VRG NEWS

VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Editor: Sonja Y. Helman
Volume 13, Issue 1
January 2009

CONTENTS

  1. NOTES FROM THE EDITOR
  2. VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT CHAIN FOR VEGETARIANS!
  3. VEGETARIAN JOURNAL'S PICKS FOR TOP VEGGIE-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT CHAINS
  4. VEGETARIANS NEEDED FOR COMMUNICATION STUDY
  5. VEGETARIAN HOTEL & RESORT IN COSTA RICA SPECIAL OFFERS
  6. NEW FDA LABELING RULES FOR BEETLE-DERIVED INGREDIENTS
  7. CALL-A-DIETITIAN DAY - MARCH 20
  8. VEGGIE NUGGETS
  9. UPCOMING EVENTS AND CONFERENCES
  10. VRG DEAL-OF-THE-MONTH - NO CHOLESTEROL PASSOVER RECIPES
  11. RECIPE - CINNAMON MATZAH BALLS
  12. VRG SCHOLARSHIPS & INTERNSHIPS
  13. About The Vegetarian Resource Group
  14. About VRG-NEWS

1) NOTES FROM THE EDITOR

Happy New Year! We are already busy as we begin 2009!

Thanks to an anonymous donor, The VRG will again award two $5000 college scholarships to graduating U.S. high school students who have promoted vegetarianism in their schools and/or communities. The deadline is February 20, 2009. For more information, see section 12.

Please vote for YOUR favorite restaurant chain for vegetarians in our online survey. Who will win the top spot? YOU decide! See section 2.

With your support, The VRG is looking forward to another great year of spreading the word about vegetarianism.


2) VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT CHAIN FOR VEGETARIANS!

What is your favorite restaurant chain for vegetarians? We want to know! Please vote now at [ http://www.vrg.org/vote/ ].


3) VEGETARIAN JOURNAL'S PICKS FOR TOP VEGGIE-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT CHAINS

The VRG looked at the 400 largest restaurant chains in the United States to find out which ones are the best for vegetarians and vegans. To see the results, please check out "Who's the Veggie-Friendliest of Them All?: The Top Restaurant Chains for Vegetarians" [ http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2008issue4/whos_veggie_friendly.html ].

Don't forget our online restaurant guide of vegetarian, vegan, and veggie-friendly restaurants in the U.S. and Canada [ http://www.vrg.org/restaurant/index.htm ]. And if you know of a restaurant that we don't have listed but should, please let us know! You can either complete the form here [ http://www.vrg.org/travel/restupdate.htm ] or email us at vrg@vrg.org. Thanks!


4) VEGETARIANS NEEDED FOR COMMUNICATION STUDY

A Ph.D. student at The University of Texas at Austin is studying how vegetarians talk about being vegetarian and is trying to capture the experiences of as many vegetarians across the country as possible. At least 250 vegetarians are needed for this study. Deadline is February 1, 2009.

Please go to the following page to participate in the study: [ http://texascommunication.qualtrics.com/SE?SID=SV_bvyubavkEj7c73e&SVID=Prod ]


5) VEGETARIAN HOTEL & RESORT IN COSTA RICA SPECIAL OFFERS

Lands in love is a hotel & resort in Costa Rica that is completely vegetarian (including the owners & staff). The restaurant features Israeli and international cuisine. They run vegetarian tours to the main attractions in Costa Rica (volcanoes, wildlife reserves, beaches, etc.) with transportation and professional guides. At the hotel area they have canopy tours, canyoning tours, horseback riding, rafting, and cloud forest guided trails.

For readers of VRG-NEWS, Lands in love is offering some special offers:

To receive the offers, let them know you heard about their resort from VRG-NEWS. You can contact them in the following ways:
Email [ reservations@landsinlove.com ]
Call (506) 2447-9331 / 7 in Costa Rica
Call (408) 212-0995 in the United States.
Visit their website [ http://www.landsinlove.com ]

Deadline is December 31, 2009.


6) NEW FDA LABELING RULES FOR BEETLE-DERIVED INGREDIENTS

New FDA Labeling Rules for Beetle-Derived Food and Cosmetic Cochineal Extract and Carmine Coloring

By Jeanne Yacoubou, MS VRG Research Director

In January 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that all foods and cosmetics containing cochineal extract or carmine must contain a "prominent and conspicuous" declaration of these ingredients by name at least once on the item label. Previously, these colorings, derived from female cochineal beetles, could be declared on a label under the generic "color added" or something similar.

The ruling becomes compulsory in January 2011. Voluntary compliance by companies may begin immediately.

