Author Archives: Vegetarians of Washington

Harrison Ford gives up meat

Harrison Ford

On the Ellen DeGeneres show, Harrison Ford recently revealed that he’s given up eating meat and dairy. Ellen had commented on how healthy and fit he was looking, and he admitted that he’s not going to the gym much.  He said that his new look has much more to do with his significant diet change.

The Star Wars actor, 77, explained that in addition to biking and playing tennis, he is doing “practically nothing” else with his diet besides eating “vegetables and fish.”

He said that he altered his diet for the sake of his own health, and that of the planet.  “I just decided I was tired of eating meat,” he said. “And I know it’s not really good for the planet and it’s not really good for me.”

The talk show host, who is a vegetarian herself, agreed, noting: “It’s good to not eat meat.”

Six things you can do while stuck at home!

Stuck at home

During this coronavirus outbreak, many of us are either forced or choosing to stay home to keep the virus from spreading.  This can be frustrating, but I urge you to look on it as an opportunity to take some time to move toward a more plant-based diet, or if you’re already following a plant-based diet, to try some new recipes.  This will enable you to use your time constructively, improve your overall health, and have fun trying some new recipes!

Here are some options for steps you can take, depending on your starting point, while you’re stuck at home! Read more

Between the sheets

between the sheets

Last month we reported that vegans are more popular on online dating sites. Now we report on the vegan experience at the next level of a relationship.

What do love and food have in common? Well, it turns out that the latter makes the former more interesting!

A new study has found that going vegan can affect your intimate life for the better. The  study shows that on average, vegans have more frequent action “between the sheets” than meat eaters. In fact, vegans have more than twice the number of actions per week between the sheets than meat eaters. Meanwhile 95% of vegans report being happy with that aspect of their lives, versus only half among meat eaters. Also important is that vegans were reported to be more giving and less selfish in bed. They were also reported to be better at the warmup and talk up before the main event!

So, if you’re looking for an additional reason to switch to a plant based diet, this may be it!

Vegan seafood catches on

Good catch tuna

Most of us have seen meatless burgers, sausages, ground beef, and even chicken in our local grocery store, but vegan seafood has been slowest to hit the shelves. That’s all starting to change, however, with companies like Trader Joe’s releasing crab-less cakes earlier this year, and companies starting to produce vegan products for the masses.

Tuna giant Bumble Bee Foods is partnering with the plant-based seafood brand Good Catch to help bring plant-based fish to consumers nationwide. According to a news release, Bumble Bee will leverage its sales, distribution and logistics expertise to get Good Catch to consumers at affordable prices.

Good Catch, a producer of plant-based meat alternatives, has just released a line of vegan tuna at Whole Foods and Thrive Market. Good Catch spent over two years trying to replicate canned tuna’s unique texture and flavor with legumes and algae. The fish-free tuna pouches come in three flavors—Naked in Water, Mediterranean, and Oil & Herbs.

Each pouch contains 14g of protein, which comes from the company’s signature “6-Plant Protein Blend” of soy, chickpeas, lentils, peas, fava, and navy beans. The product is also gluten-free and made with non-GMO ingredients.

Chris Kerr, co-founder and CEO of Good Catch, says “We see a big opportunity to offer a plant-based alternative that tastes great, without supporting the inherent problems of the seafood industry, including mercury, PCBs and microplastic health hazards, horrendous sea-life suffering and overfishing.”

Good Catch isn’t the only company selling plant-based tuna, either. Brands like Sophie’s Kitchen and Loma Linda also sell their own vegan versions of the canned fish. Sophie’s Kitchen sells a wide variety of vegan seafood alternatives. There’s no longer any reason to feel like you have to eat fish!

 

Pandemics start by eating animals

Covid 19 poster

Diseases that come to humans from animals are called zoonoses. The current corona virus epidemic, as well as the Flu, Ebola and other diseases, all started by eating animals, thus exposing humans to viruses that emerge from animals. Once that happens, the virus can spread from person to person, as well as from animals, and a pandemic can start.

In Wuhan, China, the alarmingly contagious virus currently spreading around the world, has been identified as a zoonotic coronavirus, similar to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) coronavirus, and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) coronavirus. This marks the third re-emergence this century of a zoonotic coronavirus.

Public health officials suspect that the current outbreak may have originated at a live-animal market in Wuhan. Selling and eating wild animals, disrupting ecosystems, and destroying forests all contribute to the risks of disease-causing viruses spreading into human populations. Read more

Interview with Better Bean company

Better-Beans-cooking

Better Bean is a product we love.  We asked them some questions to learn more about their products and how they got started.

How did your company get started?

Better Bean was born and raised in Oregon, starting with founder Keith Kullberg’s original recipe that he created as a young college student at Oregon State University. Seeking a way to enjoy refried beans made with only plant-based ingredients, Keith developed a recipe that quickly became a favorite within his family years later. The only issue – it took nearly an entire day to prepare his beans from scratch!

Noticing that freshly prepared beans were not made available in stores at the time, Keith and his daughters launched Better Bean in local stores and Portland farmers markets in 2010. Now sold nationwide, Better Bean strives to bring easy, tasty, healthy beans to all.

Tell us about the different products you have?

