VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Volume 15, Issue 4
April 2011

CONTENTS

  1. SPECIALS ON OUR PASSOVER BOOKS
  2. VEGAN EASTER CHOCOLATES
  3. VRG'S PARENT'S LISTSERV
  4. LEUCINE, ISOLEUCINE, AND VALINE MAY BE DERIVED FROM DUCK FEATHERS OR HUMAN HAIR; VEGETABLE-BASED VERSIONS AVAILABLE
  5. NEW ADDITIONS TO THE VRG BOOKSTORE
  6. 13TH INTERNATIONAL VEGAN FESTIVAL, MALAGA (SPAIN)
  7. VRG'S $2,500 ELEANOR WOLFF SCHOLARSHIP/INTERNSHIP
  8. VRG'S NEW VISA PLATINUM REWARDS CARD
  9. DISODIUM INOSINATE AND DISODIUM GUANYLATE ARE ALL-VEGETABLE FLAVOR ENHANCERS
  10. UPCOMING EVENTS
  11. TOFURKY TUESDAYS PLEDGE
  12. LIVING WITH CONVICTION
  13. VEGETARIAN JOURNAL ISSUE 3, 2010 NOW ONLINE!
  14. VRG'S VEGAN INDIAN DINNER IN SAN DIEGO, SEPT 25
  15. AMINO ACID SUPPLEMENT AND SLEEP AID TRYPTOPHAN USUALLY MICROBIALLY DERIVED; MAY BE SOURCED FROM DUCK FEATHERS OR HUMAN HAIR
  16. UNA VEGANA EN UNA FAMILIA MEXICANA
  17. VEGETARIAN SCHOLARSHIP ENTRANTS
  18. About The Vegetarian Resource Group
  19. About VRG-NEWS

1) SPECIALS ON OUR PASSOVER BOOKS

Need vegan recipes for Passover?

Right now we're offering a special: get both Vegan Passover Recipes and No Cholesterol Passover Recipes for just $12 and free shipping!

Click here [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=26 ] to order, or call us at (410) 366-8343, Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

No Cholesterol Passover Recipes [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=3 ] is a must for every home that wants to celebrate a healthy and ethical Passover. Enjoy eggless blintzes, dairyless carrot cream soup, festive macaroons, apple latkes, sweet and sour cabbage, knishes, vegetarian chopped "liver," no oil lemon dressing, eggless matzo meal pancakes, and much more.

Dishes included in No Cholesterol Passover Recipes have also been featured in The Washington Post, Jewish World, and many other publications.

In Vegan Passover Recipes [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=14 ] Chef Nancy Berkoff, EdD, RD provides the basics: Vegetable stock without chicken fat or added sodium, Savory Spaghetti Sauce, Zucchini/Potato Kugel, and Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage (a new spin on an oldie, but goody).

Looking for spicier dishes? Try Minted Carrots with Chilies, Moroccan Roasted Eggplant and Pepper Salad, Spinach and Okra Stew, and Coconut Curry over Greens, and much more.


2) VEGAN EASTER CHOCOLATES

Thank you to The Vegetarian Site [ http://www.TheVegetarianSite.com ] for their support.

Check out their Easter Chocolates [ http://thevegetariansite.com/cgi-bin/miva?Merchant2/merchant.mv+Screen=PROD&Store_Code=S&Product_Code=Sjaak%27s+Chocolate+Cream+Eggs&Category_Code=new ]

And here are some VRG recipes from Nancy Berkoff for

SPRINGTIME CHOCOLATE EGGS
FAST CRISPED RICE EGGS
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2010issue1/2010_issue1_matzo.php ]

Nancy Berkoff is author of Vegans Know How to Party, Over 465 Vegan Recipes Including Desserts, Appetizers, and Main Dishes available at: [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1 ]


3) VRG'S PARENT'S LISTSERV

Are you raising a vegetarian or vegan child? If so The Vegetarian Resource Group invites you to be a part of a network of vegetarian parents interested in exchanging ideas on various topics such as creating tasty snacks for toddlers, the challenges of non-vegetarian family/friend gatherings, how to talk with your child about vegetarianism, helping kids handle peer pressure, even shopping resources for leather/wool alternatives!

