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VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Editor: John L. Cunningham
Volume 6, Issue 8
August 2002


  1. Notes from the Editor
  2. CSPI Seeks Feedback on Quorn from VRG-NEWS Subscribers
  3. American Families Needed to Host Vegetarian Foreign Students
  4. Nutrition at Your Fingertips
  5. Recipe of the Month: Zucchini Pancakes
  6. Question of the Month: How Do I Stay Vegetarian on Campus?
  7. Upcoming Vegetarian Events and Conferences
  8. Job Opportunities and Internships Available
    About the Vegetarian Resource Group
    About VRG-News


Ah, yes. The crack of the bat, the call of the umpire, and the smell of . . . veggie dogs? Last month, we met with Johanna McCloy, of Soy Happy, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, here in Baltimore, to try the veggie dogs the park now offers. Soy Happy's campaign to get veggie dogs into baseball stadiums has been gaining ground. Eleven major league parks, four triple A parks, and two single A parks now offer them. For information on how to encourage your team's baseball stadium to carry veggie dogs, visit http://www.soyhappy.org.

The increased awareness of vegetarianism that resulted from the July 7th Time Magazine cover story: "Should I Be a Vegetarian?" gave us an opportunity to engage with the mass media. Chef Nancy Berkoff, RD, was invited to participate in a discussion on the nationally syndicated Michael Reagan radio talk show, Debra Wasserman appeared on a public television call-in show, and Suzanne Havala Hobbs, DrPH, MS, RD, was interviewed by Oxygen and Muscle Media Magazines. Shortly after the magazine appeared on the newsstands, Time Magazine linked to the VRG website as a "Web Resource" in the online version of the article. So now people looking for more information have access to accurate facts about vegetarianism.

Speaking of the website, we gave it a bit of a face-lift last month. It should be faster, more accessible, and easier to navigate. An important new addition to the site is the article "The Market for Vegetarian Foods" written for us by Caryn Ginsberg of Priority Ventures Group and Alissa Ostrowski of Mintel Consumer Intelligence. If you are considering starting a vegetarian business, or if you're just curious about the vegetarian market sector, you'll want to read this article. If you have any comments or suggestions about the website, we'd like to hear them. Send an e-mail to vrg@vrg.org.

This month, there is a change in the VRG roster. (Sorry, I'm still in baseball mode.) Darlene Spence has started as VRG's new Membership Manager. Welcome, Darlene!

Have a safe, happy, and healthy August!


What is Quorn? Quorn is a meat substitute made from a fungus-based mycoprotein that hasn't been used for food in North America before. However, it has been popular in Europe for many years. The Center for Science in the Public Interest is concerned that the testing of this product has been inadequate, and some of the novel proteins in the mycoprotein may cause allergic reactions in people who eat them. Have you tried any Quorn products? If so, CSPI wants to hear from you. If you think you may have had a bad reaction to Quorn, CSPI requests that you visit their website below and fill out the questionnaire.

Quorn Mycoprotein Adverse Reaction Report

Editors' Note: This product is not vegan. Several of our non-vegetarian friends traveling in the UK raved about Quorn products. If you have tried Quorn let us know your opinion.


Every year hundreds of vegetarian international high school students want to live with American families and attend American high schools for an academic year. To make this happen, AFS Intercultural Programs (formerly the American Field Service), a 55-year old, non-profit organization, has to find families willing to host them for a school year.

It is difficult to find U.S. families willing to host vegetarian students from abroad. Some people fear that they will not be able to provide adequate nourishment without including meat in the menus. Others think it will be too difficult to make special meals for these young people.

The benefits to both hosted student and host family are enormous. Hosting is something most families can do to improve international understanding and tolerance without even leaving home. Families can be non-traditional. What is required is a place for the student to stay, enjoy meals, and receive the care and guidance the family would provide for their own children.

If you, or someone you know, might be interested in hosting such a young person, please call 1-800-AFS-INFO, or visit www.afs.org/usa. If you live outside of the United States and would like to know more about AFS where you are, please go to www.afs.org. Thank you!


Have you ever wondered why, exactly, bok choy is good for you? Are you looking for information on how to get enough calcium on a vegan diet? Or have you been looking for the perfect recipe for vegan blackberry pie? Look no further - the Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC), located in Beltsville, MD, has put together a website that can answer all of these important questions.

