VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Volume 14, Issue 8
December 2010

CONTENTS

  1. SEMINAR AND VEGAN DINNER IN MARYLAND
  2. CHICK-FIL-A WAFFLE POTATO FRIES ARE VEGAN
  3. VRG'S NEW BOOK - VEGANS KNOW HOW TO PARTY - NOW AVAILABLE!
  4. GREEN & BLACK'S DARK CHOCOLATE NOW LISTS WHOLE MILK POWDER IN INGREDIENTS
  5. Q & A ON SHELLAC
  6. VRG IN THE NEWS
  7. LIFE INSURANCE AND BEQUESTS
  8. VRG HANUKKAH LATKE RECIPE FEATURED ON CBS
  9. DO YOU CALLOU?
  10. About The Vegetarian Resource Group
  11. About VRG-NEWS

1) SEMINAR AND VEGAN DINNER IN MARYLAND

Date and Time: Sunday, December 12, 2010, 4:30 PM
Location: Hunan Manor, 7091 Deepage Drive, Columbia, Maryland 21045

Seminar Topic: Charitable Giving: Creating a Lasting Impact

DINNER:

Vegetarian Spring Roll
Vegetarian Chicken with Mixed Vegetables
Vegetarian Beef with Black Pepper Sauce
Vegetarian Crispy Fish Steak Hunan Style
Eggplant in Hot Garlic Sauce
Rice Noodles
Oranges

Menu subject to change.

Sponsored by Avraham Rappaport, CLTC of Steinharter Insurance Services.

THIS EVENT IS FREE, BUT PLEASE RESERVE TODAY IN ADVANCE AS THERE IS LIMITED SEATING. E-MAIL VRG@VRG.ORG OR CALL THE VEGETARIAN RESOURCE GROUP AT (410) 366-8343 MONDAY TO FRIDAY.


2) CHICK-FIL-A WAFFLE POTATO FRIES ARE VEGAN

by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director

A reader recently asked The VRG if Chick-fil-A still prepares its Waffle Potato Fries™ in beef tallow as it did a few years ago. We contacted the restaurant chain and spoke with Diane, a Customer Service Representative, who assured us that Chick-fil-A is now using canola oil to cook its fries. This side item is all-plant-based and cooked in a fryer designated for fries only. Patrons may consult the website to find all ingredients listed for this and all other menu items.

Vegetarian and vegan guests at Chick-fil-A will be pleased to learn that this restaurant chain devotes one of its FAQ questions to list items that "they believe" are vegetarian and/or vegan. Chick-fil-A defines the terms "vegetarian" and "vegan" as they are using them. "Vegetarian" is defined as people "who do not eat any meat, poultry, or fish, but include milk and eggs in their diet." A vegan is defined as a person "who does not eat any foods of animal origin, including ingredients from animal origin." Patrons should inquire of this restaurant chain about specific items; some may be listed as "vegetarian," (such as the Waffle Fries™), but are "vegan" according to their definition.


3) VRG'S NEW BOOK - VEGANS KNOW HOW TO PARTY - NOW AVAILABLE!

VEGANS KNOW HOW TO PARTY OVER 465 VEGANS RECIPES, INCLUDING DESSERTS, APPETIZERS, AND MAIN DISHES By Chef Nancy Berkoff, RD

Purchase a copy for $25.00 here [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=63 ] **And for a limited time, click here [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=64 ] to order 4 books for $50 - a great holiday gift for friends and family!**

In this 384-page 8 1/2 X 11 book with color photographs, Chef Berkoff shows you how to put on a party for vegans and those who enjoy great food. Vegan Desserts include pies, tarts, cakes, cupcakes, quick breads, muffins, sauces, frostings, cookies, parfaits, puddings, cobblers, frozen treats, and more.


4) GREEN & BLACK'S DARK CHOCOLATE NOW LISTS WHOLE MILK POWDER IN INGREDIENTS

A reader contacted us because she noticed that there had been a recent addition of whole milk powder to the ingredients in Green & Black's dark chocolate bar varieties such as their Mint [ http://greenandblacks.com/us/our-chocolates/bars/mint.html ], Cherry [ http://greenandblacks.com/us/our-chocolates/bars/cherry.html ], Hazelnut & Currant [ http://www.greenandblacks.com/us/our-chocolates/bars/hazelnut-and-currant.html ], and Maya Gold [ http://www.greenandblacks.com/us/our-chocolates/bars/maya-gold.html ] bars.