The colorings are currently used in a host of products including ice cream, yogurt, fruit drinks and candy to give them a red or purple color.

The FDA based its decision on reports of severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, to the coloring. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) filed a petition in 1998 containing reports of dozens of severe allergic reactions to the coloring and recommended that it be labeled.

The new ruling does NOT specify that manufacturers must indicate the insect source of the ingredient.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For help in deciphering labels, our Guide to Food Ingredients is an invaluable resource. In this booklet, VRG Research Director Jeanne Yacoubou, lists the uses, sources, and definitions of 200 common food ingredients. For more information or to order, please go to [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/fing.htm ].


7) CALL-A-DIETITIAN DAY - MARCH 20

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, March 20, 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.


8) VEGGIE NUGGETS

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VEGY 101: VEGETARIAN LESSON PLAN FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

Philip Becker, high school science teacher, created the course, Vegy 101: An Introduction to Living and Thriving on an Environmentally Sustainable Diet.

For more information, including the course syllabus, please see the following: [ http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2009issue1/vj2009issue1vegy101.htm ]

Philip Becker is a VRG life member and longtime volunteer.

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9 NUTRITION REALITIES

Ryan Andrews, vegan dietitian and VRG volunteer, has created an online presentation that illustrates how one's daily food intake influences the planet.

You can view it here: [ http://www.precisionnutrition.com/members/showthread.php?t=12212 ]

Ryan Andrews, MS, MA, RD, CSCS, is Director of Education for Precision Nutrition.

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9) UPCOMING EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

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DAYTON, OH: FREE DOCUMENTARY SCREENING & MUNCHIES

Join Mercy For Animals for free snacks and the compelling documentary, Eating. Learn the science and hear the stories of people who used a dietary approach to successfully treat their heart disease, breast cancer, adult-onset diabetes and other health problems. Called "life-changing" by many, this film is used in wellness clinics throughout the world to motivate people to change their diets and restore their health.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Dayton Metro Library, Auditorium (2nd Floor), 215 E. Third St.,
Dayton, Ohio
WEB: [ http://www.mercyforanimals.org ]
EMAIL: mindys@mercyforanimals.org
PHONE: (937) 890-9174

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PORTLAND, OR: MOGO (MOST GOOD) WORKSHOP

The MOGO (Most Good, Least Harm) principle is based on a very simple premise: when we do the most good and the least harm in our daily
choices, acts of citizenship, community, work, and volunteerism, we create a life of inner peace while contributing to the building of a peaceful, sustainable world for all. Zoe Weil, president and co-founder of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE) will present this MOGO Workshop. Part retreat, part educational workshop, MOGO is recommended for anyone who wishes to learn how to make their lives a manifestation of their greatest vision for the world. Regular rate is $110 and student rate is $75; lunch is included along with a copy of Zoe's book, Most Good, Least Harm. Register early as space is limited.

WHEN: Saturday, February 7, 2009, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: Cascadia Commons Cohousing Community Common House, 4377 SW 94th Ave., Portland, Oregon
WEB: [ http://www.humaneeducation.org/sections/view/mogo ]
EMAIL: mogo@humaneeducation.org
PHONE: (207) 667-2011

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10) VRG DEAL-OF-THE-MONTH - NO CHOLESTEROL PASSOVER RECIPES

While supplies last, 1st edition copies of No Cholesterol Passover Recipes by Debra Wasserman are available for the low price of $3! For this special offer, shipping is free (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 M-F 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. EST. If ordering online, please type 'VRG-NEWS - January' 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!

Better hurry on this one—limited quantities available!


11) RECIPE - CINNAMON MATZAH BALLS

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

Cinnamon Matzah Balls (Makes about 12-16 dessert balls)

Matzah balls don't just belong in soup!

1 cup margarine
1/2 cup dry sweetener
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (see note)
1-3/4 cups fine matzah meal or matzah cake flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Allow margarine to soften at room temperature.

Place margarine in a medium bowl. Cream together margarine and sweetener. Mix in vanilla. Sift together matzah meal, cinnamon, and ginger. Mix into margarine. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Shape into 1-inch round balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow matzah balls to cool before serving. Can be dusted with cinnamon or rolled in finely chopped almonds prior to serving.

Notes: If Pesach vanilla is not available, you can create your own
vanilla extract by mashing a very small piece of fresh vanilla bean in a small amount of vodka. If this is not available, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest for the vanilla. If desired, 1/4 cup finely chopped raisins or dates may be added to the dough before you shape it into balls.


12) 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 2009. The deadline is February 20, 2009. 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?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 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 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.



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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.

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