VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Volume 14, Issue 9
December 2010 Part 2

CONTENTS

  1. PLEASE GIVE TO THE VEGETARIAN RESOURCE GROUP
  2. UPDATED VEGAN GUIDE TO LEATHER ALTERNATIVES
  3. U.S. SENATE PASSES TRUTH IN FUR LABELING ACT
  4. ZEIN USED FOR SHELLAC, BIODEGRADABLE COATINGS, DIAPERS...
  5. ACCURACY OF INTERACTIVE POLLS
  6. PARTY PLANNING FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES
  7. THE TAX HIKE PREVENTION ACT OF 2010 & IRA CHARITABLE DONATIONS
  8. ALTERNATIVE BAKING COMPANY COOKIE OF THE SEASON: SIMPLY VANILLA BEAN
  9. KWANZAA CRANBERRY CHEESE DIP (VEGAN
  10. VRG SCHOLARSHIP GRAPHIC
  11. RECENT SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES EXAMINING VEGETARIAN DIETS & TREATMENT OF HEART DISEASE
  12. HARTLAND LIFESTYLE CENTER PROGRAMS (10% OFF FOR VRG-NEWS SUBSCRIBERS
  13. About The Vegetarian Resource Group
  14. About VRG-NEWS

1) PLEASE GIVE TO THE VEGETARIAN RESOURCE GROUP

How many times have people told you they would love to be vegan or vegetarian, "if only..."

The Vegetarian Resource Group gets rid of the "if onlys". We published Quick & Easy Low-Cost Vegan Meal Plans to show that being vegan or vegetarian doesn't have to be time-consuming, complicated, or expensive. Our Guide to Food Ingredients simplifies the impenetrable gibberish of ingredient labels. We created our Online Restaurant Guide to show the thousands of dining options available. Our Shopper's Guide to Leather Alternatives, lists retailers who sell cruelty-free products. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Our outreach to nutrition and health professionals helps people to find reliable information on healthy vegan and vegetarian diets. A physician visited our booth at a conference to let us know, "I've had young patients say they want to be vegetarian. Since I don't know how, I just told them to eat meat. Now I'll give out your materials." A dietitian from a university in the Midwest wrote, "Thanks for offering such wonderful materials and resources. Your cookbooks have been checked out from my office on a regular basis. The handouts were well received by the students," and she requested more brochures.

The obstacles between people and a new and better way of eating and living can seem daunting, but with your help, the ongoing efforts of The Vegetarian Resource Group will give people the help they need to put their ethics into action.

Please donate to The Vegetarian Resource Group, by clicking [ https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?CID=1565 ], mailing a check to:

The Vegetarian Resource Group
PO Box 1463
Baltimore, MD 21203

or by calling (410) 366-8343.

Thank you for joining us in making a healthier, more compassionate, more vegan and vegetarian world!


2) UPDATED VEGAN GUIDE TO LEATHER ALTERNATIVES

Are you a frustrated vegan or vegetarian who loves shoes, but can't find any decent non-leather options? Our Guide to Leather Alternatives tells you where to get non-leather shoes, bags, belts, and wallets. Don't forget hiking and work boots. We even answer those special questions like where to find ballet shoes, biking gloves, bowling shoes, motorcycle gear, orthopedic shoes, skate shoes, tool belts, and more.

Click here [ http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/leather2010.php ] to view our 2010 update to the Guide to Leather Alternatives!

Thanks to VRG volunteer Celina Chung for converting this update into HTML!


3) U.S. SENATE PASSES TRUTH IN FUR LABELING ACT

From The Humane Society of the United States:

U.S. Senate Passes Truth in Fur Labeling Act President Obama Urged to Quickly Sign Bill into Law

WASHINGTON (Dec. 8, 2010) -- The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Legislative Fund applaud the U.S. Senate for unanimously approving an important bipartisan bill to protect consumers and animals. The Truth in Fur Labeling Act (H.R. 2480), which passed the House of Representatives in July and now goes to President Obama's desk, will bring much-needed accuracy and disclosure to fur products.

[...]

