VRG NEWS

VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Editor: Sonja Y. Helman
Volume 14, Issue 1
February 2010

CONTENTS

  1. NOTES FROM THE EDITOR
  2. VRG'S ENVIRONMENT BROCHURE ONLINE
  3. L-CYSTEINE IN MCDONALD'S APPLE & CHERRY PIES DERIVED FROM ANIMAL SOURCE
  4. CALL-A-DIETITIAN DAY - MARCH 19, 2010
  5. TEN TIPS FOR VEGETARIANS HANDOUT FROM USDA
  6. WHICH METHODS OF PROMOTING A VEGETARIAN DIET ARE MOST SUCCESSFUL?
  7. CELEBRATE MEATOUT AT VRG'S VEGAN INDIAN DINNER IN COLUMBIA, MD!
  8. VRG INTERNSHIP
  9. VEGETARIAN JOURNAL ONLINE
  10. VEGGIE NUGGETS
  11. VRG DEAL-OF-THE-MONTH - PASSOVER BOOKS
  12. RECIPE - DATE & RAISIN PASSOVER CHUTNEY
  13. VRG SCHOLARSHIPS & INTERNSHIPS
  14. About The Vegetarian Resource Group
  15. About VRG-NEWS

1) NOTES FROM THE EDITOR

An extra special thanks to Dr. Bill Conway and Debra Wasserman for working at the VRG booth the entire 3 days of the American Dietetic Association Food & Nutrition Conference. Thanks also to Reed Mangels, Cathy Conway, Mark Rifkin, and Lisa Shapiro for helping make our booth a success. Thanks to Lisa Martin and Lisa Shapiro for staffing the front table at our vegan dinner during the ADA convention.

A special thank you to Parma! for generously donating bottles of their delicious vegan parmesan for our Thanksgiving potluck. For more information about Parma!, please visit [ http://www.eatintheraw.com/ ].


2) VRG'S ENVIRONMENT BROCHURE ONLINE

The VRG's environment brochure, Save Our Water: The Vegetarian Way, is about how a vegetarian diet can help our planet. VRG Research Director Jeanne Yacoubou researched the information for this brochure.

To read or download the brochure, please see: [ http://www.vrg.org/environment/water_brochure.php ]

If you would like copies of this brochure for tabling, please let us know! You can email vrg@vrg.org or call (410) 366-8343.

For additional environmental articles, please see: [ http://www.vrg.org/environment/ ]


3) L-CYSTEINE IN MCDONALD'S APPLE & CHERRY PIES DERIVED FROM ANIMAL SOURCE

by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director

A Pacific Northwest VRG member asked us about the source of the L-cysteine in the cherry pies at her local McDonald's. Erin, a McDonald's customer service representative, told us in January 2009 that since the cherry pie is not a national, "core" menu item, no information about the pie was available. Erin suggested that we contact the local restaurants that carry it.

The VRG made several random calls to McDonald's restaurants in Seattle, WA and Portland, OR. We were given a wide variety of answers but the general conclusion was that no one knew because they had no ingredient information. We were directed back to the corporate offices of McDonald's.

The VRG discovered that the Bama Company supplies McDonald's with their pies. We left several messages and sent several emails to Bama in the spring of 2009 but received no response.

In May 2009, The VRG received a call from Kathy at McDonald's Illinois corporate office. She told us that the L-cysteine in McDonald's cherry pie is derived "from an animal source." When we inquired further regarding the specific animal source, Kathy told us that the supplier did not provide any more specification. Kathy also noted that supplier and ingredient information may change and that they guarantee no product as vegetarian.

As a follow-up, The VRG called the McDonald's consumers line again and asked if the L-cysteine in the apple pie was also derived from "an animal source." In November 2009, Michaela told us that the L-cysteine in the apple pie was from an animal source. When we asked for more specification, Josie, who works in menu development at McDonald's corporate office, called us and said that the L-cysteine in the apple pie is from "an animal source but not human-derived." When I asked for more specification (specifically, whether it was from duck feathers), she said that she had no other information and said that degree of specification is proprietary information.

Interested readers may refer to our article on L-cysteine available here: [ http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2008issue1/vj2008issue1lcysteine.htm ]


4) CALL-A-DIETITIAN DAY - MARCH 19, 2010

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 19, 2010. 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 VRG volunteer since the mid-2011s, holds a Master's Degree in health education and is a Registered Dietitian. Through many different settings, he focuses on plant-based diets to prevent and treat chronic diseases and nutrient deficiencies, particularly for women, seniors, minority populations, and vegetarians. He also presents on other topics, such as reducing food costs and "green" issues. He has been presenting on nutrition and food-related topics since 1997.

