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VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Editor: John L. Cunningham
Volume 6, Issue 5
May 2002


  1. Notes from the Editor
  2. In the News: Nutrition for Vegan Infants
  3. Important Information About Burger King's French Fries
  4. Product Review: Delicious Choices Cheesecake
  5. Recipe of the Month: Red Potato, Mustard Greens, and Mushroom Sauté
  6. Question of the Month: Where Can I Find A Vegan Wedding Cake?
  7. Second Issue of the 2002 Vegetarian Journal Online
  8. Upcoming Vegetarian Events and Conferences
  9. Internships Available at VRG in Baltimore
    About the Vegetarian Resource Group
    About VRG-News


Earlier this month, VRG participated in Book Expo America, the largest publishing trade show in the U.S. As a supplement to the brief vegetarian restaurant guide to New York City that interns Raena Blumenthal and Jeff Morrison wrote for the Expo, we have created an Online Vegetarian Dining Guide for Manhattan! Be sure to check it out before you head to the Big Apple.

If you're going to be in the "Windy City" on June 1 & 2, stop by the Printers Row Book Fair and say hello to Lisa Martin who is hosting our booth there. We also have an Online Dining Guide for Chicago on our site, if you're interested. Since the information in all of our dining guides is subject to change, we would greatly appreciate it if you would inform us of any corrections we need to make.

Thanks for the advice and commiseration you e-mailed to me regarding my BK Veggie experience. Being the statistics freak that I am, I conducted a "quick and dirty" analysis of your responses. I thought you might find the results to be interesting.

Of those that e-mailed me:

45% had a good experience and/or liked the BK Veggie,
15% had a less than satisfactory experience and/or were indifferent about the BK Veggie,
30% had a bad experience and/or disliked the BK Veggie, and
10% would never try the BK Veggie.

So about half of those that tried the burger liked it, and the other half, at best, were not impressed. 50% is a great batting average, but it's a lousy grade for a term paper. What does this all mean? I don't know. I'll leave that up to the market research gurus at Burger King.

Have a safe, happy, and healthy May!


We've been receiving a number of inquiries lately about feeding vegan infants, so we asked Reed Mangels, PhD, RD to give us some tips on nutrition for vegan infants:

Young vegan infants (younger than 4 to 6 months) should be receiving only breast milk or, if that is not possible, a commercial soy formula. Homemade formulas of any sort, soymilk, rice milk, or nut milk should not be used to replace breast milk or commercial infant formula during the first year. These foods do not contain the right amount of nutrients for babies and their use can lead to life-threatening health problems.

Solid foods should be introduced between 4 and 6 months of age. Our website provides information on introducing solid foods. Breastfeeding or use of a commercial soy formula, should continue at least until the baby is 1 year old, growing normally, and eating a variety of foods. At that time, commercial soymilk can be introduced as a beverage. Vegan women who are breastfeeding should use a daily, reliable source of vitamin B-12 (vitamin B-12 supplement or food fortified with vitamin B-12).

If the mother is not using a reliable source of vitamin B-12, the baby needs a vitamin B-12 supplement. Vegan infants also need reliable sources of vitamin D and iron.

Fat should not be restricted in the diets of babies age 2 years and younger. Diets consisting largely of raw foods are not recommended for babies and young children.

To learn more about feeding vegan babies and children, visit our website for our article, Vegan Nutrition in Pregnancy and Childhood, our Vegetarian Kids and Teens page, or join our vegetarian parenting online discussion list.

As with all publications of The Vegetarian Resource Group, this article is not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional.


In 1997, while doing research for the Guide to Fast Food, we were told by Burger King that their French fries contained nothing "which would present a problem to [a vegetarian] diet. No whey, no dairy products, no beef fat, no flavoring from animals." Recently, however, Burger King Customer Relations has stated that the fries are not considered to be vegetarian.

We called Burger King's Media Relations department about this, and they stated that the fries do contain a small amount of a poultry-based amino acid used for flavoring. While, at the moment, they were not able to give us any documentation to this effect, they did say that this information will be included in their new nutrition guide which should be available shortly.

Burger King's Product Consistency department informed us that the recipe for the French fry coating was reformulated in the spring of 2001, and offered to contact the company that produces the flavoring to determine the source. As of this writing we are awaiting a reply.

When we learn more, we will make the information available on our website. In the meantime, vegetarians who choose to eat the BK Veggie may want to order it without the fries.

(Please note that the BK Veggie bun is not vegan and you may want to ask for the patty to be microwaved rather than prepared on the grill with the other meat products. Also, we would like to thank Trish, the VRG-News subscriber who brought this to our attention.)


