Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, are expecting a baby in the near future, and it seems that Meghan, who eats a mostly plant-based diet herself although she is not a strict vegan, hopes to raise the baby as a vegan. She has encouraged Prince Harry to reduce his consumption of animal products and eat more fruits and veggies, and to cut back on participating in some of the traditional hunting activities of the royal family. Now we hear that the couple are discussing how best to raise their baby, and whether or not it can be a vegan child.
They would be in good company. Recent British-based research has found that one in 12 families in Britain are raising their kids as vegan, mainly for health reasons, since animal products in the diet are linked to a wide range of health concerns such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, while plant-based diets are linked to optimal health outcomes. In addition, many people are starting to recognize that eating lower on the food chain by reducing animal products is much better for the environment, and it saves countless animals from suffering and death.
There’s plenty of evidence that raising a child vegan is a very wise thing to do. Here in the US, it is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that “appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes.” All the evidence points to children who are raised vegetarian being much healthier than their meat-eating peers, and even gaining some specific advantages. Children raised vegetarian are found on average to grow an inch taller and to have 5 more points on their IQ.
We hope that Meghan and Harry are able to set a good example for families throughout the world by raising their child vegan.
Burger King, known for meaty excess like its Bacon King sandwich, is now selling a plant based burger. Burger King announced a test run for the burger in 59 restaurants in the St. Louis area. Burger King says the sandwich will use patties from Impossible Foods. Burger King is taking its signature sandwich, the Whopper, and creating a vegan version.
The Impossible Whopper is flame grilled like the regular Whopper, and comes with the standard tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise (vegans hold the mayo), ketchup, pickles and onion.
The move underscores how chains are looking for new ways to gain an edge over rivals as competition heats up — and the rapid growth in demand for meat alternatives.
Impossible Burgers are designed to mimic meat using the company’s novel “magic” ingredient, heme, produced with a special kind of yeast. Impossible Foods, part of a growing crop of meat substitute producers, has sold its burgers at restaurants since 2016, starting with trendy eateries like David Chang’s Momofuku Nishi in New York and Jardiniere in San Francisco, and now served at over 5000 restaurants across the US.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week that starting next school year, all schools in the city will have vegetarian meals on Mondays.
According to the mayor, the Meatless Mondays program is aimed at improving student health and the city’s environmental impact, “We’re expanding Meatless Mondays to all public schools to keep our lunch and planet green for generations to come.” the mayor said.
“Meatless Mondays” are good for the environment, said Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza. “Our 1.1 million students are taking the next step towards healthier, more sustainable lives.”
Food such as lentil Sloppy Joes, pasta fagioli, Mexicali chili, braised black beans with plantains, and teriyaki crunchy tofu will now be served in New York City’s public schools!
This progress comes on the heels of three New York City schools that have become completely all vegetarian every day of the week-and the kids love it. Parents have also become very supportive of the change as they see improvements in their children.
For years we’ve heard every excuse from many of Washington’s public schools. But, if a city as big and diverse as New York can do it, we’re sure Seattle can as well. Let’s hope New York City will set an example for Seattle and other cities to follow.
Vegfest 2019 was our eighteenth successful year! Many companies debuted new products and small companies had their first opportunity to market to a large veg-friendly audience. Thousands of attendees discovered new foods from the hundreds of different ones available. They listened to presentations by medical doctors, watched cookbook authors and local chefs prepare delicious vegetarian food, and chose from a huge selection of books to learn more.
Every year, people come up to us with their stories about how important this event is to them, how it helps them make better food choices, makes them feel part of an impressive community and inspires them to stay or become vegetarian.
This year our doctors and nurses were able to give more free health checks than ever before, including cholesterol tests, diabetes tests, blood pressure readings, artery scans and bone scans. These health checks are an invaluable opportunity for people to learn the vital connection between the food they eat and the state of their health. Many medical doctors were available to advise them how improving their diet would yield great health benefits.
On the Saturday evening, we held our fourth Vegfest Medical Seminar for Medical Doctors and Medical Students. Regional specialists gave presentations on the power of a plant-based diet to help both prevent and treat heart disease, diabetes and chronic pain. This groundbreaking event was well attended by MD’s and med students who were motivated to make the veg diet just what the doctor ordered!
But Vegfest isn’t just about health. More groups advocating and educating about animals were present throughout the event and several organizations promoted other vegan products such as cosmetics, clothing and faux leather goods.
A big Thank You to all our members, volunteers, doctors, chefs and especially our sponsors who all made this event possible. You are the reason Vegfest is so successful. We really appreciate your support and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Vegfest T-shirts are still available for sale, if you missed getting one at the event.
Vegfest, the largest vegetarian food festival in the country, will be held on March 30th & 31st at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall on Mercer Street. We’ll have over 500 different kinds of food to try. Don’t have breakfast before you come!
Look for some new companies at Vegfest this year as well as some old favorites. Just some of the new products this year include Forager, Good Planet Foods, Casabi, Auntie Saros, Cinnaholic, Enjoy Life Foods, Red Plate, Pan’s Mushroom Jerky, Khalsa Salsa and even a little Black Magic, and too many more to list! Oh, and let’s not forget Zazubean chocolate! You’ll also find favorite brands like Field Roast, Daiya, Quorn, Litelife, Good Karma, Starlite and way more. Read more
On Valentines Day, many of us dream of being given a box of delicious luxury chocolates by someone close to us. They’re seen as a special indulgence that we may save for a treat on just such special occasions, but we also want to stay true to our values, so we hope for vegan chocolates, fairly-traded if possible.
Many dark chocolate bars readily available in the grocery stores are naturally vegan, and there are several brands which use fair-trade chocolate. But it can be harder to find luxury vegan chocolates. Local fancy chocolate suppliers still don’t offer any vegan options, but fortunately new companies are springing up online to fill the gap, and some may even be found in local grocery stores.
- Enjoy Life Foods has a selection of dairy-free chocolate minis, including some made with rice milk to give that milk chocolate sensation.
- Rawkin Raw Chocolate offers special organic truffles packed with antioxidants, and sweetened with dates and spices to provide the best nutrition.
- No Whey Foods offers luxury vegan chocolate boxes, such as their signature truffles, with many fancy flavors to entice every taste bud.
- Rose City Chocolates also offers a good selection of vegan luxury chocolates.
- Lake Champlain Chocolates has dark chocolate hearts in a gift bag.
- Lärabar also offers several flavors of chocolate truffles in a resealable pouch.
Look out for some of these and other vegan chocolate companies at Vegfest on March 30 & 31.
Learn more about the health benefits of chocolate.
We are delighted to have Chef Ramses Bravo back with us at Vegfest this year. Chef Ramses is the chef at the TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, CA. He will be giving a cooking demonstration at Vegfest on both Saturday March 30th and Sunday March 31st.
As a special treat for us, he shared a couple of recipes from his new book Bravo Express where he demonstrates how a healthy, whole-foods diet can be not only delicious but also quick and easy:
- Yellow Curry Lentils
- Quinoa and Arugula Salad