The list has was founded in 2000, and currently has 1650 members.

For more information and to join, click here: [ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vrgparents/ ].


4) LEUCINE, ISOLEUCINE, AND VALINE MAY BE DERIVED FROM DUCK FEATHERS OR HUMAN HAIR; VEGETABLE-BASED VERSIONS AVAILABLE

by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS VRG Research Director

In February 2011, The VRG received confirmation from major amino acid suppliers and manufacturers as well as from dietary supplement companies that the amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine, used today mostly in dietary supplements and nutraceutical products, may be derived from human hair or duck feathers. One large company reported this information to us based on an official statement received from its Chinese supplier. When manufactured with non-animal ingredients, companies report that "a microbial fermentation process using glucose from corn or soy" is implemented to manufacture all three of these amino acids. Companies also report that Brazil and China are usually the countries of origin for them.

One major manufacturer told us that leucine, isoleucine, and valine previously had been sourced mostly from human hair or duck feathers although he has noticed a change in the last year toward vegetable-based sources, at least in the case of leucine. He said that "customers are starting to ask for non-animal sourced material." In fact, a leading amino acid supplier told us, based on an official Chinese statement, that the source of valine that he resells was "corn and glucose." A few customer service representatives at dietary supplement companies reported that the leucine, isoleucine, and valine that they offer are vegetable-based fermentation products.

Read the rest of the article on the VRG Blog:
http://www.vrg.org/blog/2011/03/16/leucine-isoleucine-and-valine-may-be-derived-from-duck-feathers-or-human-hair-vegetable-based-versions-available/ ]

To purchase our Vegetarian Journal's Guide to Food Ingredients, go to:
http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=8 ]

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


5) NEW ADDITIONS TO THE VRG BOOKSTORE

Appetite for Reduction
By Isa Chandra Moskowitz
http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=67 ]

Asian Fusion
By Chat Mingkwan
http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=66 ]

The 4-Ingredient Vegan
By Maribeth Abrams with Anne Dinshah
http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=65 ]

The Natural Vegan Kitchen
By Christine Waltermyer
http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=75 ]


6) 13TH INTERNATIONAL VEGAN FESTIVAL, MALAGA (SPAIN)

13th International Vegan Festival 4 - 12 June, 2011 "A whole world to share"

Elimar Hotel - Rincon de la Victoria, Malaga (Spain)

The venue for the 13th International Vegan Festival is the 3* Elimar Hotel, right at the seafront in Rincon de la Victoria (Malaga), Spain, just 13 km from Malaga, with a regular bus service, to and from the main train and bus station, stopping at the hotel. The Elimar Hotel was the venue for the First Vegetarian/Vegan Gathering of Andalusia in 2006.

The 13th International Vegan Festival will be held from the first weekend in June 2011, starting with the arrival and registration of participants on Saturday the 4th of June, until the departure on Sunday morning on the 12th of June (a total stay of 8 nights at the hotel). However, those unable to attend the whole Festival, may book the days they wish between the 4th and the 12th of June, and / or including an early arrival and late departure, before or after the Festival, to extend their holiday and enjoy a few extra days by the sea.

The hotel stay includes full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner), with a varied vegan menu (without animal products). The Festival motto is "A Whole World to Share", and the programme will address all matters relating to vegan nutrition, its benefits and positive social and environmental impact, including the ethical, ecological, educational and scientific aspects of veganism, in stark contrast to the cruel unsustainable model of animal food production and the health and environmental problems derived from the consumption and exploitation of animals.

Organized by Asociacion Vegana Espanola.

