Category Archives: Vegetarian Living

How to Save a Thanksgiving Turkey

Of course the best way to save a Thanksgiving turkey is by having a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner. Every year 300 million turkeys are raised and slaughtered for food, and 46 million of those will be eaten on Thanksgiving alone. Every vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner will reduce the number of turkeys slaughtered for the dinner.

Fortunately, there are better options to be eaten and enjoyed than turkey. The northwest is home to two of the most popular and best tasting Thanksgiving turkey alternatives around. Field Roast features its somewhat sophisticated Celebration Roast, with an intriguing blend of herbs and spices, that’s getting rave reviews coast to coast. If you’d like to have a bit of fine dining at home, Celebration Roast is a gourmet choice. Try the Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute for something more sophisticated. Read more

Good news? – Meat and Dairy acquiring veg companies

 

so-delicious-dessertsIs this good news? Mainstream meat and dairy companies are investing in, and acquiring outright, plant-based food companies. Is this the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end? Examples abound:
In July, France’s Danone, best known for its Dannon brand yogurt, bought WhiteWave and its subsidiary, So Delicious, which specializes in organic and plant-based alternatives to dairy products, in a deal worth $12.5 billion.

Beyond Meat packetBeyond Meat sells plant protein that “looks, feels, tastes and acts like chicken without the cluck,” as the product packaging for its faux chicken reads. That was good enough for poultry giant Tyson Foods Inc., which acquired a 5% stake in the El Segundo-based vegan start-up Monday.

For Tyson Foods, the move is a fast way into a rapidly growing alternative-foods segment, which could account for as much as a third of worldwide protein consumption by mid-century with a market value of as much as $108 billion, according to Lux Research.

Even Boca Burger is owned by Kraft, and Gardein was recently acquired by Pinnacle Foods, which owns brands such as Armour Bacon. So the trend is clear. The question is “Is this a good thing and what will it mean for the future?”  Commenting on Tyson’s recent investment, Paul Shapiro, the Humane Society’s vice president for farm animal protection, says, “We’re thrilled to see Tyson investing in the company. Americans want to diversify their protein sources with more of it coming from plants, and Tyson is positioned well to help them do that.”

Others agree and think that mainstream companies have the connections and extra bucks to take plant-based foods further and faster than they could have gotten on their own. Ultimately, the mainstream is where the growth is expected to come from in the veg world.

But still some uneasiness lingers. Many veg companies are choosing to keep their distance. While mainstream meat and dairy companies, seeing their potential, seem to have supported their new brands, they could have easily done otherwise. Time, as the saying goes, will tell what this will mean for the food vegetarians currently eat and enjoy.

Elon Musk – Mars and Cars go veg

mars-colonyTesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently hosted a conference catered by the innovative vegan company, Impossible Foods. The Code Conference was a gathering of revolutionary thinkers and progressive planners, all of whom munched on vegan sliders as they discussed how to improve the fate of us all. Musk, who has struggled with his own vegetarianism, may now be finally seeing the light. This is especially important if he plans a mission to Mars. NASA has already determined that only a vegan diet will work both for the trip there and for the outpost on Mars itself.

Big names were in attendance at the event, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Bill Gates – an early investor in the revolutionary vegan start-up.

tesla-veganTesla, the all-electric-car company, has just unveiled an SUV model that’s not only environmentally friendly — it’s also vegan. When you think of luxury cars, you often think leather seats and that “new car smell” but what if you have plenty of money to spend, and don’t want it lined with animal skin? It’s a problem that plagues some vegans.

For decades, leather-free options in the car industry have been limited at best. Generally speaking, buyers looking to avoid the use of animal products in their cars would have to settle for basic models with cloth seats and plastic steering wheels, but as they add options like better engines, heated seats or upgraded speakers, they’re often forced to choose leather seats.

But now, Tesla’s “Ultra White” interior option, currently only offered in the new Model X SUV, comes available with a fully vegan interior — including synthetic leather seats, steering wheel and gear shift — giving that streamlined luxury look of leather.

The company reportedly created the new interior option, in part, after receiving suggestions from potential customers who felt the company’s eco-friendly stance on limiting emissions made no sense when the cars included animal products.

New Veg restaurant at Seatac

cafe-flora-polentaRejoice! Seatac airport will never be the same. Cafe Flora is bringing its gourmet veg menu to Seatac Airport.

