car ride to what would be deemed 'home' for the next two and a half months was filled with fun and interesting facts about Baltimore's history. Since starting my internship, one thing has remained constant the entire time; People I have met since being here always seem to go out of their way to make me feel comfortable and accepted. If it were not for my colleagues at the VRG, who I now consider friends, I would have slipped into a self-pitying black hole of loneliness.

My first week working entitled a tour of the office (I did not expect the extensive library), an introduction to a few of the people responsible for a smooth running organization, and a crash course on what happens behind the scenes of the VRG which includes what I would then be responsible for.

Major projects for my internship:

-Write a FAQ for the upcoming teen section of the VRG website. I had some trouble with this. The question I originally chose to answer was very broad and did not apply to personal experience I had. After consulting with Charles and Reed Mangels, I decided to go a different direction. Here is the question I answered: "There is a small local
restaurant that offers vegetarian options that no one knows about. What can I do to let people know?"

-Write a Vegetarian Action piece that will be featured in an issue of the Vegetarian Journal. I chose someone close to home to write about; Kelly Green is the founder of the vegan bakery 'Cakewalk' in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was extremely helpful to me during our interview, and even provided some samples (vegan cupcakes, and vegan twinkies called 'dillos') that my family was more than happy to devour. It is hard to describe the way I felt when Debra showed me the format my article would have and how it would look in the journal. Proud? Yes.

-2011 survey on Vegetarianism. "Nothing is ever as easy as it seems," would be my choice phrase for describing this project. What I learned from this task is that organization can be my best friend, and math can be my worst. I was required to learn how to use a mail-merge program and make numerous phone calls regarding surveys. The importance of team work and keeping others informed also prevailed, although maybe not so much at first. I would not have not accomplished anything without the guidance of the computer master, i.e., John Cunningham.

-BEA Attending The Book Expo America was a great way to experience New York for the first time. The first day I helped to carry supplies and set up our booth in preparation for the event the next day. Debra suggested that we see the city while we still had energy and were up for the walk, which meant before the expo began. So that night I toured New York with my native guide (Debra), and the tour even included a restaurant stop in Chinatown for, you guessed it, Chinese food! The next few days would be filled with manning our booth, networking, and collecting books. I was introduced to an array of people that were in some way affiliated with the VRG, and I handed out issues of The Vegetarian Journal to passers by. Occasionally I would talk to someone interested in the VRG and refer them back to Charles or Debra. It seemed like "Oh my [insert female relative noun] is a vegetarian/vegan," was stated frequently from people picking up the journal. There were also people who felt their need to justify why they still ate meat after you offered them the literature, which I still don't completely understand. By the end of the expo I was exhausted from all of the work and socializing, so I slept and snored on the car ride back to Baltimore.

The rest of my internship time was filled with less 'major' projects, but still important ones. These assignments included:

-Helping with restaurant listings. I've never wanted Thai food more in my life then after doing this.

-Clerical work (like packaging books to be shipped out). Jeannie is a pro at packing boxes, my tape never laid as flat as hers.

-Learning basic HTML, all thanks to Heather's help.

-Writing, editing, and sending Press Releases. This would not have worked out so well if it weren't for Rachael, the other intern.

My overall experience interning at The Vegetarian Resource Group has been a very rewarding one; I am going back to Utah having gained knowledge and friends. I think when it comes to working for a non-profit, you really have to love what you are doing, and I loved interning here. Thanks to everyone involved in making this encounter possible, and positive. -July, 2009.

Kristen Lambert was a VRG intern and recipient of the Eleanor Wolff Scholarship. If you would like to apply for a VRG internship in Baltimore or to do a long distance internship, please send a resume, writing sample, and cover letter detailing your interests, skills, goals, and vegetarian knowledge to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203, or e-mail to vrg@vrg.org. Most internships are not paid. If you are looking for a paid internship, please indicate your financial need.

For information about interning with The Vegetarian Resource Group, see section 13.


Is your favorite veggie or veg-friendly restaurant in our Online Restaurant Guide [ http://www.vrg.org/restaurant/ ]? If not, why not? Fill out our Online Restaurant Survey Form [ http://www.vrg.org/travel/restupdate.htm ] and share your knowledge!

Here are a few of the most recent additions to the Guide:

Cafe Bamboo
435 Esplanade Ave., New Orleans, LA, 70116
(504) 940-5546
http://www.CafeBamboo.com/ ]
Vegetarian/soul food. In the vegetarian-unfriendly city of New Orleans, this restaurant is an oasis in the desert. Cafe Bamboo is an eclectic all-vegetarian restaurant right off the French Quarter and Mississippi River. Try the Voodoo Sticks (grilled wheat seitan & pepper kabobs served with brown rice & steamed vegetables), Caribbean Tofu Wrap (sweet & spicy coconut tofu rolled with spinach, red & yellow bell peppers, & jasmine rice), or Red Beans & Rice (New Orleans-style creamy red beans with veggie sausage). Their full menu is available for lunch and dinner while a smaller menu is offered through late night at their walk-up window. Cafe Bamboo is located at the Dragon's Den across the street from the old U.S. Mint. Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner through late night. Closed Sunday. Full service, vegan options, take-out, delivery, catering, wine/beer/alcohol, VISA/MC/AMEX/DISC/DC, $$

