Category Archives: Vegetarian Living

Vegetarians in Brazil?

There’s a vegetarian revolution in Brazil. Vegetarians in Brazil? Yup.

While Brazil is famous for its meat and for burning down the Amazon rainforest, the number of vegetarians in Brazil is increasing rapidly. The number of vegetarians in Brazil has doubled in the past six years, which has given rise to a booming plant-based industry that is seeking to make meatpacking plants obsolete. Are you ready for this? 30 million people, or 14 percent of Brazilians, reported being vegetarian or vegan in 2018.

“We’re going through a revolution,” said Bruno Fonseca, a co-founder of New Butchers, one of several new Brazilian companies that make plant-based versions of animal-based protein, including burgers, chicken breast alternatives and even salmon.

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Paying for meat’s damage to the environment

The production of meat and dairy products are causing a fortune’s worth of damage due to their effect on global warming. While estimates vary, up to 51% of all greenhouse gases are said to be produced as a result of animal agriculture.

Here’s something to think about. What would happen to the price of meat and dairy products if we included the cost of the damage done by the greenhouse emissions generated from raising meat and dairy? It turns out that the prices would go sky high. It’s estimated that the price of meat would increase by 146% and the price of dairy would rise by 91% if we charged food production companies for their impact on climate change, while the cost of plant-based foods would increase by only 6%. As you can see there’s a big difference.

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Let’s have dinner together – Wednesday Jan 20, 6:30pm

People eating at a circular table
8 people sitting at rectangular dinner table

At our regular Monthly Dining Events, we’ve held catered dinners and had the opportunity to sit together with others while enjoying a delicious vegetarian (egg and dairy free) dinner.  That’s not currently feasible in person at present, and yet people are craving community more than ever in these challenging times, so we invite you to join us online on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.   Let’s have dinner together!

We can share good conversation online, eat dinner or nibbles as you wish while we meet, and of course, we’ll have our popular monthly speech on an interesting vegetarian topic by our president, Amanda.

Please join us! This is a free online event, but please register beforehand for your personal link. We’ll look forward to seeing you there!

Register for this event

Seven myths that need busting

There is plenty of misinformation and myths that cause needless confusion about vegetarian diets, as people try to justify their meat-eating habits. For some people it’s only myths that keep them from the health benefits, environmental advantages and the compassion of  a vegetarian diet. So, let’s do some myth busting!

Myth 1 – It’s unnatural to follow a plant-based diet.

We evolved as plant-eating beings. Meat eating is comparatively recent in human history. Our bodies have inherited 35 million years of plant-eating primate evolution. We only started eating meat out of desperation when living in colder climates, where there was insufficient plant-based food to get through the winter.

While the way we get our food has changed in recent years, our bodies remain the same. These days, the grocery stores are full of plenty of options and we no longer need to choose between eating meat and starvation. While we can get away with eating small quantities of meat, when we eat large quantities of meat over many years, our health suffers.

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New York state requires vegan options

A new law in New York state came into effect on December 6 that requires all hospitals in the state to make a vegan option available for every meal they serve.  All meals and snacks must include an option that is completely free from animal products and these options must be available at no extra cost. They must include the plant-based options on all written materials and menus.

This is very exciting because it gives physicians the opportunity to discuss with their patients the power of a plant-based meal to prevent and treat diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and many other chronic conditions. More than 1.5 million New Yorkers have heart disease and diabetes, and these account for 40 percent of deaths in the state. COVID-19 comorbidity figures indicate that a large proportion of those who have died from the virus have conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes, so anything that can be done to encourage plant-based eating will help reduce the risks of these comorbidities.

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1 in 5 Brits choose Vegan Christmas Dinner

Vegan is not just catching on here in America. Other countries are even more enthusiastic. According to a recent poll, 20 percent of people in Great Britain will prepare an entirely vegan Christmas dinner this year. One in five people surveyed said that they would prepare entirely vegan products this year, even if only one of their guests will be vegan.

While 2-3% of Brits are currently vegan, research shows that the number of vegans and vegetarians is growing rapidly, and they look set to make up a quarter of the British population by 2025.  Every year, hundreds of thousands of Brits sign up for the Veganuary pledge to embrace plant-based diets for a month, and the numbers are growing rapidly every year with 72% of them planning to continue with a vegan diet even after Veganuary. The environmental message has really been taken to heart, and of course the British have always been big animal lovers, leading to a lot of interest in how to save both the animals and the Earth.

The side benefit to this is that they will also benefit their health as well. Come on America, we can do this too!

Special Vegan Pre-Thanksgiving Event

Celebrating Thanksgiving together with other non-meat-eaters is an important event on our calendar. We can’t gather in person this year, but we can still celebrate Thanksgiving time together online.

Join us online, Sunday November 22, 6pm to celebrate delicious food together. We have put together an exciting program for you, which includes all your favorite parts of our regular dinners, including a choice of socializing with people at your table (in breakout rooms on Zoom) or listening to live music while you eat, followed by a speech by President of Vegetarians of Washington, Amanda.

Live music will be provided by noted guitarist, Doug Zangar. Most highly regarded, Doug Zangar has played with a wide variety of the world’s most famous musicians including Pavorotti, the Shirelles, the 5th Dimension, the Drifters and the Jazz Police. 

Register for this event

Of course, we’re not able to serve you the food this year, but we have two ways to make the food at this event special. We have put together some Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes for you to prepare, or if you don’t wish to cook, we have negotiated a special discount for a prepared “plant-forward holiday meal” that you can have delivered to your home or collect from a convenient store.

