VRG NEWS

VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Editor: Sonja Y. Helman
Volume 13, Issue 3
June 2009

CONTENTS

  1. NOTES FROM THE EDITOR
  2. "HOW MANY VEGETARIANS ARE THERE?" 2009 POLL
  3. VITAMIN D IN CHEX CEREALS
  4. CALCIUM STEARATE IN SMARTIES® CANDY IS VEGETABLE-SOURCED
  5. OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE
  6. KFC CANADA'S UNCHICKEN
  7. THE VEGAN MONOLOGUES
  8. VEGGIE NUGGETS
  9. UPCOMING EVENTS AND CONFERENCES
  10. VRG DEAL-OF-THE-MONTH - VEGAN MICROWAVE COOKBOOK
  11. RECIPE - VEGAN MARSHMALLOWS
  12. VRG SCHOLARSHIPS & INTERNSHIPS
  13. About The Vegetarian Resource Group
  14. About VRG-NEWS

1) NOTES FROM THE EDITOR

Currently, the top 5 vote-getters for favorite chain restaurants for vegetarians are: Chipotle, Qdoba, Souplantion/Sweet Tomatoes, Taco Bell, and Noodles & Company. To vote for your favorite, please go to [ http://www.vrg.org/vote/index.php ].

We'd like to thank the following volunteers for helping with the VRG booths at Printers Row Lit Fest and the Green Festival in Chicago: Gretchen Chlebowski, Robert Chlebowski, Ned Chlebowski, Susan Lincke, Debbie Grossman, Judy Grossman, Eric Sharer, Valerie Soszynski Thanks so much for your assistance!

Thanks as always to Ryan Andrews, RD for his quick and thorough proofreading of VRG-NEWS!


2) "HOW MANY VEGETARIANS ARE THERE?" 2009 POLL

The Vegetarian Resource Group has commissioned a poll to find out how many vegetarians there are in the United States. To read the results, please go to the following [ http://www.vrg.org/press/2009poll.htm ]. To check out our previous polls, please see [ http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/faq.htm#poll ].


3) VITAMIN D IN CHEX CEREALS

by Reed Mangels, PhD, RD
VRG Nutrition Advisor

When vitamin D is added to foods, it can be either vitamin D2 which is derived from yeast or vitamin D3 which is derived from lanolin from sheep's wool. Usually packages of foods that are fortified with vitamin D specify whether it is vitamin D2 or vitamin D3. Some packages of Chex cereals simply list vitamin D as an ingredient. We contacted General Mills and learned that the vitamin D in Chex cereals (Rice Chex, Wheat Chex, Corn Chex, Honey-Nut Chex, Chocolate Chex, Strawberry Chex, and Cinnamon Chex) is vitamin D3 and does come from lanolin. Honey-Nut Chex also contains honey and Chocolate Chex, Strawberry Chex, and Cinnamon Chex contain milk.


4) CALCIUM STEARATE IN SMARTIES® CANDY IS VEGETABLE-SOURCED

by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director

In response to a question from The VRG, Sarah from the Quality Assurance Department of Ce De Candy, Inc., maker of Smarties® candy, asked an ingredient supplier about the source of the calcium stearate in Smarties® candy. Sarah told The VRG that the calcium stearate is derived from a vegetable source, most likely from palm.

Readers may note that the Bubble Gum Smarties® is the only variety with carmine, derived from beetles, listed as an ingredient.


5) OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE

by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director

The VRG received an email in December 2008 from a reader claiming that "almost all" of the food at Outback Steakhouse contains meat byproducts such as lard or chicken broth. The reader said that all the soups contain chicken broth and that lard is in the vegetable seasoning. Another reader in December 2008 forwarded to us an email that she said was from Outback in response to her question to them about the cheeses. That response stated that the Monterey and cheddar cheeses "are made from a microbial agent as opposed to rennet."

The Outback Steakhouse website contains a FAQ page which indicates that patrons may request that items are prepared in pans without butter. Steamed vegetables are on the menu. The website lists items that contain milk or milk products and items that may be prepared without dairy on request in its list of menu items appropriate for patrons with dairy allergy or lactose intolerance. There is a comment about MSG in the FAQ that implies that chicken or beef broth is in all the soups, the 'shrooms mushroom dish, and other menu item components.

The VRG contacted Outback by phone and email several times in January 2009 to ask about the food served there and the information on the restaurant website, and to confirm the information that we had received. We did not receive any response.

Those readers who find themselves at an Outback Steakhouse are advised to ask the manager specific questions about the menu items served there.


6) KFC CANADA'S UNCHICKEN

by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA) announced in June 2008 that KFC Canada would be offering a vegan mock chicken patty in 461 Prizm-owned franchised stores and some corporate-owned stores who chose to offer it. The Unchicken Sandwich is intended to be a permanent part of the menu according to Matt Prescott of PeTA. He told us that a Canadian company would be supplying KFC Canada with the patty but that the restaurants would do the battering. Prescott said that no KFC in the United States, (or anywhere else in the world), carries this product at this time.

