Author Archives: Vegetarians of Washington

Eating salmon is killing the Orcas!

orca with dead baby

Our taste for salmon is killing the orca whales. The southern resident orcas which inhabit the waters of the Salish Sea between the US and Canada, and the outer coasts of Washington, Oregon and California, are starving to death. They just can’t find enough of their primary food source, chinook salmon, to keep themselves well-fed. There are currently only 74 of them in the three pods of this group, down from a peak of 98 in 1995. Struggling to survive in hostile waters, the southern residents have not successfully reproduced in three years. Read more

Vegan burgers at McDonald’s

mcdonalds-vegan-burger-chicagoVegan burger at McDonalds!  Yes, you heard me right. We said “Vegan burger at McDonald’s.”  Some of us thought we’d never see the day when McDonald’s would serve up a vegan burger. But, the fact that that day has come shows just how much the plant-based diet is catching on.

The new vegan burger is debuting at their headquarters in Chicago Illinois. They’ve put it front and center. The new burger is called the McAloo Tikki and consists of a toasted bun filled with a veggie patty made with potatoes, pea, and seasoning reminiscent of samosas; topped with fresh red onions, tomato slices, and an eggless creamy tomato mayo (this still has some dairy though). Read more

Algae – vegan food of the future

Algae proteinSome see algae as “the food of the future”. This vegan food product is protein rich, requires no fresh water to produce, and releases oxygen into the atmosphere, unlike most the world’s protein today that is derived from animals. The new “micro algae” being used is a far cry from some of the algae used in the past. The taste is good and it can be used in a variety of different kinds of foods. It also works well in cooked and baked foods.

Around 70 percent of the world’s available fresh water is currently used to rear livestock and to cultivate crops to feed livestock. Algae, however, can flourish without the presence of fresh water. It can grow anywhere from deserts to oceans and ponds. This poses an overwhelmingly positive effect on food production because algae bloom quickly, are nutrient dense, and require next to nothing to grow.

Algae are comprised of 40 percent protein and, when comparing land usage, make seven times more protein than soybeans. Scientists claim that 50 percent of the world’s oxygen is accredited to algae, contrary to raising livestock which emits greenhouse gases into the planet’s atmosphere, ultimately leading to global warming.

Companies have sprung up both here and in Europe to get the algae to market. Marketed under the name AlgaVia, the powder is starting to show up as an ingredient in grocery store items. Look for microalgae in your favorite food products as algae continue to catch on.

Don’t blame the lettuce!

Romaine lettuceDon’t blame the lettuce! According to the Food and Drug Administration, the large E. coli outbreak which has just happened, caused by contaminated romaine lettuce, may have been caused by a factory farm.

A factory farm is a farm where the animals are crowded together in large numbers. Conditions are often abusive, and as we’ve seen from shocking videos, sometimes deliberately cruel.

E. coli bacteria live in the environment, animals’ intestines and in fecal matter, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dangerous strains of E. coli, as well as salmonella and other foodborne pathogens, are derived from animal (and occasionally human) feces, and can end up in the ground water, streams and rivers. “The bacteria in animal waste could make their way into water one of two ways,” explained University of Florida food safety expert Keith Schneider. “Water can run downhill, especially after rain, and make it into an irrigation ditch, or water can seep into an underground aquifer.”

A likely reason for why romaine lettuce is susceptible to E. coli contamination is that the runoff from cattle reaches the irrigation water for fields where romaine lettuce grows, said Benjamin Chapman, an associate professor and a food safety specialist at N.C. State University in Raleigh. In similar outbreaks in the past, contaminated produce was traced back to neighboring livestock operations. In this case, the FDA surmises that the contaminated water was either used to irrigate the lettuce or mixed with pesticides (a common method of dilution) before being sprayed on the plants.

These kinds of outbreaks have been happening again and again. Not all the harm from animal agriculture is done by meat itself. Sometimes it’s right next door!

 

Wonderful Walnut recipes

walnutsThe walnut is the nut of a deciduous tree.  It has a hard, wrinkled shell and an oily, two-lobed kernel.  Nuts in general are extremely healthy for you, and walnuts in particular are packed with several valuable nutrients. Just one quarter cup of walnuts will give you over 90% of the recommended daily amount of Omega 3 fatty acids, so there’s no need to resort to fish for these important fats. Omega 3 fatty acids give us all kinds of health benefits from better cognitive function to relief from inflammatory diseases such as asthma and eczema. In addition, walnuts contain an antioxidant compound called ellagic acid that supports the immune system and appears to have several anticancer properties.

Choose fresh shelled walnuts which don’t look rubbery or shriveled. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Walnuts are great raw or toasted.  They can be served chopped in salads or on fruit or yogurt as a topping. They’re delicious in baked goods such as muffins, zucchini bread or pancakes.

Recipes:

Mushroom Walnut Roast

Walnut and Pomegranate Spread (Mukamarra)

Read more

Ringo Starr stays young with broccoli

Ringo StarrIn an interview, Starr revealed he went vegetarian after attending a bullfight in Spain. Since then, the musician has been admired for his graceful aging. Former drummer for The Beatles, Ringo Starr, recently revealed the secret to “staying young” and maintaining high energy levels. Speaking to music and pop culture magazine Rolling Stone, Starr commended his vegetarian diet for helping him stay “so young and active.”

The musician, who is 78 years old, spoke about how he keeps up with his busy life, including the launch of his new coffee table photo book “Another Day in the Life,” and an upcoming tour with the All Starr Band, in celebration of its 30th anniversary.

“You’re a busy man these days,” Rolling Stone interviewer Rob Sheffield said to Starr. He asked the rock star how he maintains the lifestyle. “I think staying active keeps you young,” Starr said, adding that he works out with a trainer. But diet also plays a role; the drummer highlighted that he follows a vegetarian diet and includes broccoli “with every meal.” Many have pointed out that he looks even younger than his son. Keep up the good work, Ringo!

The Latest on Fish Oil

Fish Oil pillsSomething smells fishy when it comes to fish oil. It’s useless! A number of recent high quality studies have shown no benefit to fish oil.

According to the latest study from a medical school in England, there’s “good evidence that taking long-chain omega 3 (fish oil, EPA or DHA) supplements does not benefit heart health or reduce our risk of stroke or death from any cause.“

Another study, published in March 2018 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed no benefit for fish oil on heart disease, stroke or any cause of death. A 2014 research letter in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, pointed out that in numerous randomized controlled studies, fish oil results in no reductions in fatal or nonfatal heart attacks and even cancer.

And it’s not a matter of how much you take. According to a 2012 study in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, fish oil causes no reduction of “heart attacks, sudden death, angina, heart failures, strokes or death, no matter what dose of fish oil used.”

Unfortunately, many people continue to believe that fish oil will benefit them, based on the original endorsement of the American Heart Association back in 2002. All kinds of justification is given. One of the most common is that Eskimos, who eat a lot of fish, suffer from less heart disease.  The Canadian Journal of Cardiology calls that notion “wishful thinking”. It turns out that Eskimos don’t have any lower incidence of heart attacks than we do.

It’s time to leave the false premise of the benefits of fish oil at the bottom of the sea where it belongs!

See our previous articles on fish oil, the lack of benefits of fish for health, a world without fish, fish have feelings, and slavery in the fishing industry.

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