The Food and Nutrition Information Center is one of several information centers located at the National Agriculture Library (NAL), part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Since 1971, FNIC's mission has been to collect and distribute information about food and human nutrition. The resources in NAL's collection range from educational materials to scientific information and are appropriate for both consumers and health professionals. The information on the website is reviewed and updated by the staff nutritionists on a continuing basis.

Highlighted below are pages from the site that contain nutrition information that can be useful for vegetarians and vegans.

Vegetarian Nutrition Topics Page

This page provides a wide array of information on vegetarian and vegan diets, links to websites that address the topic of raising vegetarian and vegan children, free recipes, information about soyfood, a link to the vegetarian and vegan food guide pyramids, and more. Nutrition professionals can find information about the American Dietetic Association's Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group and tips for working with vegetarian clients.

Consumer Corner

Consumer Corner is dedicated to food and nutrition topics about which the public most frequently has questions. Vegetarians are likely to find valuable information in "All About Food." Also, check out the "Hot Topics" list to find information on Vegetarian Eating.

Vegetarian Nutrition Resource List for Consumers

This resource list contains titles of vegetarian cookbooks, books on living a vegetarian lifestyle, magazines, newsletters, and links to other websites with information on vegetarianism.

Newsletters on Food and Nutrition

This page contains links to a number of online nutrition newsletters. Pay special attention to the link to the Loma Linda University Vegetarian Nutrition and Health Letter. Also, check out the Nutrition Action Healthletter, a publication of the Center for Science in the Public Interest which often contains articles of interest to vegetarians.

Dietary Supplements and Herbal Information

This page contains links to articles that discuss popular supplements in the market today. Information is presented on soy, garlic, antioxidants, functional foods, isoflavones, herbs, and more. Articles are written by such organizations as the American Dietetic Association, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the Mayo Clinic. The site also references relevant articles available on Medline.

The Nutrient Data Laboratory

The database allows simple searches to find nutrition information about any food in the USDA Nutrient Database, providing information on vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fats. For example, a search for black beans results in findings that 1/2 cup contains 23 mg of calcium, 1.8 mg of iron, 128 mcg of folate, 0.6 g of leucine, and about 0.5 g of arginine.

National Agriculture Library - Borrowing Information

Books, manuals, journal articles, education materials and audiovisual materials are available at the NAL. If you do not have an affiliation with the USDA, you can borrow materials by contacting your local library to place an interlibrary loan request. Browse through these questions and answers about how to borrow from the NAL.

Browse the entire site http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic and you're sure to find another area of nutrition that will interest you. You can contact FNIC by phone, fax, mail, or email. They welcome questions from consumers.

Food and Nutrition Information Center
USDA/ARS/National Agricultural Library
10301 Baltimore Ave., Room 304
Beltsville, MD 20705-2011
Phone: (301) 504-5719
Fax: (301) 504-6409
Email: fnic@nal.usda.gov

(Thanks to VRG Intern Sarah Tichar for her hard work on this article.)


Here's something interesting to do with all of those extra zucchini that seem to turn up this time of year. Try them with mango chutney.

(The following recipe appears in Simply Vegan by Debra Wasserman and Reed Mangels, PhD, RD.)

Serves 4-5

1 medium zucchini
1 small onion
1/2 Cup water
1 Cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons oil

Blend zucchini, onion, and water in a food processor. Pour into a bowl and add flour, garlic, parsley, and soy sauce. Form 10 small pancakes and fry in an oiled pan over medium heat. Brown both sides.

Total Calories Per Serving: 139
Total Fat as % of Daily Value: 5%
Protein: 5 g
Carbohydrates: 25 g
Fat: 3 g
Calcium: 29 mg
Iron: 1 mg
Sodium: 89 mg
Dietary Fiber: 4 g

6) QUESTION OF THE MONTH: How do I stay vegetarian on campus?

Now that it's time to head back to the hallowed halls of higher education, vegetarian college students may have some concerns about finding vegetarian fare on campus. The following excerpt from our book, Vegan & Vegetarian FAQ by Davida Gypsy Breier and Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, may help:

Q: Like most other college students, I have limited funds. Do you have any suggestions for a healthy vegetarian diet without spending all my money?

A: You might consider a quick and easy cookbook, such as Meatless Meals For Working People, which offers many inexpensive, simple meals. You might find the article, "Veggie Viewpoint: Eating at College" by Caroline Pyevich, helpful. You can request a copy, or view it online at http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj97jan/971coll.htm.

Our 30 Day Menu for Those Who Don't Like to Cook is often helpful for students who don't have full cooking facilities. It is online at http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/30daymenu.htm.