The VRG interviewed the president of the company selling the unchicken patty to KFC Canada. He informed us that his company would be manufacturing the patty and breading it. Both the patty and the breading are all-vegetable. He stated that the bun used by KFC Canada contains milk products. He was not sure of the cooking method used by KFC Canada, but told us that the patty could be prepared by microwave or toaster.

The VRG called KFC Canada and was told by Rick, a customer service representative, to call its Public Relations firm because he had no information about the Unchicken Sandwich.

Yvonne, A PR representative for KFC Canada, did confirm for us that the patty in the Unchicken Sandwich is all-vegetable. She wasn't sure about the breading ingredients or who prepares the breading and how, but told us that she would ask KFC Canada and get back to us.

Yvonne told us that the sandwich can be ordered without mayonnaise. She could not confirm whether the bun contains milk products, whether the patty could be ordered without the bun, or with an all-vegetable bun (or even if there were any at KFC Canada used with other sandwiches). She also did not know about the cooking method of the patty (whether it was microwaved or cooked in oil along with meat products).

In January 2009, the last time that we spoke with Yvonne, she reiterated what PeTA told us: the Unchicken Sandwich is offered in over four hundred restaurants throughout Canada, mostly Prizm-franchised restaurants and in some of the corporate-owned restaurants as well. Yvonne could not say that the product is considered a permanent menu item. She said that only permanent menu items are listed on the website and acknowledged that the Unchicken Sandwich is not listed there.

The VRG has called the PR firm several times since July 2008, always with the same questions. We are always told that no further information is available because KFC Canada is not responding to their emails requesting more information.

VRG readers who find themselves at a KFC Canada restaurant, and who are looking for a vegan item, may want to ask the manager about bun ingredients and cooking methods before ordering the Unchicken Sandwich.


7) THE VEGAN MONOLOGUES

The Vegan Monologues: Collected Essays by Ben Shaberman

There's nothing funny about being a vegan, unless you're humorist Ben Shaberman. He explores the lighter side of one of the world's fastest growing life choices: living meat-free. From social absurdities to his own foibles, Shaberman's reflections will put a smile on the faces of vegans and omnivores alike. Ben Shaberman's essays and articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Vegetarian Times, VegNews, Vegetarian Journal, and a variety of other publications. His commentaries have also been carried by NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR in Baltimore and Des Moines.

The Vegan Monologues can be purchased at [ http://www.veganmonologues.com/ ], the Vegetarian Resource Group at [ https://www.vrg.org/secure/order.htm ] or most online book retailers.


8) VEGGIE NUGGETS

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GORGEOUS ANIMAL PHOTOS AVAILABLE THROUGH WILD LEEK PHOTOGRAPHY

Looking for a beautiful photo for your home or that perfect gift for your animal loving friend or relative? Wild Leek Photography specializes in portraits of sanctuary, rescued, wild, and companion animals. The project was created by accomplished photographer Davida Gypsy Breier who has been involved in animal rescue her entire life and worked for numerous animal-related non-profit organizations. Davida's photographs feature an array of different animals including wild birds, insects, and farm animals. None of Davida's pictures have been taken in zoo environments or exploitative conditions. If you are a vegetarian or animal organization or if you are interested in portraits for yourself, please contact Davida at Davida@wildleekphotography.com or visit her website at [ http://www.wildleekphotography.com ].

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MONTANA VEGETARIAN CAFE FOR SALE!

If you've ever wanted to own your own restaurant, this may be your opportunity! A vegetarian cafe, located just north of Yellowstone National Park in the beautiful valley town of Livingston, Montana, is for sale. The café has been open for over three years and serves vegetarian and vegan food to a wide variety of tourists, townies, and regulars. The owner is hoping to sell to someone who will keep it vegetarian. The asking price for the established business and all equipment is 20K and the owner is willing to finance. Please direct any questions to Brandon at tillettgeo@gmail.com.

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9) UPCOMING EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN: THEIR LIVES, OUR VOICES

Join activists from all around the country this summer at the second annual Midwestern Animal Advocacy Conference, "Their Lives, Our Voices." This event is an inclusive, affordable, and hands-on conference focused on empowering advocates in their efforts to help farmed animals. The conference is hosted by Compassionate Action for Animals, an animal advocacy organization based in Minneapolis, MN.

WHEN: June 12-14, 2009
WHERE: The Hubert H. Humphrey Conference Center in Minneapolis, MN
WEB:http://www.tlov.org/ ]
EMAIL: info@tlov.org
PHONE: (612) 626-5785

Please stop by our booth!

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WORLDWIDE: VEGAN BAKE SALE

The first Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale is a way for groups to raise money while introducing people to delicious vegan baked goods. The website has more information such as vegan recipes and baking tips. They have a listing of events being held around the world; to see if there is one near you, please go to [ http://www.veganbakesale.org/veganbakesale/vbs-where.html ].

