Jul 10th, 2007
Obviously, rainforest destruction is a heated topic of discussion. Many popular websites claim to plant trees in exchange for donations, and even Dell has hopped on the bandwagon. When you buy a new computer you can select “plant a tree for me” as you checkout and help offset your carbon footprint. Planting trees can be a good thing, but are we really making progress if we do nothing about the source of the problem? Sustainable Harvest International is heading straight for one source. This small non-profit organization “has worked with nearly 1,000 families and 900 students in Honduras, Panama, Belize and Nicaragua implementing alternatives to slash-and-burn farming, the leading cause of rainforest destruction in the region.” Malnutrition is a huge problem in this area of the world, and many vegetables are considered a luxury item. SHI teaches new farming techniques to the local families, such as alley cropping, organic vegetable gardening, and seed saving and storage.
Since 1997, SHI has successfully:
· Planted more than 2,000,000 trees.
· Converted 6,000 acres to sustainable uses, thereby saving 30,000 acres from slash-and-burn destruction.
· Improved nutrition through the establishment of more than 200 organic vegetable gardens.
· Increased farm income up to 800%.
· Built 165 wood-conserving stoves (saving 1,650 trees per year)
Now, did you know that it’s possible to eat yogurt, help these farmers, save forests, and get free organic chocolate and tea all at the same time? Stonyfield Farm is featuring SHI along with two other non-profits on their yogurt lids this summer. Vote for your favorite non-profit and help direct funds their way, while getting cool prizes!
Visit http://www.sustainableharvest.org/yogurt/ for more information on SHI and Stonyfield’s “Bid With Your Lid” program.
Exciting things are afoot today at wannaveg. We have a new contributor joining the team! Please welcome Jessica Schessler, who has joined us to provide some fresh content, valuable insight and a new take on things.
A little background…Jessica is a 21 year old college student majoring in International Affairs, and is attempting to learn Japanese through self study courses (no easy task). She is, among other things, a private pilot, musician, poet, and gamer. She is married, hopelessly in love with the local farmer’s market, and is trying to convince her husband that meat is not a necessary staple.
Besides puppies and long walks on the beach (I made that up), Jessica enjoys getting tattoos and stirring her salad dressing so each piece of lettuce is coated evenly. Apparently she is also a huge fan of scallions. So…there ya go!
Without further ado, I am happy to present Jessica’s first post. Please take a moment to read her thoughts and as always, feel free to share your own.
Tomorrow is the 4th of July, and what better thing to do than hit the beach with friends, cook out and wait for the fireworks. We plan to hit the sand and the water with sunscreen, canopy, drinks, grill and have a fantastic barbecue tomorrow. The day promises to give us just about everything you could name…everything but the meat.
I’ve seen a number of articles and recipes for “vegetarian grilling,” “a meatless 4th of July,” and other topics, so what I’m adding isn’t necessarily new information. But in the spirit of a fun mid-week break from work and a reason to start that as soon as possible, I wanted to contribute.
Let me first tell you that I am not a vegetarian. I try to make the right choices and consider myself “mostly vegetarian,” but I am an omnivore. I’m conscious about what I eat and enjoy the acts of both cooking and sharing meals. I do not understand the concept that a meal is not complete without some form of meat, poultry or fish, and this applies to all meals all the time- not once a week, twice a month or any other increment. Meals are complete when friends and family come together, have great discussions, and enjoy a wonderful experience to go along with whatever it is they are tasting together. It doesn’t really matter what is not on the plate, does it? It matters what IS on the plate and who is there to enjoy it with you.
With that in mind, what’s in tomorrow’s cooler?
Amy’s California Veggie Burgers
Quorn Naked Chik’n Cutlets
Kettle Buffalo Blue & Salt & Vinegar Chips
Tomato, Cucumber, Feta Salad
Grilled Squash & Mushrooms
Cantaloupe & Kiwi Salad
Grilled Blue Corn & Cheese Tamales
Tofurky Sundried Tomato & Basil Italian Sausages
Homemade Coconut Macaroons (thanks Colleen) and Blond Brownies with Kit Kat
I don’t know…call me crazy, but this isn’t the BBQ of a deprived group restricting themselves to a vegetarian diet. Would you miss the burgers and dogs?