The university cafeteria should offer some vegetarian options, and there are many ready-made vegetarian frozen and boil-in-the-bag meals now available at supermarkets. If the cafeteria is finding it difficult to add more vegetarian meals, we offer brochures and assistance specific to food service, such as Foodservice Update, The Quantity Recipe Packet, and Vegan In Volume.

You could learn to make some simple meals that require one pan and some water, such as couscous, rice, pasta, or noodles, all of which cook quickly and easily. "Just add water" soups and pastas are another option. Tortillas, marinated tofu, and hummus make easy sandwiches, and so does good old peanut butter and jelly. Also consider fruit, bagels, popcorn, pretzels, and nuts for snacks in between classes.




Saturday, August 17th is the occasion of the Second Annual Soyfoods Cooking Contest at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. All Maryland residents are eligible to enter. Three divisions (Youth, Adult, and Vegan) will be judged in five categories (Appetizer/Snack, Side Dish, Entree, Bread, Dessert). Recipes must be original.

For complete information and entry forms visit: http://www.mcagfair.com, or contact Cyndi Reeser at (301) 946-7550, or by e-mail: cyndireeser@erols.com.



On September 13, 14, and 15, the Toronto Vegetarian Association presents the 18th Annual Vegetarian Food Fair at the York Quay Centre at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. The event will feature: hourly cooking demonstrations, a vegetarian trade show, free vegetarian food samples, a vegetarian "World Café," workshops and seminars, and children's musical entertainment. Speakers will include Elizabeth May of Sierra Club of Canada, Dr. Thomas J. Barnard, Beverley Miller of Toronto Area CHIP, and many more. Admission is free.

For more information visit http://www.veg.ca/foodfair, e-mail foodfair@veg.ca, or call (416) 973-3000.



On Saturday, September 21, Farm Sanctuary will hold their Gala for Farm Animals at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.

Gala Host and Honorary Chair James Cromwell, Linda Blair, Sue Coe, Bill Maher, Peter Max, Kevin Nealon, Stefanie Powers, Victoria Principle, Charlotte Ross, Loretta Swit, Gretchen Wyler, and other celebrities dedicated to animal protection will be attending the event. The 2002 Gala will celebrate Farm Sanctuary's farm animal activists and supporters with a gourmet vegan dinner, award ceremony, silent auction, and other entertainment. Mary Tyler Moore will receive the 1st Annual Sentient Being Award.

For more information, call Jessica Glau at (607) 583-2011 ext. 229 or e- mail gala@farmsanctuary.org.



On September 21-25 the American Oil Chemists Society will host the Fifth International Symposium on the Role of Soy in Preventing and Treating Chronic Disease at Disney's contemporary Resort in Orlando, FL.

The event will have three-and-a-half days of oral presentations and dedicated poster viewing focusing on areas of cardiovascular disease, renal disease, osteoporosis, cancer, cognitive function, hypertension, women's health, diabetes, obesity, inflammatory disorders, and skin health. A sponsor display area will also feature companies and organizations presenting the latest technologies and products available to the soy market.

For more information call (217) 359-2011, visit http://www.aocs.org/meetings/soy03/, or write to ASOCS, P.O. Box 3489, Champaign, IL 61826-3489.



On Sunday, September 22, Love All Animals and In Defense of Animals will sponsor CompassionFest 2002, in Burnet Woods. CompassionFest is a national youth-oriented event inviting young people to live and grow in the spirit of Love, Peace, and Compassion. There will be educational booths staffed by local organizations, vegan food, vendors selling cruelty-free products, speakers, and entertainment. Speakers will include Karen Davis of United Poultry Concerns, Elliot Katz of In Defense of Animals, and Gary Yourofsky of PETA. Farm Sanctuary will also hold an Adoption Ceremony featuring Cinci Freedom, the newsmaking cow who recently escaped from a Cincinnati Slaughterhouse.

For more information, visit http://www.compassionfest.org, e-mail info@compassioinfest.org, or call (513) 561-9505.



On Saturday, September 28, Voices for Animals will hold the 6th Annual Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival in Lee Park. Attendees will encounter restaurant booths; free vegan food samples; healthy living exhibitors; and vegetarian, animal rights, environmental, and peace organizations. Activities will include: a "Fun-Raiser" for the Spay/Neuter Project of Voices of Animals, dog and cat adoption fair, activities for children, and live music. Admission is free.

For more information visit http://avenue.org/vegfest/, e-mail cvillevegfest@aol.org, or call (434) 823-2011.