The statement on the back of the bars in the UK reads: "The milk in our organic dark chocolate is present because it is currently made on the same production line as our organic milk chocolate. Please visit our website for more information on allergen controls."

Green & Black's online FAQ [ http://www.greenandblacks.com/us/information/frequently-asked-questions.html#allergenLabeling ] says:

The vegan statement has gone; has the product ever been suitable for vegans?

By definition vegan products contain no ingredients derived from animals within the recipe and this still remains true for Green & Black's dark chocolate. However as our dark chocolate is made on the same production line as our milk chocolate there is some risk of cross contact. As a result, the desire for clearer allergen labeling now conflicts with the vegan statement and we have reluctantly decided to remove it from our labelling."

We contacted Green & Black's and spoke with Sylvia at customer service who said that the system was not showing that there have been any reformulations to the chocolate, but that this might not be entirely up to date.


3) Q & A ON SHELLAC

by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director

This is in response to questions readers asked The Vegetarian Resource Group:

Q: What is shellac? A: Shellac is a coating or glaze derived from the hardened, resinous material secreted by the lac insect, much like honey from a bee. Shellac in its raw form, known as "lac resin," along with lac wax and lac dye, is produced in Southeast Asia. India is the largest producer in the world, yielding 18,000 metric tons of unrefined lac resin annually. Approximately 85% of India's crop is exported, mostly to European countries, Egypt, and the United States.

According to an article by Ramesh Singh, Department of Zoology at Udai Pratap Autonomous College in India, 300,000 lac insects are killed for every kilogram (2.2 lbs.) of lac resin produced. Approximately 25% of all unrefined, harvested lac resin is composed of "insect debris" and other impurities according to the Shellac Export Promotion Council. The cost of shellac varies according to climatic effects on harvest. An employee of a shellac company told us that due to 2010's crop failures, the price of lac resin has doubled to approximately $15/kg.

Shellac has GRAS status by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which means that it is generally recognized as safe in foods. If used as a fruit or vegetable coating, it may be labeled as lac resin or as shellac. It is also approved for use in products certified as organic by The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Shellac, in one or more of its various forms, (e.g., bleached, dewaxed, etc.), may be found in a wide variety of products including furniture polish and varnish; aluminum foil coating; paper coating; hairspray, shampoos, perfume, mascara and lipstick; printing inks and paints; pharmaceutical tablets; and agricultural fertilizer (slow-release coating for urea). Readers may note that all forms of shellac, (even "orange shellac" or "lemon shellac" which may connote non-animal origins), are derived from lac resin.

Confectioner's glaze, the name often used for shellac by candy makers, is composed of approximately 35% shellac (purified lac resin). The rest are volatile organic compounds which evaporate off during manufacture.

In foods, shellac is most commonly used as a coating or glaze on confections, chewing gum, fruit, and coffee beans. Lac dye, red like carmine, (another insect product), may be used as a coloring in foods and beverages.

Q: Which candies are coated with shellac?

A: As a general rule, any hard-coated, shiny candy contains a shellac coating or glaze (M&Ms™ is one notable exception.) Shellac may appear on the label under different names. The two most common ones in use today are "resinous glaze" or "confectioner's glaze." In general, all Easter candy (eggs and jelly beans) are coated. Halloween candy (candy corn) is as well.

The VRG contacted many candy manufacturers about shellac. There are many who use it, even on candies that you may not suspect to be coated with it. Below is a partial list. Subscribe to our free email newsletter [ http://www.vrg.org/vrgnews/ ] updates on shellac and other food ingredients. Coming soon: shellac alternatives.

For more information on ingredients, see [ http://www.vrg.org/ingredients/index.php ]

Confections Containing Shellac

  • Hershey's Whopper's Malted Milk Balls™
  • Hershey's Milk Duds™
  • Nestle's Raisinettes™
  • Nestle's Goober's™
  • Tootsie Roll Industry's Junior Mints™ (NOT Tootsie Rolls)
  • Tootsie Roll Industry's Sugar Babies™
  • Jelly Belly™ jelly beans, mint cremes
  • Godiva's™ Dark Chocolate Almond Bar; Dark Chocolate Cherries; Milk Chocolate Cashews; White Chocolate Pearls; Milk Chocolate Pearls. (This is a partial list; consult with Godiva about specific items.)
  • Gertrude Hawk's™ chocolate-covered nuts and raisins; cupcake
  • Russell Stover's™ jelly beans; NOT in their chocolate-covered cherries or mint patties

The contents of this entry and our other publications, including web information, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on company statements for product and ingredient information. It is impossible to be 100% sure about a statement, information 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 on your own.


