Monday, November 27, 2006

Product Review: Clif Nectar Bars

I like the convenience of snack bars/power bars, but some of them taste positively awful. And some bars that taste great, aren't made with great ingredients. What's a hungry snacker to do? Grab a Clif Nectar bar!

Clif Nectar bars are made with only organic fruits, nuts and spices. That's it. Simple, organic and delicious. These bars come in four great flavors (my fav is Lemon, Vanilla & Cashew), each with five or fewer ingredients. All are vegan and organic. Yummy!

Add these to your shopping list!

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

In the News: Salmonella on the Rise

Yuck! If you need another reason to avoid eating chicken and eggs, check out this news story. It details the rise of a common strain of salmonella in eggs and meat.

Salmonella sickens at least 40,000 people and kills about 600 every year in the United States.

Read the entire story online at:

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Book Review: "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World"

What if vegan cupcakes took over the world? No more would we peer into shiny pastry cases and sigh as we turned away from cute little cupcakes full of factory-farmed eggs and butter. Instead, we would rejoice and lick frosting from our lips!

Veggie Hero Isa Chandra Moskowitz and pal Terry Hope Romero imagined such a paradise and created the charming new book "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World."

This delightful book is full of wonderfully original cupcake recipes, including Crimson Velveteen Cupcakes, Linzer Torte Cupcakes, Chai Latte Cupcakes, and Banana Split Cupcakes. The dynamic duo also includes gluten-free recipes, decorating tips, baking guidelines, vegan shopping advice, and Isa's true tales from the kitchen.

Be sure to pick this unique new cookbook up and get ready for a heady sugar buzz!

Friday, November 17, 2006

In the News: Human Impact Harming Seals

Newswise (11/17/06) — In recent decades, a number of disease-related mass mortalities of marine mammals have occurred in populations inhabiting industrial coastal areas, suggesting that chemical contamination could have played a role. A new study has found that biological pollution could also be playing a role in the deaths of harbor seals. The study is published in the latest issue of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

Considerable evidence has shown that environmental contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contribute to marine mammal mortalities by affecting their immune systems. Marine mammals are at particularly high risk of immunotoxicity because of their high trophic levels, long life span, and limited capacity to eliminate PCBs.

The objective of the current study was to assess the impact of this chemical on the immune systems of a large group of free-ranging harbor seals. The study team found that biological pollution also appears to have an impact. Biological pollution includes bacterial pathogens in the water from human sources including sewage discharge, septic fields and storm water drainage, and agricultural activities including runoff from livestock and soil fertilization. However, the latter have only a relatively minor input compared to human sources.

The combination of PCBs and biological pollution may have lethal consequences for seals living near urban areas that receive high levels of bacterial pathogens, which are areas characterized by elevated fecal coliform counts.

To read the entire study, click here:

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Adopt-a-Turkey This Thanksgiving

Thanks to Farm Animal Sanctuary, even vegetarians and vegans can invite a turkey to Thanksgiving! This year, consider adopting a turkey from Farm Animal Sanctuary. For just $20 you can help provide care for "your" turkey and support the outstanding work of this organization.

For several years my husband and I have adopted turkeys from Farm Animal Sanctuary. We love hanging the photo of our bird on the refrigerator and telling friends and family who see the shot of our fine bird all about the importance of avoiding eating turkeys at Thanksgiving.

Won't you join us?

Photo credit: Farm Animal Sanctuary

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Veggie Hero: Suzanne Haws

You love vegan ice cream. I love vegan ice cream. Suzanne Haws (a.k.a. Agnes L.) loves vegan ice cream. But unlike us, Suzanne has made it her business to help others learn how to make and enjoy this awesome food. She's the author of the really fun Vegan Ice Cream Paradise blog, which full of great ideas to whip in your kitchen. She lives in Mountain View, California.

Vegetarian or vegan?

How long have you been veg*n?
I've been vegetarian for four years, and vegan for about three and a half.

