VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Volume 17, Issue 1
January 2013

CONTENTS

  1. APPLICATIONS FOR VRG'S $5,000 COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP DUE FEB 20
  2. BONE CHAR-FREE SUGAR FROM FLORIDA CRYSTALS® AND DOMINO® SUGAR
  3. SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN AND VEGETARIAN/VEGAN DIETS WITH REED MANGELS, PHD, RD
  4. WHILE RESEARCHING SPLENDA, VRG TOLD NON-ANIMAL COAL FILTERS USED TO PROCESS CANE SUGAR IN AUSTRALIA
  5. NEW VEG OPTION TESTED AT SELECTED SF BAY AREA CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL RESTAURANTS
  6. VEGAN RESTAURANTS IN U.S. & CANADA RECENTLY ADDED TO OUR RESTAURANT GUIDE
  7. OUTREACH TO BALTIMORE CITY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
  8. ALTERNATIVES TO INSECT-DERIVED FOOD COLORS
  9. IRON IN THE VEGAN DIET
  10. COOKING VEGAN BY VESANTO MELINA, MS, RD AND CHEF JOSEPH FOREST
  11. About The Vegetarian Resource Group
  12. About VRG-NEWS

1) APPLICATIONS FOR VRG'S $5,000 COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP DUE FEB 20

Each year, VRG awards $10,000 in college scholarship money to two high school seniors who have promoted vegetarianism in their schools/communities ($5,000 to each). The deadline - February 20 - is right around the corner, so if you want to apply, or know someone who should apply, click here for more information [ http://www.vrg.org/student/scholar.htm ].


2) BONE CHAR-FREE SUGAR FROM FLORIDA CRYSTALS® AND DOMINO® SUGAR

By Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director

The VRG received an inquiry from a food company in January 2013 about vegan sugar defined as sugar that had not been processed through cow bone char. As we reported in a 2007 update [ http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2007issue4/2007_issue4_sugar.php ], most United States cane sugar continues to be decolorized through cow bone char.

We spoke with two employees at C&H® Sugar in January 2013 who told us that most of their sugar not certified USDA Organic is processed through "natural charcoal" (i.e., cow bone char). Their Washed Raw Sugar has not been decolorized using bone char but it is only produced at its Hawaii plant and not available for widespread distribution especially in large quantities. However, the company is looking into purchasing cane sugar from other nations in order to expand production of the Washed Raw Sugar.

C&H® directed us to its sister companies: Florida Crystals® and Domino® Sugar. Florida Crystals sugar, both conventional and USDA Organic varieties, has not been processed through cow bone char. It is widely available in both large and small quantities.

Comparatively speaking, Florida Crystals® is more expensive than other sugar brands. For example, in January 2013 The VRG noticed several online stores selling their own store brand conventional sugar for approximately $3/4 lbs. while Florida Crystals® sugar sells for approximately $6/4 lbs. [ http://shop.floridacrystals.com/Natural-Sugar ]

Similarly, large quantities of sugar differ significantly in price. Conventional cane sugar at several online stores sells for approximately $23/50 lbs. while Florida Crystals® cane sugar sells for approximately $36/25 lbs. Florida Crystals® Demerara Sugar costs approximately $58/50 lbs.

The VRG spoke with Shannon, a customer service representative at Domino® Sugar. She explained that although most Domino® Sugar has been processed through cow bone char, it is possible to tell from the sugar bag label whether it came from one of two of its nine North American plants in which processing does not involve cow bone char. One of the plants is located in Yonkers, NY and the other is in Orlando, FL.

The first number/letter on the package code reveals the plant in which the sugar was processed. The number "1" identifies the Yonkers plant as the processing location. The letter "X" means that the sugar was processed at the Orlando plant.

The second number refers to the year in which the sugar was packaged ("2" for 2012). The third refers to the week in that year when the sugar was processed ("8" means the eighth week). The following number refers to the day of the week on which the sugar was processed ("2" refers to Tuesday). The following "A, B, or C" indicates the shift (morning, afternoon, or night) when the sugar underwent processing. The last number identifies the machine on which the sugar was processed.

Shannon could not specify whether sugar is only sold close to its plant of origin or whether it may travel long distances before being sold. Therefore, we cannot say that only stores close to Yonkers or Orlando carry Domino® Sugar that has not been processed through cow bone char.