Better Bean offers a variety of freshly prepared, tasty bean products sold in the refrigerated section. Products range from a variety of 15oz beans, such as the Skillet Refried Red Beans, to flavorful 8oz organic bean dips and even 2.5oz single-serve bean dips for snacking. Currently, the 15oz beans are the only product sold in the PNW, but we do hope to launch our 2.5oz single-serves in stores soon.

Can you tell us about the ingredients you use?

We source our ingredients from organic or sustainable farms, as they grow better flavor. Our recipes are naturally delicious and nutrient-rich, not relying on sodium, fat, sugar (or worse, chemical additives) for their robust flavor.

How about certifications?

All of Better Bean products are certified Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free, and Vegan.

We know consumers value high-quality, organic products – that’s why Better Bean has recently added a line of 8oz flavorful bean dips and 2.5oz single serve bean dips that are both Certified Organic.

How do you make Better Bean so easy to digest?

To make our beans easy on the digestive system, we have three principles that we follow. First, we use freshly grown beans as they are easier to digest. Then, we soak our beans to activate enzymes that allow our bodies to digest the nutrients beans have to offer. And last but not least, we use our star ingredient – apple cider vinegar – to break down indigestible sugars and help digestion.

We’re all busy these days. How is Better Bean making their products convenient to enjoy?

With busy schedules, we know it can be hard to find a snack that is both quick and healthy. We have created a line of 2.5oz single serve bean dips that make for easy on-the-go snacking. We even have a convenient snack pack that comes with our Serrano and Onion Black Bean Dip and multigrain crackers.

How can people use Better Bean products in their everyday life?

Beans are a great source of plant-based protein and can be a part of any meal! Whether you enjoy them as an appetizer with tortilla chips, as the star of your main course in a burrito bowl or tacos, or as a side dish that pulls the meal together – beans have a way of being extremely versatile.

I understand Better Bean products are available in Safeway, PCC Community Markets and other local groceries. Thank you for your great products.

Reducing the risk of thyroid disease

Thyroid woman

An enlarged thyroid, known as a goiter

A plant-based diet doesn’t just reduce your risk of heart disease or type 2 diabetics, but has benefits for the health of your thyroid as well. The thyroid gland is critical for maintaining a healthy body. Thyroid hormones have functions ranging from control of metabolism, heart beat and reproductive function.

Millions of people in America suffer from hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, most commonly in the form of Grave’s disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis which are autoimmune diseases.  Those following a plant-based diet are much less susceptible to autoimmune diseases in general and thyroid disease is no exception. Vegans have been shown to experience a 22% lower risk of hypothyroidism, and a 51% risk of hyperthyroidism.

However, there are a few things those following a plant based should do for optimal thyroid health. Most vegans get enough iodine in their diet, but many don’t!

Iodine deficiency can lead to a variety of medical problems at all ages. This is a special concern for pregnant women. Children of mothers having an iodine deficiency during pregnancy may have mental retardation, deaf mutism, spasticity and short stature. Congenital hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency is the most common cause of preventable mental retardation in the world. Iodine deficiency may also be a factor in the development of breast cancer, so consuming sufficient iodine may help protect against this all too common cancer.

It’s important to get enough iodine your diet. There’s usually enough iodine in the different foods we eat. Some foods that are a good choice for iodine include black eyed peas, navy beans and whole wheat bread. If you’re not on a sodium restricted diet, iodized salt, as is commonly sold in the supermarkets, can be very helpful and has a good track record of preventing iodine deficiency. However, the salt in commercially prepared food is not iodized.

It’s also important not to get too much iodine. Seaweed can contain high levels of iodine. It’s fine to eat various kinds of seaweed as long as it’s in moderation.

The message is clear. A plant-based diet will reduce your risk of both hyper- and hypothyroidism. Getting an adequate amount of iodine will enhance the health of your thyroid gland even further.

See our professional level article

Hip Hop is Green – Health and Wellness eXpo, Friday March 6th

Hip Hop is Green with Keith and others

Vegetarians of Washington is proud to sponsor the first-ever Hip Hop is Green Health & Wellness eXpo, happening at the Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion on Friday March 6th. There will be three sessions; the first two will be for Seattle area school students and families. The general public is welcome to the third session from 4:30 pm – 8:00 pm.

The event will feature healthy plant-based cooking demos by local and national chefs, food sampling by local restaurants and brands, free health screenings, speakers, Hip Hop performers, a women’s plant-based fitness showcase, and Trap Vinyasa ™ yoga fitness class. Read more

New vegan eggs

Brown eggs in the package

A new vegan egg is hatching, this one coming out of France. And, it will absolutely make us sit up and want to make some omelets. The advancement comes from two French entrepreneurs who are incubating a revolutionary vegan alternative to eggs that look and cook so real we won’t ever miss the real thing again. Their product is called Les Merveillœufs, which is a play on the French word, “merveilleux” meaning marvellous and “œufs,” French for eggs. It helps that these two founders are biologists at Paris’ Ecole de Biologie Industrielle. Read more

Online Dating? Mention you’re vegan or vegetarian!

Online dating

A recent study of 237,000 singles found that online dating customers using the EliteSingles dating platform, who mentioned veganism or vegetarianism, received 73% more responses than the average member.  The singles were selected randomly and anonymously based on mention of any of three words: vegan, vegetarian and veggie. The study team then looked at the average number of messages that profiles with these words received and compared them to the average number of messages received by customers on the same platform overall. Read more

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