VRG Intern Jeff Morrison was given the grueling assignment of sampling 6 dairy-free cheesecakes in two days. It's a tough job, but someone had to do it. Here's what he had to say about them:

Cheesecake. Going vegan was easy, even if you had a sweet tooth. And then you remembered cheesecake. No matter how many recipes you tried, it might taste all right but the texture was always off. Or you used too much lemon and the flavor was too tart.

Cheesecake lovers who gave up their curdled ambrosia can now rejoice. There is a company out there that makes vegan cheesecakes. Good ones, in fact. Delicious Choices makes a variety of cheesecakes completely free of animal products, and they'll ship it to you within two days. We ordered the "sampler" pack, consisting of six individual pieces of cheesecake, all of different assortments. Although the company does make more than six flavors, the following is a basic review of the six flavors we received:

Chocolate - One word: Decadent. A thick, texture accompanied by a rich, mousse-like flavor.

Chocolate Marble - A bit lighter than the chocolate. Creamier texture. More of a "pudding" flavor.

Key Lime - Very good. The raspberry sauce over the top was a nice touch, but it almost drowned out the flavor of the cheesecake itself.

New York Style - Excellent overall. Texture was similar (if memory serves me well) to actual New York style cheesecake. Strong vanilla flavor with a hint of lemon.

Light Apricot Swirl - Good flavor combination. A hint of lemon. This was the only piece we had that wasn't able to maintain its consistency, however.

Creamy - By far the best all around selection for the classic cheesecake lover. Not quite as dense as the New York Style, good balance of lemon, vanilla, and sweet flavors, and the texture was similar to that of whipped ricotta. I had some issues with the strawberry topping, as I felt it made the cheesecake too acidic. It can be ordered without the topping however.

So there's my roundup. If you're in the market for a last minute gift for Mother's Day, get your orders in by May 8th or 9th. This is also a great way to introduce people to the wonders of the vegan dessert.

Delicious Choices is located in Lincoln, NE, and ship all of their cheesecakes via FedEx next day or second day air. They can be contacted at (402) 420-2011 or via their website. If you've tried the cheesecake and like it, send an email to the company at nowhey2000@yahoo.com.

5) RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Red Potato, Mustard Greens, and Mushroom Sauté

The following recipe appears in Vegan Meals for One or Two by Chef Nancy Berkoff, RD.

(Makes 2 servings)

Eat your greens! This recipe makes it easy.

2 medium red potatoes (any type of small boiling potato will do)
Vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups (packed) mustard greens or kale

Steam or microwave potatoes until soft (here's another good place to use your leftover cooked potatoes). Heat a large frying pan and spray with oil. Quarter potatoes and add with mushrooms to pan. Season with pepper. Cook and stir until potatoes are hot and mushrooms are soft, approximately 5 minutes. Add greens and cook and stir until wilted, approximately 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Total Calories Per Serving Using Mustard Greens: 88
Total Fat as % of Daily Value: 1%
Protein: 4 gm
Fat: 1 gm
Carbohydrates: 18 gm
Calcium: 69 mg
Iron: 2 mg
Sodium: 20 mg
Dietary Fiber 4 gm

6) QUESTION OF THE MONTH: Where Can I Find A Vegan Wedding Cake?

It's that time of year again! Wedding bells will be ringing, brides will be blushing, and those stuck with the task of planning the wedding will be all but overwhelmed by the glut of last-minute details. One of the questions we are frequently asked by these harried heroes is "Where can I find a vegan wedding cake?" The answer below appears in our book Vegan and Vegetarian FAQ:

A good place to start looking is at vegetarian and vegan restaurants near you that have or utilize a vegan friendly bakery. You can use our book, The Vegetarian Journal's Guide to Restaurants in the US and Canada, as a good starting place to locate restaurants. Whether you need a cake for a wedding, your child's birthday party, an anniversary celebration, or an office meeting, the following are some places to start your search:

BLIND FAITH in Evanston, Illinois (847) 328-6875. They also have great vegan corn bread and cupcakes.

FIRE AND WATER in Northampton, Massachusetts (413) 586-8336.

FUNKS DEMOCRATIC COFFEE HOUSE & BISTRO in Baltimore, Maryland (410) 276-3865. In spite of their name, they will serve any political persuasion. Their menu features food for vegetarians, vegans, and carnivores.

WEST LYNN CAFE in Austin, Texas (512) 482-0950. This establishment proves Texas isn't just for meat-eaters anymore.

