Author Archives: Vegetarians of Washington

FDA approves plant blood!

Impossible cheeseburgerHow can a plant have blood? That sounds impossible! Well, not exactly. The folks, at the appropriately named Impossible Foods, have invented a burger that actually bleeds just like a real burger with just one exception. While this blood didn’t come from an animal, many will think it could have. The company created a totally vegan burger that “bleeds” just like a real, juicy, half-pounder does, and now the Food and Drug Administration has decided that it’s totally, 100% safe.

The nutrient that causes the bleeding effect is heme — it’s an iron-rich compound that occurs naturally. And as it turns out, it’s the reason that the Impossible Burger turns impossibly blood-red when it’s cooked.

This is just part of the new trend of making meat substitutes, or as the industry calls them meat analogues, as much like the real thing as possible, but without the meat of course. Scientists at the Impossible Foods company say they’ve managed to mimic the particular mouth-feel of meat by using bioengineered plant “blood,” reports the Wall Street Journal.  While not yet available in grocery stores, look out for the Impossible Burger at a good number of restaurants throughout Washington state!

Cats and dogs are not for dinner!

Cats and dogs.jpg

Can you imagine eating cats and dogs? There’s a new law on its way that would prevent this from ever happening by prohibiting this cruel practice. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “The House and Senate provisions will prevent this appalling trade from taking hold in the U.S., and strengthen our hand in seeking to end it worldwide.” This bill has broad bipartisan support and is very likely to pass.

While the practice of eating cats and dogs is uncommon in the United States “Around 30 million dogs and untold numbers of cats are subjected to this brutal industry globally every year, with animals often snatched off the street or stolen from loving families, still wearing collars as they are subjected to unspeakable abuse to end up on someone’s dinner plate” according to the Humane Society.

The new law would alter the Animal Welfare Act to forbid people from knowingly slaughtering a dog or cat for human consumption. Punishment for violating the law would be up to one year in prison and a fine of $2,500.

It’s bad enough that we eat farm animals – we shouldn’t expand that to include cats and dogs. Of course, we wish cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys and fish were covered under the law as well. We love cats and dogs, but we also care about farm animals just the same. While there’s no law pending to prevent eating them, there’s still something you can do – switch to a plant-based diet!

Delicious Black Bean recipes

Black BeansBlack beans are small, black, shiny beans, packed with protein, fiber, iron, and various minerals, plus they are loaded with antioxidants. They have a delicious smoky flavor.

They can be purchased dried, in packets or from bulk bins, or precooked in cans.  Canned beans are more convenient, and very little is lost nutritionally, so they are handy to keep in your pantry. Choose a brand which doesn’t add extra salt or other additives.

Black beans can be added to many different soups and stews.  They can be used in burritos, served with rice, or as a topping for a baked potato. They can also be made into a tasty dip.

Mexican Black Bean Salad

This salad makes a handy lunch and leftovers are equally delicious the next day. For an especially quick meal, you can use a 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed. Enjoy the cilantro in this dish or substitute parsley if you prefer.

Serves 6

½ pound potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
2 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup frozen corn
1½ cups cooked black beans
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 radishes, thinly sliced
5 scallions, chopped
¾ cup medium-hot salsa
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup low-sodium tomato juice
2 tablespoons juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 avocado, chopped into bite-sized pieces

In a medium saucepan, cook the potatoes in boiling water until nearly tender. Add the carrots and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the corn, stir, then pour the vegetables into a colander. Rinse under cold water to quickly cool the vegetables and stop the cooking process. Drain well.

Combine the black beans, red pepper, radishes and scallions in a medium serving bowl. Add the potatoes, carrots and corn.

Combine the salsa, cilantro, tomato juice, lime juice and olive oil in a medium bowl. Mix well and pour over the vegetables. Toss gently but thoroughly. Before serving, top with the avocado.

 

Easy Black bean dip

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked beans)

1 cup salsa (any variety)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Combine beans and salsa in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.  Add cumin.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Karl Bruder – vegan bodybuilder

Karl BruderBodybuilder Karl Bruder went vegan in March 2016.  By July 2016, he was on a winning streak, destroying the competition at the WABBA Grand Prix by taking first place in his category of Tall Men up to 180cm.  He has also placed sixth at Mr Universe and fourth at PCA Physical Culture.

As a competitive bodybuilder, Karl does have to travel, but this isn’t an issue, it just takes some preparation. “I always make sure I have my own food whilst travelling and that I have access to vegan food where ever I go” he explains. This means he never has to compromise. At home, he manages to cook up interesting food. “I love to cook and experiment with all sorts of plant-based foods and create amazing meals” he says. “I eat a lot of lentils, nuts, beans of all different types and your basic carbohydrates too.”  This fuels his training which includes the gym on six days per week. He also looks after his rescue horses which involves physical work, and plenty of walking.

He’s proud of how much he has achieved on a vegan diet:

“I have put on 6kg since I have been vegan in 20 months. I never achieved this amount of muscle prior to being vegan in 6 years in competitive bodybuilding. So when someone says you built most of your muscle on animal based products, I tell them I have made a lot more progress and faster on a plant-based diet. I have never been in such good shape and conditioned all year round as I am now. So the fact is, being vegan has massive benefits to my sport and my health.”

New vegan latte at Starbucks

Iced Vanilla bean coconut latteOh, yes! Starbucks just added a new vegan cold beverage to its permanent menu. The Iced Vanilla Bean Coconutmilk Latte is now a permanent offering. This vegan espresso beverage will keep you going all year long.

The new beverage is part of their commitment to serving more plant-based options. This demonstrates that Starbucks has confidence in the growing plant-based trend.  Starbucks has made significant strides in better catering to its vegan customers. In recent months, it has added vegan macadamia cookies, 3D popsicles, protein-packed cold brews, packaged savory wraps, and coffee smoothies in select locations. The company has also expanded its snack range, offering vegan Hippeas packs, and Justin’s peanut and almond butter cups.

Other coffee companies have also gotten into the act. For instance, Peet’s Coffee has vegan whipped cream. It also has a “Coffee Meets Coconut” summer menu which included 3 vegan-friendly beverages made with the new whip.

Let’s hope all the coffee shops continue to increase their plant-based options.

Your neighborhood Vegetarian!

Mr RogersWith the new movie “Won’t you be my neighbor” in theaters, people are reminded just how caring a person Fred Rogers was.  While it doesn’t feature in the movie, Mr Rogers caring attitude was exemplified by his refusal to eat meat.  “I don’t want to eat anything that has a mother,” he often said.

Rogers stopped eating meat in the early 1970s, not long after Frances Moore Lappé published Diet for a Small Planet, a major critique of meat production and a compelling argument for a plant-based diet that can help alleviate world hunger.

Rogers, a Christian minister, who believes that treating animals nonviolently and embracing a vegetarian lifestyle are deeply spiritual practices that bear witness to God’s love for animals. “I want to be a vehicle for God, to spread his message of love and peace,” Rogers stated when explaining his vegetarianism in 1983.

It’s no surprise that his vegetarianism had to do with his love for children too. In the 1983 interview, he stated that when children “discover the connection between meal and animals, many children get very concerned about it.”

With this concern in mind, Rogers steadfastly refused to show images of people eating animals on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Although a 1982 episode includes footage from a full-service restaurant, there’s not one image of meat, fowl, or fish. And an entire 1984 series on food avoids any mention of eating animals.

In the Neighborhood, animals are for enjoying, nurturing, and loving—not for chewing, swallowing, and digesting.  We wish that more TV personalities would adopt this attitude today.

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