Vegan Movement Gains Mainstream Momentum on The Martha Stewart Show’s “Vegan Show” — Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur, Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone and “Veganist” Author Kathy Freston to Appear on March 30th Live Episode —

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – March 29, 2011 – During her reign as America’s domestic icon, Martha Stewart has shown millions of people how to baste a turkey, braise a lamb and roast a chicken, but this Wednesday, March 30th, the woman who wrote the book (literally) on home entertaining will devote an entire hour-long episode […]

Coming Soon!

Dylan making tamales

 

Deven

In the next few weeks I will be posting recipes for some of what my family and I have been cooking recently; tempeh-mango salad, tamales, sushi, and chocolate peanut butter pie to name a few. I will also be taking recipes with photos from others who would like to share. Lots more to come, so stay tuned!

 

The Rennet Firestorm

This summer, my kids and I and our good friend Griffin, he’s 14, were at a party at a friend’s house. All the kids were hanging out around the campfire. Someone brought out some marshmallows to roast. Dylan and Griffin started to kind of lecture the kids on why they shouldn’t eat marshmallows. Why, you ask? Because they have gelatin(http://www.buzzle.com/articles/gelatin-ingredients.html) in them. After the party we started to talk about this. The issue, I think was really about hidden animal products in food but also about how to educate people about them.

Does lecturing work?
Oh boy, have we had many discussions and probably arguments about this issue in our house. In the case of the marshmallows, the boys were saying things like, “gross, do you know what is in that?”. And, “I can’t believe you eat gelatin. Don’t you know what gelatin is?”, “it’s boiled up animal hooves!”. What do you think happened?The other kids just went on eating their marshmallows.

The ripple effect
Strangely enough, it might not have gotten the target audience thinking but it sure got me thinking. A few days later, we were on our way to an Un-school conference, me, Griffin, Xoey(Griffin’s 13 year old sister), and my sons Dylan and Deven, 9 and 7 years old. We got on the topic of lecturing gelatin eaters. I said, well, you guys eat cheese right? They said, yeah, we love cheese but it’s vegetarian! Nope, I said, most cheese has rennet in it(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/). Rennet is a coagulant used to make most hard cheeses. Most rennet comes from the lining of a calves stomach. Yuck.

Research
This conversation has encouraged many more, and lots of research on the internet about what is in our food. The boys have also taken to asking in restaurants what kind of cheese they use and then looking it up to find out if that company uses rennet or not. We now know that many big North American cheese makers like Cabot, use vegetarian rennet. That is the good news. The bad news is that these guys are usually big factory farms who are trying to keep their costs down. I guess veal calves’ stomachs are more expensive. Of course, personally, I have a very simple solution, don’t eat cheese at all! It seems obvious to me as a vegan of 3 years. However, I knew about rennet, I knew about the connection of the dairy and meat industry, especially the veal industry for years, but I still ate dairy and eggs.

Kids can change the world
When I was a kid, I wasn’t thinking about rennet and gelatin and politics as these kids do. I wasn’t thinking about much at all. Not that these kids are not having a great time and enjoying life. Quite the opposite, being home-schooled gives them a lot more time to do other things like having interesting discussions about food, life and the world we live in.

Lip Balm and Chocolate Mousse

My new favorite lip stuff
I do not have an addictive personality, however, I do tend to go a bit overboard with somethings. One of my obsessions is lip balm, or more specifically, frosty colored lip balm. For a long time, I have loved Burt’s Bees which is not vegan for obvious and not obvious reasons. The obvious is the bee’s wax, the not so obvious is the coloring carmine. Carmine is made from crushed red beetles, yuck.
Anyway, I have found my new favorite. Hibiskiss by Crazy Rumors, crazyrumors.com. this was given to me by my fellow lip balm addict and dear friend, Diana. It smells amazing, and tastes good too! They also have a line of tea, coffee, soda, and candy inspired ones, all organic, cruelty-free and vegan. I like the Hibiskiss line because it is frosty!


My new favorite decadent dessert
Chocolate Mousse
Soooooo easy and incredibly delicious. Take 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips and melt them in the micro for 2 minutes or over a double broiler. Put in a blender with 8 ounces silken lite tofu and a 1/4 cup of organic powdered sugar. Blend on high until light and fluffy. Refrigerate for an hour or so and serve with fresh raspberries.
-Mimi

UN Urges Global Move to Meat and Dairy-Free Diet

Lesser consumption of animal products is necessary to save the world from the worst impacts of climate change, UN report says

A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change, a UN report said today.

An cattle ranch in Mato Grosso, Brazil. The UN says agriculture is on a par with fossil fuel consumption because both rise rapidly with increased economic growth. (Photograph: HO/Reuters)As the global population surges towards a predicted 9.1 billion people by 2050, western tastes for diets rich in meat and dairy products are unsustainable, says the report from United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) international panel of sustainable resource management.

read more HERE

Website of the Week, Almond Milk, and iPhones!

Almond Milk:
Tried a new product the other day on a whim, Blue Diamond Almond milk in the refridge section (next to the Silk). I bought the vanilla and brought it home for my kids to try. Now, I should say that my kids are not normal, I think in a good way, and already drink soy milk and eat all kinds of things that many kids won’t. That said, the almond milk is delicious. Rich and creamy, Deven, my six year old, says it tastes like egg nog. It is sweet which they liked and I did too but there is an unsweetened one (Bonnie I know you don’t like the sweet ones). Great for those of you who are looking for alternatives to soy. It was great in coffee and tea too. On the downside, it is not organic. I went on their website and really didn’t get much info about pesticide use, but did find that the almonds are grown in California and are not genetically modified.
In search of more info on the pesticide issue I came across a great website:

What’s On My Food?
What’s on my food lists all the pesticide residues found on common foods. Really interesting and handy so check it out. Even better, they have an app for Iphones, which leads me to my new guilty pleasure, my new iphone.

Mimi has an iphone????
Anyone who knows me well is shocked to find this out. I am a luddite, a simple living advocate, and incredibly challenged by all things technical. We have no television in our house, one computer for my husband’s office, and definately no video games. So why the iphone? Well, why I got it is a long story but I am finding all kinds of great uses. Did you know you can get Vegan with a Vengeance, by Isa Moskowitz (my hero), as an app on your phone???? This was my very first vegan cookbook. I got it before I even knew I was going vegan. It is still one of my all time favorites and I love everything she and Terry Hope Romero have done since: VeganomiconVegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. Ah, but I digress, Let’s just say that I am having fun with my new toy and will let you know what other uses I find for it!

Peace, Mimi