On October 4-6 the Culture and Animals Foundation will hold the Seventeenth Annual International Compassionate Living Festival at the Clarion Hotel (Crabtree) on 4501 Creedmore Road in Raleigh, NC.

Speakers will include: Ed Sayers, President of the San Francisco SPCA; Susan Ledererm, Yale University; Brenda Davis, a Registered Dietitian and author; Jill Robinson, founder of the Animals Asia Foundation; Jenny Stein and James Laveck, filmmakers (The Witness); Kevin Johnas, U.S. coordinator of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty; Jim Harris, songwriter; Regina Hyland, an ordained Evangelical minister and author; Mark Rinehardt, author; and Jim Motavalli, editor of E Magazine.

Total Package Admission, including admission to all lectures, Saturday lunch and dinner, and two raffle tickets, is $80 for CAF members and $90 for non-members. For more information e-mail njregan@nc.rr.com or visit http://www.cultureandanimals.org.



On Sunday, October 6, The Vegetarian Society of Houston will host the 14th Annual Lone Star Vegetarian Chili Cook-Off. The event will be held from noon to 5 p.m. at the Splash Town Pavilion in Spring, TX. Contestants from all over Texas will compete for the best chili and best booth awards while attendees will enjoy live entertainment, speakers, educational booths & exhibits, and of course, vegetarian chili.

$5 admission per person to taste all chilies and to be eligible for door prizes. Children under 12 are free. For more information, call (713) 880-2011 or visit http://www.vshouston.org.



On October 19-22 the American Dietetic Association will host the annual Food & Nutrition Conference at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA.

For registration or more information visit http://www.eatright.org/fnce/index.html

During the conference, The Vegetarian Resource Group will host a Chinese Vegan Banquet at the Cherry Street Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant on Monday, October 21. Dietitians, local members, and the public are welcome. Reservations must be made in advance. Seating is limited. Cost is $20 before September 5, 2002; $25 after September 5th until October 15. Children under 10 years are $8. Price includes tax and tip. Call (410) 366-8343 between 9 am and 5 pm EST Monday to Friday, fax (410) 366-8804, email vrg@vrg.org, or send to VRG, PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.



On Saturday, October 19, the Boston Vegetarian Society will hold the seventh annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event brings together exhibitors of vegetarian natural foods from across the country. Atendees will have the opportunity to learn about new veg products, talk to food producers, enjoy speakers, cooking demos, restaurants, educational exhibits, children's activities, and exhibitors of products and services that support a vegetarian way of life. Admission and parking are free.

For more information, visit http://www.bostonveg.org/foodfest, e-mail foodfest@bostonveg.org, or call (617) 424-8846.



(Part-time position in Baltimore, MD)

Jack or Jill of all trades should be a good editor, experienced in Quark (PC), knowledgeable about vegetarianism, well organized, and eager to learn. Individual will help with the Vegetarian Journal, books, and other projects. Job will involve layout, editing, research, coordination of volunteers, sending tear sheets to companies, and other necessary tasks. Science background helpful. Starting salary is $10 - $13 hour. Future increases in pay dependent on performance, dependability, and taking on increased responsibility.

Please send cover letter, resume, and writing/layout samples to Vegetarian Journal, The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203; vrg@vrg.org.


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 towards 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.


Green Earth Travel seeks interns for their Washington, DC, area location. Applicants must be interested in learning about ecotourism and vegetarian travel. Responsibilities include: maintaining the website, making calls to tour operators, making bookings, requesting brochures. For more information, contact Donna Zeigfinger by phone: (301) 571-4603 or by e-mail: greeneatvl@aol.com.


Our health professionals, activists, and educators work with businesses and individuals to bring about healthy 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, and book sales. The Vegetarian Journal, a bi-monthly print magazine, is a benefit of membership in The VRG. (For more information, please see back issues online at http://vrg.org/journal/.)

If you would like to make a donation, become a member, or find out more about The VRG, contact us at: The Vegetarian Resource Group PO Box 1463 Baltimore, MD 21203 Phone: (410) 366-8343 Fax: (410) 366-8804 E-mail: mailto:vrg@vrg.orgWebsite: http://vrg.org/index.htm


VRG-News is the monthly 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 the list manager, Bobbi Pasternak, at bobbi@vrg.org. If you have any suggestions, ideas, or corrections to VRG-News, 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://vrg.org/vrgnews/index.htm.

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Contents of VRG-News are copyright 2002 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.

This newsletter was converted to HTML by Stephanie Schueler.

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August 14, 2002

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