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Entries in vegan (31)

Sunday
Jun042017

The Spheres of Engagement: How to Communicate about Food

After I woke up to the difference we could make by eating organic, plant-based food, I wanted to share the news with everyone. What a great way to save money, eat fabulous food, and make a difference! I even changed my job title from "Chief Cook and Researcher" to "Food Evangelist." My sense of urgency made me want to grab a bullhorn.

Yet I knew that lecturing people rarely works unless they've asked for a lecture. Even when I teach cooking classes, leavening the lectures with demos and dialog makes the information tastier. In daily life, it's better to share lunch than to preach. Show how much you enjoy your hummus wrap and bring fabulous cookies to share. Maybe you'll inspire someone to do the same.

This seems slow and even impractical in some cases. I doubt either of my Senators would eat cookies from a constituent. To complicate matters, what works with one person in one setting or on one day may not work in a different situation or time. I've had three quite different chances to communicate about food recently. This led me to the idea of different spheres of engagement and the productive actions that can happen within them.

spheres of engagement

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Thursday
May042017

Eat Vegetables and other Plants to Shrink Your Carbon Footprint

Eating plants instead of animals is a powerful way to slow climate change that's open to everyone.  We don't need to wait for the government or big business to change. We don't need to buy a Prius or even a light bulb to start healing the Earth. More people are asking how to stop climate change, but going vegetarian or vegan even part of the time is rarely mentioned at events like the 2017 Climate March. Ironically, advocating for animals would help many organizations succeed in their core missions.

Only You Can Eat Plants Not Animals sign at climate march 2017

Impact of Raising Animals for Food

Animal agriculture accounts for 14.5% of the greenhouse gases produced every year. Only transportation has more impact. Avoiding beef and dairy products is particularly important because ...

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Friday
Nov182016

Thanksgiving recipe roundup. All vegan, many gluten free

Here are my favorite recipes for my favorite holiday. Don't you adore Thanksgiving? It's such a wonderful time to express our gratitude, get together with friends and family, and eat scrumptious seasonal food. These recipes are thrifty with lots of make-ahead options.

Enjoy a relaxed and healthy holiday. I'm so grateful for you, dear reader.

Main dishes

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Friday
Aug122016

A weekend of international plant-based menus for a retreat

My mindfulness group is hosting a weekend retreat in September. Participants will get five meals, from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch. In keeping with the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh and his Order of Interbeing, the retreat center will serve all plant-based meals. I was asked to help the caterers come up with appropriate meals.

Thich Nhat Hanh founded the Order of Interbeing, which has as a core insight

our happiness is not separate from the happiness of others

What better way to emphasize our interconnectedness than by serving meals representing people of many nations? You can use these suggestions at home to celebrate our interconnectness or the Olympics, too.

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Saturday
Jan162016

New US Dietary Guidelines miss chance to reduce disease, climate change

Good news: the new dietary guidelines include vegetarian and vegan diets and suggest reducing protein, cholesterol, and sugar. Bad news: it says vegans eat eggs, ignores protein in vegetables, thinks drinking white liquid is important, obscures its recommendations on eating less bad food, and drops the recommendation for environmentally responsible eating. The final 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines published this week reflect massive lobbying efforts by Big Ag and the junk-food industry. We've lost a valuable way to reduce disease and slow climate change.

The earlier Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (advisory report) provided more clear and direct ways to eat healthy diets, although it still was "bizarre" in recommending more dairy. Thanks to Dr. Neal Barnard and the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine for causing the USDA to strengthen cholesterol warnings in the guidelines despite "a money trail from the American Egg Board to universities where DGAC members were employed and persistent industry pressure to weaken cholesterol limits."

Read on for details and recommendations about what you can do.

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