The legislation closes a loophole in federal law that currently allows some animal fur garments to go unlabeled if the value of the fur is $150 or less, leaving consumers in the dark as to whether they are buying faux or animal fur. HSUS investigations have found jackets trimmed with animal fur being sold without labels or falsely advertised as "faux fur" across the country.

Visit the VRG Blog for the rest of the article: [ http://www.vrg.org/blog/2010/12/08/u-s-senate-passes-truth-in-fur-labeling-act/ ]

Those interested in this may also be interested in VRG's Guide to Food Ingredients [ http://www.vrg.org/ingredients/ ].


4) ZEIN USED FOR SHELLAC, BIODEGRADABLE COATINGS, DIAPERS...

by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director

(Visit the VRG Blog to read the entire article: [ http://www.vrg.org/blog/2010/12/13/zein-used-for-shellac-biodegradable-coatings-diapers%e2%80%a6/ ])

Introduction

Growing 21st century interest and investment in renewable energy sources and biodegradable products mean that the food industry (as well as the pharmaceutical, textile, paper, and biomedical industries) is becoming greener, too. A big reason for this shift is the corn protein, zein, (pronounced "ZEE-in"). A major zein scientist told The VRG that zein is a "plastic protein with huge potential."

The first major commercial use for zein, however, was as a coating. During World War II, when shellac (produced by an insect) was in short supply, zein was used as its replacement: in lacquers, varnishes, and coatings. Zein was commonly used as a floor coating for steamship engine rooms because of its durability and resistance to grease. Sometimes, zein was mixed with rosin (derived from trees or plants). A zein-rosin floor coating had improved resistance and remained glossy longer than shellac-covered floors.

During its peak, zein was also used to coat foods, such as fortified rice. A senior scientist at a major bioethanol company told The VRG that today there is interest in zein as a rice coating for use in rice-containing premixes in order to make cooking times for all ingredients in the premix more uniform.

Zein was also used to coat nuts (to prevent rancidity), fruit (to prevent mold growth and decrease dryness), and candy (as a protective film) in the 1940s-1950s. At the time, zein was believed to be equal or superior to shellac in terms of gloss and moisture resistance in candy. Today shellac or vegetable wax is more common in fruit, nuts and candy. More recently, there has been some work done with zein as a coating for tomatoes, because it delays color change, maintains firmness, and reduces weight loss during storage.

According to two zein companies, zein is expected to become common as a chewing gum base in the near future. One company is planning to build an Iowa plant (near the cornfields) for this purpose. Another new use for zein may be as a food coating to reduce fat absorption in high-fat foods.

Conclusion

The current trend toward biofuels and its concomitant production of value-added, corn-based ingredients, all of which are biodegradable and annually renewable, means that "old" uses for zein may become popular again. Zein as a replacement for shellac is just one example, used as a coating on produce, nuts, and candy.

For more information on shellac, see [ http://www.vrg.org/ingredients/index.php#lac-resin ].

For more information, on ingredients, visit [ http://www.vrg.org/ingredients/index.php ] and sign up for VRG's e-mail newsletter at [ http://www.vrg.org/vrgnews/ ].

To support VRG's ingredient research, donate at [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=4 ] Or [ https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?CID=1565 ]


5) ACCURACY OF INTERACTIVE POLLS

Zogby recently released the following statement about the accuracy of interactive polls.

From Zogby International [ http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.cfm?ID=1923 ]:

Vindicated Interactive Polling By John Zogby

Much has been written about the use of interactive, or Internet-based, polling. Most critics claim it is not trustworthy or credible, but I have found interactive polling has proven to be accurate.

Our own final 2010 Congressional generic Zogby Interactive poll was very accurate, and matched closely or exactly with the exit polling. Specifically, here are the percentages in our Zogby sample and the actual exit voter poll turnout numbers in parentheses: conservatives 40% (41%), Democrats 36% (36%), Republicans 35% (36%), independents 30% (28%), white 78% (79%) and college graduates 45% (49%).