Floret is the name of the full service restaurant in an 1,800 square foot space next to the new Delta Air Lines lounge between A and B terminals. The new restaurant is the first exclusively vegetarian and vegan restaurant at the airport and the first expansion by Cafe Flora owner Nat Stratton-Clarke. “As an avid traveler and lifelong vegetarian I know how difficult it can be to find healthy, local food options while traveling,” Stratton-Clarke said in a statement. “Floret will be an opportunity to help raise the bar for airport dining everywhere.”

The menu will feature vegetarian and vegan selections including Cafe Flora favorites, seasonal dishes and new items with local and organic produce. The restaurant, which will also offer grab and go food and will have lots of plants and natural light from a 27 foot long wall of large glass windows looking out on the airport’s runways.

Floret, set to open sometime next year, will be serving guests every day from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. This will be the first time ever we can actually enjoy flight delays!

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.

Turin Mayor says “Go Veg”

Turin ItalyImagine Italy. Now imagine an entirely vegetarian city in Italy. That’s the goal of the new mayor of Turin, Italy’s fourth largest city. She’s a member of a new political force in Italy that has made promoting a vegetarian diet a basic part of their platform, which states: “The promotion of vegan and vegetarian diets is a fundamental act in safeguarding the environment, people’s health and the welfare of our animals.”

She’s serious. Mayor Chiara Appendino released a 62-page manifesto this week which detailed how she plans to make promoting vegan and vegetarian diets a ‘priority’.

The new administration intends to teach Turin’s schoolchildren about the impact that eating meat has on the environment, from the intensive use of water to the production of greenhouse gases. “Leading medical, nutritional and political experts will help promote a culture of respect in our schools, teaching children how to eat well while protecting the earth and animal rights.”

If Italy’s Chiara Appendino has her way, the whole city of 870,000 (that’s bigger than Seattle), that hosted the Winter Olympics in 2006, will be meat-free within five years. Italy’s food culture is shifting. Younger Italians are more open to trying new foods, and immigrants have brought different cuisines with them from around the world. Meanwhile about 30 vegetarian or vegan restaurants have recently opened in Turin within the past few years. Of course, proponents for the vegetarian way have been present throughout Italian history.  For instance founding father Garibaldi was an enthusiastic vegetarian and even founded an animal welfare society that’s still going strong.

Of course, this noble goal is easier said than done, and there are some who don’t want to go along with the idea.  The mayor and town council can only do so much, but still this is the first major European city to undertake and implement such a plan. All we can say is “Tanti Auguri” which is Italian for lots of good wishes, and we would love for Seattle to be next. Mayor Ed Murray, how ‘bout it?

Hip Hop goes Veg

Hip hop green dinnerAn exciting, wholesome and new vegan movement, among youth attracted to the hip hop movement, is spreading across the country.

This program, called “In Pursuit of a Green Planet,” has attracted a wide variety of inner-city youth, as it travels around the country hosting its Green Dinners. But Seattle has bragging rights, as this is where the program began, and Vegetarians of Washington was honored to team up with them for their very first Hip Hop Green Dinner. Since then they have attracted cutting-edge musicians, along with leading doctors and talented chefs, who are giving talks and cooking demonstrations along with the dinners.

We caught up with Keith Tucker, the leader of this great program, as he gets ready for the next Green Dinner right here in town.

Veg of WA: What are the Hip Hop Green Dinners?

Keith Tucker: Hip Hop Green Dinners are a National Health Initiative set in urban communities and designed to introduce new people, especially youth, to delicious, healthy vegan food. The Green Dinners are most attendees’ first introduction to a vegan meal and are a perfect combination of information and entertainment. It’s the first and only event in the world combining Hip Hop and serving full vegan meals to youth and families. Over the last seven years we have served over 4000 healthy plant-based meals to youth and families around the country.

Veg of WA: Why are the Hip Hop Green Dinners important?

Keith Tucker: Our events are so important because obesity is one of the most challenging health crises the America has ever faced. Two-thirds of adults, and nearly one-third of children and teens, are currently obese or overweight, putting them at increased risk for many diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It’s not just our health that is suffering: obesity-related medical costs and a less productive workforce are hampering America’s ability to compete in the global economy, as well as the direct connection to deforestation and the overall environment.

Veg of WA: Thanks for explaining, and good luck with your next dinner.

To learn more about the Hip Hop Green Dinners, see this short video: https://youtu.be/ogi4c0gb7N4

If you’d like to support this campaign, and the Seattle Dinner in particular, become a sponsor.

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