For more information, see [ http://www.ivu.org/veganfest/2011/ ]


7) VRG'S $2,500 ELEANOR WOLFF SCHOLARSHIP/INTERNSHIP

Eleanor Miltimore Wolff became a committed vegan late in life. Once she learned and understood that dietary choices affected not only one's personal health, but also the health of the planet and the well being of the animals, there was no looking back. Leather shoes and purses, along with non-vegan food products went out the door. Her children and grandchildren were showered with vegan reading material. When she exercised she would sport a T-shirt proclaiming: "I think, therefore I am -- a vegetarian". Eleanor was a military censor during World War II, but there was no censoring her commitment to a plant based diet and lifestyle.

In her memory, the Eleanor Wolff Scholarship is a $2,500 paid internship at the VRG office in Baltimore (plus some money towards housing) for a student who:

  • Wants to be an effective change agent on behalf of vegetarianism
  • Is motivated to use knowledge gained from the internship to make a significant impact within his/her world
  • Could not participate in this development effort without a little financial assistance

Currently, the Eleanor Wolff Scholarship funds one internship per year. VRG also has unpaid internships available.

If you would like to apply for a VRG internship, please send a resume, writing sample, and cover letter detailing your interests, skills, goals, and vegetarian knowledge to:

The Vegetarian Resource Group P.O. Box 1463 Baltimore, MD 21203

or e-mail to vrg@vrg.org

For more information about the Eleanor Wolff Scholarship and to view what past recipients have said of their experiences, click here [ http://www.vrg.org/student/eleanor_wolff_scholarship.php ].


8) VRG'S NEW VISA PLATINUM REWARDS CARD

VRG's new affinity Visa® Platinum Rewards credit card is now available!

When a cardholder activates the card, VRG receives $50. Then for the life of the program, VRG will receive a portion of every dollar that each cardholder charges. The VRG Visa® Platinum Rewards card offers qualified cardholders exceptional benefits including no annual fee, a low APR and reward points for shopping at participating merchants.

Add your support with every purchase when you use the The Vegetarian Resource Group Visa® Platinum Rewards card. To apply, see: [ http://www.cardpartner.com/app/vrg ]

For FAQs about the program, see: [ http://www.vrg.org/ccfaq.php ]


9) DISODIUM INOSINATE AND DISODIUM GUANYLATE ARE ALL-VEGETABLE FLAVOR ENHANCERS

by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director

A reader wrote to The VRG in March 2011 stating that he had heard that disodium guanylate was sourced from fish. He asked us to look into it.

Read the rest of the article on the VRG Blog:
http://www.vrg.org/blog/2011/03/21/disodium-inosinate-and-disodium-guanylate-are-all-vegetable-flavor-enhancers/ ]

To purchase our Vegetarian Journal's Guide to Food Ingredients, go to:
http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=8 ]

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

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 best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.


10) UPCOMING EVENTS

Come visit VRG's booth at these upcoming events!


11) TOFURKY TUESDAYS PLEDGE

VRG partners with Tofurky to provide information on vegetarianism to those who take the Tofurky Tuesdays pledge.

More information on Tofurky Tuesdays, from their website [ http://www.tofurky.com/whyeatveg/tofurky_tuesdays.asp ]:

Turtle Island Foods "Tofurkymobile" has blazed its way on an around-the-world cyber tour that began in July 2008. To date, the Tofurkymobile has traveled over 253044 miles and made 31.94 complete circumnavigations of the planet, all fueled by 15336 consumer pledges to eat meatless every Tuesday.

According to Jaime Athos, PhD, Turtle Island's Manager of Environmental Affairs, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions reduced by going meatless just one day a week is equal to the amount released when you drive the average car 16.5 miles.

Athos estimates that the "Tofurky Tuesdays" campaign has helped reduce approximately 97,885 pounds of CO2 gas emissions, while also showcasing Americans' increasing awareness of animal rights and the growing number of appealing meat-free options now available to mainstream shoppers.