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.

Check out Mark's new website: [ http://preventivenutritionservices.com/ ]


5) TEN TIPS FOR VEGETARIANS HANDOUT FROM USDA

by Reed Mangels, PhD, RD VRG Nutrition Advisor

Kudos to the USDA on their new, colorful, one-page handout called 10 Tips for Vegetarians. Tips include "Bone up on sources of calcium" and "Nuts make great snacks." The hand-out is positive and supportive of vegetarian diets. Download your own copy at [ http://www.mypyramid.gov/downloads/TenTips/VegetarianTipsheet.pdf ].


6) WHICH METHODS OF PROMOTING A VEGETARIAN DIET ARE MOST SUCCESSFUL?

by Gretchen Chlebowski
VRG member & volunteer

Given what is happening to farm animals, human health and the environment, are you eager for more people to switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet as quickly as possible? If a small action on your part would help determine the most effective way to convince large numbers of people to change to a vegetarian diet, would you be willing to take that action?

I have created a two-question survey that asks vegetarians and vegans what motivated them to change their diet (lecture/workshop, brochure, encounter with an animal, etc.). A pilot survey was given to 175 people at a vegetarian festival in Chicago recently, but more surveys are needed in order to get a broader understanding of which promotion methods work best.

If you would like to give this survey to vegetarians and vegans in your area, you can access the instructions here [ http://www.vrg.org/research/VegSurveyGiverInstructions.pdf ] and the survey form here [ http://www.vrg.org/research/VegSurveyForm.pdf ]. VRG will post your survey results here [ http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/faq.htm#poll ]. Then those interested in promoting vegetarianism and veganism can review them and consider including some of the high impact activities in their promotion efforts.

The sooner we find out which promotion methods work best, the sooner we can apply those methods more extensively and motivate more people to switch to a vegetarian diet. Please conduct this survey in your area and help expedite the creation of a world we all dream about — a world that is healthier, more humane and more sustainable.


7) CELEBRATE MEATOUT AT VRG'S VEGAN SOUTH INDIAN DINNER IN COLUMBIA, MD!

WHEN: Sunday, March 21st at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Mango Grove
6365B Dobbin Center
Columbia, MD 21045
http://www.themangogrove.com/ ]

COST: $20 per person (includes tax & tip)

MENU*

Appetizers:

Entrees:

*Menu subject to change.

Payment must be made in advance by March 15th. We accept VISA, MasterCard, and checks made payable to VRG.

ONLINE: Click on "Donate" at [ http://www.vrg.org ] and type "Mango Grove Dinner" in the Comments section.

PHONE: Call the VRG office at (410) 366-8343 M-F 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. EST.

MAIL: Mail payment to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.

Refunds will only be made if we can replace your seat with another attendee.


8) VRG INTERNSHIP

by Erin Smith VRG Intern

During my six week long-distance internship with The Vegetarian Resource Group, I was able to take advantage of some valuable opportunities. I was able to write a "Vegetarian Action" article and "Veggie Bits" for the Vegetarian Journal, write informative pieces for the VRG website to help other vegetarian teens, and add to VRG's guide to veg-friendly restaurants. All of these assignments helped me grow and learn. As I worked for VRG, I saw my writing improve, and my confidence skyrocket. While I used to be timid about talking on the phone, I can now confidently call up a business and ask them questions. I also learned about time-management and how to work and communicate effectively with different people. All of this will be very helpful to me as I continue through high school and on to college in the future.

Erin Smith was a long distance high school intern with The Vegetarian Resource Group. Internships are unpaid. If you would like to intern with VRG either in Baltimore or long distance, please send to vrg@vrg.org a resume if available, writing samples, and a letter indicating dates you want to do the internship, time available, year in school if still in school, skills, experience, interests, what you want to learn from the internship, future goals, and vegetarian knowledge.

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


9) VEGETARIAN JOURNAL ONLINE

Vegetarian Journal, Issues 3 & 4, 2009, are now online!

Issue 3 includes Late Summer Fruit, Vegan Food from Street Vendors, and Food Service Ideas for Vegan Cancer Patients. [ http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2009issue3/index.php ]

Issue 4 includes 2009 VRG Poll Results, Edible Vegan Holiday Gifts, 2009 Scholarship Winners, Vegan Party Foods, and Food Service Options for Vegan Renal Patients. [ http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2009issue4/index.php ]

To view previous issues or subscribe, please see [ http://www.vrg.org/journal/ ].