WHEN: June 20-28, 2009
WHERE: Worldwide!
WEB:http://www.veganbakesale.org ]
EMAIL: info@veganbakesale.org

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DAYTON, OH: FREE VEGAN DINNER & PRESENTATION

Join Mercy For Animals and Vegetarian Advocates for a free vegan dinner followed by a talk about reclaiming one's health by Dr. Barbara Ellicott. Dr. Elliott will share her journey of healing from multiple life-threatening illnesses through a plant-based diet. She is a psychologist, author, marathon runner, and motivational speaker.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 23, 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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LOS ANGELES, CA: JAINA CONVENTION 2009

The 15th Biennial JAINA Convention will be held in one of the largest Jain Centers outside of India. The theme for this year's convention is "Ecology - The Jain Way." Online and mail-in registration ends on June 24, 2009. After that, only on-site registration will be available.

WHEN: July 2-5, 2009
WHERE: Jain Center of Southern California, 8072 Commonwealth Ave, Buena Park, CA 90621
WEB:https://convention.jaina.org/ ]
EMAIL: registration2009@jaina.org
PHONE: (714) 523-5246

VRG will have a booth here so please stop by!

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JOHNSTOWN, PA: VEGETARIAN SUMMERFEST 2009

The 35th annual conference of the North American Vegetarian Society (NAVS) will bring together some of the very best speakers, workshops, food, social activities, and more. The campus is a 650-acre mountaintop wildlife preserve with 40 acres of hiking trails. Registrants may attend the entire 5-day conference, or opt for the weekend only. Conference fees cover the entire educational program, including classes, lectures, workshops, and discussions, as well as films, entertainment and use of certain athletic areas. Also covered are vegan meals, with ample variety to suit most any preference, and on-campus housing which includes a twin bed, linen, and towels.

WHEN: July 8-12, 2009
WHERE: Conference Center at Pitt-Johnstown on the University of Pittsburgh campus at Johnstown, PA
WEB:http://vegetariansummerfest.org/ ]
PHONE: (518) 568-7970

The VRG will have a table at this event so please stop by and say hello!

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LOS ANGELES, CA: ANIMAL RIGHTS 2009 NATIONAL CONFERENCE

The Animal Rights National Conference, sponsored by Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), will be on the west coast for 2009. Featuring 90 speakers from 60 animal protection groups in 9 countries, this conference will include exhibits, videos, networking receptions, vegan food, and much more!

WHEN: July 16-20, 2009
WHERE: Westin LAX in Los Angeles, CA
WEB:http://arconference.org/ ]
EMAIL: info@arconference.org
PHONE: 888-FARM-USA (888-327-6872)

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PORTLAND, ME: VEGETARIAN & VEGAN FOOD FESTIVAL

The 5th Annual Vegetarian and Vegan Food Festival, organized by the Maine Animal Coalition, will feature a half day full of vegan food samples, exhibitors, workshops, cooking demos, kids activities, a raffle and more. The event promises to offer the latest in food and wellness promoting an animal cruelty free lifestyle. This year's festival is expected to attract over 500 attendees. Admission is FREE!

WHEN: Saturday, July 18, 2009, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: East End Community Center, 195 North Street, Portland, Maine (part of the East End Community School)
WEB:http://www.maineanimalcoalition.org/artman/publish/article_1336.shtml ]
EMAIL: mac@maineanimalcoalition.org
PHONE: (207) 773-2011

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ARLINGTON, VA: TAKING ACTION FOR ANIMALS 2009

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) presents the fifth annual Taking Action for Animals Conference. Sponsored by leading animal protection organizations, the event includes: training workshops, exhibitors, social events, and keynote sessions. This year's theme is "The Art of the Possible: Change Animals Can Believe
In."

WHEN: July 24-27, 2009
WHERE: Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA
WEB:http://www.takingactionforanimals.com/ ]
EMAIL: info@takingactionforanimals.com

VRG will have a table at this event so please stop by!

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DENVER, CO: VRG's VEGAN DINNER

Mercury Cafe

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

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.

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

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.

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10) VRG DEAL-OF-THE-MONTH - VEGAN MICROWAVE COOKBOOK

While supplies last, copies of Vegan Microwave Cookbook [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/veganmicro.htm ] by Chef Nancy Berkoff, EdD, RD, are available for the low price of $7! Covers are slightly damaged. For this special offer, shipping is free (media mail 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 M-F 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. EDT. If ordering online, please type 'VRG-NEWS - June/MW' 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!


11) RECIPE - VEGAN MARSHMALLOWS

Jeanette Sutton of New Zealand has kindly shared her recipe for vegan marshmallows with us. She worked for a long time to get it just right and finally was able to create a vegan version of a much-loved treat.

The recipe can be found on Jeanette's website, MeatandEggFree.com, on the following page: [ http://www.meatandeggfree.com/agar-marshmallows.html ]

Thanks Jeanette for sharing your recipe with all of us!


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 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.


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!

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

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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 © 1996-2014 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.