What inspired you to go veg?
In December of 2001, my husband and I adopted a kitten. We named ouradorable gray and white baby “Upton.” He was sickly when we brought him home, but that’s somewhat to be expected from a shelter cat. Upton, though, had a very difficult time recovering. One health problem followed another. After a few months of lingering illness, we discovered that he had FIP, which is always fatal. I watched him get sick, then get better, then get sick again. It broke my heart to watch him suffer, and I was nearly inconsolable when he started having severe seizures. In June of 2002, we let him go, and our vet put him to sleep. A couple of weeks later, I was preparing a chicken for dinner. I had taken the chicken out of the package and was washing it in the sink. I began to look at it--really look at it. It had a torso, legs, wings. It struck me that it was this whole animal. One animal that my husband and I wer egoing to have for dinner. It would feed us for dinner and a couple of other meals as leftovers. Three meals, one animal. At that moment I realized that this chicken didn't want to suffer any more than Upton did. All either of them wanted was to live and be happy. And I had paid for this chicken's death, even as I was still mourning Upton. At that moment, I knew that I had to become a vegetarian. It took about three months to transition (after all, I grew up on a cattle ranch), but it was the best decision I've made. After going vegetarian, I started learning more about how animals suffer in the dairy and egg industries, and I went vegan.

What's your best story of trying to find veg food?
My husband and I were driving through southern Utah on our way to Canyonlands National Park. There's not much in that part of the state asidefrom microscopic little towns dotting the highway. We saw a ramshackle old restaurant/camping ground called "The Dairy Café." We were only vegetarianat the time, and we thought we might find something to eat there. The woman who owned the place looked like an extra in a Tim Burton movie, and the building itself didn't inspire confidence in the quality or cleanliness of the food. Nevertheless, we asked if they had any vegetarian food. "What, you mean, like lettuce and stuff?" she asked. No, we explained,just something without meat in it. She looked at us like were crazy."Well, milk and eggs--they come from animals too, you know!" Unfortunately, it turned out that she had nothing that didn't contain meat, despite her unexpectedly pro-vegan statement to us.

How do you handle family holiday dinners?
My husband and I usually spend Thanksgiving with vegan friends, so that's not an issue. We typically spend Christmas with his family, and they arevery open to having a mostly or completely vegan meal. It helps that we offer to do the cooking! Additionally, we've started requesting, in lieu of Christmas gifts, donations to Vegan Outreach. Then if family members insist on chowing down on meat, we are secure in the knowledge that even if they never change, they've given money that will be used to convince other people to go vegetarian. We can't save the animal they're eating at that moment, but their contribution could possibly save hundreds or thousands of animals from a life of suffering. That gives us the peace of mind we need to relax and enjoy the holidays, regardless of what others are eating.

What's your favorite veg food?
Probably my husband's vegan pancakes. And homemade vegan ice cream, of course!

Do you have a favorite veg book?
Peter Singer's "Animal Liberation" helped me make the transition fromvegetarian to vegan. Since then, the Vegan Outreach essay "A MeaningfulLife" has helped me to become a more effective advocate for animals.

Tofu or tempeh?
I'm trying to learn to like tempeh, but I'm really a tofu girl.

What did you have for breakfast today?
Raisin Bran, soy milk, and a glass of orange juice.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Book Review: "Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons"

Veggie Hero Nava Atlas released a new book just two weeks ago. "Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons" is a wonderful addition to my veggie cookbook collection! This book is a completely revised and updated edition of one of Nava's early books. The new edition, offers more than 120 delicious, vegan soups and stews. The chapters are arranged according to season, with soups like Moroccan Lentil & Chickpea Soup for fall; hearty winter dishes such as Brazilian Black Bean Stew; as well as Curried Cashew Vegetable Soup for spring and cooling Minted Peach Soup for hot summer days. An additional section of accompaniments, such as breads and muffins, to rounds out the cookbook and soup meals. Be sure to check it out!

Monday, November 06, 2006

In the News: Research Points to Protective Effects of Coffee

Gotta love those beans -- coffee beans that is! Coffee is an amazing plant and research released today points to coffee's protective effects for warding off Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease. Another study dispelled the myth that coffee contributes to heart disease.

Read all about it at:

Another cheer for plant power!

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