In December 2012, The VRG reported that Australia has not used cow bone char to decolorize its sugar since 1990. Instead, Australians use non-animal activated carbon filters. The major Australian sugar company told us that they do not distribute to North or South America. [ http://www.vrg.org/blog/2012/12/19/non-animal-coal-filters-used-to-process-cane-sugar-in-australia/ ]

The contents of this article, our website, and our other publications, including The 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 employees or company statements. Information does change and mistakes are always possible. Please use your own best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. Further research or confirmation may be warranted.

To purchase our Guide to Food Ingredients, please visit our website: [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=8 ]

For information on food ingredients, fast food, and for other information of interest to vegetarians and vegans, please subscribe to our enewsletter at [ http://www.vrg.org/vrgnews/ ]

To support VRG research, you can donate at [ https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?CID=1565 ]

There are many ways to stay connected to The Vegetarian Resource Group!

Get our blog delivered right to your inbox: [ http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheVRGBlog ]

Like us on Facebook: [ http://www.facebook.com/thevegetarianresourcegroup ]

Follow us on Twitter: [ http://twitter.com/VegResourceGrp ]


3) SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN AND VEGETARIAN/VEGAN DIETS WITH REED MANGELS, PHD, RD

VRG's Nutrition Advisor Reed Mangels, RD, PhD, was on the Dr. Don Show on January 9 to speak about vegetarian & vegan diets for school-age children. If you missed it live, you can listen to it on the Dr. Don Show archives here: [ http://bullheadurgentcare.com/archives/playfiles/01092013p.html ]. You can find more archives of the Dr. Don Show here: [ http://bullheadurgentcare.com/archives/index.html ], including the April 25, 2012 show, in which Dr. Mangels spoke about vegetarian diets in infants, and the March 6, 2012 show, in which Dr. Mangels discussed pregnancy, lactation and vegetarian diets. For more information on vegan pregnancy, see:


4) WHILE RESEARCHING SPLENDA, VRG TOLD NON-ANIMAL COAL FILTERS USED TO PROCESS CANE SUGAR IN AUSTRALIA

By Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director

An online reader asked us if a cow bone char filter is used in the manufacture of SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener (a brand name for sucralose), an artificial sweetener found in a wide variety of foods and beverages.

To read the rest of this article, visit our blog: [ http://www.vrg.org/blog/2012/12/19/non-animal-coal-filters-used-to-process-cane-sugar-in-australia/ ]


5) NEW VEG OPTION TESTED AT SELECTED SF BAY AREA CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL RESTAURANTS

Chipotle Mexican Grill has announced that they plan to test a vegetarian menu item at selected locations in the San Francisco Bay Area in February. From the press release:

"Sofritas, shredded tofu braised with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos and a blend of aromatic spices, is made with organic, non-GMO tofu from Oakland's Hodo Soy. Chipotle expects Sofritas to appeal to vegetarian and vegan customers...."

For more information, see:

http://ir.chipotle.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=194775&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1778960&highlight= ]


6) VEGAN RESTAURANTS IN U.S. & CANADA RECENTLY ADDED TO OUR RESTAURANT GUIDE

These vegan restaurants were recently added to our online restaurant guide. To find restaurants in your area, visit:
http://www.vrg.org/restaurant/index.php ].

Happy Healthy Human
http://www.happyhealthyhuman.com/ ]
1869 South Patrick Dr., Indian Harbour Beach, FL 32937
(321) 779-0077

Kate's Cafe
http://www.katescafe.net/ ]
27 Broadway Ave., Mystic, CT 06355
(860) 245-5832

Localita & The Badasserie
http://localita.co/ ]
817 S. Los Angeles St., Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 623-3223

Loving Hut Express
http://www.lovinghutvancouver.ca ]
Pacific Blvd., Vancouver, BC V6B 5E7
(604) 780-1029

To read the rest of this article, visit our blog:
http://www.vrg.org/blog/2012/12/21/vegan-restaurants-in-u-s-canada-recently-added-to-our-restaurant-guide/ ]


7) OUTREACH TO BALTIMORE CITY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

By Amanda Gilley, VRG Intern

The Vegetarian Resource Group participated in a community health fair that was hosted by the Excel Academy @ Francis M. Wood High School in Baltimore City, which is in one of the more impoverished neighborhoods in Baltimore. Overall this event was a huge success. The event was open to students, parents, and the community.

Because this school has two vegan teachers on staff, many of the students were familiar with the word vegan and said they have been interested in trying veggie burgers and vegetarian products that they see in the grocery store. Many of the students were also familiar with the vegetarian friendly restaurants that were listed on our Greater Baltimore Area Dining Guide [ http://www.vrg.org/travel/baltimoreguide.php ]. Some of the students were very interested in the educational materials that we had to give away because they are interested in incorporating more vegetables into their diet and see vegetarian diets as being a healthy lifestyle choice.

