Category Archives: Vegetarian Living

Fly the Vegan Skies

airline vegan meal

A vegan airline meal

Vegan options are showing up in a wide variety of places these days, from prisons to hospitals to public schools. Now a new initiative by the Vegan Society and Humane Society International seeks to make sure airlines have vegan meals available in commercial airliners.

While air travel is blamed for significant greenhouse gas emissions, meat is actually much worse. It’s also a culprit in other environmental problems. “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, at Oxford University, England.  “It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car.”

Airlines serve an estimated one billion inflight meals every year, so actively encouraging passengers to choose plant-based options could help reduce the industry’s carbon emissions, while at the same addressing a number of other environmental problems caused by meat and other animal-derived foods.

If you fly long distance, be sure to order a vegan meal when you book your flight.  While you’re waiting for your flight at Seatac airport, why not check out the new restaurant “Floret” by Café Flora? The sister restaurant of our much beloved vegetarian restaurant Café Flora offers both sit down and grab-and-go food.

Upcoming “Cooking with Amanda” Classes

Amanda cooking feature 1.1Amanda Strombom, President of Vegetarians of Washington, gives regular cooking classes to support those interested in moving toward a plant-based diet and learning new ways of preparing food avoiding animal products. Each class focuses on a different aspect of going veggie, whether it’s on specific food groups, on a particular health topic, shopping or even holiday cooking.  Plenty of samples to taste are always provided. See the schedule below.

Classes will be held at East Shore Unitarian Church, Bellevue, 7pm unless otherwise noted. A nominal charge of $5 per class helps us cover the cost of the ingredients and materials. Shopping tours are free.

Wed May 8th       Save the Earth with a Plant-Based Diet!

One of the best things each of us can do to help take better care of the Earth is to change the food we eat away from animal products.  How does a plant-based diet help? We’ll talk about the damage animal agriculture causes to the soil, the water, the air and our climate.  Plus you can taste some delicious dishes and get recipes to help you make the switch.

Make a reservation

Wed June 12th– Where do you get your protein from?

The first question many people ask when they’re thinking about cutting out meat is about protein.  In this class we’ll discuss the benefits of the various plant-based sources of protein available and make some delicious dishes using both beans and meat alternatives.

Make a reservation

Wed July 10th      Avoiding cancer

We’ll talk about how a plant-based diet can help protect you against getting certain kinds of cancer, and which nutrients are particularly beneficial for fighting cancer.  We’ll make delicious dishes using a rainbow of different vegetables to give as many phytonutrients as possible.

Make a reservation

Wed Sept 4th      Cleaning out your arteries

Eggs are loaded with cholesterol which clogs up your arteries. We’ll talk about how cholesterol, present in all animal foods, impacts your health, particularly your arteries, and we’ll discuss alternatives you can use to eggs in various recipes. We’ll make some delicious egg-free recipes and even try the amazing Vegan Egg.

Wed Oct 2nd        Reducing pain with food

Several chronic painful conditions can be helped with a plant-based diet.  We’ll discuss how certain foods can help reduce inflammation and reduce pain.  Then we’ll make some tasty recipes with anti-inflammatory foods such as chia seeds, mushrooms, turmeric and walnuts.

Wed Nov 6th       Healthy Cooking for the Holidays 

We’ll talk about how to handle the many issues that come up at holiday times when cooking for or eating with your meat-eating family members, and discuss ideas for special vegan holiday dishes.  We’ll make some delicious dishes that all your guests can enjoy.

Wed Dec 4th        Shopping for Plant-Based Foods

We’ll meet at Fred Meyer, Bellevue, to tour the Natural Foods section, and learn about label reading, choosing fresh vegetables, and finding some new favorite foods. This class is free.

Wed Jan 8th         Losing weight, Defeating diabetes

We’ll talk about what foods are most helpful in losing those extra pounds, and how the same foods can also reduce your insulin resistance and treat Type II Diabetes.  We’ll make some really simple starter plant-based meals to get you started on a new way of eating for the New Year.

Wed Feb 5th        Ditching Dairy

Dairy products often contain surprising amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol, and come from cows forced to give birth frequently.  We’ll talk about the many alternatives to dairy that are available these days, we’ll taste samples of some commercial products and make some simple cheese alternatives of our own.

Prince Harry’s baby to be vegan?

Meghan pregnant with Harry

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.

The Meatless Whopper

Impossible whopper

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.

Meatless Mondays in New York Schools

Children eat healthy school lunchNew 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 will be fabulous!

Parma etc busy scene - low resVegfest, 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

Meet the farmers at Full Circle Farm

full circle - winter at the farm

We were curious how an organic farm is run here in the Pacific Northwest, so we asked Andrew Stout, founder and general manager of Full Circle Farm, a few questions.

How did you become interested in farming?

I started farming with my wife Wendy and my good friend John in the mid 90’s.  We all felt drawn to the noble occupation of growing good honest food for our community in an environmentally responsible way.  We were only a few years out of college and were looking for a meaningful career that challenged us mentally and physically while allowing our entrepreneurial spirit to thrive.  If farming didn’t work out, I wanted to be a teacher.  As it turned out I have the privilege of doing both – educating young and old, about the merits of organic farming, the importance of good food, the satisfaction of a hard day’s work and best of all the delights of a delicious shared meal. Read more

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