Happy 4th of July. Enjoy your day, wear sunblock, celebrate life and smile!
Have you seen our new RSS feeds over there on the sidebar? Wannaveg is now using Feedburner to syndicate our post and comments feeds. You can also subscribe via email and get the newest posts in a nice format right to your inbox.
What’s RSS? Check out this cool video that explains it all.
P.S. The old RSS feeds will still work fine.
It’s good to be a dog, bad to be a chicken- A Pennsylvania court finds it’s perfectly legal to abuse and torture chickens and keep them in horrible conditions. I don’t believe most folks are trying to say "stop eating eggs," but….we should demand humane treatment and conditions for these poor animals. (yahoo news)
Michael Moore will not be sending PETA a donation- Well, probably not anytime soon. Especially after PETA’s president called him an elephant. I wonder what he did to piss them off? I guess he’s just alive and that’s all they need. Oh well, what are you going to do….I did like ‘Sicko" though. (msnbc)
Start Your Own Farm- But first you need about $1,900 a acre (on average) to get started. Revitalization into farming and rural America is important to our food system. Is it time to buy the farm? (forbes)
Similar To a Trendy Oxygen Bar- Safeway and other companies like Tyson Foods are being told by Congress to defend their use of carbon monoxide to "treat" meat. Apparently, Congress didn’t know the FDA approved this practice three years ago, and…we all know that the FDA only approves things that are "safe" for the public. Carbon monoxide is supposed to retard the spoilage of meat. I could make a bad joke here, but it would be too easy. (yahoo biz)
Locavore: the new food fad- A family boycotts supermarkets and only eats food grown locally….for one month. Can this be practical? (Timesonine.uk)
There Is Nothing To See Here- Here’s a list on 10 things your grocery store doesn’t want you to know about. As it turns out, grocery store managers know you better than you know you. (msn health)
Look in your cabinet, if you have this product, get rid of it! All lots and sizes of Veggie Booty Snack Food have been recalled, following a report of 51 cases of salmonella poisoning that may be associated with the product.
Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, especially in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Other symptoms include uncontrollable gambling, mind bending euphoria, sex, a desire to get drunk and eat donuts. (oh wait, those latter examples are from my last weekend, (kidding of course, as there isn’t a decent donut shop around where I live)).
Robert’s American Gourmet has asked consumers who purchased Veggie Booty and still have the product in their homes to discard the contents and contact the company at 1-800-626-7557 for reimbursement.
more information can be found at the manufacturers website.
On my journey to find new and exciting information to present to you, our wonderful readers, I found this ebook that has a boatload of information about vegetarianism. The book was written by Rudy Hadisentosa at veggie123.com and I must say it’s an impressive read and it’s obvious that Rudy put in a ton of time researching and writing it (FYI, it’s 205 pages). I particularly liked the chapter on the history of vegetarianism, the part on Dr. Kellogg was pretty weird, and the chapter on parasites was interesting.
As an aside, there’s a special place in my heart for parasites (no, not Heartworms)… during my high school years I worked part-time for a veterinarian and part of my job was to check "samples." My coworkers would pile them up (no pun intended) for me during the day and when I got to work, after school, I would spend the first 45 minutes or so preparing and examining these samples. Needless to say this wasn’t my favorite part of the job (it was a close second behind cleaning cages out), but it did expose me to the world beneath the microscope, which I found interesting.
Anyway, back to the book. If you’re going vegetarian full time or one day a week, I think you will find the book to be a good reference tool. At the very least it’s a fun read. You can download the .pdf below or at veggie123.com.
I recently ran across this video on the Sierra Club website called "The True Cost of Food." The film was designed to raise awareness of the foods we eat and the real cost of that food in terms of money and environmental impact. Although I believe there may be an over-exaggeration in the "check-out price" (you’ll see what I mean), overall I think it’s a good educational film. The picture quality isn’t the best, but the sound is good and I think you will be able to get gist of it. Runtime: 15 min.
**EDIT**- Google took the video down,
I will see if I can find it somewhere else. Ok, the best way to see this is to click this link and save it to your computer. You will need to have Quicktime installed to view it.
Our apologizes for being down yesterday. Our hosting provider has some problems with the server wannaveg is on. I am not sure what the problem was because they never told me….so, I think we will start shopping for a new provider. Thanks for your patience.
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