To support vegetarian outreach like this, please donate at [ http://www.vrg.org/donate ]


8) ALTERNATIVES TO INSECT-DERIVED FOOD COLORS

Tomat-O-Red® (Lycopene) and Ultra Stable Red(tm) (Anthocyanin): Plant-Derived Natural Red Color Alternatives to Carmine

by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS VRG Research Director

Introduction

Consumer demand for natural, non-insect-derived red food and beverage color has grown rapidly in recent months. As observed in April 2012 in the case of Starbucks, [ http://www.vrg.org/blog/2012/04/10/starbucks-%E2%80%9Creviewing-alternatives%E2%80%9D-to-cochineal/ ], people are becoming more vocal. Vegetarians and vegans join people with carmine allergies, people following kosher dietary restrictions, and people just disgusted by the thought of an insect ingredient in their food and beverages in requesting that companies change their red coloring source. Many companies are responding to the request by reformulating ingredient profiles using vegetable-based red coloring agents instead of carmine (also known as cochineal). Here are two vegan and natural carmine alternatives that are currently commercially available.

To read the rest of this article, visit our blog:
http://www.vrg.org/blog/2013/01/02/alternatives-to-insect-derived-food-colors/ ]


9) IRON IN THE VEGAN DIET

Iron is another nutrient that new vegans and vegetarians are often concerned about. Fortunately, there are many excellent plant sources of iron. Our recently-updated article, Iron in the Vegan Diethttp://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.php ], contains a list of the iron content of selected vegan foods, a comparison of iron sources, and some sample menus that provide more than the daily recommended amount of iron.

Iron in the Vegan Diet is excerpted from the newly released 5th Edition of Simply Veganhttp://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=1 ].

For a limited time, we're offering 50% off the cover price when you order 5 copies from our online bookstore [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=93 ]

For more information about vegan nutrition, visit the Nutrition [ http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/ ] section of our website.

The Vegetarian Resource Group relies upon the generosity of our supporters. Please donate [ https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?CID=1565 ] so we can continue to provide vital nutrition information like this.

Thanks to VRG volunteer Alan Polster for converting this update into HTML!


10) COOKING VEGAN BY VESANTO MELINA, MS, RD AND CHEF JOSEPH FOREST

http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=92 ]

This dietitian and chef duo have produced a wonderful vegan cookbook with extensive nutrition information. You'll find a lot of helpful tips in this book including 12 menus, a chart of foods grouped according to six tastes, a shopping list, and kitchen equipment list. Nutritional analyses are also provided.

There are many creative recipes including Good Morning Granola, Sunflower-Sesame Spread, Carrot, Lemongrass and Basil Soup, Vietnamese Salad, Avocado, Grapefruit and Chipotle Dressing, Sushi Rolls, African chickpea Stew, Sweet and Sour Tofu, Cashew Cheese Lasagne, Tamarind-Date Sauce, Rosemary Gravy, Lemon Roasted Potatose, Chocolate-Orange Cake, and Lime Pie.

The following recipe from this cookbook, is a quick and easy vegan dish to prepare that involves little cooking. For a complete meal, you can serve this dish with rice and salsa.

Black Beans with Coconut and Mango

Makes about two 1-cup servings

  • 1 3/4 cups cooked or canned black beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen mango pieces

Put the black beans, coconut milk, lime juice, chili powder, and salt in a medium saucepan and stir until combined. Cook over medium-high heat until the coconut milk comes to a boil. Decrease heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in the mango, cover, and cook stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until heated through.

Variations: Omit the mango. Slice or cube 1 avocado. Garnish each portion with half of the avocado before serving. Also, you can replace the mango with one small papaya, peeled, seeded, and cubed.

Cooking Vegan (ISBN 978-1-57067-267-5) is 264-pages. It is published by Book Publishing Company and can be purchased from The Vegetarian Resource Group from our online bookstore [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=92 ].


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 ] Like us on Facebook: [ http://www.facebook.com/thevegetarianresourcegroup ] Follow us on Twitter: [ http://twitter.com/VegResourceGrp ] 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!

To subscribe, unsubscribe, or otherwise manage your subscription to VRG-NEWS, visit [ http://lists.vrg.org/mailman/listinfo/vrg-news_lists.vrg.org ]

If you are a new subscriber, you might enjoy reading past issues of VRG-NEWS online at [ http://www.vrg.org/vrgnews/ ].

Contents of VRG-NEWS are copyright 2012 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.