12) LIVING WITH CONVICTION

By Wendy Altschuler

I grew up in a meat-eating family in Montana. My father was a hunter, my friend's fathers were hunters, and nearly every boy (and some girls) I knew went through some form of Hunter Safety course so that they could enter into the sport of hunting. It was not uncommon to see a killed deer strapped to the roof of a truck driving down Main Street or dead animal legs sticking up in the air and over the side of a vehicle. Meat eating was, in many ways, a source of pride for my family. It symbolized my father's ability to provide for his family by putting meat on the table. Meat was considered a staple and a necessary component to a healthy diet. If there was no meat on your plate it meant that times were a bit difficult financially. I was never a fan of meat, especially wild game, but in my house meat was what was for dinner. I didn't have a choice, I was to eat it or go hungry.

Read the rest of the article on the VRG Blog:
http://www.vrg.org/blog/2011/03/28/living-with-conviction/ ]


13) VEGETARIAN JOURNAL ISSUE 3, 2010 NOW ONLINE!

To subscribe to the Vegetarian Journal and receive the complete print version, click here [ http://www.vrg.org/journal/subscribe.htm ].

Features

From Veal to Vegan, Creole Style
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2010issue3/2010_issue3_creole.php ]
Laissez les bon temps rouler with Meryl Austin Cryer's Louisiana recipes.

How Many Youth in the U.S. Are Vegetarian?
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2010issue3/2010_issue3_youth_poll.php ]
The VRG-Harris Poll finds out more about 8- to 18-year-olds.

Secrets of the Seasonal Vegan
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2010issue3/2010_issue3_seasonal_vegan.php ]
Debra Daniels-Zeller creates adaptable dishes to use year-round.

L-Cysteine in McDonald's Pies
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2010issue3/2010_issue3_mcdonalds_l-cysteine.php ]
Jeanne Yacoubou, MS, learns that this ingredient is animal-derived.

Making The Cover
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2010issue3/2010_issue3_making_the_cover.php ]
Linda Long brings vegan food and photography to an NYC high school.

More Research Findings
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2010issue3/2010_issue3_more_research_findings.php ]
Get updates on vegan chondroitin, American Airlines' vegetarian options.

Cooking with Coconut Flour and Sugar
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2010issue3/2010_issue3_coconut.php ]
Chef Nancy Berkoff gives a crash course on these baking ingredients.

Departments

Nutrition Hotline
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2010issue3/2010_issue3_nutrition_hotline.php ]

Note from the Coordinators
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2010issue3/2010_issue3_coordinators.php ]

Letters to the Editors
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2010issue3/2010_issue3_letters.php ]

Scientific Update
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2010issue3/2010_issue3_scientific_update.php ]

Vegan Cooking Tips
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2010issue3/2010_issue3_vegan_cooking_tips.php ]
Very Berry Cuisine, by Chef Nancy Berkoff

Notes from the VRG Scientific Department
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2010issue3/2010_issue3_scientific_dept.php ]

Veggie Bits
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2010issue3/2010_issue3_veggie_bits.php ]

Book Reviews
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2010issue3/2010_issue3_reviews.php ]

Vegetarian Action
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2010issue3/2010_issue3_veg_action.php ]
Buykind.com Promotes Vegan Food and Products, by Erin Smith

Back Cover
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2010issue3/2010_issue3_back_cover.php ]
Updated Guide to Food Ingredients Now Available and Want to Volunteer or Intern with VRG?

Thanks to Celina Chung for her help in converting these articles to HTML!


14) VRG'S VEGAN INDIAN DINNER IN SAN DIEGO, SEPT 25

VEGAN INDIAN DINNER
Sunday, September 25, 2011, 6:30 p.m.
San Diego, CA
Royal India, 329 Market Street

Sponsored by The Vegetarian Resource Group during the American Dietetic Association Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo Meet Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, Catherine Conway, MS, RD, and other vegetarian dietitians.