Prepare your own meal

Check out our Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes – including a special soup, salad, stuffed squash and vegan pumpkin pie. If you’d like to learn more about how to make these recipes, don’t miss Amanda’s Cooking Classes which are being held over two zoom sessions Tuesday Nov 17, 6pm and Friday Nov 20, 4:30pm. Register for cooking classes. Of course, you can also prepare Tofurky, Celebration Roast, and some other favorite dishes instead if you prefer.

Special discount for prepared meal

Performance Kitchen Crafted offers a premium, small batch, prepared fresh, frozen range of meals. These meals are prepared in small batches in their micro-craft kitchen in Burien, WA, and then flash frozen to lock in all the favor and nutrition. They use minimally processed clean ingredients, cook with healthy oils, and limit sodium and sugar. Meals are available from 6 stores in Seattle, Burien and East Side, from local grocery stores such as QFC, or by special delivery.

Performance Kitchen are offering a special 10% discount to all Vegetarians of Washington members and friends on their vegan meal options using the special coupon code: Vegofwa10 In particular, they are offering a “plant-forward holiday meal” which includes:

  • Sweet Potato and Lentil Shepherds Pie,
  • Roasted Root Vegetables
  • Butternut Squash Soup
  • Roasted Brussel Sprouts
  • Flourless Apple Crisp

This special bundle option serves 4 people and costs only $36.37, with discount. Many other vegan dishes are also available to order.

All meals are provided frozen, and can be picked up from any of their stores in Queen Anne, Capitol Hill, Mercer Island, Burien, Kirkland or Redmond. Delivery is available by courier within the cities listed above, or by 1-2 day shipping further afield. Delivery fees are waived for orders over $98.

Since they get busy around the holidays, they request that orders be placed by Tuesday Nov 17, for delivery or pickup in time for our special event on Sunday Nov 22, 6pm. The coupon will remain valid through the Thanksgiving Holiday period, if you prefer to use it on another occasion.

Orders can be placed online, called in by phone to any of the following Performance Kitchen or Eat Local stores, or by visiting the store:

Remember to Register for our Special Pre-Thanksgiving event on Sunday Nov 22, 6pm.

October is Vegetarian Awareness Month

The whole month of October is Vegetarian Awareness Month. The good news is that more and more people are becoming aware of the many benefits of a plant-based diet for their health, the animals and the environment.

A study published by Vegetarian Times showed 7.3 million Americans follow a vegetarian diet, and there are now 1 million vegans in the United States and growing. Just as exciting are 23 million Americans who say they are vegetarian inclined. We expect that many of those inclined will eventually join the ranks of vegetarians and vegans in the United States.

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Calcium and mineral mythology

Bok ChoyOne of the many myths we hear about when it comes to minerals is that you need to consume dairy products to get enough calcium. While milk, cheese and yogurt do have calcium, there are plenty of other choices and some distinct advantages for those who want to skip the dairy and get their calcium for plant foods. Plant foods, such as collards and kale, are often good sources of calcium, but don’t carry the price tag of saturated fat and cholesterol, or a grumbly tummy for those with lactose intolerance. Plant foods are also easier on the animals and the environment.

Some people may take time to get used to the idea after seeing all the commercials with celebrities wearing a milk moustache, but as you learn more about it, we think you’ll be reaching for the veggies as the best way to get your calcium. The chart below shows some of the many plant sources of calcium, with dairy milk included for comparison. See our fact sheet to learn more about how to get plenty of calcium in your diet.

Food Calcium mg per 100 cal serving Absorption rate
Bok Choy 870mg 53%
Collard Greens 609mg 52%
Orange Juice (calcium fortified) 320mg 52%
Tofu, set with calcium 287mg 31%
Kale 270mg 49%
Broccoli 215mg 61%
Cow’s milk (for comparison) 188mg 32%
Sesame seeds 170mg 21%
Cabbage 160mg 65%
White beans 72mg 22%
Tempeh 55mg 37%

See professional level article on ensuring adequate calcium.

Answering why I went vegetarian

Say No to Meat cover 1.0The following is an excerpt from our book, Say No to Meat, by Amanda Strombom and Stewart Rose, published by Healthy Living Publications.  This book includes answers to all the questions you may have about becoming a vegetarian, and is invaluable to new and existing vegetarians alike!

How can I answer why I went vegetarian without offending someone?

Stay positive and respectful. When someone asks you about being a vegetarian, it’s important to show that it’s a positive decision and that you enjoy eating this way, especially if you hope to influence them to become vegetarian themselves someday. Here are some suggestions on what to say:

“You’d be amazed at how many health benefits there are from eating this way.”

“When I learnt about how the animals are treated on most factory farms, I couldn’t bring myself to eat meat any more.”

“You probably haven’t heard too much about this, but in fact the raising of animals is very damaging to the environment, so I wanted to do something to help.”

Don’t get negative. If you give a negative or boring impression of eating vegetarian food, you can be sure that they will be put off for a very long time. Many people are also turned off by scary or horrific images, so it is usually counter-productive to say anything along the lines of the following:

  • “Let me tell you all about the horrible diseases you’re going to get by eating meat”,
  • “Here’s some gruesome pictures of how animals are treated on factory farms”
  • “People who eat meat are responsible for global warming, water pollution, burning down the rainforest and even global hunger.  How could you live with that on your conscience?”

Don’t come on too strong. Some people just can’t handle food issues. The most important thing to avoid is overwhelming a person. If they stop asking questions, or don’t show an interest in the subject, then move right along to a totally different topic. Sometimes, the message takes a few months or even a few years to sink in, after planting the seed.

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