WHOLE EARTH BAKERY AND KITCHEN on St. Mark's Place, in New York City (212) 677-7597.

VEGGIE WORKS in Belmar, New Jersey (732) 280-2011. Their home- cooked non-meat meat loaf and mashed potatoes aren't to be missed either.

Also, many WHOLE FOODS and other large natural foods stores now offer vegan cakes.

Alternatively, you may wish to approach a local bakery to see if they would prepare a cake with a recipe you provide. We have vegan cake recipes available on our website that may be suitable.


The second issue of the 2002 Vegetarian Journal Online articles include:

Note from the Coordinators

2001 Essay Winners

Picnic Pleasures by Nava Atlas

Donating Stock to VRG

And more. . .

Read excerpts from back issues online at: http://www.vrg.org/journal/

The Journal features informational and recipe articles, product and book reviews, news for vegetarian activists, and up-to-date information about vegetarian health and nutrition. If you are not currently a subscriber to the Vegetarian Journal, why not subscribe today?

Subscriptions to Vegetarian Journal are $20/year in the US (please inquire for subscription rates outside the US). Accepted forms of payment, in US funds, are Visa, MasterCard, checks drawn on US banks, and postal money orders. When joining, please send us your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. If paying by credit card, please include the card number and expiration date.

If you join online at http://www.vrg.org/journal/subscribe.htm for $30 or more, you will receive a FREE copy of the Vegan Handbook, a $20 value! (US addresses only)

If you choose to join by mail, subscriptions should be directed to:
The Vegetarian Resource Group
PO Box 1463
Dept. IN
Baltimore, MD 21203
Phone: (410) 366-8343
Fax: (410) 366-8804
E-mail: vrg@vrg.org




Students from the Bastyr University Botanical Medicine and Nutrition Departments are sponsoring an Herb and Food Fair on Saturday, May 18, 2002 -- 10 AM -- 4 PM. Admission is free. The event features:

*Garden Tours featuring medicinal and culinary herbs, as well as Chinese herbs
*Native Plant Herb Walks through the beautiful 300 acre St. Edward State Park
*Short talks by herb experts
*Entertainment including opening/closing circle ceremonies
*Kid's Corner with activities for the whole family ... take home seedlings, learn about roots, tour the garden from a bug's perspective
*Food available in the vegetarian cafeteria
*Cooking demonstrations highlighting herbs from the garden
*Herbal Products available for sale in booths

For more information, contact Kathleen Warren, Assistant Director of Media and Public Relations, at (425) 602-3103 or e-mail kwarren@bastyr.edu.



On June 28 through July 3, Animal Rights 2002 program will feature 120 presenters from every faction of the Animal Rights movement. They will present at five Plenary Sessions, 100 Workshops, 50 Campaign Reports, and 16 Rap Sessions. Other functions will include 80 Exhibits, 100 Videos, Newcomer Orientation, Welcome Reception, Evening Receptions, Awards Banquet, US Animal Rights Hall of Fame, Planning Meetings, Group Workouts, Employment Clearinghouse, and a March on Washington. The speakers will include Carol Adams, Neal Barnard, Robert Cohen, Howard Lyman, Ingrid Newkirk, and over 100 more. VRG will have a booth, too. Stop by and say hello to Jeannie!

For more information, visit http://www.animalrights2002.org.



On July 8-14 the 35th Vegetarian World Congress - 'Food For All Our Futures' will take place at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh. Speakers will include Derek Antrobus, Rynn Berry, Rose Elliot, and Dr. Douglas Graham.

For more information, visit their website at http://www.vegsoc.org/nvw and http://www.vegsoc.org/congress or call 0161 925 2000.



On July 31-August 4, The North American Vegetarian Society will hold its 28th annual Vegetarian Summerfest at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. The Summerfest offers educational sessions covering such topics as health and nutrition, lifestyle issues, animal rights and compassionate living, and Earth stewardship; opportunities to meet others of like mind, and natural food vegan meals. This year's speakers will include: Carol J. Adams; Thomas J. Barnard, MD; VRG Nutrition Advisor Suzanne Havala Hobbs, DrPH, MS, RD; Howard Lyman; John McDougall, MD; Joanne Stepaniak, MSEd; and many more.

For more information, visit http://www.navs-online.org/fest02/ or call (518) 568-7970.



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 nonprofit 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 VRG, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203; vrg@vrg.org.


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://www.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: vrg@vrg.org Website: www.vrg.org


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!

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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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May 9, 2002

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