BUFFET MENU:
Salad
Samosas
Veggie Pakora
Aloo Gobi
Bengan Bhartha
Green Beans Masala
Veggie Mango Pineapple
Channa Masala
Peas Pulao Rice
Rice
Salad

RESERVATIONS AND PAYMENT MUST BE MADE IN ADVANCE. Refunds will only be made if we can replace your seat.

Name:
Address:
City:
State:
Telephone:
E-mail:
Attendees:
___ Number of adults X $25 before August 20, 2011=  $_____
___ Number of adults X $35 after August 20, 2011=   $_____
___ Children X $20 before August 20, 2011=          $_____
___ Donation for outreach to dietitians             $_____

Please send payment to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203; Call (410) 366-8343 9-5 AM Eastern Time, Monday to Friday, or pay at online here [ https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?CID=1565 ]. Please write San Diego dinner in the notes field and the name of attendees. (The early registration price is limited to the first fifty registrants.)


15) AMINO ACID SUPPLEMENT AND SLEEP AID TRYPTOPHAN USUALLY MICROBIALLY DERIVED; MAY BE SOURCED FROM DUCK FEATHERS OR HUMAN HAIR

by Jeanne Yacoubou
VRG Research Director

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, meaning that humans must consume it in their diet. As an amino acid, it is a component of protein. Tryptophan is also a precursor for the neurotransmitter, serotonin, and the hormone, melatonin. This amino acid is readily obtained by common high-protein food sources such as soybeans, certain seeds, eggs, milk, and meat.

Tryptophan is believed by some to help as a sleep aid and is often sold as a dietary supplement for this purpose. There is also a form of tryptophan sold as Tryptan™, a prescription drug intended to aid the uptake of certain psychiatric drugs.

In 1989, tryptophan was banned for sale in most countries due to several reported incidents of death and serious health effects. Known as Eosinophilia-Myalgia Syndrome, EMS was linked to a contaminated batch of tryptophan. Currently, pharmaceutical grade tryptophan is believed to be safe.

Although most sources report that tryptophan is industrially produced by bacterial fermentation, a major food ingredient supplier in the United States told The VRG in March 2011 that its source of tryptophan is duck feathers or human hair.

Ajinomoto AminoScience is one company that produces a pharmaceutical grade tryptophan, known by the trade name TryptoPure™, through microbial fermentation using only non-animal materials. Several dietary supplement companies contacted by The VRG reported in March 2011 that their tryptophan is produced through microbial fermentation and many carry this brand.

To purchase our Vegetarian Journal's Guide to Food Ingredients, go to:
http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=8 ]

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

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 best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.


16) UNA VEGANA EN UNA FAMILIA MEXICANA

We'd like to thank Laura Rico for helping us with our outreach to the Spanish speaking community. The following is her Spanish translation of an article written by VRG Intern Veronica Lizaola.

http://www.vrg.org/blog/2011/04/05/una-vegana-en-una-familia-mexicana/ ]

To see VRG's other Spanish materials, click here: [ http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/index.htm#spanish ].


17) VEGETARIAN SCHOLARSHIP ENTRANTS

We're very excited to have received hundreds of entries for The Vegetarian Resource Group two $5,000 college scholarships. Winners will be notified in May.

It's inspiring to see how creative young activists around the country are and how much work they are doing. Here were two interesting videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrApDJAAAzw ]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o92eo0-Mims ]

If you will be a high school senior in the fall, or want to let others know about the scholarship, to apply for next year's contest, please go to

http://www.vrg.org/student/scholar.htm ]

If you want to support additional scholarships, you can donate at: [ https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?CID=1565 ] Please indicate this is for a vegetarian scholarship or if you prefer, indicate you would like to support a vegetarian needs based internship.


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?CID=1565 ]

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/ ].

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Contents of VRG-NEWS are copyright 2011 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.