New Start Veggie Garden
2330 Royal Ln., Ste. 900, Dallas, TX, 75229
(972) 243-0507
http://www.NewStartVeggieGarden.com/ ]
Vegan/Korean. New Start Veggie Garden is an all-vegan restaurant offering Korean and Asian cuisine. The menu changes often but typical dishes include Tofu Lasagna, Potato & Cauliflower Curries, Sweet & Sour "Chicken," and Bulgogi (light sesame "beef"). Although the buffet is the main draw, some made-to-order items are offered. Enjoy live jazz every Saturday evening. New Start Veggie Garden is closed between lunch and dinner, so please call ahead for hours. Open daily for lunch buffet and dinner buffet. Buffet, take-out, catering, VISA/MC/AMEX/DISC, $$

159 2nd Ave., New York, NY, 10003
(212) 677-2011
http://www.StogoNYC.com/ ]
Vegan/ice cream parlor. Stogo is a delightful ice cream parlor, minus the cream. Vegans no longer need to feel alienated when requesting dairy-free ice cream, because that is all Stogo offers! The flavors are soy, coconut milk, or hemp based. Exotic flavors include Salted Caramel Pecan, Bananas Foster, Pomegranate Chocolate Chip, and Mango Berry. You can add toppings such as Goji Berries, Golden Himalayan Raisins, or Rainbow Sprinkles. Stogo is located in the East Village with its entrance on East 10th Street. Open daily for lunch and dinner through late night. Limited service, take-out, soymilk, VISA/MC, $-$$


Monday, October 19, 2009; 6:30 p.m.
Mercury Cafe

The Vegetarian Resource Group will hold a vegan dinner during the American Dietetic Association Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. Dietitians, VRG members, and the public are invited. Come and meet the dietitians from the ADA Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group. Please reserve early. Hope to see you there.

House Salad with Vinaigrette
Tofu Chorizo Empanada
Linguini with Spinach and Tomatoes
Spelt Bread
Choice of Vegan Chocolate Cake or Vegan Pie

COST: $25 before September 30, 2009.
Children are half price. Includes tax and tip. PAYMENT MUST BE MADE IN ADVANCE. Menu subject to change. Please reserve early as seating is limited. Refunds will be made only if we have a replacement for your seat. If you want quinoa instead of linguini, please request when you make your reservation.

To reserve with a credit card, call (410) 366-8343 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time Monday to Friday; fax (410) 366-8804; click on the donation button at [ http://www.vrg.org ] and write "ADA Dinner" in the notes section; or send a check to VRG, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.


The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 Included an extension of a previously expired provision that allowed individuals to roll over up to $100,000 from an individual retirement account directly to a charity (such as VRG) without recognizing the asset transfer as income.

Originally passed in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and extended through 2007, the tax-free rollover has produced more than $130 million in charitable gives, according to the Council on Foundations.

Eligible contributions may now be made through Dec. 31, 2009 for the 2009 tax year. These contributions can be counted as all or a portion of the taxpayer's required minimum distribution (RMD) for 2009.

As in the previous version of the law, a qualified charitable distribution is money that persons 70 1/2 or older direct from a traditional IRA or Roth IRA to an eligible charitable organization. The amount is limited to $100,000 per year per person. Although no charitable deduction is allowed for this contribution, the amount distributed directly to the charity can be excluded from gross income.

There are a few requirements that must be met before the distribution from an IRA to a charity is considered tax free:

� The donor must be at least 70 1/2 years of age

� The distribution must be from a traditional or Roth IRA. Employer-sponsored 401(k), 403(b) and other retirement plans and pensions do not qualify.

� Funds must be transferred directly to the charitable organization by the IRA trustee. If a check is written to the taxpayer, or the taxpayer receives the funds in any way, the funds will be taxed as income.

� Funds must be transferred to one or more qualified charitable organizations or private foundations. Donor-advised funds, supporting charitable organizations and charitable trusts do not qualify to receive these funds.

� Donors can not receive any gifts, or other goods or services, in return for their charitable IRA rollover contribution.

� Donors must obtain written proof of their IRA rollover contribution from each charity receiving funds.

The maximum amount eligible for this type of transfer is $100,000 per individual IRA owner. A married couple with separate IRA accounts can make transfers of up to $100,000 each in a single year. Of course speak to your accountant or lawyer for personal financial, legal, or tax advice.




Immediate need for excellent vegan live-out private chef to cook full-time for small family in Baltimore, Maryland. Must have prior experience cooking a variety of vegan meals. Must also be vegan/vegetarian! Must also help administrate the household - including running errands, paying bills, coordinating subcontractors for house maintenance. Competitive salary! Fax resume to 410-486-7692.



