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Spring 1997

Editor: Brad Scott


Staff Profile: Jeanne Bartas

Malik Yacoubou and Jeanne Bartas Just about every morning of the week, before eight o'clock, Jeanne Bartas arrives at the VRG office on her green bicycle after pedaling for one hour. She's an early bird by nature, but really only wants to avoid the heaviest part of rush hour. This has been her habit since she began working at VRG in December 1991. After a four-year Peace Corps experience in West Africa, Jeanne returned to Baltimore, her hometown, and resumed her job at the VRG.

Her day begins by answering the e-mail. She never knows what the inquiries will be about, yet she is well-equipped to answer, or find the answer, to just about any question which is posed to the VRG. These questions' subjects range from nutrition to philosophy to science to health, and back again. For example, in a given day, she may tell someone that diglycerides in foods are usually animal- derived; that isoflavones in soyfoods may have beneficial health effects; that there is a vegetarian society in Nigeria; and that No Cholesterol Passover Recipes contains a recipe for almond "milk." Some-times, e-mail inquiries demand a search through our extensive files or through books in VRG's library. This is all in a day's work for Jeanne as Research Assistant for the VRG.

Jeanne loves to find answers to questions. Sometimes, her work takes her to the Baltimore Public Library or to The National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, MD. She spent many long hours in these places while researching information for the aquaculture article, published in the May/June and July/August Vegetarian Journals. Jeanne did that project on a volunteer basis. Also as a volunteer, she writes occasional book reviews for the Journal. She enjoys books on ethics the most, because it permits her to draw on her academic work in philosophy.

At work, Jeanne has recently been consumed by writing a food ingredients dictionary. This project involves contacting hundreds of chemical company technical representatives or food technologists. Jeanne uses her background in chemistry as she tries to put the pieces together from several sources and understand the intimate workings of the chemical reactions used to make food ingredients. Like many projects at the VRG, the work is never-ending. There is always something more to learn.

Jeanne does other projects in the office as well as research. She can fill in for the book distribution manager if necessary. She also offers assistance to callers who may be journalists, health professionals, college students, or new vegan mothers looking for information. She helps supervise VRG's interns, coaching them to become good researchers and communicators of that research.

What is the best part of her job? Jeanne says without hesitation, "when someone says 'thanks for your help. I'm glad that there are still people in the world who take the time to really answer a question.' " So thank you Jeanne for all your research!




VRG Home | About VRG | Vegetarian Journal | Books | Vegetarian Nutrition
Subscribe to Journal | Vegetarian Game | Vegetarian Family | Nutshell | VRG-News
Vegetarian Recipes | Travel | What's New | Bulletin Board | Search www.vrg.org | Links


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Last Updated
September 20, 1997

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