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VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Volume 2, Issue 12
December 1998

CONTENTS

  1. ALA Midwinter Conference
  2. What are those natural flavors?
  3. Vegan Product of the Month: Candleworks
  4. Activist Newsletter
  5. Vegetarian Journal Gift Subscriptions 25% Off
  6. Pre-Thanksgiving Potluck a Success
  7. January/February 1999 Vegetarian Journal
  8. Recipes of the Month: Mock Mincemeat and Potato Latkes
  9. About The Vegetarian Resource Group
  10. About VRG-NEWS


ALA MIDWINTER CONFERENCE

1) The VRG will be attending the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia. The ALA conference gives librarians a chance to review new publications and resources for use in their libraries. The exhibition begins on Saturday January 30 and runs until Monday February 1st. It is being held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, located at Market St. and 11th St., near historic City Hall. VRG's Dar Veverka and Tamara Richter will be staffing the booth at this event. You might want to consider asking your local library to order VEGETARIAN JOURNAL and other vegetarian related publications for your branch.


WHAT ARE THOSE NATURAL FLAVORS?

2) We've been getting a lot of inquiries lately about the source of the enigmatic "natural flavors" listed on ingredient labels.

According to our research department, the exact definition of natural flavorings & flavors from Title 21, Section 101, part 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations is as follows:

"The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional."

In other words, natural flavors can be pretty much anything approved for use in food. It's basically impossible to tell what is in natural flavors unless the company has specified it on the label. A few of the vegetarian & vegan-oriented companies are doing this now, but the overwhelming majority of food manufacturers do not.

Why do companies "hide" ingredients under "natural flavors"? It's considered a way of preserving the product's identity & uniqueness. Sort of like a "secret recipe" - they worry that if people knew what the flavorings were, then someone would be able to duplicate their product.

So what's a veggie to do? Call the company. Ask them what's in the flavorings. Chances are they may not be able to tell you, or may be unwilling to tell you. * But the more they hear this question, the more likely they are to become concerned about putting a clarifying statement on their labels. It does work in some cases (remember what happened when enough people wrote to the USDA about the organic standards), although it tends to take awhile. We have already had several large food companies call us concerning their natural flavors and how to word their labels if they have vegetarian or vegan flavorings. They called because it had come to their attention that this was a concern for vegetarians and vegans.

It is your memberships and donations that help fund research on issues like food ingredients, vegan products, and vegetarian nutrition. If you are able to donate, please contact us at 410-366-8343 or send donations to P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203

* Many of the numbers listed on food labels are customer service call centers staffed by people who can only read from the information provided to them by the company. While it's tempting to get frustrated and yell at them, please don't. It's sort of like taking it out on the stock clerk because you don't like the grocery store's policies.


VEGAN PRODUCT OF THE MONTH: CANDLEWORKS

3) Candleworks creates not only vegan candles, but jobs as well. They make candles with their trademarked soy-based wax, Phylawax T. They employ disadvantaged and disabled persons, and have been cited as the Small Business Administration's National "Business of the Year" for Welfare to Work initiatives. They can be reached at 2920 Industrial Park Rd., Iowa City, Iowa, 52240 (319) 377-6316. You can also visit their website at www.candleworks.org or email them at candlework@aol.com


ACTIVIST NEWS

4) The VRG's Activist News is now available. It contains articles on The Great American Meatout, three groups co-operating to rescue a truckload of abandoned pigs, a book review, school resources, and activist tidbits. Paper copies are available by mail, just send your name and address, with the request to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203 or email us at vrg@vrg.org. We also have a version of the newsletter on our website at http://www.vrg.org/activist/


VEGETARIAN JOURNAL GIFT SUBSCRIPTIONS 25% OFF

5) Give your friends and relatives (or yourself) a gift subscription for only $15, 25% off the usual rate of $20 (US only. Canada and Mexico are the special price of $25, and other countries are the special price of $37). The recipient of your gift will be reminded of your thoughtfulness six times over the course of the year. Offer expires on December 31, 1998. To order via our secure web site using your Mastercard or Visa, visit
http://skyport.net/vrg/subscribegift.htm. To order via our standard site, visit http://www.vrg.org/journal/subscribegift.htm. You can also call (410) 366-8343 or send your check to VRG, PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203. Be sure to include the name and address of the gift recipient and the gift giver.