10) VEGGIE NUGGETS

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21-DAY VEGAN KICKSTART

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, PCRM, launched the "21-Day Vegan Kickstart" on January 1st; it was so successful that they are launching another one on March 1st!

The Kickstart is an online program that provides support for people willing to try a healthy plant-based diet for three weeks. Physicians and dietitians from PCRM are teaming up with Hollywood celebrities, star athletes, and one of Oprah's favorite chefs. Kickstarters will receive daily e-mails and Tweets with recipes and cooking tips. They'll also have access to online videos and discussion boards featuring dietitians and celebrity diet counselors who will offer advice on food choices and grocery shopping, as well as personal stories about the challenges and benefits of adopting new eating habits. Diet coaches will include nutrition researcher Dr. Neal Barnard, actress Alicia Silverstone, four-time NBA champion John Salley, chef Tal Ronnen (recently on Oprah), best-selling author Kathy Freston, vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn, and other celebrities and well-known nutrition experts.

For more information or to sign-up, please visit: [ http://www.21daykickstart.org/ ]

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CHEF'S SURVEY: WHAT'S HOT IN 2010?

Last October, the National Restaurant Association conducted an Internet survey of 1,854 members (professional chefs) of the American Culinary Federation. Under Main Dishes/Center of the Plate, meatless/vegetarian entrees came in number 11, while vegan entrees came in 13. In 2007, 51% of chefs rated vegan as a hot trend, while in 2010, 48% said vegan was hot, indicating that there continues to be an ongoing interest in vegan items, even with the concerns about locally grown foods.

To see full survey results, please go to: [ http://www.restaurant.org/pressroom/social-media-releases/release/?page=social_media_whats_hot_2010.cfm ]

For more polls, including ones by The VRG, please visit: [ http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/faq.htm#poll ]

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SUMMER STAFF NEEDED FOR VEGETARIAN KITCHEN IN INTERNATIONAL TEEN CAMP

The Global Youth Village, a residential, international leadership camp in the Blue Ridge foothills of Virginia, is seeking seasonal food service staff in their vegetarian kitchen. Meat-free meals are served family-style to 60 youths and 30 staff members. 2010 highlights include youth delegations from Indonesia and Iraq. The camp season is June 16 - August 6, 2010. Housing, meals, and salary are provided. They are seeking both experienced cooks and those who want to learn!

For more information, please visit Legacy International's web site at [ http://globalyouthvillage.org ] or contact Staff Director Leila Baz at Global Youth Village, 1020 Legacy Drive, Bedford, VA 24523; phone (540) 297-5982; email staff@legacyintl.org.

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11) VRG DEAL-OF-THE-MONTH - PASSOVER BOOKS

We are offering 2 great Passover books for the low price of $12! This special offer includes both No Cholesterol Passover Recipes [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/passover.htm ] by Debra Wasserman and Vegan Passover Recipes [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/vegpass.htm ] by Chef Nancy Berkoff, EdD, RD with shipping included! Please note that free shipping applies only in the United States; for destinations outside the U.S., shipping charges still apply.

We accept VISA, MasterCard, and checks made payable to VRG. Maryland residents: please add 6% tax to your total.

ONLINE: Click on "Donate" at [ http://www.vrg.org ] and type "VRG-NEWS/Passover" in the Comments section.

PHONE: Call the VRG office at (410) 366-8343 M-F 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. EST.

MAIL: Mail payment to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.


12) RECIPE - DATE & RAISIN PASSOVER CHUTNEY

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

Date & Raisin Passover Chutney

(Makes about 3 cups)

Use this Sephardic version of Charoset as a topping for matzah, sweet potatoes, fruit salad, and steamed carrots or squash.

1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup golden or black raisins
1/2 cup sweet red wine
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Place dates, raisins, and wine in a small pot. Simmer on very low heat, stirring occasionally, until dates are falling apart, about 10 minutes. Continue to cook until the mixture is almost a paste, about 8 more minutes. Remove from heat, stir in walnuts.

Serve warm or cold.

NOTE: If you would like to order this book, check out our great Deal-of-the-Month (section 11). To order only Vegan Passover Recipes ($9 U.S./includes shipping), see the following payment options.

PHONE: Call the VRG office at (410) 366-8343 M-F 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. EST.

MAIL: Mail payment to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.

We accept VISA, MasterCard, and checks made payable to VRG. Maryland residents: please add 6% tax to your total.


13) 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 2011. The deadline is February 20, 2011. 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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SUB VRG-News {your first and last name}

Do not include the {} when you enter your name. The newsletter will be sent to the e-mail address from which you are subscribing.

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.



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.