Just as important our last pre-election poll had independents breaking for Republicans, 54%-37%. The exit polls found the GOP winning among Independents, 56%-39%, all within the margin of error of our interactive poll findings.

While 2010 proved to be a good year for interactive polling, so have previous election years. In 2004, the last Zogby Interactive poll before the election (results on Nov. 1, 2004) found almost exactly the same results as the exit polling on Election Day, the Zogby results in parentheses, Bush 51% (50%) and Kerry 48% (49%). In 2008, we did not poll all the way up until Election Day, however, our last poll results (Oct. 31, 2008), were still very close to the actual results and certainly accurate for four days from the election. Specifically, the Zogby numbers (in parentheses) matched very closely to the actual results: Obama 52% (49%) and McCain 46% (47%).


6) PARTY PLANNING FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES

Excerpted from:

Vegans Know How to Party [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=63 ] 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 gift for friends and family!**

Let's Party

Holidays and special meal events can be frustrating times for people with diabetes and the people providing meals for them. While current theory has it that no foods need be excluded from diabetic diets (except for severe cases), daily intake must be balanced and within the person's calorie level. And although an occasional piece of cake might be allowed, holiday meals often have very few options for people with diabetes.

When designing festive menus, consider that everyone, including people with diabetes, can benefit from menu items that are tasty and fun yet lower in fat and concentrated sweets. Rather than having to create separate dishes for people with diabetes, offer lots of dishes that everyone can enjoy, with perhaps a portion variation for some of the more controlled people with diabetes.

Many of your favorite festive menu items already fit the bill, especially entrees (serve the sauces on the side). Instead of cranberry sauce, offer stewed apples with almonds, raisins, and cinnamon. Instead of chocolate sauce, offer fruit coulis made with frozen fruit, flavoring extracts, and fruit juice concentrate. Tofu makes a creamy base for savory or sweet sauces, requiring little sugar for sweetness (make a creamy dessert sauce with silken tofu, pureed strawberries, and orange zest). Poached or stewed fruit or salsas make low-sugar, lowfat accompaniments to roasted tempeh or seitan or other savory entrees. Once you get into this, you will be surprised at how easy it is to convert your party menus into diabetic-friendly meals.

Here's a traditional festive meal (and our thoughts on making it diabetic-friendly):

The following recipes are written in amounts for caterers, or for prepping ahead and freezing or storing for later use.

RED ONION AND BASIL SALAD DRESSING

Makes 1 pint or 2 cups

3 Tablespoons diced red onions
1 Tablespoon diced white onion
1 Tablespoon dried basil
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cold vegetable broth
2 Tablespoons vegan mayonnaise (or 3 Tablespoons soft tofu)
1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

One portion (1 ounce) = 20 calories, 3 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fat, and no protein, or approx. 1/3 bread exchange, 1/8 fat exchange

ROASTED TWO-PEPPER SOUP

Serves 10 (4-ounce or 1/2 cup portions)

1 pound green bell peppers (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 pounds red bell peppers (about 3 cups)
1 ounce olive oil (about 2 Tablespoons)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely diced onions
1/2 cup finely diced fresh tomatoes
2 Tablespoons ground oregano
1 1/2 pints vegetable stock (about 3 cups)
1 teaspoon white pepper

Pierce whole peppers and rub with oil. Place on ungreased baking sheet and roast in 375 degree oven until skins are blistered. Remove from oven, place in a plastic bag, and allow to cool (this makes removing the skin easier). Peel, seed, and chop peppers. Set aside.

Lightly saute; garlic and onions in a medium stockpot (use oil or vegetable spray). Add tomatoes and oregano. Saute until soft. Add stock, white pepper, and chopped peppers and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

If desired, puree for a creamy texture. Pair with crudities and crunchy bread for a light supper.