PRE-THANKSGIVING POTLUCK A SUCCESS

6) The Vegetarian Resource Group's 17th Annual Pre-Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner, was a success. Held at St. John's Church in Baltimore, the dinner was attended by over 120 people. There were families, VRG volunteers, long time members, activists, and newcomers gathered to enjoy the fabulous home-cooked vegetarian and vegan cuisine. The serving line spanned four tables, and included such dishes as basmati rice, baked butternut squash, lasagna, winter stews, curried vegetables, peanut noodles, chili, glazed apricot tofu, baked fruits, and delicious desserts. For more information about VRG events, or vegetarian groups in your area, call (410) 366-8343 or write The VRG, PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203


JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1999 VEGETARIAN JOURNAL PREVIEW

7) The January/February 1999 issue of the VEGETARIAN JOURNAL contains:

  1. Polenta Primer, by Lisa Martin, offers recipes for this Italian staple.
  2. Livestock Lessons, conversations with vegetarians raised on livestock farms.
  3. For My Valentine, containing tempting vegan recipes.
  4. 10 ReasonsWhy Lifestyle Changes Affect Society.
  5. The Vegetarian-Style Foods of New Zealand.
  6. Essay winners of VRG's annual contest.
  7. Nutrition Hotline: Iron from cookware, phytoestrogrens, and protein in soymilk.
  8. Product Reviews: Guide to Vegetarian Broths.
  9. Notes from the Scientific Department, and more.

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, all 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. Subscriptions should be directed to: The Vegetarian Resource Group PO Box 1463 Baltimore, MD 21203 Phone: (410) 366-8343 Fax: (410) 366-8804 E-mail: vrg@vrg.org

Join online at http://www.vrg.org/journal/subscribe.htm for $30 or more, and receive a FREE copy of the VEGAN HANDBOOK, a $20 value! (US addresses only)


RECIPES OF THE MONTH: MOCK MINCEMEAT AND POTATO LATKES

8) The mock mincemeat recipe appears in Vegan Handbook, in the section "Holiday Gifts From Your Kitchen." It is by Nanette Blanchard

Mock Mincemeat
(Makes about 4 cups -- serves 8)

Put mock mincemeat in a pretty jar or crock. It can be heated and served plain or can be used as a topping for frozen desserts. To make Mock Mincemeat Pie, pre-bake a pie shell until light golden brown and fill with mock mincemeat. Then bake an additional 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

3 large Red Delicious apples, cored and diced
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
1/2 cup chopped dates
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup apple juice concentrate
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

In a heavy saucepan, simmer all ingredients over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Total calories per serving: 154
Fat: 4 grams

Potato Latkes
This recipe appears in The Lowfat Jewish Vegetarian Cookbook, by Debra Wasserman. (Serves 4)

Potato latkes are pancakes traditionally served during Chanukah. This recipe contains no eggs and is delicious topped with applesauce or other cooked fruit.

1-1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and grated
1 medium onion
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
dash of pepper
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Form 3- inch patties and fry in lightly oiled pan over medium heat for 10 minutes. Flip latkes and fry another 10 minutes until crisp on both sides. Serve warm.

Total calories per serving: 216
Fat: 4 grams


ABOUT THE VEGETARIAN RESOURCE GROUP

9) 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. 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. Membership in the VRG costs $20/year in the US, $30/year in Canada and Mexico, or $42/year for the rest of the world. Accepted forms of payment, all in US funds, are Visa, Mastercard, checks drawn on US banks, and postal 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. Membership requests should be directed to:

The Vegetarian Resource Group
PO Box 1463
Baltimore, MD 21203
Phone: (410) 366-8343
Fax: (410) 366-8804
E-mail: vrg@vrg.org

Or you can subscribe online at http://www.vrg.org/journal/subscribe.htm


ABOUT VRG-NEWS

10) VRG-NEWS is distributed as a volunteer service of Vegetarians Online, the forum for vegetarians on America Online. Vegetarians Online offers message boards, live chats, downloadable files, informational content, quick links to vegetarian websites and USENET newsgroups, and an interactive store which features products from The VRG. AOL members can use keyword VEGAN to visit Vegetarians Online. For more information, please contact Vegetarians Online host Bobbi Pasternak at bobbi@vrg.org.

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Contents of VRG-NEWS are copyright 1998 by The Vegetarian Resource Group. The newsletter may be freely distributed in electronic or print form provided its contents are not altered.

This newsletter was converted to HTML by Stephanie Schueler.



VRG Home | About VRG | Vegetarian Journal | Books | Vegetarian Nutrition
Subscribe to Journal | Vegetarian Game | Vegetarian Family | Nutshell | VRG-News
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Last Updated
December 14, 1998

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