6) VRG IN THE NEWS

Thank you to VRG's Nutrition Advisor Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, who was interviewed during the past few months by these media: Philadelphia Daily News on becoming vegetarian, Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine on children's vegetarian menus, the Health Direct health and wellness publication, the NPR Science Desk on tips for parents raising vegetarian children, Emerson College TV Station about vegetarianism, Today's Diet and Nutrition on teen vegetarians, CBS.COM on Chanukah Latkes, and The Washington Post on vegetarian children.

Also kudos to Reed the past few months for teaching a class for 50 nutrition majors on vegetarian pregnancy, completing co-authoring The Dietitian's Guide to Vegetarian Diets textbook, presenting on Vegan Diets to 50 dietitian and nurses who work for the Maryland WIC program, and presenting a poster session at the American Dietetic Association Annual Meeting.

To support The Vegetarian Resource Group's ongoing outreach, please make a donation at [ https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?CID=1565 ] or [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=4 ]

Thank you so much.


7) LIFE INSURANCE AND BEQUESTS

Life insurance is one valuable method to support nonprofit causes such as The Vegetarian Resource Group. You can designate as a beneficiary one organization, many organizations, or a mixture of organizations and your family and/or others. Many people who obtained life insurance to make sure the mortgage is paid or kids would make it through college change the designation once the family is older and those responsibilities are completed. To change the beneficiary with the insurance company, you only need the charity's name, address, and federal tax number.

Beyond life insurance, any of the following assets can have a charity named as a beneficiary: 401(k) employer retirement plan; 403(b) employer retirement plan (for example TIAA/CREF plan); individual retirement accounts of all types such as Roth, traditional IRA, SEP, and Simple; commercial annuities, checking and savings accounts; and brokerage accounts.

Please obtain personal tax and legal advice from your own accountant, lawyer, or other professional.


8) VRG HANUKKAH LATKE RECIPE FEATURED ON CBS

VRG's vegan broccoli latke recipe (from The Lowfat Jewish Vegetarian Cookbook [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=13 ]) is currently featured on CBS's Health Blog.

Hanukkah for Healthy Noshers: Broccoli Latke Recipe [ http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20024245-10391704.html ]:

(CBS) Today is the first day of Hanukkah. That means it's time for Jews to light the menorah and exchange gifts - and gnosh on traditional fare like potato pancakes (latkes).

Ordinary latkes aren't especially good for you - and it doesn't help matters when they're topped with a dollop of sour cream. Not exactly the sort of thing to put a smile on the face of your cardiologist.

But here's a healthier alternative: broccoli latkes. They're still fried, but they're a bit more nutritious, as they include broccoli and a touch of celery seed.

BROCCOLI LATKES

(Serves 5)

1 pound broccoli, chopped into small pieces
2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and cubed into small pieces
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon oil

Cook all the ingredients (except the oil) in a large covered pot over medium heat for 20 minutes. Drain mixture. Mash ingredients together.

Heat oil in large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Form 10 pancakes. Fry eight minutes on one side. Flip and fry for another five minutes on the other side. Serve Warm.

****

Calories per serving: 216
Fat: 4 g
Total fat as % of Daily Value: 6%
Protein: 4 g
Carbohydrates: 43 g
Dietary fiber: 3.9 g

Recipe courtesy Debra Wasserman, author of The Lowfat Jewish Vegetarian Cookbook [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=13 ].


9) DO YOU CALLOU?

Thanks to Gia's Irie Kitchen [ http://www.authorhouse.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000255090 ] for sharing this recipe for callou, a Caribbean/African dish.

DO YOU CALLOU?

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound callou (also known as "callaloo", a green leafy vegetable; this can be found in markets that sell West Indian foods)
  • 8 oz vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped seeded tomato
  • 1 half scotch bonnet chopped
  • 1T smoked soy chips
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp lime juice

Directions: Saute onions, peppers, soy chips, garlic and scotch bonnet in olive oil, fold in callou and tomato add veggie broth and simmer till callou is tender.


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 2010 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.