One portion= 96 calories, 15 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fat, 3 grams protein, or approx. 1 bread exchange, 1/2 fat exchange

Excerpted from Vegans Know How to Party By Chef Nancy Berkoff, EdD, RDB

Click here to order a copy of Vegans Know How to Party [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1 ]

Also of interest. [ http://www.vrg.org/journal/diabetes.htm ]


7) THE TAX HIKE PREVENTION ACT OF 2010 & IRA CHARITABLE DONATIONS

The Tax Hike Prevention Act of 2010 extends tax-free donations to charities such as VRG from individual retirement accounts (IRAs). This legislation allows seniors (age 70 1/2 and older) to transfer up to $100,000 per year directly from their IRAs to charities in 2011. The withdrawal would be tax-free and would fulfill the requirements for required minimum distributions. There would be no additional deduction for the charitable donation. This provision is especially beneficial to those individuals who do not need the money from their required minimum distributions and who could be obligated to pay alternative minimum tax as a result of such distributions. This is not personal tax or financial advice. Please speak to your tax, legal, and financial advisers about specifics.


8) ALTERNATIVE BAKING COMPANY COOKIE OF THE SEASON: SIMPLY VANILLA BEAN

Plain Vanilla? Hardly. The Alternative Baking Company, well known to vegan cookie lovers everywhere, has come up with a cookie that is a direct hit to the "comfort food" area of the vegan soul. The texture--chewy, but not too soft--is the perfect complement to the warm, vanilla hug that the cookie gives your tongue. On a cold and bitter winter's day, grab a few of these and a cup of something hot, and you will have a hard time finding anything wrong with the world. That is, until you eat the last one.

You can order the Alternative Baking Company's cookies from their website [ http://www.alternativebaking.com/index.cfm ] or wherever fine vegan snack items are sold.


9) KWANZAA CRANBERRY CHEESE DIP (VEGAN)

Kwanzaa is here, so thanks to Gia's Irie Kitchen [ http://www.authorhouse.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000255090 ] for adapting and sharing this recipe with us!

Ingredients:

8 oz Tofutti cream cheese (soften)
1/4 cup Tofutti sour cream
1/2 cup dried cranberries (sun dried preferably)
1/2 tsp chives
1/2 tsp dried thyme
orange zest

Mix all ingredients well. Serve with bread or crackers


10) VRG SCHOLARSHIP GRAPHIC

Thanks to VRG volunteer Sara Griffith for designing a graphic for VRG's annual scholarship [ http://www.vrg.org/student/scholar.htm ]!

Copy the text below and paste it into your website to use this image to promote our scholarship on the web!

<a href="http://www.vrg.org/student/scholar.htm"><img src="http://www.vrg.org/img/home/scholarship_banner.jpg" width="195" height="135" alt="Vegetarian Resource Group College Scholarships!"/></a>

Click here [ http://www.vrg.org/student/scholar.htm ] to learn more about the scholarship, download the application, and read about past winners.

Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, The Vegetarian Resource Group each year will award $10,000 in college scholarship money to graduating U.S. high school students who have promoted vegetarianism in their schools and/or communities. Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or fowl. Two awards of $5,000 each will be given. Entries may only be sent by students graduating from high school in spring 2011. Deadline is February 20, 2011. We will accept applications postmarked on or before February 20, 2011. Early submission is encouraged.

Applicants will be judged on having shown compassion, courage, and a strong commitment to promoting a peaceful world through a vegetarian diet/lifestyle. Payment will be made to the student's college (U.S. based only). Winners of the scholarships give permission to release their names to the media. Applications and essays become property of The Vegetarian Resource Group. We may ask finalists for more information. Scholarship winners are contacted by telephone.


11) RECENT SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES EXAMINING VEGETARIAN DIETS & TREATMENT OF HEART DISEASE

These are some recent scientific articles that examine vegetarian diets' role in the prevention and treatment of heart disease. Note: This is not a comprehensive listing.

Craig WJ.
Nutr Clin Pract. 2010 Dec;25(6):613-20.
Health effects of vegan diets.

Craig WJ.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;89(5):1627S-1633S. Epub 2009 Mar 11. Review.
Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets.

Craig WJ, Mangels AR; American Dietetic Association.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Jul;109(7):1266-82.
Vegetarian diets: what do we know of their effects on common chronic diseases?

Fraser GE.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;89(5):1607S-1612S. Epub 2009 Mar 25. Review. Erratum in: Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jul;90(1):248.
Health effects of vegetarian and vegan diets.