Vegetarian for Life (VfL) is a charity in the United Kingdom with the goal of improving standards of catering for older vegetarians and vegans throughout the UK. They are now offering two charitable funds, The Vegan Fund and The Vegetarian Fund, which they are administering on behalf of their sister organization, the Vegetarian Housing Association (VHA). The purpose of these grants is to enable older vegetarians and vegans to stay in their own homes longer, thereby, being independent longer. For more information about the grants, including requirements to apply, please go to the VfL website [ http://www.vegetarianforlife.org.uk/ ].





Come to Raw Spirit East, a Raw, Vegan, Eco, Peace Celebration, in the secluded 74-acre park of the Patuxent River. Among the myriad of activities, enjoy speakers, yoga, dancing, poetry, art garden, health seminars, and a raw vegan restaurant food court. Pricing information can be found on their website.

WHEN: Saturday - Sunday, August 29-30, 2009; 8 a.m. - midnight
WHERE: Patuxent River 4-H Center, 18405 Queen Anne Road, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
WEB: [ http://www.rawspiritfest.com/index.php?page=2009-washington-dc ]
EMAIL: info@rawspirit.com
PHONE: (928) 776-2011 (Arizona; Mountain Standard Time)



Healthy Snacks & Desserts will feature homemade ice cream from The Vegan Scoop by Wheeler del Torro [ http://www.theveganscoop.com ]. Past classes have included some of the following: Twinkies, cupcakes,
organic fruit trifle, cheesecake, summer fruit tart, brownies, cookies, ice cream mudpie, Key lime pie, chocolate orange mousse pie (both featured at The Vegetable Garden restaurant), rice krispie squares, caramel popcorn, granola bars, and roasted nuts/seeds.

No meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, or honey. $50/person; $90/two people; $45/VSDC, VRG, COK members. Classes include recipes, organic food samples, manufacturers' samples, and coupons. Gift certificates available. Make checks payable to Mimi Clark, 9302 Hallston Ct., Fairfax Station, VA 22039. Sorry, no phone reservations. Seventy-two hour cancellation policy for refund or credit. Class subject to cancellation if minimum enrollment is not met.

Coming up: Beans & Grains, Meatless Holidays

Mimi Clark, "Veggie Gourmet," has been teaching vegan cooking classes for the past 19 years. She has contributed recipes to several natural foods cookbooks, and is currently developing recipes for natural food manufacturers. Her vegan Chocolate Orange Mousse and Key Lime pies are featured at The Vegetable Garden restaurant [ http://www.thevegetablegarden.com ] in Rockville, Maryland.

WHEN: Sunday, August 30; 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
WHERE: Fairfax Station, Virginia
WEB: [ http://www.localdc.com/cooking ]
EMAIL: veggourmet@aol.com
PHONE: (703) 643-2011



D.C. VegFest is a free outdoor festival that highlights how easy and delicious it is to choose vegetarian foods in and around the nation's capital. Co-hosted by Compassion Over Killing (COK) & the Vegetarian Society of D.C. (VSDC), this festival celebrates the city's diverse palette for meatless cuisine and the many benefits of a plant-based diet. Featuring speakers, cooking demonstrations, free food samples, dozens of exhibitors, commercial vendors, and area food vendors, the D.C. VegFest has something for everyone to enjoy! It's four blocks from the Foggy Bottom/GWU Metro station.

WHEN: Saturday, September 12, 2009; 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
WHERE: George Washington University, University Yard (2000 block of H St.) in NW, Washington, DC 20052
WEB: [ http://www.dcvegfest.com/ ]
EMAIL: info@dcvegfest.com
PHONE: (301) 891-2011

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



(This recipe appears in Vegan Passover Recipes by Chef Nancy Berkoff, RD [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/vegpass.htm ]).

Coconut Curry Over Greens

(Serves 4)

You'll find the calories from coconut are worth an occasional indulgence.

2 Tablespoons oil
1-1/2 cups sliced onion
2 teaspoons curry powder
14-ounce can coconut milk
1 cup canned tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 pounds fresh spinach, kale, or Swiss chard
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, for garnish

Heat a large skillet. Spray with oil and add onions and saute until soft and falling apart, about 10 minutes. Stir in curry powder, and cook for 1 more minute.

Add coconut milk and cook, stirring until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for 1 more minute.

Steam or saute fresh greens until tender. Serve coconut curry over sauteed or steamed spinach, kale, or Swiss chard. Garnish with fresh basil.

NOTE: To order Vegan Passover Recipes ($9 US), please call us at (410) 366-8343 M-F 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. EDT. 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!


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 2010. The deadline is February 20, 2010. 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.


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 ]

https://www.givedirect.org/donate/?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.


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!

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:


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Contents of VRG-NEWS are copyright 2009 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.

The Vegetarian Resource Group Logo © 1996- The Vegetarian Resource Group
PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203
(410) 366-8343���Email: vrg@vrg.org

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.