Key TJ, Appleby PN, Rosell MS.
Proc Nutr Soc. 2006 Feb;65(1):35-41. Review.
Effects of plant-based diets on plasma lipids.

Ferdowsian HR, Barnard ND.
Am J Cardiol. 2009 Oct 1;104(7):947-56. Review.
These are some research articles on vegetarian diets in treatment of heart disease/high cholesterol: Intensive lifestyle changes for reversal of coronary heart disease.

Ornish D, Scherwitz LW, Billings JH, Brown SE, Gould KL, Merritt TA, Sparler S, Armstrong WT, Ports TA, Kirkeeide RL, Hogeboom C, Brand RJ.
JAMA. 1998 Dec 16;280(23):2001-7. Erratum in: JAMA 1999 Apr 21;281(15):1380.
The contribution of changes in diet, exercise, and stress management to changes in coronary risk in women and men in the multisite cardiac lifestyle intervention program.

Daubenmier JJ, Weidner G, Sumner MD, Mendell N, Merritt-Worden T, Studley J, Ornish D.
Ann Behav Med. 2007 Fe b;33(1):57-68.
The portfolio diet for cardiovascular risk reduction.

Jenkins DJ, Josse AR, Wong JM, Nguyen TH, Kendall CW.
Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2007 Dec;9(6):501-7.
Effect of plant sterols in combination with other cholesterol-lowering foods.

Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Nguyen TH, Marchie A, Faulkner DA, Ireland C, Josse AR, Vidgen E, Trautwein EA, Lapsley KG, Holmes C, Josse RG, Leiter LA, Connelly PW, Singer W.
Metabolism. 2008 Jan;57(1):130-9.
A dietary portfolio: maximal reduction of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol with diet.

Kendall CW, Jenkins DJ.
Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2004 Nov;6(6):492-8.
Assessment of the longer-term effects of a dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods in hypercholesterolemia.

Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Faulkner DA, Nguyen T, Kemp T, Marchie A, Wong JM, de Souza R, Emam A, Vidgen E, Trautwein EA, Lapsley KG, Holmes C, Josse RG, Leiter LA, Connelly PW, Singer W.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Mar;83(3):582-91.
Direct comparison of a dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods with a statin in hypercholesterolemic participants.

Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Marchie A, Faulkner DA, Wong JM, de Souza R, Emam A, Parker TL, Vidgen E, Trautwein EA, Lapsley KG, Josse RG, Leiter LA, Singer W, Connelly PW.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Feb;81(2):380-7.
A dietary portfolio approach to cholesterol reduction: combined effects of plant sterols, vegetable proteins, and viscous fibers in hypercholesterolemia.

Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Faulkner D, Vidgen E, Trautwein EA, Parker TL, Marchie A, Koumbridis G, Lapsley KG, Josse RG, Leiter LA, Connelly PW.
Metabolism. 2002 Dec;51(12):1596-604.


12) HARTLAND LIFESTYLE CENTER PROGRAMS (10% OFF FOR VRG-NEWS SUBSCRIBERS)

Hartland Lifestyle Center offers specially-designed natural healing treatment programs. Health guests learn the nutritional values of a plant-based diet, and are gaining personal experience for success in their new lifestyle when returning home.

Hartland Lifestyle Education Center will give 10% discount to VRG e-mail subscribers on the lifestyle program* if the application is made no less than 3 weeks from the beginning of the monthly session. *$3,569 that includes room, meals, natural remedy treatment (full body massage, hydrotherapy, etc.), exercise room, counseling, and health lectures.

Students at Health Ministry Department of Hartland College (Christian missionary college) are instructed in the areas of health assessment, treatment of disease by natural methods, and counseling and community health education in nutrition and disease prevention

For more information about Hartland, see [ http://hartlandhealth.wordpress.com/ ] Contact: Hartland Institute of Health and Education 444 Hartland Oak Drive, Rapidan, Virginia, 22733 phone: (540) 672-3100 ext.313 fax: (540) 672-3107


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.